From the New Yorker

In: Business and Management

Submitted By dc19831106
Words 7121
Pages 29
from The New Yorker
January 8, 2007
DEPT. OF PUBLIC POLICY

The Formula
Enron, intelligence, and the perils of too much information. by Malcolm Gladwell
1.
On the afternoon of October
23, 2006, Jeffrey Skilling sat at a table at the front of a federal courtroom in Houston, Texas. He was wearing a navy-blue suit and a tie. He was fifty-two years old, but looked older.
Huddled around him were eight lawyers from his defense team.
Outside,
television-satellite trucks were parked up and down the block.
"We
are here this afternoon," Judge Simeon
Lake began, "for sentencing in United States of America versus Jeffrey K. Skilling,
Criminal No. H-04-25." He addressed the defendant directly: "Mr. Skilling, you may now make a statement and present any information in mitigation."
Skilling stood up. Enron, the company he had built into

an energy-trading leviathan, had collapsed into bankruptcy almost exactly five years before. In May, he had been convicted by a jury of fraud.
Under
a settlement agreement, almost everything he owned had been turned over to a fund to compensate former shareholders.
He spoke haltingly, stopping in mid-sentence. "In terms of remorse, Your Honor, I can't imagine more remorse," he said. He had "friends who have died, good men." He was innocent—"innocent of every one of these charges." He spoke for two or three minutes and sat down.
Judge Lake called on Anne
Beliveaux, who worked as the senior administrative assistant in Enron's tax department for eighteen years. She was one of nine people who had asked to address the sentencing hearing.

"How would you like to be facing living off of sixteen hundred dollars a month, and that is what I'm facing," she said to Skilling. Her retirement savings had been wiped out by the Enron bankruptcy. "And,
Mr.
Skilling, that only…...

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