Enron & culpability (was: Dear John Hall)

Russell Turpin deafbox@hotmail.com
Thu, 24 Jan 2002 00:52:47 +0000


John Hall writes:
>People sometimes assume conspiracy when incompetence is a better 
>explanation. However, shredding documents is obstruction of justice (at 
>least) and leaves a dark suspicion of criminal intent.

Fooling others and fooling yourself often go hand in
hand. The lines between preacher, conman, and entrepeneur
often are hard to see when the action is on. Most people
in these roles drink their own koolaid as well as selling
it to others, and realize that putting on a good show is
part of what they do. "Criminal intent" is and should be
a relatively low bar. You have to understand what you did.
You don't have to know that it was against the law, you
might have believed that it was all going to work out,
and you might have acted in good faith to all parties
involved. A conspiracy need not seem such when it was
done, and may overlap quite a bit with incompetence, hope,
putting too many balls into the air, and rolling the dice
once too often.

If laws were broken in the Enron fiasco, I will shed no
tears for those who are jailed. The law is there in part
to point out the lines, even if they were unknown or murky
or seemingly irrelevant when the deeds were done.


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