Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Lesson of Enron

Friends, as we gather here today to pass judgment on these two once-glib sons of the Great Midwest, let us resolve to never, ever forget the bitter lesson of Enron.

And the lesson of Enron is, of course ... is … um … wait, it’ll come to us … the lesson was … hold on … lessee … lesson … Enron … uh …

In the meantime, as we try to recall the bitter lesson of Enron, we would beseech our brethren and sisteren in the media to please spare us, at least for the duration of this trial, anymore sob stories about those Enron employees who “lost it all” when Enron proved a fraud (or was toppled by the “run on the banks,” whichever your prefer). We’ve pretty much run out of sympathy---and never had much in the first place---for those who thought it was wise to invest every nickel of their retirement and more in the company stock, in blatant disregard of that constant drumbeat of advice and evidence about the need to diversify one’s assets (which we don’t recall was somehow found invalid back in what seems like those long-ago days of irrational exuberance). You may have been sold a bill of goods, but you bought in willing---even if you couldn’t clearly explain exactly what it was that your employer did to make money---and you were happy to keep buying in as long as the stock up kept heading up. In your own small way, you were as greedy as Andy, or as obtuse as Ken claims to have been.

Now: the lesson of Enron was … um …. Oh yeah: Everything is just as it’s advertised, and nothing---absolutely nothing!---is too good to be true.

Enjoy the trial.

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