The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron by Bethany McLeanThere were dozens of books about Watergate, but only All the Presidents Men gave readers the full story, with all the drama and nuance and exclusive reporting. And thirty years later, if youre going to read only one book on Watergate, thats still the one. Today, Enron is the biggest business story of our time, and Fortune senior writers Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind are the new Woodward and Bernstein.
Remarkably, it was just two years ago that Enron was thought to epitomize a great New Economy company, with its skyrocketing profits and share price. But that was before Fortune published an article by McLean that asked a seemingly innocent question: How exactly does Enron make money? From that point on, Enrons house of cards began to crumble. Now, McLean and Elkind have investigated much deeper, to offer the definitive book about the Enron scandal and the fascinating people behind it.
Meticulously researched and character driven, Smartest Guys in the Room takes the reader deep into Enrons past—and behind the closed doors of private meetings. Drawing on a wide range of unique sources, the book follows Enrons rise from obscurity to the top of the business world to its disastrous demise. It reveals as never before major characters such as Ken Lay, Jeff Skilling, and Andy Fastow, as well as lesser known players like Cliff Baxter and Rebecca Mark. Smartest Guys in the Room is a story of greed, arrogance, and deceit—a microcosm of all that is wrong with American business today. Above all, its a fascinating human drama that will prove to be the authoritative account of the Enron scandal.
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
Sign in. Alex Borstein , RuPaul , and other stars at the Emmys answer our fans' burning questions. Watch now. Documentary that looks at the concept of the corporation throughout recent history up to its present-day dominance. A probing investigation into the lies, greed and corruption surrounding D. Nearly years after its creation, the power of the U.
T here should be a gold statue of Bethany McLean outside every journalism school in the world. She is the magnificently persistent reporter who in , in the face of sneering from the American business boys' club, wrote an article in Fortune magazine suggesting that Enron, the gigantic US energy corporation, was "overvalued". It was the first jab in an investigation revealing the biggest and most grotesque scam of modern times. Thanks to McLean, the public discovered that Enron was a fraud, inflated by mendacious accounting, the manipulation of public utilities and Maxwell-style raiding of pension funds. Her story is brilliantly told in this cracking documentary directed by Alex Gibney, based on the subsequent book that McLean co-wrote about the Enron scandal. When the truth came out, Lord Wakeham surrendered this sinecure and one other: chairman of the Press Complaints Commission. McLean's triumph lay in her forensic rigour.
The film is a relatively straightforward account of the rise and fall of Enron, the infamous energy company whose top executives carted away hundreds of millions while their investors and employees lost billions. The film is told almost entirely through testimonials, featuring interviews with everyone from a California blue-collar worker who saw his pension fund raided to former Enron VPs. But the fun goes beyond bare investigation. Of all the insiders interviewed, not one comes from the Lay or Skilling camps. Enron CFO Andy Fastow is unfavorably compared to the Cheshire Cat, and the description of executive Lou Pai focuses more on his sexual deviancy than his fiscal misconduct. In the end, it will take a pretty keen interest in the Enron case and accounting practices in general to truly enjoy this movie, as even the human tragedy is centered on economic concerns.
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Enron, the Smartest Guys in the Room.
As a writer-director, Gibney has worked on Burning Down the House , a feature documentary on political corruption for Participant Productions and Magnolia Pictures. In , Gibney served as the series producer for The Blues , an Emmy-nominated series of seven films in association with executive producer Martin Scorsese. He also produced The Soul of a Man , the film by Wim Wenders for that series also an official selection at the Cannes Film Festival , and was awarded a Grammy for producing the five-CD box set based on the series. Show less. Who would think a documentary about the collapse of a mammoth corporation could play out like a drama with the emotional power of Greek tragedy?
Enron, the Smartest Guys in the Room. It is a story about people, and in reality it is a tragedy. Enron made their stock sky rocket through unethical means, and in reality this company kept losing money. The primary value operating among the traders was greed, money, and how to make profits under any circumstance. The traders thought that a good trader is a creative trader and the creative trader can find any arbitrage opportunity. ENRON quickly grew into a reputable company that generated enormous profits. In a short period of time ENRON was considered one of the top global trading company for natural gas, commodities, and electricity.