“Shades of Enron and WorldCom”

Eight short years ago the Markets were shocked by the December bankruptcy filing of Enron, one of the largest corporations in the country. It was the biggest bankruptcy in history. Just six months later WorldCom filed bankruptcy becoming the new largest recorded bankruptcy.

These two failures shook the markets sending stocks into a tailspin. Enron became the poster child for corporate corruption and executive greed leading the way to a series of corporate scandals including Adelphia, Tyco, ImClone, and Global Crossing. The perfect setting for Murder!

The corruption and greed became the backdrop for “Final Audit,” an exciting novel about executives from bankrupt corporations dying. As I wrote this ‘mystriguing’ first novel my research took me beyond the immediate scandals to the avarice, arrogance, and abhorrent behavior prevalent in Corporate America.

Many were responsible for the collapses of Enron and WorldCom. But the important issue would be what they learned from the failures and what they would do to prevent this happening in the future.

So what did we learn? And how did we apply those lessons?

The banks; BIG banks and Investment banks like Goldman Sachs are the next Enron and WorldCom’s. The same crooks and  incompetents are in charge. It is actually disgusting that the government continues to support these criminal organizations and they, like Enron and WorldCom, deserve to fail. Until we cleanse the system nothing will be learned from the lessons of the past.

In what I called an Epilogue, but should have been an Author’s Note, in the back of the book I warned that a failure to address the issues present at that time would lead to future failures. That was written in 2002 and at the time I didn’t realize how prescient it was.

Below is the Author’s note from the back of “Final Audit.”

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Author’s Note

“Final Audit” is about corruption and greed. It’s about executive’s whose avarice went unchecked, whose ethics were questionable, and whose audacity was abhorrent. The number of Boards who failed their investors was appalling. It teetered on the edge of criminal negligence. Accounting firms failed miserably in complying with the law, in fear of losing their big clients, and are also complicit.

It is also about the weakness and incompetence of Congress. As Arthur Levitt, at the Securities and Exchange Commission, fought to control the rampant creative accounting, in an effort to prevent a collapse, Congress tried to find ways to limit his authority. It’s about the business schools at universities and colleges in this country, and their complicity in the collapse of the many corporations over the last three years.

The collapse of these huge corporations may have been prevented had any of the factions above upheld their charge. In the aftermath they have all expressed outrage and surprise, but continue to point the finger at others to divert attention from themselves. None seem willing to stand up and admit responsibility.

Until we restore ‘real’ accountability, until the Security and Exchange Commission adopts and enforces tougher policies, until Congress gets off their dead asses and enacts legislation that no longer favors big business at the expense of hard working Americans, until universities and colleges stress ethics, and until investors put aside their greed and apathy, the problem will not go away but only be in a period of remission.

Investors need to become educated. If you fail to learn from the past, don’t expect sympathy or support in the future. If you choose to remain in the dark and go blindly into your investments I will gladly chronicle your pain and losses—and laugh—all the way to the ‘bank’

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The sequel to this exciting financial novel is entitled, “Executive Resort,” and addresses the same issues as “Final Audit” involving Houston detectives, Dave Duncan and Stephanie Fox in a new story. You can see what both novels are about at the mystrigue press website.

I think you’ll enjoy these timely and unique adventures of revenge and murder.

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