White-collar criminals who cook the books should be prosecuted, sent to jail and required to disgorge profits from all stock sales made during the period of fraud, rather than receiving what is too often a slap on the wrist and a reminder to the corporate world that crime can pay.
-- Lanny J. Davis, Washington Post article
It may be the most tragic business story in years. Enron was once the seventh-largest company in the nation, but it achieved that status only through, as Davis put it, "a corporate culture of secrecy and obfuscation."
After the truth came out that it had hidden billions in losses and liabilities, Enron collapsed. That collapse wiped out the pensions of many Enron employees, who were forbidden to sell company stock after the news hit. Many other investors were hurt too. Enron's management made out relatively well, however, selling hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of shares in 2001.
Thousands have suffered, but what about the executives responsible for the whole mess? How should they be punished? We bet you've got some great ideas about that, and we're going to give away a free one-year TMF Money Advisor subscription to the person with the top entry.
$500 Grand Prize
But wait, there's more! The top ten entries will receive Fool Contest Points that count toward an overall grand prize. The point system is pretty simple: First place receives 10 points, second place will get 9, third place 8, fourth place 7, fifth place 6 (you get the idea but our legal department wants us to keep going)... sixth place 5, seventh place 4 (pause here to catch breath).... eighth place 3, ninth place 2, and tenth place is good for 1 point.
At the end of the first quarter of the year (the end of March), the person with the most Fool Contest Points will claim the grand prize of $500.We'll have a total of six different contests, one every other Monday. (The complete rules are listed here.)
So what are you waiting for? Head on over to our Fun & Folly discussion board and tell us how you would punish Enron executives. Submissions will be judged on creativity, originality, and an overall dash of Foolishness. (And though not required, a little humor might help your cause, also.) The deadline for entry is Thursday at noon ET.
The winner and the official standings will be published next Monday. See you then!
This Contest is not affiliated with, or endorsed by Enron Corp. Enron is a registered trademark of Enron Corp.