Thursday, May 25, 2006



Although Cheney and the gang from Halliburton are safe for now, the other pillar of the Bush era slash and burn economy, Enron's Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling have been found guilty on, respectively, 6 and 19 charges and face spending the rest of their miserable lives in prison (although both will in all likelihood be pardoned by Bush on his last day in office-- a day on which he will need lots and lots and lots of pens). Reuters just reported that the case was "a major victory for U.S. prosecutors intent on sending a message that corporate America must clean up its act. Lay, 64, was convicted of six counts of conspiracy and fraud and faces up to 45 years in prison. Skilling was found guilty of 19 counts of conspiracy, fraud, insider trading and making false statements which, combined, carry a maximum sentence of 185 years."

The L.A. Times said it all came down to the jury embracing "the testimony of a parade of former Enron executives who said Lay and Skilling lied publicly about the energy company's financial health and condoned, if not actively encouraged, the use of accounting tricks to boost reported profits and hide debt." quotes David Irwin, a former state and federal prosecutor who now handles white-collar criminal defense cases in Baltimore: "This conviction brings to a close the government's effort to send a clear message to the corporate world that fraudulent behavior won't be tolerated." We shall see. Remember, Lay and Enron gave Bush over $500,000 over the last years. Bush is unlikely to get him rot in prison. Sentencing takes place September 11, a date that has figured prominently in Bush's horrific presidency.


Robert Parry has all the particulars of Bush's unending support of arch-criminal Ken Lay in an article he just wrote for Consortium News. And it goes way beyond endearing nicknames and Christmas cards. For example, he points out that "As Enron’s crisis worsened through the first nine months of Bush’s presidency, Lay secured Bush’s help in three key ways:

--Bush personally joined the fight against imposing caps on the soaring price of electricity in California at a time when Enron was artificially driving up the price of electricity by manipulating supply. Bush’s resistance to price caps bought Enron extra time to gouge hundreds of millions of dollars from California’s consumers.

--Bush granted Lay broad influence over the development of the administration’s energy policies, including the choice of key regulators to oversee Enron’s businesses. The chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was replaced in 2001 after he began to delve into Enron’s complex derivative-financing schemes.

--Bush had his NSC staff organize that administration-wide task force to pressure India to accommodate Enron’s interests in selling the Dabhol generating plant for as much as $2.3 billion."


A DWT reader just let me know that online bookmakers are now posting odds on the length of Lay's sentence. It's pretty hilarious but I don't think it's supposed to be. So, if you want to place a bet... I hope this is legal.


At 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Irony of the sentencing date is incredible, considering the massive collection of SEC probe documents (Enron included, I believe, along with Tyco and Worldcom) that were lost in the giant paper shredder known as WTC 7.

That's right America...THREE buildings collapsed that day.

At 2:09 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

When Lay and Skilling are sentenced, wouldn't you think that the Bush administration--as one of the less disguised Enron assets--ought to be sold off to help make restitution to help satisfy whatever fines are assessed in addition to the prison time?


At 4:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone believe that either of these thugs will spend a day in prison? The puppet that currently dances for the corporate leaders (GWB) has probably signed the pardon months ago!

At 5:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think at the end of his mandate, Bush will pardon them as a final act of backstabbing of the victims of these crooks.... Just the sort of thing he would do.

At 6:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Chimp will pardon them. Maybe the next president will have to pardon Chimp too.


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