Poor Little Kenneth
Poor Kenneth Lay. Just this time last year he was riding higher than bacteria on a gnat inside the ear of a giraffe with a hyperactive pituitary. And now the Powers That Be are starting to pile on like he was a secret member of the Taliban's high command and they discovered his black turban on a shelf in the closet behind the gay porn tapes. All because Enron reportedly put a few employees' retirement in a bit of jeopardy, and Kenny Boy -- as our hero President is wont to call him -- might have sold a couple of shares of Enron stock while the company was experiencing their minor financial setback.
It turns out there is an extremely logical and reasonable explanation for this "suspicious" behavior. Mr Lay was not trying to ditch his stockholders and employees, but merely trying to raise some quick cash. To put it in the simplest of terms, for the "layman": he used his millions of dollars in Enron stock to repay loans made to him by the company and then he would take out more loans to repay money he owed on his other investments. That's all.
Of course Mr Lay was concerned about Enron's health! That's why, on Sept. 26, he used an online chat to urge employees to buy Enron shares because the stock was "an incredible bargain" -- which it was. Its an even better bargain now. Huge bargain, as a matter of fact.
You know what? I think people are just jealous. And indignant. And pissed. And outraged. And bitter. And angry. Just because Enron didn't pay any income taxes four out of the last five years. Although whose fault was that? The shred-happy accounting firm of Arthur Anderson, that's who. And weren't they fired last week? Of course they were. By who? Enron. See, problem discovered, action taken.
Of course, nobody cares what happens to Mr Lay. Who's wringing their hands over the fact that this persecuted American has had to stay liquid by selling most of the properties he owns and pays taxes on all over this great nation of ours? No one. We're talking 3 out of the 4 homes he owned in Aspen, Colorado. Now this beleaguered CEO only has one destination to stay while skiing. How is one supposed to entertain when the help is staying in the same 12 bedroom manse as the guests?
The only consolation is that, though his name will be dragged through mud by a vengeful media, the man himself is destined to receive justice. It is very doubtful any of the 10 Congressional investigating committees will be able to form a quorum for even considering an indictment. After all, 250 out of 535 members of Congress received campaign contributions from Enron and that doesn't include the Attorney General's office, which has recused itself. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure everyone in DC except for Monica Lewinsky has recused themselves from this investigation.
Perhaps Mr. Lay will take some solace from the price an old Enron ethics manual fetches on eBay right now -- over $250, if it's in mint condition. Which they all are, since none of them were ever used. Hopefully Mr Lay has a couple of cases of old manuals laying around the garage.
Will Durst is thinking of raiding his penny jar and buying a thousand shares of Enron. Who wants in?