Upgrade to the Flash 9 viewer for enhanced content, including the ability to browse & search through your favorite titles.
Click here to learn more!
“A lucid account of the Enron debacle that may be the best informed and best written to date.” —Andrew Hill, Financial Times
Written by prizewinning journalist Mimi Swartz, and substantially based on the revelations of former Enron vice-president Sherron Watkins, as well as hundreds of other interviews, Power Failure is the fascinating and unprecedented account of the collapse of gas and energy giant Enron.
At the turn of the 21st century, Ken Lay’s and Jeff Skilling's faces graced the covers of business magazines, and Enron’s money was supporting George W. Bush’s election campaign. But as Wall Street analysts sang Enron’s praises, and its stock spiraled upward, the company’s leaders were scrambling to manufacture illusory profits, hide its ballooning debt, and bully Wall Street into buying its fictional accounting and off-balance-sheet investment vehicles. Swartz chronicles how this ‘poster child of the New Economy’, which was briefly named the seventh largest corporation in America, was ultimately undone by the very same greed, arrogance, and raw ambition that had helped to fuel the company’s meteoric rise in the late 1990’s.
In addition to Swartz’s expert reportage and research, Sherron Watkins provides an insider’s perspective on not only what went on, but also on who the principle players were: from Enron’s CEO Ken Lay; to Jeff Skilling, the mastermind behind Enron’s mercenary trading culture; to Rebecca Mark, the savvy and seductive head of Enron’s international division; and to Andy Fastow, the company’s CFO; Swartz contributes her unique and first-hand impressions of the executives and their actions with an astute and knowledgeable eye.
This is a case study and insider’s account of one of the biggest business ethics lapses in history and should be reading for all students of business ethics and business history courses.
"...a fascinating inside look at Enron as it grew."
—New York Times
“A compelling history of Enron . . . offering a savvy interpretation of its subject."
—Washington Post Book World
“Paints the most detailed portrait yet of the company’s ambitious executives and toxic culture.”