Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

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ACETHIC M72Reflection Paper #1
GUTIERREZ, Patricia Lorenza D.19 May 2015

The class watched a movie entitled Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. It is a documentary film that reveals the events that led to one of the biggest bankruptcies that happened in the business industry history – the fall of Enron Oil Corporation. Before watching the movie, my only idea about this scandal is that the company manipulated their financial statements, which was then still certified as true and accurate by their auditors and chief officers. This scandal was so huge that its effects reached other companies across the globe as well. Upon watching the movie, I realized that there is a lot more to the story – the important parts that we should all know of. The collapse of one of the biggest American corporations left us with lessons that we can and should apply, not just in the business industry, but in our everyday lives.

I believe that the main reason why this scandal happened was because of greed. In the midst of everything, people who took part in it lost their sense of morality. They were blinded by money, by selfishness and greed. I agree with the film relating it to The Milgram Experiment which concluded that “Once you accepted the idea that behaving inhumanely was okay, you could do anything.” I believe that every human being is naturally good. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, for me, the proponents of this scandal, Lay, Skilling, Fastow and others, did not intentionally plan to do what they did. Maybe, at the beginning of everything, they thought that what they are doing is for the greatest good of their shareholders, which should be the main goal of corporations. Their decisions brought about highly favorable financial results to both Enron, itself, as well as to their shareholders. Naturally, men would want more. And so they did everything they could to continuously gain profit in the industry. After a bad move, they told themselves that what they...
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