Corruption in Corporate America

Topics: Enron, Kenneth Lay, Accounting scandals Pages: 3 (797 words) Published: December 3, 2006
Corruption in Corporate America
As said in every economics class, the reason every business goes into business is to make money. The same can be said in criminal cases involving businesses. In the majority of cases, executives and people highly ranked in the company tend to bend the numbers in the financial/accounting areas of the business or corporation. They do not do this for fun, but rather to make money. Something needs to be done before corporations really get out of hand.

Thankfully, after the Enron Corporation scandal, the government has recently started to crack down on corporations and pay more attention to what they are doing. This is due to the extent of what Enron Corp did for so long. From approximately 1996 to 2001, Enron "cooked the books". This means that Enron did not properly translate their profits to the government and the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC is the governmental control of the stock market and conveys the information to the public. Since Enron did not report the correct numbers and inflated their profit, it encouraged the public to buy and trade more of the Enron commodity and consequently led to employees losing billions of dollars in its 2001 bankruptcy.

To complicate matters, one of the Enron masterminds, Kenneth L. Lay, passed away in July of 2006. Some say it was set up, and some mourned his death. It makes the case of recovering assets from Lay's estate much more difficult. Now the question is what to do with Lay and the rest of the case. Clearly you cannot punish Lay any further, but what does that mean for the rest of not only the case but his family. Lay passed away in the middle of the night from a heart attack and his family released a statement saying they are, "grieving the sudden loss of their husband and father".

Enron was only the beginning. There have been subsequent similar cases including Citibank, ChevronTexaco, ESPN, The New York Yankees, and Exxon Mobile. Some of these have "cooked the...
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