31 January 2006

Enron: ask why

With the recent jury selection proceedings for the trials against Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, Enron has re-emerged into the public consciousness. But how much do we really know what happened? Enron's provocative slogan leads us in this same direction to "Ask why."

The documentary Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room does an excellent job of picking apart the web of power, politics, and personalities which came together to create a corporate culture that was both integral to its rise and fall. Although you could say that Jeffrey Skilling was the architect and Ken Lay the captain of this doomed ship, the story of Enron results from a confluence of factors both deliberate and unintentional. I highly recommend this documentary as a riveting piece of investigative journalism but also a compelling retelling of the familiar myth of the hero who ascends to greatness and falls as a result of his own hubris.

Best of luck to Enron in the Oscars!

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