Enron is arguably the best known corporate bankruptcy in recent years. The US energy and communications giant collapsed in 2001 owing approximately $60 billion. The collapse of Enron is well documented. Jeffery Skilling, the CEO of Enron, was keen on mark-to-mark accounting systems which allowed notional value to be given to ideas which might pay off in the future. Billion dollar losses were disguised as profits. Skilling was sentenced to 24 years in jail for fraud and Kenneth Lay, Enron’s founder, died before sentencing.
Enron was also a major factor behind the introduction of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and also the collapse if its auditor Arthur Anderson resulting in the “Big 5” becoming the “Big 4”.
Whilst on the face of it a play about accounting fraud at a US corporation doesn’t sound the most exciting thing to watch it really was very well put together. Theatre, dancing, singing and puppets all added to the drama!
The play was great and if you do get an opportunity to see it I’d strongly recommend that you do so.
My husband is in the medical profession and he is always joking that accounting and finance is easy. Unfortunately the play was so good at explaining complex financial issues in a relatively straightforward way that he is now even more convinced that finance concepts are easy to understand!