The Smartest Guys in the Room

Enron: Research Paper (up to 25 points)

Watch the movie Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. (There are some adult scenes and language in this movie).  Please write a 3 page paper (APA format, double-spaced, 1” margins and 12pt font) discussing some of the following points without restating the questions in the body of your paper.  You do not have to address EVERY Points!

  1. Provide a little background about Enron and what service and/or product it provided.  Who were the top executives at Enron discussed in the movie and what were their official titles?
  2. What were some of the corporate cultural attributes of Enron and how did they affect the company?  Please be sure to include the employee ranking system and the executives’ perspectives on stock price. 
  3. A key topic in Chapter 7 of our textbook is closely linked to the fraudulent accounting practices at Enron. What was the name of the questionable accounting practice promoted by Skilling and how did it work?  How did Andy Fastow hide losses through accounting practices?
  4. How was Oregon connected to the Enron story and what did you learn from this part of the story?
  5. What happened in California and how could it have been prevented? 
  6. What was the role of the Wall Street financial analysts in the Enron fraud and what question did Bethany McLean ask of Enron that the financial analysts did not ask?  Why didn’t they ask this question?
  7. Who was the auditing firm for Enron and what happened to this firm?  What has been done since Enron to improve accounting reporting and ethics? You will need to research this last question in your textbook and on the Internet.
  8. What were your impressions of the Enron story?  Is it just a story about numbers and accounting or is it something more?  Could this happen again?  What was the suggestion at the end of the movie for preventing this kind of tragedy in the future?  Other ideas?

Page 4—Reference List that includes the Enron movie and the sites you used to research the additional questions.

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