24 Days: How Two Wall Street Journal Reporters Uncovered the by Rebecca Smith, John R. Emshwiller

By Rebecca Smith, John R. Emshwiller

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Extra resources for 24 Days: How Two Wall Street Journal Reporters Uncovered the Lies that Destroyed Faith in Corporate America (2003-2004)

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Such accessibility had become an Enron hallmark, one more tangible sign of a supreme selfconfidence. After putting in his Skilling interview request, Emshwiller turned his computer’s Internet browser to a Web site called 10Kwizard. com. S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These filings, which under the law big companies such as Enron had to make at least quarterly, were usually long, dull, and complex. But they could also be an invaluable source of information about a company’s finances and operations.

Emshwiller popped his partnership question. “No, that’s not Skilling,” Palmer replied without missing a beat. ” Emshwiller asked with the innocence of the ignorant. “Our chief financial officer,” Palmer replied evenly. The partnerships had been around for years and been routinely reported in Enron’s public filings the entire time, he added. They’d been set up to help Enron hedge against “market risks” from the fluctuating values of some of its investments, he added. So why was Fastow quitting the arrangement now?

I had my own doubts when I first heard about it,” he replied in a confidential tone. But after checking with others at the company, he said that he came to believe that Skilling had experienced some sort of epiphany. “He wants to spend more time with his three kids. He is divorced and they are teenagers. If he doesn’t spend time with them now, he worries that they will be grown up and be gone,” said Palmer. Plus, he’d heard that there might be a particular family problem that had to be addressed quickly, though he couldn’t say for sure.

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