Today In Enron History

Today in Enron history, nothing much happened as far as I can tell. It was a pretty ordinary day for the energy giant.

One can imagine that in any imagined year, say 2000, Jeff Skilling was busy talking to investors, taking phone calls, walking the halls to talk to employees. He might have worn black pants and a blue shirt, the cuffs rolled just above his wrists, where he wore a thick black watch.

One can imagine that he met with Causey and Fastow in the afternoon, just as Fastow returned from lunch with his wife. Five minutes late.

And one can imagine they discussed the various hedging structures, and international assets, which Jeff Skilling still did not like. There was some Azurix deal in Argentina which Skilling was lukewarm about, and it is possible that came up. But the meeting, one imagines, was short. Fastow returns to his office, and sends an email to his wife. Causey goes on to meet with a few of his people. Jeff Skilling returns to his office and shuts the door. He sits in his chair, and looks out over the downtown skyline, thinking about Argentina, and other faraway places. Better places. It’s not quite two o’clock and there is still an avalanche of work to do – calls to make, correspondence, investors, interviews, analysts…. But the office is uncharacteristically quiet, evoking inexplicable sadness, and he doesn’t feel like doing it yet. Instead, he looks out at the other buildings, the sun glaring against the windows, and he idly wonders what they’re working on in there.

After a few quiet moments, he snaps himself out of the reverie and picks up the phone. He makes his calls, meets with an interviewer, does what he’s expected to do. He has no way of knowing that today is one of the only days that will not come back to haunt him, that prosecutors of the future will not ask him, “Mr. Skilling, do you recall on April 22…”

On this day, Jeff Skilling is completely innocent.  Even the DOJ stipulates that.

Cara Ellison

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