Summary of the Film "The Smartest Guys in the Room"

Topics: Enron, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Kenneth Lay Pages: 6 (2046 words) Published: March 27, 2013
‘Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room’
Frauds and financial scandals in the business world were before an Enron’s case and will be after it. That’s in human nature. But a chain of events lead to an enormous shock on the Wall Street and went down in history as one of the biggest business scandals. For a long time sequence of events was a basis for articles and books, documental films and analytic researches. Specialties were retold and discussed by analytics. It was real human tragedy.

The film ‘Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room’ tries to answer the questions that all people somehow connected with the business world were interested in: How it could happened? What are the reasons and who is responsible for that? The film tries to lift the veil.

From the beginning of the film it is clearly stated that the Enron case is exceptional. Working in a field of energy and power, having reputation of ‘unsinkable’ ship and demonstrating fascinating financial results, Enron dramatically collapsed almost in a day. But the beginning of this story is bright and ambitious. Enron represents a company of great promise.

The first seconds of the film represent an end of it: John Cliff Baxter committed a suicide, being heartbroken with what was happened. And it was a conviction of the fraud that was happened. After this crucial episode, viewers come to the best years of the Enron. It is a seventh largest corporation in America, valued 70 billion $. It is an innovative business with absolutely new business model.

But how it starts? It starts with Ken Lay, who comes to the story of Enron from humble roots. His father is a Baptist minister and their life is rather poor. Probably, his background plays an integral role in having huge ambitions to make wealth of him. Ken Lay wants to change a market of power and energy. He convinces that government is not a solution but a problem to the business. In other words, he involves in the idea of deregulations. Not only he but other participants of a power and energy business share this outlook.

A tendency to deregulations starts to develop in 1985 and in this very moment the Enron is founded. Kay Lay thinks that it would be beneficial for his new company that gas prices float with the currents of the market. That is the power of deregulations.

An important episode of Enron is a contribution to the presidential campaign of George Bush, who lately helps to secure money in government subsidies and to promote Ken Lay with idea of deregulations.

Trading in oil market considers as a very risky business. But Enron always wins. Even then an improbable success gives a rise to doubt about legality of Enron’s business. Illegal actions start with the president of Enron Louis Borget, who takes about 3 billion $ of corporate funds in his personal account with the help of a treasurer Mastroeni and his phony books.

When the rumors become too strong, Mastroeni discloses real books and it becomes clear that all reserves of Enron are gambled away. This tremendous news is hidden by the bluffing of the market and that is how Enron stays afloat. But a little later Enron is forced to disclose the information about those manipulations and all guilt is focused on Mastreoni and Borget. Mastreoni receives a suspended sentence, Borget spends 1 year in a prison.

So who will make money now? The second period of Enron’s history is connected with Skilling, who is a person with the biggest ideas of all. He is a great visionary as a Ken Lay. It is he who comes up with a new idea: make energy a financial instrument like stocks and bonds. And it is like an explosion in the industry. Enron becomes a genius of the industry. All employees are proud of being working in Enron. It is worth mentioning, that it is a moment when SEC approved an implementation of a mark-to-market accounting approach, which allows estimating assets of the company by a market price and not by a real. It also allows booking potential...
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