“In the wake of Enron’s collapse, it has become apparent that many financial firms â from Enron’s lenders to Wall Street bankers who underwrote the company’s partnerships to investment houses that bought into them to the accountants who reviewed their books â knew more about Enron’s condition than the company publicly disclosed.”
That’s one of the key grafs in a fascinating article in today’s New York Times which describes how Veba, a German utility company considering a merger with Enron, was able to piece together a picture of the company’s rickety financial footing with only a relatively cursory investigation based on publicly available documents.
“We were wondering why this wasn’t common knowledge, or why it wasn’t discovered by those people whose business it was to discover these things,” one of the analysts told the Times.
It’s starting to seem like Enron’s condition was, if not an open secret, then at least a secret that was hidden in something like plain view. Many apparently knew at least some of the key details. And perhaps knew enough to know not to know more.
Who else knew?