Saturday, May 28, 2005

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

I planned to watch the Kung Fu Hustle this afternoon but I planned my time poorly and didn't make it. I took an afternoon nap instead and went to watch Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room instead. It was playing in the nearby Camera 7, so we could walk there from our apartment.
The film was very good. I checked the reviews before going but I am never sure if my taste is the same as what the critics say, so I was still pleasantly surprised. The film is great in showing how greed made people who perhaps otherwise would lead decent lives make decisions that were obviously unethical. The analogy to the Milgram experiment was of course brought up and it was the first time that I saw a video of that experiment. So far I only imagined it but watching the short clips of it was fascinating.
Another amazing part of the movie were recordings of conversations between Enron traders which clearly showed how these traders deliberately were manipulating the markets to screw California during the famous rolling black-outs. They were going as far as to tell the power plants to shut down for fake reasons when they anticipated higher demand for electricity. It makes you wonder why more people didn't end up in prison. You can see a few fragments of these recordings in a CBS News article and in this truthout article.

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