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Friends in High Places: Bankrupt Enron Held Sway with Bush Administration!
ABCnews.com | December 10, 2001 | Josh Gerstein

Posted on 12/10/2001 7:47:51 AM PST by BluH2o

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To: studentintexas
In other words, that source is raving lunatic liberal, and should not be relied on for any information about an alleged connection between Enron and Bush.

If you can prove otherwise instead of looking for apologies or shooting the messenger, have at it.

How about the self proclaimed conservative opinions at etherzone.com...Power Scam: THE ENRON BUSH CONNECTION

41 posted on 12/10/2001 9:23:19 AM PST by lewislynn
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To: BluH2o
Anyone who who put EVERYTHING they have in the world (their paycheck, their retirement pension, AND their 401k) into a single company is very, very foolish. It's too bad this man lost so much money, but he bears a portion of the responsibility for not diversifying his 401k in the first place.
42 posted on 12/10/2001 9:24:38 AM PST by RooRoobird14
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To: TADSLOS
"This is a dead end story. Enron is a victim of it's own poor fiscal management.

You are completely correct.

The Democrats are just trying to find an 'issue' to ride back into the White House and whittle away some of Bush's high numbers. Class warfare spins well for them.

They are trying an 'enron' around the truth.

43 posted on 12/10/2001 9:26:58 AM PST by J. Semper Paratus
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To: BluH2o
The Bush people need to put this fire out immediately.

Correct. The valid point that Enron's connections with the Bush family did it no good at all (bankruptcy) needs to be stated over and over on the TV news shows that seek to use this business failure as a lever to make Bush look bad, somehow, some way.

The Bush administration should not stand in the way of any Congressional investigation. To the general public, perception is everything and stonewalling or attempting to thwart investigations of Enron's financial dealings that caused the collapse simply look bad for Bush. Let it all hang out, but never stop pointing out that the 'connections' didn't pay off and there was no corruption going on between the Bush White House and Enron.

44 posted on 12/10/2001 9:37:21 AM PST by Jim Scott
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To: lewislynn
How about the self proclaimed conservative opinions at etherzone.com...Power Scam: THE ENRON BUSH CONNECTION

Thank you for the link from the Buchanin supporters. It was very entertaining to read how Bush's refusal to involve the federal government in California's energy woes was deliberately intended to create an artificial energy crisis and "ensure Enron's unconscionable profit".

Unfortunately, there is no evidence that Enron's contributions gave them any benefit. I find the quote below laughable

One of the global energy cartel's most visible players, Enron saw its corporate profits rise 34 percent in the fourth quarter of 2000. Enron shareholders should ask -- did dividends come from price gouging US citizens?

45 posted on 12/10/2001 9:39:25 AM PST by TennesseeProfessor
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To: ignatz_q
I don't know what Enron's policies were, but it is increasingly common for companies that subsidize 401(k) plans to REQUIRE that a significant portion of the money be invested in the stock of their own companies.

While it may be acceptable for the company to dictate the terms of the company match, this sounds blatantly illegal if it involves the employee's 401(k) contributions. If it is only the company's matching funds that were lost, then the employees really have nothing to complain about since it wasn't their money to begin with.

46 posted on 12/10/2001 9:45:52 AM PST by Alberta's Child
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To: KC_Conspirator
You make a good point. All we heard for months was talk of Enron's unconscionable profits, ripping off the public, etc. So if they were making such huge profits, why are they bankrupt?
47 posted on 12/10/2001 9:47:53 AM PST by Steve_Seattle
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To: Steve_Seattle
It just does not make any sense. Some here have claimed that employees are required to invest their money into Enron stock, and therefore Enron screwed them. That is a lie - its against the law to do that. The only situation where that legally happens are compulsory unions dues.

I thought that "political payoffs" were when you gave money to a politicians and then recieved some benefit. There is no quid pro quo when the donor goes bankrupt.

48 posted on 12/10/2001 9:56:21 AM PST by KC_Conspirator
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To: Alberta's Child
If it is only the company's matching funds that were lost, then the employees really have nothing to complain about since it wasn't their money to begin with.

I've heard this categorizaton a lot, and I have to take issue with it.

If a company gives me stock options as part of my compensation, it's my money. Not the company's money. Mine. And why should the company have the right to prevent me from using that money as I see fit? I don't understand how FReepers can get so insensed about wanting the government to allow them to do whatever they want with their social security funds, and yet have no problem at all with a private company doing even more harm to their employees by both denying them control, and failing to provide any security.

I'm not advocating that companies should be required to guarantee returns on stock, because that goes against the market. However, it seems wrong for a company to pretend to offer a form of compensation that seems to be used only to keep the stock price artificially high and protect the wealth of the executives.

