Now blogging at diego's weblog. See you over there!

enron's email diaries

Wow. A Salon article with excerpts from the Enron emails released last week as part of the publication of material related to the investigation of its collapse:

[...] the Enron e-mail library posted on FERC's Web site [...] contains a remarkable glimpse into the culture of Enron -- how the family of Ken Lay lived large in the glory days, how Tom DeLay and other members of Congress used the company as a veritable ATM for campaign contributions, how Enron plotted to place employees in the Bush-Cheney administration, how company executives almost obsessively followed the investigation into price gouging during California's energy crisis, and ultimately how Enron employees suffered when the company collapsed.

Amid a sea of dick jokes, spam and Internet porn, the e-mails offer a window into the soul, such as it was, of Enron: from the high-flying days when the company decorated its top executive office suites in holiday themes -- according to a 2000 e-mail, Ken Lay's office was done up in honor of St. Lucia, Jeff Skilling's had Kwanzaa, and Andrew Fastow's was lit up for Hanukkah -- to the end, when things had gone so far south that members of the Lay family began to fear they'd be kidnapped.

The Enron e-mails are available for searching and browsing at the FERC's Web site. For those with better things to do, here are some of the highlights.

You get to see the incredible power these people wielded, if not in provably in practice certainly in theory, with mentions of "Recommend [some guy] to [US VP Dick] Cheney]", or, being incredibly confident (as if it was simply a matter of picking up the phone) in getting their friends in the US administration for their own purposes, as this quote shows:
He is familiar with state and federal energy regulation as well as the state and federal policy makers who have played an active role in deregulation efforts. He would be great to have on a vetting team for commission nominees. I have talked to [him] and he is interested.
Fascinating. (And also either a bit scary or a cynicism booster, depending on your view).

I've been trying to understand how to use the FERC database to see a little more--it's not obvious how to do it. Anyway, I'll figure it out when I have a bit of time.

Again: Wow. :)

Categories: geopolitics
Posted by diego on October 14 2003 at 5:39 PM

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