T Nation

Enron: Lay, Skilling Guilty


The verdicts have come down.

UCLA Corporate law professor Stephen Bainbridge has a good post covering various aspects:


3 interesting excerpts:

*It's not the crime, it's the cover up. The real crimes at Enron mainly consisted of turncoat government witness Andrew Fastow's shady deals, but Skilling and, especially, Lay are going down for improperly misrepresenting Enron's fortunes.

*Another victory ( http://www.professorbainbridge.com/2006/04/will_skilling_a.html ) for prediction markets: As I wrote back in April: "The latest contract at Tradesports ( http://www.tradesports.com/aav2/menu.jsp ) for Lay to be convicted on at least 4 counts was 65.5 and for Skilling to be convicted on a whopping 16 or more counts was 66. In other words, roughly 1-2 odds in favor of conviction."

*Blogger/law prof Larry Ribstein asks an interesting question about the acquittal of Skilling on most of the insider trading counts ( http://busmovie.typepad.com/ideoblog/2006/05/lay_and_skillin.html ): "Does this mean that the jury thought he didn't know enough about what was happening to bar him from trading, but that he did know enough to go to jail for fraud?"


Justice, for once, is served. I am happy.


Thank goodness. I had a strong hunch that Lay, at least, was going to get off. Now hopefully they don't get some little Mickey Mouse sentence . . . .


I am hoping they get federal pound 'em in the ass prison.


Justice was not served. That sniveling little weasel Fastow only got 10 years, and it aint in PMITA prison either. Fastow was more guilty than Lay and Skilling. Lay and Skilling are going to get what they deserved, but Fastow is getting off way to easy.


I had the same hunch. I don't see them getting mild sentences though.


BB, is there anyway to find up the makeup of the Jury? I find it very hard to believe that a jury people without extensive accounting and/or finance backgrounds could comprehend some of the complex transactions and the reasons they were wrong in this case.


If there are any partners of Arther Anderson walking around free - then justice was not served.

Pukes like those wormy bastards that take a job with a Big-6, Big-4, whatever it is now are the very reason I will not join the AICPA, and thus choose to bypass some pretty good gigs.


Interestingly, the prosecution didn't focus on the accounting details:


[i]A jury will grasp on to things that it can easily understand, like issues of veracity and personal credibility. And during cross-examination Skilling suffered some serious blows in that regard. Here are three aspects of the cross that might have been issues in the deliberation room ...

Credit the prosecutors for emphasizing narratives the jury could understand rather than focusing on complex tales of off-balance sheet partnerships and byzantine accounting. [/i]

I'm not certain on getting the info on who served on the jury.


Good for you (and I mean that seriously).