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Posts Tagged ‘Enron

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


There is more to life than simply increasing its speed.
Mahatma Gandhi

I took a speed-reading course and read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It involves Russia.
Woody Allen

There’s lots of skepticism about the virtue of speed.  Still, when demand is high, “time is money”… a lesson not lost on The Broad Group, a Chinese company that has long been successful in manufacturing and selling ingenious environmentally-friendly central air conditioning systems powered by natural gas and/or waste heat, and that has now moved onto “sustainable building.”

Broad’s approach to construction involves careful planning, the use of prefabricated elements– and speed.  Broad Sustainable Buildings erected the 6-story Broad Pavilion in Shanghai Expo 2010 in 1 day, the 14-story New Ark’s Hotel near Broad’s headquarters in 6 days, and the Broad Pavilion at 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference in 8 days.

But their most recent feat is surely their most audacious:  a 30-story tall hotel prototype, raised in 360 hours– accomplished a week after the same team built a 15-story building.

click to see a time-lapse video of the hotel going up

Read Jim Fallow’s Atlantic piece on Broad and its leader in pdf here.


As we watch the skyline change before our eyes, we might recall that it was on this date in 2001 that California used rolling blackouts to cut off power to hundreds of thousands of people.  Gov. Grey Davis declared a state of emergency and ordered the Dept. of Water Resources to buy and sell electricity to help alleviate the crises; PG&E defaulted on $76 million in short term debt.

Exactly one year later, on this date in 2002, Enron, whose trading arm had manipulated the energy market and contributed mightily to the power shortages in California (and elsewhere), “fired” accounting firm Arthur Andersen, citing its destruction of thousands of documents and its accounting advice.  (For its part, Andersen said its relationship with Enron ended in early December, 2001, when the company slid into the biggest corporate bankruptcy in U.S. history.)



Written by LW

January 17, 2012 at 1:01 am

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