Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Coming to a Theater Near You -- The Collapse of Enron

Perhaps it was inevitable that there would be a movie, and there are reports that leading man Leonardo DiCaprio will star in a movie about the demise of Enron.  According to a CNN story (here), the screenplay will be based on Kurt Eichenwald's book "Conspiracy of Fools," and DiCaprio will play a newly-hired employee who exposes the fraud at the company.  I suspect the role of Sherron Watkins will be downplayed, and no doubt hints about a conspiracy involving President Bush and major energy companies will have to enliven what is an otherwise mundane story -- it's awfully hard to make the use of an off-shore special purpose entity to transfers assets to avoid the proper accounting treatment of a loan sound the least bit interesting.  DiCaprio starred in Titanic, so it will be difficult to resist comparisons to that disaster, and I doubt there will be any scenes on the roof of the Enron tower in Houston.  Then again, there are those who claim the government's prosecution of Lay, Skilling, and others was a work of complete fiction anyway, the so-called "criminalization of agency costs" argument, so this story can't be viewed as any more of a fabrication. (ph)

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