Saturday, June 11, 2005

Finance 101: Conspiracy of Fools

Conspiracy of Fools During my voyage on the high seas, I read Conspiracy of Fools: A true story, by my friend Kurt Eichenwald. I call him my friend, although we've only met on a few occasions, because he founded my college a cappella group, Sixteen Feet. He's a big fat writer now, and his previous book is being made into a movie. This one is about Enron, and it's all true.

Seriously, if you want an education on Finance 101 and How Not to Run Your Company, read Conspiracy of Fools. It's the real deal behind the collapse of Enron and the off-books entities with Star Wars-inspired names like 'Chewco' and 'JEDI'. I was in California during the rolling blackouts at the turn of the century, and I literally felt the Force of the Conspiracy at the time.

With all of the hype and cross-talk in the media, I never felt like I got the full story. Now, I understand the carelessness, the treachery, the downright piracy of Fastow and Enron. More importantly, I realized how a bunch of opportunists took advantage of our accounting laws. It was this education that I most appreciated.

This book revived my interest in business and law. To my great satisfaction, I read today that a University of California-led suit brought in $2 billion from Enron. Hopefully there will be more soon.

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