Chronological Events of Enron

Note: WHat follows is a rough outline. You can go to this website ( and listen to indepth discussions on audio tapes. Real Player needed Osama bin Laden's assets may not be the only funds subject to being frozen. According to the Associated Press, there is currently a move afoot to freeze monies allegedly gained fraudulently by George Bush Junior's close friend Ken Lay, Enron chairman and chief executive. The AP article reads as follows:

HOUSTON - Dec. 8, 2001 -

A bid to freeze more than $1 billion allegedly gained by top Enron Corp officials who sold millions of shares before the former energy giant collapsed was set to go before a federal judge here Friday.

New York-based Amalgamated Band has sued 29 current and former top Enron Corp executives and board members, including Ken Lay, Enron chairman and chief executive, and Texas Senator Phil Gramm's wife, Wendy Gramm, an Enron board member and former chairwoman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a federal agency that oversees commody and options trading to protect markets from fraud and manipulation.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Houston, alleges that the named executives and board members engaged in a three-year pattern of fraud and deception that caused Enron share prices to fall from a high of about $90 a year ago to less than a dollar.

Enron filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this month in one of the largest corporate bankruptcies ever. - Associated Press

While top management at Enron made out like bandits when the company went bankrupt, employees lower in the company hierarchy lost everything. Their stock-based pensions disappeared as share prices plummeted. Listen to an early report [11/16/01] on the effect of this situation on Enron workers.[Audio]

According to Time Magazine [12/18/01, page 72]:

$1/3 Billion was the "approximate decline in value of Enron Stock in 401(k) plans held by some 11,000 employees at the start of 2001" $56.2 Million was the "approximate earnings of three top Enron executives through the exercise of stock options during 2001".

Too few analysts ask why Lay and other executives were eager to sell their personal holdings of Enron stock during the first part of 2000, according to the Time Magazine article - which also observed that in the US Congress there is currently no talk of bailing out the workers' pension fund.

Top executives of Enron are now [1/11/02] under investigation for possible criminal activity. The entire US Attorneys Office in Houston, however, admitting close connections to Enron, has had to recuse itself - as did US Attorney General John Aschroft.[Audio] As Congressional hearings on the scandal begin [1/25/02] Lay resigns [Audio]. And amid mounting evidence of criminal activity he eventually [2/04/02] refuses to testify before Congress[Audio]; protests take place in NY, in front of the offices of Arthur Andersen[Audio]; Lay is subpoened to appear [2/06/02][Audio], but takes the fifth amidst a bi-partisan oral barrage [2/13/02] from twenty one US Senators[Audio]. There is now [2/07/02] evidence that top Enron executives knew early on that there were problems with the financial partnerships [see below] that are currently at the center of congressional and criminal investigations.[Audio]

A decade ago Ken Lay's good friend George W. Bush was himself the subject of an SEC investigation into energy trading. According to a [1/16/02] report:

"In 1990, Bush sat on the board of directors of Harkin Energy Company and on their audit committee. Just before the company announced a $23 million loss, Bush sold some $850,000 worth of stock, which he later used to purchase the Texas Rangers baseball team. As in the Enron case, the SEC investigated the possible insider deal. But it brought no charges. Perhaps this isn't surprising: the head of the SEC at the time was appointed by Bush the elder. And the SEC's general counsel at the time, James Doty, actually helped to engineer George W. Bush to buy the Texas Rangers with the Harkin stock money. Doty also hails from the law firm, Baker and Botts, the law firm of former Secretary of State James Baker fame. James Baker, one of the most prominent figures in the first Bush administration, represented George W. Bush in the legal battle for the presidency. "Baker and Botts is also implicated in today's Enron scandal. It is the same law firm that produced President Bush's appointee Lee Rosenthal, the Texas judge who was assigned to the employee and shareholder lawsuits against Enron. Just last week, Judge Rosenthal denied a motion to freeze the assets of Enron executives and board members. She has since recused herself from the case."[Audio]

In January [1/25/02], a former Enron executive, J. Clifford Baxter, died of a gunshot wound to the head that was apparently self-inflicted. He was found in his Mercedes-Benz, parked not far from his home in an affluent Houston neighborhood. By his side lay a .38-caliber revolver and a suicide note. The contents of the note have not been disclosed. The Associated Press reports [1/27/02] that Baxter resigned from Enron last May, after reportedly complaining about the company's questionable accounting practices.[1]

While cartoonists suggest that the toughest pretzel for Bush to swallow may be the Enron-related one yet to come [1], US Vice President Cheney continues to refuse to release secret documents that would reveal which industry executives he privately met with while drawing up the Administration's energy plan [1/28/02]. Is the White House lying about its involvement with Enron? Most Americans believe that it is, according to an opinion poll conducted by the New York Times and CBS.[1]

Now [1/31/02] the General Accounting Office (GAO) threatens to sue the White House for Cheney's records of his meetings with Enron and others who sought to influence the administration in its energy policy. It also appears that the Bank of America is implicated in the Enron affair. [Audio]

Hear investigative journalist Greg Palast [02/05/02] discuss Enron. [Audio] Various topics are covered, including but not limited to -

Enron's role in the privatization and impending total collapse of Argentina;

how George W. Bush pimped for Enron in Argentina during his father's presidency;

and the role Neil Bush played in one of the biggest financial scandals to date in US history - the Savings and Loan debacle that took place in the 1980s during the Reagan/Bush administration. The same kinds of fraudulent acts that Enron is now accused of were also at the foundation of that earlier scandal.

Texas populist Jim Hightower, author of If the Gods had Meant us to Vote They Would Have Given us Candidates, discusses George W. Bush's questionable Texas Rangers deal [also see above] in the context of the close relationship between the Bushes and Lay [2/06/02].[Audio] More on this lifelong friendship, including a picture of Lay with both Georges prior to the Houston Astros' opening game at their new home, 'Enron Field', in April of 2000: [1] More yet: [2][3]

Hightower on the subject of Enron's fiscal practices:

There's a fun web site ( that tries to explain economics in terms of cows. Here's how it describes the inner workings of Enron: "You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so you get all four cows back with a tax exemption for five cows. The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island company secretly owned by the majority shareholders who sell the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company. The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option to buy one more."[1]

On the US home front:

Is what we now need in the US more tax cuts for the wealthy and extensive tax rebates for large corporations? This is precisely what President George Bush Junior suggested in his 100 billion dollar 'economic stimulus package'. It proposed giving hundreds of millions of dollars each to companies such as IBM, General Electric, Chevron, and Enron - while leaving low wage workers on their own to suffer the immediate effects of the 9/11 attack. US Congressman Gerald Nadler (NY) called this an 'immoral' proposal that amounts to nothing short of 'war profiteering'. The stimulus bill even includes a provision to repeal the 'corporate alternative minimum tax' retroactively to 1982 - this provision will, in effect, return to corporations like the ones mentioned above ALL of the taxes that they have paid since 1982. [10/20/01]: [Audio] [12/12/01]:[Audio] For more details on the 'stimulus' package:[1]