Remarkably, it was just two years ago that Enron was thought to epitomize a great New Economy company, with its skyrocketing profits and share price. But that was before Fortune published an article by McLean that asked a seemingly innocent question: How exactly does Enron make money? From that point on, Enron's house of cards began to crumble. Now, McLean and Elkind have investigated much deeper, to offer the definitive book about the Enron scandal and the fascinating people behind it.
Meticulously researched and character driven, Smartest Guys in the Room takes the reader deep into Enron's past—and behind the closed doors of private meetings. Drawing on a wide range of unique sources, the book follows Enron's rise from obscurity to the top of the business world to its disastrous demise. It reveals as never before major characters such as Ken Lay, Jeff Skilling, and Andy Fastow, as well as lesser known players like Cliff Baxter and Rebecca Mark. Smartest Guys in the Room is a story of greed, arrogance, and deceit—a microcosm of all that is wrong with American business today. Above all, it's a fascinating human drama that will prove to be the authoritative account of the Enron scandal.
This inside look at that 17-year cycle of growth, built upon interviews and unparalleled access to the most important analysts, market observers, and fund managers who eagerly tell the tales of excesses, presents the period with a historical perspective and explains what really happened and why.
with a new afterword by the author
Of the thru-hikers who set out to walk the entire Appalachian Trail, most don't make it. Robert Rubin's chances didn't look good. Thirty-eight years old, dispirited, and burned out by a job he no longer loved, he decided to leave mortgage and wife and cul-de-sac life behind for a journey that could take half a year—or perhaps never end. On the trail's wooded ridges, Rubin found himself part of a strange vagrant culture of pilgrims and dropouts, a world with its own rules and rituals. With eloquence and humor, he recounts his trek—the people he met, the landscapes he passed through, the spiritual and physical endurance involved (despite a diet heavy in Snickers bars and macaroni & cheese, he lost seventy-five pounds along the way). On the Beaten Path is a wise, witty look at one of the few remaining pilgrimages in our disillusioned age.