Enron and World Finance - a Case Study in Ethics

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Enron and World Finance
A Case Study in Ethics

Edited by Paul H. Dembinski, Carole Lager, Andrew Cornford and Jean-Michel Bonvin

Enron and World Finance

Also by Observatoire de la Finance
From Bretton Woods to Basel Finance & the Common Good/Bien Commun, no. 21, Spring 2005 Ethics of Taxation and Banking Secrecy Finance & the Common Good/Bien Commun, no. 12, Autumn 2002 Will the Euro Shape Europe? Finance & the Common Good/Bien Commun, no. 9, Winter 2001–2 Dommen, E. (ed.) Debt Beyond Contract Finance & the Common Good/Bien Commun, Supplement no. 2, 2001 Bonvin, J.-M. Debt and the Jubilee: Pacing the Economy Finance & the Common Good/Bien Commun, Supplement no. 1, 1999 Dembinski, P. H. (leading contributor) Economic and Financial Globalization: What the Numbers Say United Nations, Geneva, 2003

Enron and World Finance
A Case Study in Ethics

Edited by

Paul H. Dembinski Carole Lager Andrew Cornford
and

Jean-Michel Bonvin

in association with the Observatoire de la Finance

Selection, editorial matter and Chapters 1, 2 and 16 © Observatoire de la Finance Remaining chapters © contributors 2006 All rights reserved. No reproduction, copy or transmission of this publication may be made without written permission. No paragraph of this publication may be reproduced, copied or transmitted save with written permission or in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, or under the terms of any licence permitting limited copying issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency, 90 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 4LP. Any person who does any unauthorised act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages. The authors have asserted their rights to be identified as the authors of this work in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. First published 2006 by PALGRAVE MACMILLAN Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS and 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010 Companies and representatives throughout the world. PALGRAVE MACMILLAN is the global academic imprint of the Palgrave Macmillan division of St. Martin’s Press, LLC and of Palgrave Macmillan Ltd. Macmillan® is a registered trademark in the United States, United Kingdom and other countries. Palgrave is a registered trademark in the European Union and other countries. ISBN-13: 978–1–4039–4763–5 ISBN-10: 1–4039–4763–5 This book is printed on paper suitable for recycling and made from fully managed and sustained forest sources. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Enron and world finance : a case study in ethics / edited by Paul H. Dembinski … [et al.]. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 1–4039–4763–5 1. Enron Corp.—Corrupt practices—Case studies. 2. Energy industries— Corrupt practices—United States. 3. Corporations—Corrupt practices—United States—Case studies. 4. Business ethics—United States—Case studies. 5. Corporate governance—United States—Case studies. 6. Corporate culture— United States—Case studies. I. Dembinski, Pawel H., 1955– HD9502.U54E57367 2005 333.79 0973—dc22 2005051354 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 15 14 13 12 11 10 09 08 07 06 Printed and bound in Great Britain by Antony Rowe Ltd, Chippenham and Eastbourne

Contents
List of Tables and Boxes Acknowledgements Notes on the Contributors List of Abbreviations 1 Overview of the Book Andrew Cornford Enron: origins, character and failure Transactions and institutional structure Accounting and auditing Strengthening corporate governance Corporate culture and incentive systems Ethical foundations ix x xi xv 1 2 2 3 5 9 11

Part 1

Enron: Origins, Character and Failure
19 19 20 21 24 26 26 33 35 39 40 45

2 Enron and Internationally Agreed Principles for Corporate Governance and the Financial Sector Andrew Cornford Introduction A sketch of Enron Accounting and transactional techniques used...
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