Monday, March 28, 2011

The Legacy of Enron


What can we learn from wholesale corruption? How did the "smartest people in room" destroy the American Economy and fool the American people for years and years?

Do you think Ethics matter in this business?

http://www.scribd.com/doc/15797725/Enron-Case-Study

http://www.personal-writer.com/sample/business-analysis/the-collapse-of-enron-managerial-aspect

14 comments:

  1. Ethical motives are motivations based on ideas of right and wrong. I do think that true businesses have the intention of running their companies to the best of their abilities, making the best decisions that they can, and that they wouldn't purposely run their company to the ground. Ethics does matter in business because it distinguishes people's morals or right and wrong. Companies such as Enron were very successful, "Enron was one of the US leading companies and frequently considered among top 10 admired corporations and most desired places to work, and its board was often recognized among the best five US companies in accordance with the Fortune magazine. Its revenues made up US $139($184) billion, assets equaled $62($82) billion, and the number of employees reached more than 30,000 people in 20 countries around the world." http://www.personal-writer.com/sample/business-analysis/the-collapse-of-enron-managerial-aspect
    WIth all their popularity and wealth, reveals the true sides of people and whether or not they are ethical. The fame and fortune seemed to go to the heads of the leaders of Enron, as they were charged of conspiracy, fraud, and insider trading. They became greedy and cost them their jobs, money, and they had to spend time in jail. Although they could be claimed as the smartest in the business world based on their success, they had become greedy people, who were only interested in self gain in wealth.

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  2. There is a golden rule that everyone follows, regardless if you know it or not. That rule is the one who has the gold makes the rules. Gold is the worlds money, therefore the one who has the money makes the rules and Enron knew this better than anyone. Being one of the worlds leading energy companies, Enron was billion of dollars in debt for years but thanks to the "Golden Rule" they were able to lie and say that they were making money, when really they weren't. People can say ethics play in this but I disagree. Ethics in business is like ethics in war. A good war is a blood bath for someone but as long as someone wins it doesn't matter how they won. If someone can swindle money from an entire country and get away with it, then at that point its not un-ethical, it's good business.

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  3. Enron was "considered among top 10 admired corporations and most desired places to work".(http://www.personal-writer.com) Its revenue was around $184 billion and employed more than 20,000 people around the world. On the outside the company looked great, but on the inside it was a whole different story. Their financial control was decentralized and the decision-making structure was too also. This made getting a clear view on Enron's activities and operations hard. Enron's downfall was when it found out that a considerable share of its profits resulted from deals limited partnership under control of Enron. Many of the companies losses were not recorded which started the downfall of Enron. We need to fix corruption within major companies, so that we are able to prevent companies like Enron from destroying our economy. We also need to ask questions about these companies. Ethics should matter in this business. In the case of Enron, there were rolling blackouts in California. This caused Californian's to have to endure blackouts when they didn't have too. "On the tapes, one Enron trader reports, "They had to do a rolling blackout through the town, and there was a red light there he didn't see," to which a second trader responds, "That's beautiful."(http://articles.cnn.com) They did this because they wanted to price-rig and make enormous profits. This is unethical because some people were unable to pay the price and had to live without power. If we investigate companies that are very similar to Enron then we might be able to prevent out economy from getting destroyed by one company.

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  4. What we can learn from wholesale corruption is that the reason they do this is because they try and be better then anyone else. Enron wanted to be the best at everything it did, which led them into the huge problem after. We can also learn to take a look at companies ethics, especially large companies here in the United States. The smartest people in the room destroyed the American Economy by "raping" peoples wallets. They affected american people by fooling them and stealing their money.
    "Enron was the largest bankruptcy filing in the nation's history, and regulators may have believed it was simply too big to be allowed to fail."

