The Enron Company’s Bankruptcy Scandal

To appreciate the importance of culture on ethics at the workplace, the Enron company was investigated. The firm records one of the hugest bankruptcy scandals in the US in the early 2000s. Ken Lay, the former chairman of the company, was most at fault for the given event as he possessed the power to manage the firm. The misinformed accounting practices led to its downfall along with other affiliated corporations such as Arthur Anderson firm that checked their accounts. Employees and stakeholders were left without money or benefits when the company fell. The film reviews the company’s decisions to uncover the conditions that allowed Enron to deceive all the parties involved in its activities (Bhaskar, Flower & Sellers, 2019). It helps to understand that the scandal became so large because of the involvement of numerous actors and serious violations of the legal regulations.

Andy Fastow was a young chief finance officer of Enron. He came in with a vibrancy that promised the stakeholders profits in a short time. Thus, when he suggested a form of accounting called market to market, the managers did not question him as they thought it would not hurt Enron (Tiffany, 2017). Fastow continued to be creative on the job and resulted in illegal transactions to make up for capital to fund their investments. Jennings explains that sometimes, a young leader can make decisions that are not questioned to give them a boost of confidence in their position. Enron’s CFO was such a leader whose decisions were supported despite their risks to make profits for the company. Nowadays, Mr. Fastow faces ten years in prison and cooperates with federal prosecutors. Ken Lay died of a heart attack three months before the trial. Jeff Skilling served 12 years in prison. Ms. Sharon Watkins, one of the whistleblowers, now has written a book and opened a successful consultancy firm. Mr. Lou Pai married an exotic dancer and currently lives together with his wife and daughter and owns a horse breeding and training business. The Enron case shows that a large company might also employ unfair and unethical practices to generate extra benefits or hide some aspects of its functioning. Moreover, it might serve as a tool to support the fast rise of a corporation. It means that today, numerous firms might still use the same practices as they can help to generate high income and avoid being punished.


Bhaskar, K., Flower, J., & Sellers, R. (2019). Financial failures and scandals: From Enron to Carillion. Routledge.

Tiffany, D. M. (2005). Enron: The smartest guys in the room Vimeo [Video].