The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron

The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron

Paperback

By (author) Bethany McLean, By (author) Peter Elkind

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  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 480 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 194mm x 34mm | 322g
  • Publication date: 30 September 2004
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0141011459
  • ISBN 13: 9780141011455
  • Sales rank: 18,337

Product description

What went wrong with American business at the end of the 20th century? Until the spring of 2001, Enron epitomized the triumph of the New Economy. Feared by rivals, worshipped by investors, Enron seemingly could do no wrong. Its profits rose every year; its stock price surged ever upward; its leaders were hailed as visionaries. Then a young Fortune writer, Bethany McLean, wrote an article posing a simple question how, exactly, does Enron make its money? Within a year Enron was facing humiliation and bankruptcy, the largest in US history, which caused Americans to lose faith in a system that rewarded top insiders with millions of dollars, while small investors lost everything. It was revealed that Enron was a company whose business was an illusion, an illusion that Wall Street was willing to accept even though they knew what the real truth was. This book - fully updated for the paperback - tells the extraordinary story of Enron's fall.

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Author information

Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind are Fortune senior writers. McLean's March 2001 article in Fortune, "Is Enron Overpriced?," was the first in a national publication to openly question the company's dealings. Elkind, an award-winning investigative reporter, has written for The New York Times Magazine and The Washington Post.

Review quote

...the most comprehensive picture yet of how the company went off the rails. The sheer accumulation of detail makes it possible for the first time to understand how Enron got away with its blend of hubris and incompetence for so long... This is more than a business story. It is also about what can happen to any institution when weak and complacent leadership allows itself to be swept along by strong vested interests and the mood of the times. Richartd Lambert, ex editor of Financial Times and member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee