The smartest guys in the room

The smartest guys in the room book

Many lower-ranked Enron employees lost their retirements because they were forbidden from selling shares while the company changed retirement plan administrators. Clearly, they are all partially responsible. This prevailing attitude led to a business strategy and compensation structure with perverse incentives. Mark-to-market accounting meant employees were often rewarded based on their own rosy estimates for long-term projects even if these projects never actually made money. I also broke Rule 2: never make a film if no one wants to talk to you on camera. WorldCom was actually a bigger bankruptcy than Enron. Enron used this uncertainty to repeatedly deceive investors about the state of its finances. I hope it makes people mad. No one ever took the blame. Hats off to Independent Lens, P. Sometimes great scenes have to hit the cutting room floor. In desperation, Enron tried to contradict their own very narrow interpretation of the accounting rules governing the reporting of earnings and debt, but Andersen finally decided floating interpretations were untenable. But I would always refer back to the book for background or insight into key characters.

I wanted a theme song for each one of the key characters. Even though Enron's statements were convoluted, there were people who sifted through them and realized the trouble. All of them were convicted and sentenced to varying lengths of time in prison.

enron the smartest guys in the room cast

Suppliers and consumers of energy needed to find one another at the best prices. Fund managers who control money invested in the stock market use mark-to-market accounting because the price of a highly liquid asset such as a share of stock is easily attainable.

Because promotions and bonuses were given on a strict bell-curve, much effort was spent on politicking, bargaining, and backstabbing, which necessarily detracted from cooperation and putting the company's best interests first.

The film took a year, start to finish.

The smartest guys in the room pdf

This prevailing attitude led to a business strategy and compensation structure with perverse incentives. John Olson was an analyst for Merrill Lynch who repeatedly complained about Enron's accounting. The culture at Enron valued winning above all else, and Enron defined winning as bringing in new revenue and meeting Wall Street's earnings expectations. Why did you choose to present your film on public television? The management pressure, accounting manipulations, and failure of Fannie Mae under Franklin Raines, now advisor to President Obama, strike me as eerily similar to Enron's story. If you could have one motto, what would it be? The bottom line is that no one asked, "Is this right?

If so, can you tell us about it? What impact do you hope this film will have? The bottom line is that no one asked, "Is this right?

The smartest guys in the room

The independent film business is a difficult one. Lay and Skilling must have known enough that ignorance is not a viable defense in this scenario. The Lays abused company assets and deals for personal and familial gain. Although he was right the whole time, Merrill fired him because the Enron fees were too large to be bothered with the truth.

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Independent Lens . ENRON: The Smartest Guys in the Room . Filmmaker Q&A