The scandal around the bankruptcy of the Enron energy company obscured even the news about the state of the health of the American president, who had an incident with a pretzel last week. The scandal with the energy company unveiled the delicate details of the close relations between Vice President Dick Cheney and George W. Bush himself with the head of the bankrupt company, Kenneth Lay, or just "Kenney-boy," as his friends call him.
What’s so surprising about this? There are so many large companies going bankrupt every day. But the problem is that Enron was the largest electric power seller in the United States; the company was on the top ten list of leading American companies. The crash of such a giant corporation could not but attract attention. However, the most important issue here is the methods used by the administration of the company for its business activity: these methods are so very old: bribery and blackmail.
The management of the company actually made the ordinary workers of the corporation buy Enron’s shares, transferring the money from the accounts of their pension funds. Nobody was protested, as the company was considered to be totally reliable and stable. The analysts from the Wall Street were saying the same – Enron was stable – but at the same time, they were all selling Enron’s shares, if they had any.
Furthermore, Kenney-boy was known as one of the most generous benefactors for the pre-election campaigns of the republicans in Texas. Lay helped George W. Bush and his father too. Enron spent $200 thousand for the inauguration ceremony of George W. Bush; $30 thousand of that sum were given by the head of the company himself. In addition to the close relations with the Bushes, Kenneth Lay kept in touch with the family of the incumbent Vice President of the USA, Dick Cheney. Lay had several meetings with Cheney last year, but we are not going to find out what the subjects of their conversations were. They certainly did not talk about the weather!
It should be mentioned here that the auditing procedures that were carried out by the world-known company Andersen did not find any flaws in Enron’s dealings. Therefore, the bankruptcy of the energy giant was a big surprise for everybody, even for its employees.
The Committee for Securities, several committees of the US Congress, the FBI, and the Ministry for Justice are currently involved in the investigation of the reasons of the bankruptcy. American Attorney General John Ashcroft announced that he will not be in charge of the investigation, since he also received financial help from Enron.
President Bush is now forced to make excuses. He said that the Bush family had also suffered from the bankruptcy of the company. The president’s mother-in-law invested over eight thousand dollars in Enron’s shares. In this case, it would be better for Bush to keep silence: some of the employees and shareholders of the company had lost hundreds of thousands of dollars, so they are not going to be sorry for Bush’s mother-in-law.
No matter what, there is one thing clear about this story: the Democrats in the Congress and in the Senate will get even with the Republicans for the scandal with Monica Lewinsky. Therefore, corruption is always the same, no matter in which country.
Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
AP photo: A person leaves Enron Corp. headquarters at the end of the day Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2002, in Houston