    I believe that Ethics do matter in businesses. Any business who does not have good work ethic, at times is not taken seriously. But this is to a certain extent. We can see that ethics did not matter for Enron because everything they did was apparently okay. They outsmarted everyone with their "good" plans which people believed and never took into account if what they were doing was ethical or not.

    http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,197363,00.html

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  5. Ethics can be described as knowing right from wrong. The definition from dictionary.com is: a system of moral principles. Enron was a company based in Austin, Texas with about 21,000 employees. Enron was a very successful company with $111 billion in revenues. Since 1985 when the company was first created, the company went into debt. According to this website, "After several years of international and domestic expansion involving complicated deals and contracts, Enron was billions of dollars into debt." (http://www.scribd.com/doc/15797725/Enron-Case-Study) On top of this, illegal loans were made. Those who were guilty of the collapse of Enron are Ken Lay, Andrew Fastow, and Jeff Skilling. These men believed that Enron was good for the economy and dealt with money, jobs, and international companies. They did not inform the public about anything involving Enron. Lay was guilty of false statements and fraud, Skilling was guilty for conspiracy, securities fraud, false statement, as well as insider trading. Lastly, Fastow was involved in the same issues as Skillig. Overall, Deregulation and market-to-market were the main factors that contributed to the downfall of Enron. Wholesale is "defined as the sale of goods or merchandise to retailers, to industrial, commercial, institutional, or other professional business users, or to other wholesalers and related subordinated services. In general, it is the sale of goods to anyone other than a standard consumer." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wholesale) We can learn from this wholesale corruption by knowing that it's out there and by researching products before we purchase them, we can potentially avoid wholesale. Ethics certainly matter in business. Every company has motifs and goals. These motifs and goals are based on ethics. For example, Honest Tea, is a company with positive ethics and morals. Their product is completely organic with FDA approval and this company does not lie about what they are selling. Some companies claim their product is "organic" even if it is not 100% organic. These are the companies we must look out for. Lying will not get anyone anywhere, and a key ethic of every company should be staying true to their customers and their product.

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  6. Wow really Angelo? The making of a real wall Street Tycoon right here, where the ends justify the means.. I appreciate Rebecca Y's comments though and hope this gen is thinking more along her way of thinking, otherwise we'll have a world of dictators and depots and last one standing wins mentality. Maybe that's what's getting bred though through video games and reality TV, and get rich quick schemes. ??

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  7. Does ethics ever really matter? The question is really based on morals, Enron puppet-ed the American economy through a fine display of flashy smoke and mirrors, and a wonderful public display of control. In fact they did control a bunch of things normal companies don't have control over, ie. power plants. Enron ruthlessly and systematically tricked America and got paid in the process, shutting down power, "rolling black outs" and capitalized on the disasters. In business morals go out the window, as long as the ends justify the means, anything can really be done and be justified thoroughly. Should ethics matter? Sure, why not, but you can only be nice so long in the business world before someone else undercuts you or pulls some slightly questionable acts and then you're out of a job. What are you willing to do to stay in business is the real question.

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  8. The term Ethics, in short, means to have a basis of moral principles. To have a sustainable business, the business must have a base of ethics in order to grow their business. "On the superficial level, the attitudes and motives behind the events and decisions causing eventual downfall seem simple enough: collective and individual greed created in the atmosphere of corporate arrogance (Bryce, 2002). As Enron's reputation in the global environment grew, the internal culture of the organization began to worsen significantly." (http://www.personal-writer.com/sample/business-analysis/the-collapse-of-enron-managerial-aspect). What is being said in this statement is that Enrons main downfall was their lack of ethics in continuing their business. The leaders of Enron became greedy, letting their greed come before the ethics. In fact, Enron did not even base their business on moral principles, but rather how much money they can receive by deceiving. If a business is to only focus on the money that they are receiving, then they will reach that goal and keep gambling. But what if the risk that they take becomes too high, and they do not receive the profit? And then where does the company go? They go out of business. Then what? You leave with a ruined reputation and no more business. For a business to become stabilized and sufficient, I believe that moral principles, or ethics, are the basis in order to become successful.

