Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott blasted Enron's bankruptcy attorneys Monday, saying they are "lining their pockets" with fees at the expense of taxpayers, former employees and investors.
At the present rate of spending, Abbott said, the money spent on lawyers and accountants sorting through Enron's remains could approach $1 billion. He said the company should consider an immediate liquidation.
Since going into bankruptcy 13 months ago, Enron has spent more than $300 million on professional fees -- easily a record -- and is burning through $25 million a month. The situation could linger for months, even years. [...]
The meager prospect for a meaningful reorganization appears to be falling apart, rapidly burning money as it does so, some creditors say.
The fee total has already surpassed a widely cited record, $200 million spent in the early 1990s by the Luxembourg-based bankruptcy of the Saudi Arabian Bank of Credit and Commerce International, or BCCI.
And although WorldCom's bankruptcy is larger, its financial problems are far more straightforward, and thus its professional-fee expenses are much smaller than Enron's.
The primary firm representing both companies in bankruptcy is New York-based Weil Gotshal & Manges. Early on, its monthly billings to Enron were running more than $6 million a month. In comparable stages of the WorldCom case, the firm billed $1.5 million to $2 million a month.
Can't you just smell the money burning in Texas? And it's always someone else's money. Not the Bushes'. Not the Lays'. Not the Skillings'.
Lewis Lapham of Harper's said in 2001:
How else to describe the new administration's legislative agenda — elimination of the inheritance tax, revision of the bankruptcy laws, the repeal of safety regulations in the workplace, easing of restriction on monopoly, etc. — except as an act of class warfare? Not the aggression that Karl Marx and maybe Ralph Nader had in mind, not the angry poor sacking the mansions of the rich, but the aggrieved rich burning down the huts of the presumptuous and troublemaking poor.
"Class warfare"? Where have we heard that phrase before?
The more the Enron crooks (and their esteemed law firm) drag this out, the less monetary retribution will be available to the people they financially molested.