After the shocking collapse of Enron in fall, 2001 came an equally shocking series of disclosures about how America’s seventh-largest company had destroyed itself. There were unethical deals, offshore accounts, and accounting irregularities. There were Wall Street analysts who seemed to have been asleep on the job. There were the lies top executives told so that they could line their own pockets while workers and shareholders lost billions.
But after all these disclosures, the question remains: Why? Why did a thriving, innovative company with rock-solid cash flow and reliable earnings suddenly flame out in a maelstrom of corruption, fraud and skulduggery? The answer, Texas business journalist Robert Bryce reveals in this incisive and entertaining book, is that bad business practices begin with human beings. Pipe Dreams traces Enron’s astounding transformation from a small regional gas pipeline company into an energy Goliath…and then tracks step-by-step, business decision by business decision, extra-marital affair by extra-marital affair, how, when and why the culture of Enron began to go rotten, and who was responsible.
The story of Enron’s fall isn’t just a story about accounting procedures; it’s a story about people. Bryce tells that story with all the personality, passion, humor, and inside dope you’d hope for, and the result is an un-putdownable read in the tradition of Barbarians at the Gate and The Predators’ Ball.