The fallout from the Enron scandal resonates 20 years later. The innovative yet ethically compromised energy giant filed for bankruptcy protection on Dec. 2, 2001, prompting a chain of significant events that changed how corporate America conducts business.
Enron’s off-balance-sheet accounting practices spurred Congress to pass the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which impacted corporate accounting, auditing and financial reporting practices.
Enron actively pushed to deregulate energy markets around the country. Major energy-producing and consuming states like Texas and California still have largely deregulated energy markets today.
Enron’s investment in wind power resulted in Texas mandating utilities use renewable power sources. As you write stories about Enron’s legacy, please consider these faculty subject matter experts from the University of Houston:
Experts from UH C.T. Bauer College of Business and UH Law Center:
- Barbara Carlin, instructional associate professor and director of Inclusive Leadership Initiatives, Department of Management & Leadership, can offer insight on the ethical decision processes at Enron and the strategic decisions that led to the flawed decision making.
- Curtis Wesley, assistant professor, Department of Management & Leadership, can speak about Sarbanes-Oxley and the corporate governance of firms thereafter as well as white-collar crime.
- Sana Chiu, assistant professor, Department of Management & Leadership, can speak on how top managers, in particular CEOs, can lead to the downfall of some large corporations like Enron, covering topics like executive power, hubris, and lack of vigilance from the board.
- Art Smith, adjunct faculty, Gutierrez Energy Management Institute, can discuss Enron’s impact on the energy trading business.
- Victor Flatt, co-director of UH Law Center’s Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Center, can speak about energy deregulation and what Enron’s downfall suggests about environmental enforcement.