Enron - The Smartest Guys in the Room

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=972394030048527048&q=enron+smartest+guys+in+the+room&total=72&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=1 Has anyone seen this movie? I watched it and thought it was very very interesting. This film shows the timeline of the fall of Enron. I would recommend it to everyone. I wish they had one on Worldcom. The shares I inherited lost all value right before I went to college. P!ssed me off to say the least. The 200 shares I had were at one point worth 10k and I got about $200 for them when I was able to dump them when I turned 18. Can anyone elaborate on the differences/complements between the Enron and Worldcom story? I guess one benefit is that loss made me very interested in how stock works which is what brought me here today.

“Conspiracy of Fools” is a great book about Enron. I don’t think you can capture the events in a 2 hour movie - there were just too many factors in play.

I havent seen the movie, but I did read the book and it was excellent. One of the best I have read in a long while…

Which book is better Consp. of Fools or Smartest Guys in the Room?

I havent read Consp of fools…but I probably will now. But I know people that arent even THAT interested in business (and related topics) that really liked Smartest Guys in the Room…

Read both the book and have dvd of the film. Very good film, but the book is way better. The best comparison I would make to Enron is that, when Jeff Skilling first left Mck and came to Enron, Enron was the Google of that time. The ideas, the markets, the growth and at the end of the day Skilling was a horrible CEO. The book explains how Enron built stupid power plants in places like India, and how Ken Lay could never fire anyone and was weak, but most of all how Jeff Skilling had no idea as a CEO. Also the movie, is too much like Michael Moore, when “greg davis says that bush/company got him fired” ehh no he was just a moron. What the traders did was perfectly fine and it was just not Enron. Everyone always focuses on Enron’s accounting scandals like the film, the best part of the story though is how the business (legit) side failed, going from Google style to zero.

Under pressure to maintain the illusion, Skilling began to behave strangely. In April 2001, he verbally attacked Wall Street Analyst Richard Grubman, who questioned Enron’s unusual accounting practice during a recorded conference call. When Grubman complained that Enron was the only company that could not release a balance sheet along with its earnings statements, Skilling replied “Well, thank you very much, we appreciate that . . . a$$hole.” Hahaha that is classic

Of course Grubman was in the process of buying puts on 3.5 million shares (or perhaps 3.5 million puts as I have read but I doubt it). Skilling almost certainly knew that Grubman was buying puts and as an MD at Highfields Capital (one of Harvard’s endowment’s hedge funds), he was well-respected in the investment field and aggressively trying to get Enron’s stock to fall. It’s pretty easy to imagine why Skilling would have called him an a$$hole. Obviously, Grubman was on to something and we all should have listened.

"Also the movie, is too much like Michael Moore, when “greg davis says that bush/company got him fired” ehh no he was just a moron. What the traders did was perfectly fine and it was just not Enron. " I agree. This part upset me as well making the traders out to be the devil in disguise.

For an inside look at Worldcom, take a look at “Confessions of a Wall Street Analyst.” It was written by Dan Reingold, a lead telecom analyst at MS, ML, and CSFB during the 90’s and early 00’s. It provides a lot of insight into the entire sector including Worldcom.

The movie’s central message was the capitalism and traders are evil and bad for the little guy. Obama approves this message.

The asian guy married a stripper and didn’t go to jail ! :frowning:

Being a bad trader means you should goto jail? I guess all those subprime guys need to think about something else. He just had bets on the wrong side of the market, that is not criminal. Brian Hunter is running his own fund now, I am sure he lost more money. Let’s not forget John Arnold.

Yeah i read the “Confessions of a Wall Street Analyst.”, an amazing account of happenings at “THE STREET”…

Saw that movie a few weeks ago on CBC. I still got that on DVD. PRIMIA has interesting case study on Worldcom, for PRM study. http://prmia.org/index.php?page=training&option=trainingWebBasedResource

I was recommended to read Conspiracy of Fools by one of the US Attorney’s on the Enron Task Force. It was a great read. I haven’t read Smartest Guys.