Enron chronicle provides some holiday reading

I have been on vacation for the last half of this month, and that along with Christmas has resulted in much less activity on this blog than is normally seen.

Additionally, I have been immersed in a great book on the Enron scandal, titled “The Smartest Guys In the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron.”

The book was originally published in 2003, but was recently republished with an extra chapter. “Now includes the Enron trial and the death of Ken Lay,” the cover advertises.

I’m a little surprised I haven’t read a book on Enron until this point, given how fascinating the fraud is to me. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The book is accessibly written. You don’t have to be an auditor to undeerstand what caused Enron to implod. That sort of disappointed me – the book didn’t go into enough detail for my liking. But they know their audience, which isn’t exclusively the audit profession.

I was hoping to see some debits and credits and maybe even a T-account or two, dissecting each transaction of each special-purpose entity (SPE) in painstaking detail, but I was out of luck.

I won’t go into too much more detail at this point, as I will pull out some of the more memorable passages in future posts and discuss them there.

Suffice it to say the book was awesome and I recommend it to everyone, not just auditors.

5 thoughts on “Enron chronicle provides some holiday reading

  1. LOL@Edmund – I was about to post a comment suggesting getting the video.

    The DVD’s extra features include interviews with the authors, actually. Especially good option for people who want to get the info delivered in a faster and somewhat entertaining manner.

  2. I was going to mention the DVD in a future post! :) I think I’ve seen it or parts of it before, but I could be wrong.

  3. Hey there Neil,
    I’m new to your site and I’m in my final year of accounting at UBC. First, I want to say that I enjoy your blog and I’ve placed it into my favourite folder for regular visits!

    The other night I rented the movie version of the book and I have to say that I feel the same way as you; there wasn’t enough accounting ‘umph’ explaining how the fraud was organized and eventually imploded. We’ve discussed it in class on numerous occasions, but I was hoping for a more visual explanation. That being said, I did enjoy the movie as it forced me to mentally visualize the fraud in action!

    Nice to find your blog and I’m sure I’ll write more in the near future!


  4. Hi Richard,

    I’m glad you found the blog worthwhile.

    Good luck with your final year and the professional exams afterward!

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