culture, politics, commentary, criticism

Monday, April 26, 2004
Barging in. From the
Wall Street Journal (sub. req'd.):
Federal prosecutors will try two ex-Enron (ENRNQ) officials and four former Merrill Lynch (MER) employees together for allegedly creating a sham sale of Nigerian barges that allowed Enron to inflate its earnings, a judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein Wednesday refused requests to try the defendants separately. They had claimed they would be prejudiced by evidence against the others.

The judge also denied a number of requests from the six defendants set to be tried June 7 in Houston. All have pleaded innocent to conspiracy and other charges in connection with the Nigerian barge deal.
Okay, I have to ask again: why are federal prosecutors trying "officials" and "employees" of Enron and Merrill Lynch, when they indicted the entire 80,000-person firm of Arthur Andersen, only a handful of whom had anything to do with the Enron fiasco?* Similarly, why aren't Jeff Skilling or Ken Lay in jail yet?

I'm not suggesting Andersen individuals aren't culpable, but why is the auditor held to a higher standard than the fraudsters?

If Andersen the auditor was annihilated by the feds, shouldn't Enron the perpetrator (that faked the barges) and Merrill Lynch the investment bank (that bought an interest in the fake barges) be destroyed too?

*I know, rhetorical questions are a pain. The theory that's been promoted here often enough is that Andersen the firm was indicted lock, stock, and shredder because, with the intention of killing two birds with one stone, the feds' elimination of Arthur Andersen had the twin effect of deflecting media attention away from Enron at the moment it would have been hottest, and simultaneously destroying all the records of Andersen's financial audits of Halliburton while its CEO was Dick Cheney.

Greatest Hits · Alternatives to First Command Financial Planning · First Command, last resort, Part 3 · Part 2 · Part 1 · Stealing $50K from a widow: Wells Real Estate · Leo Wells, REITs and divine wealth · Sex-crazed Red State teenagers · What I hate: a manifesto · Spawn of Darleen Druyun · All-American high school sex party · Why is Ken Lay smiling? · Poppy's Enron birthday party · The Saudi money laundry and the president's uncle · The sentence of Enron's John Forney · The holiness of Neil Bush's marriage · The Silence of Cheney: a poem · South Park Christians · Capitalist against Bush: Warren Buffett · Fastow childen vs. Enron children · Give your prescription money to your old boss · Neil Bush, hard-working matchmaker · Republicans against fetuses and pregnant women · Emboldened Ken Lay · Faith-based jails · Please die for me so I can skip your funeral · A brief illustrated history of the Republican Party · Nancy Victory · Soldiers become accountants · Beware the Merrill Lynch mob · Darleen Druyun's $5.7 billion surprise · First responder funding · Hoovering the country · First Command fifty percent load · Ken Lay and the Atkins diet · Halliburton WMD · Leave no CEO behind · August in Crawford · Elaine Pagels · Profitable slave labor at Halliburton · Tom Hanks + Mujahideen · Sharon & Neilsie Bush · One weekend a month, or eternity · Is the US pumping Iraqi oil to Kuwait? · Cheney's war · Seth Glickenhaus: Capitalist against Bush · Martha's blow job · Mark Belnick: Tyco Catholic nut · Cheney's deferred Halliburton compensation · Jeb sucks sugar cane · Poindexter & LifeLog · American Family Association panic · Riley Bechtel and the crony economy · The Book of Sharon (Bush) · The Art of Enron · Plunder convention · Waiting in Kuwait: Jay Garner · What's an Army private worth? · Barbara Bodine, Queen of Baghdad · Sneaky bastards at Halliburton · Golf course and barbecue military strategy · Enron at large · Recent astroturf · Cracker Chic 2 · No business like war business · Big Brother · Martha Stewart vs. Thomas White · Roger Kimball, disappointed Republican poetry fan · Cheney, Lay, Afghanistan · Terry Lynn Barton, crimes of burning · Feasting at the Cheney trough · Who would Jesus indict? · Return of the Carlyle Group · Duct tape is for little people · GOP and bad medicine · Sears Tower vs Mt Rushmore · Scared Christians · Crooked playing field · John O'Neill: The man who knew · Back to the top

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