Enron- Corporate Culture

Topics: Enron, Big Four auditors, Enron scandal Pages: 2 (440 words) Published: November 21, 2010
The Enron scandal, revealed in October 2001, involved the energy company Enron and the accounting, auditing, and consultancy partnership of Arthur Andersen. The corporate scandal eventually led to Enron's downfall, resulting in the largest bankruptcy in American history at the time. Arthur Andersen, which was one of the five largest accounting firms in the world, was dissolved. Kenneth Lay created Enron in 1985 after merging Houston Natural Gas and InterNorth. Several years later, when Jeffrey Skilling was hired, he developed a staff of executives that, through the use of accounting loopholes, special purpose entities, and poor financial reporting, were able to hide billions in debt from failed deals and projects. Chief Financial Officer Andrew Fastow and other executives were able to mislead Enron's board of directors and audit committee of high-risk accounting issues as well as pressure Andersen to ignore the issues. Enron's stock price, which hit a high of US$90 per share in mid-2000, caused shareholders to lose nearly $11 billion when it plummeted to less than a $1 by the end of November 2001. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) began an investigation, and Dynegy offered to purchase the company at a fire sale price. When the deal fell through, Enron filed for bankruptcy on December 2, 2001 under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, and with assets of $63.4 billion, it was the largest corporate bankruptcy in U.S. history until WorldCom's 2002 bankruptcy. Many executives at Enron were indicted for a variety of charges and were later sentenced to prison for various white-collar crimes such as Fraud and price manipulation through price setting. Enron's auditor, Arthur Andersen, was found guilty in a state court, but by the time the ruling was overturned at the U.S. Supreme Court, the firm had lost the majority of its customers and had shut down. Employees and shareholders received limited returns in lawsuits, despite losing billions in...
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