49 posted on 12/10/2001 10:15:09 AM PST by ignatz_q
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To: ignatz_q
If a company gives me stock options as part of my compensation, it's my money.

I agree, but what we are talking about here is distinctly different than stock options. The company offered to match the contributions that employees made to their 401(k) plans, on the condition that the money the company contributes was used to purchase company stock. Companies are not required to provide matching contributions (Ford, in fact, just announced that it would not provide matching funds next year), so anything they do provide can be treated as "found money."

Also, it should be noted that the company's requirement to purchase company stock with these matching funds does not absolve the employees of their responsibility to watch their own contributions carefully. It sounds to me like many of them failed in this regard.

If these were real stock options, the employees would have been truly screwed. They would have owed taxes on stock that was given to them at $50 per share (as an example), even though the stock is now worth less than $1 per share.

50 posted on 12/10/2001 10:27:37 AM PST by Alberta's Child
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To: Alberta's Child
You say the "lost" money was provided by Enron? Umm, I think it was money EARNED by the employees, rather, don't you think? "I'll gladly pay you tomorrow for making those hamburgers today..."

This is not some give-away package. The naievety of the posters here is blatant. "Gosh, the company's bankrupt! How could Jr. benefit from that?" Figure it out, Einsteins. The company's bankrupt, not the execs!

51 posted on 12/10/2001 10:27:59 AM PST by frodolives
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To: J. Semper Paratus
They are trying an 'enron' around the truth.

LOL! Great play on words!
52 posted on 12/10/2001 10:30:35 AM PST by TADSLOS
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To: frodolives
See #50. It appears that the money lost in the employees' 401(k) accounts was specifically provided by the company in the form of matching contributions.

As for any employee who used his or her OWN money to buy company stock -- I can't hold everybody's hands as they work their way through this daunting, dangerous, often unfair thing called "life." If they have a legitimate complaint about being deceived in terms of the value of the company, then they need to take that up with their company executives and (more importantly) the auditing firm that declared the company's books to be in good shape.

53 posted on 12/10/2001 10:37:19 AM PST by Alberta's Child
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Comment #54 Removed by Moderator

To: Phantom Lord
They were talking about how a bunch employees put 100% of the 401(k) into Enron stock back in the summer.

Stupid is as stupid does.

55 posted on 12/10/2001 10:45:25 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: frodolives
The company's bankrupt, not the execs!
This is worth repeating.
56 posted on 12/10/2001 10:48:12 AM PST by drjimmy
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Comment #57 Removed by Moderator

To: isthisnickcool
Bulls make money, Bears make money, Hogs never do.
58 posted on 12/10/2001 10:54:29 AM PST by wordsofearnest
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To: Alberta's Child
anything they do provide can be treated as "found money."

I agree that these are different than stock options, but I have to say I still look upon this as more than "found money." 401(k) matching is part of compensation. A company is not required to provide it, but once provided, ownership of that money belongs to the employee, not the company.

The employees were sold a bill of goods at Enron. They were told they were getting something for retirement.... Actually, they were used to help ensure the executive team's lucrative exit. Is it illegal? Probably not. Is it immoral? I have little doubt.

59 posted on 12/10/2001 12:00:51 PM PST by ignatz_q
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To: ignatz_q
A company is not required to provide it, but once provided, ownership of that money belongs to the employee, not the company.

The key here is that the purchase of company stocks was a condition of the company providing the matching funds in the first place. In other words, the "compensation" was ultimately not supposed to be a cash contribution to the employee's 401(k) account, but a contribution of X shares of Enron stock.

It looks like the executives at Enron have simply exploited a gaping loophole in U.S. tax law. Suppose Enron stock is trading at $100 per share. If the company had a profit of $10 million dollars, they would have been forced to pay a substantial portion of it (say $3.5 million) in corporate taxes or paid it out in company dividends (where it would be taxed at individual income tax rates that could be as high as 39%).

Instead of exposing themselves and their shareholders to that kind of tax liability, Enron simply paid the money to their employees on the condition that it be used to purchase Enron stock. The $10 million "investment" in the company drives the stock up to $105 per share, at which time the executives sell off some of their stock at the higher price. The money they make on the stock sale is taxed as a capital gain, not income, which means that anyone holding the stock for more than twelve months pays no more than a 20% tax on their gain.

The employees have been exploited here in a sense that they thought they were getting much more than they actually received, and there was probably some kind of fraud involved if the auditing firm gave the company a clean bill of health. I would need to know exactly how a top auditing firm could screw this up so badly before I could say exactly who was at fault here.

60 posted on 12/10/2001 12:23:14 PM PST by Alberta's Child
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