Enron Corporation's fishy accounting practices, the siphoning of profits at Adelphia Communications Corp., allegations of tax fraud and lavish personal spending of company money at Tyco International and WorldCom Inc.'s bid to hide billions of dollars worth of expenses are just a few examples of unethical activities. Scandals and bankruptcies in the United States at companies like Enron and WorldCom Inc. have focused attention on the abuse of the power entrusted to executives by shareholders, employees and customers and they underscore the need for reforms to bolster business ethics. The free enterprise system is based on transparency and integrity. Transparency is being open to public scrutiny, even for a private company. Integrity is about keeping promises, telling the truth and acting fairly and responsibly.
ENRON AND WORLDCOM STORIES
Enron is the story of the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history that has cost thousands of employees their jobs and their retirement.
Enron, through a variety of accounting tricks relating to partnerships, inflated their profits and lowered their debt. They misled their employees, investors and the general public about the company's financial condition. Once those off-the-book partnerships were exposed, the bottom dropped out, with Enron's stock plummeting from almost $80 to less than $1 a share. Enron executives reaped millions through these partnerships and by selling off stock before the demise, while Enron employees lost much of their retirement and investors lost millions. firstname.lastname@example.org
Arthur Anderson a firm that once stood for trust and accountability ended 90 years as an auditor of publicly traded companies under a cloud of scandal and shame. Its felony conviction for obstructing a federal investigation into Enron Corp., its now notorious client, cost Andersen the heart of its practice. It will continue with a tiny fraction of the 85,000 employees it spread across the globe...