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  9. Ethics should be the base for all businesses. People consider morals in their daily lives, and should consider them in businesses too. Enron was not too different from a group of thieves, only on a much larger, sneakier scale. Too many businesses care only about profit, not their customers satisfaction. Customers satisfaction becomes nothing but an influence of profit. There are still a few companies out there who consider ethics. Warby Parker is a glasses company that sells glasses with prescription lenses for 90 dollars. They'll send you 5 pairs to try on to see which you like, they cover shipping and everything. They donate a pair of glasses for every pair purchased. There are honest companies like this while companies like Enron have rolling blackouts to increase demand for energy. Leaving out ethics in business is highly selfish and should not be done.

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  10. Ethics should matter in the hectic world of business. When was the point where Enron's leader would say "hey, what are we doing? We should consider what might happen if we don't think of the consequences of our actions." They were so blinded by trying to do the action that made them the most money but were oblivious to how this might effect their workers and the whole nation. Even though they blamed it on one person, it had to be a group effort because how did it even get past all the people that should be double checking their plans. In most businesses morals are sometimes neglected to make the most profit and success of the decisions. Even when Enron's leaders were caught they just were spitting out lies and such to that they cared about their employee's. It just stuns me that the people that said to trust them that their stock was great were the people that could benefit most of how the stock was doing. So an outside source should of been introduced to Enron so the employee's could be ensured to not be screwed over.

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  11. I believe ethics is an important part of business because every business has their rights and wrongs. That is basically what ethics is all about. Enron is a good example of this because they were popular and was bringing in the money. They had many employees and everyone wanted to work for them. Soon the leaders were getting so much money they became greedy and selfish. This caused them to do many things such as conspiracy, insider trading, and fraud. In return they lost their jobs and were convicted. Enron was very successful as we all know, but were full of greedy leaders that had to spoil it for everyone.

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  12. I believe that the smartest people in the room realize the outcome but i don't think that they care if it doesn't relate to them. If the smartest person in a room is able to leave the room successfully and happy then i don't believe that they would care if the rest of the room is in the downs, but why would it matter to that person? Ethics are for people that believe in equality. In a room full of 30 people it is rare that all of these people all believe in ethics. There is usually a few people in the room that think they are the smartest person in the room, but it's obvious that only one person can be the smartest. The point is that all 30 people will not have the same ethics if they even believe in ethics and this proves that even if ethics matter or don't matter in a business they will not fully exist because not everyone shares the same ethics. Ethics can be necessary in a business, because a business needs consumers, which means it needs good customer service. To have good customer service, means some employees need to have ethics. In my business, most of the employees have ethics and have great customer service, but my manager has no ethics and tells us to only worry about ourselves not trying to help customers in ways that will harm us. Selfishness exists in everyone even if they don't act on the emotion or if there selfishness only refers to a single topic.

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  13. Personally I do believe that ethics plays a very huge role when it comes to establishing or being part of a business. Ethics are a system of moral principles. If a persons ethics are not morally correct you cant really expect their way of conducting a business to be correct either. "Business ethics is not simply about what is "good " and "bad", although that is certainly part of it. It is also about "doing what is right" in relation to an organization's stated values and taking consideration the impact of those actions on others. The "right thing" is often the "fair thing" - the action that considers the needs of others." (http://www.keithsuter.com/2008/11/17/why-ethics-matter-business-ethics-for-business-people/). If someone constantly thinks about themselves and believes that greed is good, I think its safe to say that they wont really take the needs of other people into consideration before acting. The smartest person in the room may have good ideas that seem okay with everyone else, but that person may also be sharing these good ideas for their own well being.

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  14. I think ethics matter in business and economy because if ethics are part of most people's daily lives, why would not play a part in business? If you have good morals and ethics, it shows in every aspect of your life. If you are running a business and you have incorrect morals or ethics, your business will be corrupt and unfair. Enron did not care what was better for the economy or for the people, they only cared about the amount of money they were making. The outcome was that the leaders of Enron got convicted of fraud, so ethics do matter if you want a good outcome for yourself and for others.

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