They were “the smartest guys in the room.” Henry Thornton’s Arts editor, Fiona Prior, has seen Enron
and has emerged shaken at the picture of naked, darwinian capitalism at
work. “Film-maker Alex Gibney takes us through the history of
Enron’s internal and outward spread of corruption. It is a revelation
of massive fraud, a deceit that eventually was the lifeblood of Enron.
Enron went from being the seventh largest corporation in the United
States with assets estimated at just below $70 billion, to being worth
next to nothing by the end of 2001. In its wake tens of thousands of
lives were ruined.

“One of the many sad things about this documentary is that so many
really bright people failed to realise their potential. Worse, they
regressed into ignorant liars and cheats – as this was the rewarded
Enron way. Enron could have been a great and innovative enterprise, but
sadly it turned into a black box full of manipulated numbers.”

This is a must see film for all those interested in how the smartest
guys can stuff up. It raises all sorts of questions about the
lack of a reliable moral compass in modern capitalist society.
One hopes our regulators at APRA, the RBA, the ATO and even the ACC
take it in, and discuss it widely. Come to think of it, it would be
good viewing for members of the AICD and of associations of CEOs and
CFOs like the BCA. Mrs Thornton will be showing it to her business
students and this is a practice that should be widely emulated.

Read the full review here.

Peter Fray

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