September 26, 2005

Book Short: The Most Rapacious Guys in the Room

Book Short: The Most Rapacious Guys in the Room I just finished The Smartest Guys in the Room, by journalists Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind. This is the story of Enron, and what a tale it is! The book is a good quick business novel read. It reminded me a lot of Barbarians at the Gate, except that it made me far angrier. I’m not sure if that’s because I’m at a different place in my career now than I was 10 years ago and therefore have a different appreciation for what goes on in companies, or if the Enron guys were just far worse than anyone surrounding RJR Nabisco. But in any case, as my Grandpa Bill would have said, this one certainly raised my hackles. Anyway, I can’t even get into the details without working myself into a frenzy about these crooks, but suffice to say there are lots of “what not to do” lessons in this book, starting with CEO Ken Lay’s wuss-like, disconnected approach to leading the company and ending with CFO Andy Fastow’s insane rationalizations for using the company as his own piggy bank. Anyway, I thought it would just be easier to just list […]