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Posts Tagged ‘corruption

I’m so blue…


Readers can try their hands at recognizing the identifying hues of tech brands, NFL teams, and NHL clubs at Name that Blue.

[TotH to @mattiekahn]


As we cogitate on color, we might recall that it was on this date in 2001 that energy high-flyer Enron (which had blue, among other colors, in its logo) declared bankruptcy.  The company, to that point a widely-cited exemplar effective corporate management (Fortune named it “America’s Most Innovative Company” six years in a row), turned out to have been innovative in an altogether different way: it was revealed that Enron’s performance– it claimed revenues of nearly $101 billion during 2000– was largely the product of institutionalized, systematic, and stealthily-executed accounting fraud.  In the aftermath, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was passed; Arthur Andersen, the auditing firm that certified Enron’s results (and was, in the most charitable construction, asleep at the switch) went out of business; 11 financial institutions (among them, Deutsche Bank and Citicorp) paid over $20 billion dollars into the bankruptcy creditors’ account in recompense for having colluded with management… and “Enron” became synonymous with “corporate fraud and corruption.”



Written by LW

December 2, 2013 at 1:01 am

From the Department of Stuff-I-Didn’t-Know…


The horseshoe crab plays a vital, if little-known, role in the life of anyone who has received an injectable medication. An extract of the horseshoe crab’s blood is used by the pharmaceutical and medical device industries to ensure that their products, e.g., intravenous drugs, vaccines, and medical devices, are free of bacterial contamination…

More at The Horseshoe Crab.

[Thanks to friend Erik Speckman]


As we watch where we wade, we might recall that it was on this date in 1959 that Governor Earl Long of Louisiana (the brother of former Governor Huey “The Kingfish” Long, and self-described “last of the red-hot poppas” of politics) was committed to the state mental hospital in Mandeville for erratic behavior (that included a very public dalliance with ecdysiast Blaze Starr). Long and his staff discovered that Louisiana law allowed him to continue to govern even in confinement, so he worked the phones to keep his machine rolling.  Long had Jesse Bankston, the head of the state hospital system fired, and appointed a new director, who declared him sane.

Illustrating the time-honored principle that “it takes one to know one,” The Kingfish averred (in explaining why he was supporting a rival candidate in a gubernatorial election), “Earl is my brother but he’s crooked. If you live long enough he’ll double cross you.”

Earl Kemp Long, Governor of Louisiana for three non-consecutive terms


Caveat emptor…

From Least Helpful, “Daily Dispatches from the Internet’s Worst Reviewers”…


As we hone our critical faculties, we might recall that it was on this date in 193 that Didius Julianus (Marcus Didius Severus Julianus Augustus) out-bid his rivals in an auction to become Emperor of Rome; the sale was held by the Praetorian Guard, which had just assassinated the prior Emperor, Pertinax.  The method of his ascension and his bone-headed moves on taking power (e.g., arbitrarily devaluing Roman currency) precipitated the Roman Civil War of 193-197…  but Julianus didn’t live to see the outcome; he was murdered in his palace three months after acceding to the throne, and succeeded by Septimus Serverus.

 Didius Julianus (source)

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