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The Forum > Article Comments > Film review: 'Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room' > Comments

Film review: 'Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room' : Comments

By Fiona Prior, published 28/10/2005

Fiona Prior reviews Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

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The movie is certainly worth seeing, but it does make some notable omissions and I think its basic premise about smart guys gone bad misses the point.

Enron probably had the greediest and most unprinicipled guys in the room, but they were not the smartest - after all they got caught while many other criminal enterprises and executives got away with their crimes.

How is it that the world's most famous consultants, McKinsey, didn't even get a mention ? McKinsey has been credited with developing Enron's key commercial strategies and corporate culture, and they also supplied Enron's CEO Skilling, but apparently this minor detail was of no significance.

Harvard university didn't get a mention either, yet much of the principles of US energy deregulation were championed by Harvard academics, and Harvard trained many of Enrons top manager's (including Skilling). At its peak Enron recruited 250 of America's best MBA graduates each year.

In fact many of the really clever brains attributed to Enron probably came from top notch consultants, lawyers, lobbyists, academics and financial gurus, whilst Enron primarily supplied the brawn to make it happen. No doubt these people have continued to enjoy their stellar careers as well as keep all the money they made off Enron's misdeeds.

Focussing on the misdeeds of a few senior managers at Enron misses the real issue, which is how could so many people be so openly involved in something so wrong for so long ? Its exactly the same question as was posed about the Nazis. If you believe that all of their wrongdoings can be attributed to Hilter and his small inner circle, then I have a few Nigerian power barges and an Opera House you might like to buy.
Posted by AndrewM, Saturday, 29 October 2005 7:50:24 PM
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Thank you Fiona prior, for the movie review. I will definitely go and see that movie. Most Hollywood movies seem to be directed entirely towards the teenage and adolescent market and they feature little more than sex, guns, drugs and explosions.

Hollywood is so convinced that only young people go to movies that they are unable to comprhend why this is so. One presumes that this movie will do well and hopefully spawn some critical thinking among the executives at Fox, Tristar and Paramount.
Posted by redneck, Sunday, 30 October 2005 6:11:17 AM
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Thought these might fit in,

Part One
In a dream a post-grad political student meets his favourite political writer, George Orwell, finding that this ghost of the great thinker already can read the studentís mind, telling him that he is not surprised that the world is heading for trouble again, as economic and political greed has again appeared on the agenda, even despite the end of colonialism and the finish of Soviet Communism.

The student had already learnt that colonialism and economic imperialism had simply appeared in a new form, less honest, and more sinister, some of the former prominent freedom fighters in Africa themselves becoming colonisers, aping their former European masters and grabbing most of the productive loot like the colonial overseers had done to send home to the Mother Country.

Land of Hope of Glory and Mother of the Free, the old swansong of British colonialism and the earlier free-market, has been now replaced by the Stars and Stripes Forever, carrying on Cecil Rhodes nightly prayer, that America would carry on the global role that Rhodes surely believed a Wise Almighty had predicted for the English-speaking Anglophiles, with the United States of America now top of the list, Britain and Australia, proudly by her side.

The student has learnt that social revolutions are now not seen as necessary for the defeat of totalitarian dictators. Neither do people believe in the possibility of promoting individual liberty and self rule by means of even a social democrat government. In fact, socialism has ceased to be a part of public debate, even Labor leaders more interested in satisfying powerful pressure groups backed by big corporates, including the mass media.

George C, WA - Bushbred
Posted by bushbred, Sunday, 30 October 2005 4:08:41 PM
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Part Two

The worried student in his dream asks the shadow of Orwell for an answer - realising it was already in his mind, but he would not have had the courage to announce it to a world so sure of itself because the neo-liberal free market was keeping even battling consumers happy, with the allowance of cheap imports from countries like China with low-cost labour, as well as dumped frozen or tinned fruit and veges from numberless other countries.

What was already in the studentís mind was that low priced imported goods meant a call from government for a change in arbitration laws to enable employers to lower workerís wages in order to compete. The student realised then how much that globalisation as part of the capitalistic free-market, was failing - the insightly student under Orwellian influence, knowing that a major crisis in global capitalism must surely cause a return to some sort of socialism, be it right or left.

The student discerned that the likely change initially would be fascistic, with a former democratic government banning all opposition for the good of the country, similar to earlier post-war Singapore with big corporates still calling the tune as in Nazi Germany.

The student feels that the best answer from an angry left out left-wing, rather than taking up arms, was at first to challenge for a new globalisation, not based on corporate power and an ersatz free market but on the ethical precepts of a genuine global democracy based on a fair go for all, not for survival of the richest as the fittest.

George C, WA - Bushbred
Posted by bushbred, Sunday, 30 October 2005 4:23:40 PM
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