Enron's former CFO was at the University of New Mexico last week speaking about, well, fraud and stuff because that's pretty much the only thing you can do when you're a well-known convicted felon who played a part in bringing down your former company and a prestigious accounting firm. Water under the bridge and all […]
The ex-CFO of Enron, oh humbly, asks: "If the internal and external auditors and lawyers sign off on it, does that make it okay?" History has shown us that, "that all depends." However, maybe things have changed? [via HBR]
Technically! He’ll be in a halfway house until later this year (BOP says December 17) but getting out of the big house has to feel good.
However, Drew won’t be able to apply for a position at one of those Chinese companies who are losing CFOs left and right. He still has to get reacquainted with society and whatnot:
“It’s a bridge, if you will, a transition period,” said bureau spokesman Edmond Ross. The purpose of the halfway house is for prisoners to reestablish family ties and adjust to society outside of prison, he said. Prisoners are allowed to leave the facility to go to their jobs, but their movements are still controlled. “They cannot come and go as they please,” said Ross. “Their lives are restricted to the rules of the halfway house.”
First things first, Andy – Twitter account. Oh, and maybe subscribe to our enewsletter.
They already share a first name.
Other than that, they probably don’t have much in common but does anybody else have a problem with the fact that the head of the energy trading unit that Citigroup sold to Occidental last year is setting up a hedge fund?
It would be an entirely different situation if Andrew Hall were leaving Occidental to do this, but he isn’t. Instead, he will wear both hats simultaneously.
That sure sounds like a clear conflict of interest to us. After all, fee structure of a hedge fund clearly incentivizes Hall to favor its investors over Occidental’s, though the oil company has a 20 percent equity stake in the fund.
The FT doesn’t explore this issue for some reason, referring merely to the fact that the two companies will be run “separately” and that the trades will be done “in parallel,” whatever that means.
And the article’s point about this deal having an air of history about it seems woefully misplaced.
Forget the fact that Hall’s hedge fund, Astenbeck, is named after a village near the historic German castle he owns. The more telling historical reference has to do with the conflict of interest. Indeed, the last time we saw a conflict this clear-cut was when Andrew Fastow ran some of Enron’s key off-balance-sheet partnerships while serving simultaneously as its CFO.
It was the disclosure of that particular factoid in a footnote that helped prompt short seller James Chanos to question Enron’s financial results back in early 2001.
And maybe this is just a coincidence, but Enron was an energy trading company as well. Remember Get Shorty?
As a side note, my colleague Matt Quinn wonders if Hall’s hedge fund will attract a lot of Citigroup’s former fund investors, and even draw Citigroup itself as an investor. That would certainly make sense if the bank is forced to get out of proprietary trading, as the Obama administration is proposing. Plus the bank would get to benefit from trading without having to reflect the risk on its balance sheet.
But the big question is, would Citi and its investors be treated better than Occidental’s shareholders?
The honor goes to Stephen Kunken, best know for his role as James Reston in Frost/Nixon. He will be alongside Norbert Leo Butz who will be playing Jeff Skilling.
We located the list of the cast for the London production of Enron and there is a role for “Arthur Andersen” and two for “Lehman Brothers” so these key roles still need to be filled.
Back to the future Tony winner; we don’t envy the research that Kunken has ahead of him since we’re assuming that he’ll have to channel the book cooking prowess of AF. Then again, since he’s an actor, he only has to pretend to know what he’s talking about with regard to accounting and financial reporting; there’s accountants out there doing that every day.
Kunken Will Play Enron CFO on Broadway [Playbill]