[By Nic Lindh on Monday, 06 March 2006]
The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron is an exhaustively researched and beautifully written indictment not only of a corrupt company, but also of a business climate that fostered and encouraged such companies.
The unethical, not to mention illegal, financial shenanigans undertaken by Enron and supported by accounting companies and banks are breathtaking in their scope, to the point where if this were a work of fiction instead of reporting, it would stretch suspension of disbelief so far as to be laughable. But unfortunately for all the people robbed of their life savings by Lay, Skilling, Fastow, et al., it is indeed reporting.
The books succeeds admirably in telling the tale of Enron’s rise and fall, and delivers especially well when it comes to painting the human side of the company. The greed and arrogance on display in the book is mind blowing.
The Smartest Guys in the Room is required reading.