Euphoria, risk and corporate scandal: Enron and the commercial corruption of expertise within financialised captialism
Watson, Matthew, Ph.D. (2008) Euphoria, risk and corporate scandal: Enron and the commercial corruption of expertise within financialised captialism. Working Paper. Coventry: University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation. (Working papers (University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation)).
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Individual investment decisions are guided by the knowledge that is presented by financial experts about the future prospects of firms. The integrity of the financial system depends on the expert community maintaining its independence in the face of firms’ attempts to impose their own commercial interests as the perspective through which expert assessments of their prospects are undertaken. The dramatic nature of Enron’s collapse in the autumn of 2001 was intensified by the fact that it occurred on the back of a three-year period of exceptional growth in its stock market valuation. With hindsight, this period can now be shown to be evidence of Enron’s successful ‘capture’ of expert opinion, such that a post hoc evaluation of the public pronouncements of financial experts appears to reposition them as ostensible company stakeholders. The paper focuses on: the strategies deployed by Enron’s senior managers to effect this capture of expert opinion; the reasons why the company had become so dependent on good news propelling stock price increases that its managers felt compelled to adopt such a strategy; and the implications of the commercial corruption of expertise for the sustainability of finance-led growth regimes.
|Item Type:||Working or Discussion Paper (Working Paper)|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HG Finance|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Enron Corp., Financial risk management -- United States, Public interest groups -- United States, Stock exchanges -- United States|
|Series Name:||Working papers (University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation)|
|Publisher:||University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation|
|Place of Publication:||Coventry|
|Number of Pages:||42|
|Status:||Not Peer Reviewed|
|Access rights to Published version:||Open Access|
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