Who destroyed Enron? It depends who you ask.
Enron’s board of directors faults Arthur Andersen’s sketchy bookkeeping. Andersen passes the bucks (billions of them) to rogue auditor David Duncan. Duncan fingers Enron’s management for hiding losses in dubious off-the-books subsidiaries. Enron management whacks former Chief Financial Officer Andrew Fastow for setting up the sleazy subsidiaries. Fastow shrugs the responsibility up the hierarchy to former CEO Kenneth Lay. Lay complains that business journalists are persecuting Enron. Those journalists, in turn, push some guilt for the Enron debacle onto giddy stock analysts who didn’t understand the company they were touting. The stock analysts hide behind the excuse of the dot-com boom, which befuddled everyone. … And that’s not to mention President Bush, Congress, the bankers, the lawyers, and so many other potential culprits.
The blame-passing is enough to whiplash the most seasoned scandal-monger. No one can keep track of who’s been accused of what—which is why Slate brings you the Enron Blame Game.
Click here to play the game.
(The game requires Macromedia Flash, which you can download free here.)