Thursday, August 01, 2002
Good journalism: If you haven't been reading The Washington Post's series on the fall of Enron, you're missing out. The latest installment is here.
I know you've heard it before, but I'd like to point out the following paragraph:
That same day, Robert E. Rubin, the former Treasury secretary now with Citigroup Inc., called Peter R. Fisher, an undersecretary of the Treasury. Rubin asked what Fisher thought of the idea of calling the rating agencies to encourage them to work with Enron's bankers to see if there was an alternative to an immediate credit downgrade. Fisher responded, the Treasury said later, that he didn't think that was a good idea. He didn't make a call.
With the new disclosures that Citigroup was "loaning" money to Enron in such a way that it would show up as income and not debt, the investigations by Congress, particularly the Senate, should include a little talk with Rubin. What did he know and when did he know it? Also, why the heck did he make that phone call in the first place? For a brilliant man, that phone call was an extremely stupid move.