Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Enron and Derivatives

32 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2002  

Frank Partnoy

University of San Diego School of Law


This paper was written in response to a request by the United States Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs for testimony on Enron's involvement in financial derivatives. The paper argues
that Enron essentially was a derivatives trading firm, not an energy firm. It explains the transactions Enron used to generate false profits and to hide losses, and the failure of Enron's internal controls with respect to derivatives trading. It also addresses the question of why key gatekeepers - including
banks, accounting firms, law firms, and credit rating agencies - failed to uncover information about these transactions and control failures. The paper is based on interviews of current and former Enron employees, and on a review of key Enron documents.

Suggested Citation

Partnoy, Frank, Enron and Derivatives. Available at SSRN: or

Frank Partnoy (Contact Author)

University of San Diego School of Law ( email )

5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
United States
619-260-2352 (Phone)
619-260-4180 (Fax)

Paper statistics

Abstract Views