July 21, 2005
Get Out Your Scorecard: Enron Executives Acquitted in Broadband Case
Posted by Christine Hurt

In Fall 1999, I went to a Skadden alumni dinner in Houston.  There were three or four Skadden alums there who were currently working at Enron.  Some were still in legal, but at least one had made the jump to corporate.  They yukked it up all night about "broadband."  Broadband:  Wave of the future.  Like "Plastics," "broadband" was the new talismanic word.  Nobody wanted to talk about power plants or pipelines.  Broadband.

Now, six years later, Enron executives (none of my fellow alums, by the way) were on trial on various charges, mostly second order crimes, related to telling analysts at an January 2000 analyst conference that Enron's Broadband division was a big thumbs up when all along they new that it wasn't.  After the conference, Enron's stock rose from $54/share to $72.  Yesterday, a jury acquitted the defendants on some charges, but deadlocked on others.  The prosecution vows to retry them.

No defendant was completely exonerated.  The Houston Chronicle quotes one defense attorney as saying the verdict was like "kissing your sister."  I miss Texas so much.

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