Watch the film “Enron – Smartest Guys in the Room”. Read the following questions and answer any THREE of them. Couple paragraphs per questions are enough.
Skilling emphasized in his testimony before Congress that he was only acting in the interests of the shareholders. Do you agree? Are there other people whose interests should Skilling also have been protecting?
What message does the movie deliver regarding regulation versus “free markets”? Do you think this message is appropriate?
Are there certain characteristics of services or products which suggest that regulation of the markets in which those services or products are delivered is more or less necessary? Does the market for electricity have those characteristics? What about other markets? Explain.
One of the people interviewed in the movie states that there existed a “high school mythology” at Enron. What did she mean by that? Was that good or bad for Enron and its stakeholders?
According to the movie, Enron emphasized a “rank and yank” model of employee evaluation. Explain the model and discuss whether this is a reasonable approach for a successful organization.
After watching the movie, whose behavior was the worst – Ken Lay, Jeff Skilling, or Andy Fastow? Who received the harshest punishment?
How did Enron’s executives use Arthur Andersen, Vinson and Elkins, and Wall Street as a defense for their actions? Note that, of these organizations, only Arthur Andersen was put out of business in the post-Enron period. Why was the accounting firm held to an apparently higher standard? Is this appropriate? Why or why not?
In what way is the Enron scandal similar to what happened in Titanic?
In what way does Miligram’s experiment explains the behavior of Enron’s traders?
Why Ken Lay continued to perpetuate the myth that Enron is doing well? The film suggest that he is either a crook or an idiot. Which term do you think better describes him?
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