The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron

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9780141011455: The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron

What went wrong with American business at the end of the 20th century? Until the spring of 2001, Enron epitomized the triumph of the New Economy. Feared by rivals, worshipped by investors, Enron seemingly could do no wrong. Its profits rose every year; its stock price surged ever upward; its leaders were hailed as visionaries. Then a young Fortune writer, Bethany McLean, wrote an article posing a simple question - how, exactly, does Enron make its money? Within a year Enron was facing humiliation and bankruptcy, the largest in US history, which caused Americans to lose faith in a system that rewarded top insiders with millions of dollars, while small investors lost everything. It was revealed that Enron was a company whose business was an illusion, an illusion that Wall Street was willing to accept even though they knew what the real truth was. This book - fully updated for the paperback - tells the extraordinary story of Enron's fall.

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Review:

Like its subject, The Smartest Guys in the Room is ambitious, grand in scope, and ruthless in its dealings. Unlike Enron, the Texas-based energy giant that has come to represent the post-millennium collapse of 1990s go-go corporate culture, it's also ultimately successful. Penned by Fortune scribes Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, the 400-page-plus chronicle of the scandal digs deep inside the numbers while, wisely, maintaining focus on the "smart guys" deep-frying the books. The likes of paternal but disengaged CEO Ken Lay (dubbed "Kenny Boy" by George W. Bush, one of many prominent public figures with whom he rubbed shoulders), cutthroat man-behind-the-curtain Jeff Skilling, and ethically blind numbers whiz Andy Fastow vividly come to life as they make a mockery of conventional accounting practices and grow increasingly arrogant and bind to their collective hubris. They're not a likable lot, and the writers find it difficult to suppress their astonishment and revulsion with the crew who rapidly went from golden boys and girls of the financial world to pariahs when the bill finally came due. The authors' unrepressed sarcasms are more than often unnecessarily given the scope of the outrage. Enron's leading lights were or a time celebrated for their ability to concoct nearly unfathomable business schemes to hide mounting shortfalls and keeping track on their machinations can be a chore, but, by sticking hard to the story behind the fall, McLean and Elkind have reported and written the definitive account of the Enron debacle. --Steven Stolder

About the Author:

Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind are Fortune senior writers. McLean's March 2001 article in Fortune, "Is Enron Overpriced?," was the first in a national publication to openly question the company's dealings. Elkind, an award-winning investigative reporter, has written for The New York Times Magazine and The Washington Post.

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. What went wrong with American business at the end of the 20th century? Until the spring of 2001, Enron epitomized the triumph of the New Economy. Feared by rivals, worshipped by investors, Enron seemingly could do no wrong. Its profits rose every year; its stock price surged ever upward; its leaders were hailed as visionaries. Then a young Fortune writer, Bethany McLean, wrote an article posing a simple question - how, exactly, does Enron make its money? Within a year Enron was facing humiliation and bankruptcy, the largest in US history, which caused Americans to lose faith in a system that rewarded top insiders with millions of dollars, while small investors lost everything. It was revealed that Enron was a company whose business was an illusion, an illusion that Wall Street was willing to accept even though they knew what the real truth was. This book - fully updated for the paperback - tells the extraordinary story of Enron s fall. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141011455

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. What went wrong with American business at the end of the 20th century? Until the spring of 2001, Enron epitomized the triumph of the New Economy. Feared by rivals, worshipped by investors, Enron seemingly could do no wrong. Its profits rose every year; its stock price surged ever upward; its leaders were hailed as visionaries. Then a young Fortune writer, Bethany McLean, wrote an article posing a simple question - how, exactly, does Enron make its money? Within a year Enron was facing humiliation and bankruptcy, the largest in US history, which caused Americans to lose faith in a system that rewarded top insiders with millions of dollars, while small investors lost everything. It was revealed that Enron was a company whose business was an illusion, an illusion that Wall Street was willing to accept even though they knew what the real truth was. This book - fully updated for the paperback - tells the extraordinary story of Enron s fall. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141011455

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Book Description Penguin. Book Condition: New. 2004. Paperback. The fall of Enron was much more than a business scandal. Not only did the events of October 2001 have a more damaging effect on the markets than 9/11 but, like Watergate, it was an event that sent shivers throughout the whole world. This is an in-depth investigation of the fall of Enron. Num Pages: 480 pages. BIC Classification: 1KBB; BT; KJ; KNB. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 129 x 32. Weight in Grams: 342. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780141011455

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Book Description Penguin, 2004. Book Condition: New. 2004. Paperback. The fall of Enron was much more than a business scandal. Not only did the events of October 2001 have a more damaging effect on the markets than 9/11 but, like Watergate, it was an event that sent shivers throughout the whole world. This is an in-depth investigation of the fall of Enron. Num Pages: 480 pages. BIC Classification: 1KBB; BT; KJ; KNB. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 129 x 32. Weight in Grams: 342. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780141011455

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron, Bethany McLean, Peter Elkind, What went wrong with American business at the end of the 20th century? Until the spring of 2001, Enron epitomized the triumph of the New Economy. Feared by rivals, worshipped by investors, Enron seemingly could do no wrong. Its profits rose every year; its stock price surged ever upward; its leaders were hailed as visionaries. Then a young Fortune writer, Bethany McLean, wrote an article posing a simple question how, exactly, does Enron make its money? Within a year Enron was facing humiliation and bankruptcy, the largest in US history, which caused Americans to lose faith in a system that rewarded top insiders with millions of dollars, while small investors lost everything. It was revealed that Enron was a company whose business was an illusion, an illusion that Wall Street was willing to accept even though they knew what the real truth was. This book - fully updated for the paperback - tells the extraordinary story of Enron's fall. Bookseller Inventory # B9780141011455

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