May 17, 2006
Am I too late?
Posted by Gordon Smith

That is, am I too late to revise my Enron predication? Before the trial, I wrote, "I would not be surprised to see both Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling acquitted, but perhaps the government's case is stronger than I expect." The government's case was pretty much what I expected, but Lay and Skilling were much worse than I expected.

Read the accounts of the closing statements at EnronWatch and see the desperation in the words of the defense lawyers (e.g., "One brave American citizen who is resolute can stop a guilty verdict") and the confidence in the words of the prosecutors (e.g., in reference to LJM, "It's like owning a gun in the state of Texas . . . there's nothing wrong with it. But if you use that gun to shoot somebody, that's illegal."). Predicting juries is highly uncertain, but this one looks like it's headed for a guilty verdict.

By the way, the TradeSports market is betting on convictions. The following tracks the price of this event: "Kenneth Lay to be found guilty of AT LEAST 4 of the 7 current charges brought against him alleging conspiracy and fraud."

Price for Kenneth Lay and/or Jeff Skilling Charges at TradeSports.com

This is the chart for "Jeffrey Skilling to be found guilty of AT LEAST 16 of the 31 current charges brought against him alleging conspiracy, fraud, insider trading and deceiving auditors."

Price for Kenneth Lay and/or Jeff Skilling Charges at TradeSports.com

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