• 1 minute Read

The Enron Effect: Scandal As Sequel

A retrospective on past business crises that asks, Can old ideas prevent new scandals?

Enron is the latest blockbuster in a series of scandals that has provoked shock, outrage, and calls for reform. This Web-exclusive report profiles leading characters from earlier crises.

You’ll meet the enforcer who cleaned up the S& L mess. You’ll encounter an innocent victim of Charles Keating. You’ll hear from a voice in the wilderness who warned about the Internet bubble. And you’ll meet the whistle-blower whose story became the basis of a major motion picture. Can their ideas prevent the next scandal?

Bill Seidman: The Enforcer

According to Bill Seidman, the federal janitor hired to mop up the 1980s S& L scandal, the Enron debacle will ultimately benefit the marketplace. Here, the author of Full Faith and Credit draws parallels, points fingers, and offers advice for enforcers to come. Bill Breen

Leah Kane: The Victim

Meet Leah Kane, a retired secretary from southern California who took on S& L financier Charles Keating and won … sort of. Here’s how a victim of the U.S. bond scandal rallied an army of retirement-home residents to battle fraud at the highest level and teach the world a thing or two about justice. George Anders

Jonathan Cohen: The Analyst

Jonathan Cohen was branded a killjoy when, in late 1998, he issued an analyst report suggesting that Amazon.com was overvalued by several billion dollars. Since Amazon’s fall from grace, he has gained a little vindication but much insight into why most analysts don’t deliver bad news when they should. Linda Tischler

Jeffrey Wigand: The Whistle-Blower

Six years after disclosing the tobacco industry’s deepest, darkest secrets, Jeffrey Wigand, the ultimate insider, remains as outspoken as ever. Here’s why he believes the war against big tobacco is becoming more important, and why he thinks Enron’s Sherron Watkins is no hero. Chuck Salter

Video