Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Did Enron Become Wildly Profitable through Deregulation?

No, even despite the recently-revealed tapes. Enron wasn't profitable period.

If anything, the Enron episode demonstrates the capitalist principle that exploitation does not pay.

There are several factors that lead to this fiasco. First, many of the “best and brightest” were trained to believe that successful capitalists exploit consumers. It's not surprising that some people believed it and tried exploitation.

In any case, if greed caused rising energy prices, clearly the falling energy prices of the 1980s must have been caused by altruistic businessmen. Some things are too preposterous to be believed and altruism in business is one of them.

Second, there were the restrictions on takeovers that were passed to crack down on “abuses” by Michael Milliken and Ivan Boesky. If they were still in business, Enron could not have happened. Whistle blowers would have found that they could make much more by selling information to “inside traders.” Enron's stock price would have gone down long ago and the kleptomaniacs (and just plain maniacs) in charge would have been removed faster.


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