Thursday, May 09, 2002

Death Star

The "Death Star" strategy is described as permitting Enron to be
paid "for moving energy to relieve congestion without actually moving
any energy or relieving any congestion." --Washington Post, 5/8/02

The internal memos describing Enron's manipulation of the California power markets are astonishing and damning. And it now seems likely that all of the major energy trading companies that did business with the state of California engaged in similar conduct. So what we have before us -- Exhibit A, if you will -- is an entire industry sector doing deals outside the ethical envelope. Enron's lawyers helpfully point out that what was done was not illegal. And one suspects they said so without a trace of irony or regret.

These revelations from FERC, I suspect, will go a long way toward re-electing California Governor Gray Davis (D), who maintained all along that the state's power crisis was the result of corporate manipulation and malfeasance. There were a number of other factors that contributed to the California power crisis, but Mr. Davis now has the perfect scapegoat squarely in his cross-hairs. Pulling the trigger will be his pleasure. And rarely has a company so deserved to be blown to bits.