23 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2004
In this article, I explore the contention of Jeffrey Skilling, former Enron CEO, that Enron's debacle was due to a perfect storm of events. I reject his contention, arguing instead that Enron's downfall was more like Titanic's - hubris and an over-reliance on checks and balances led to Enron's downfall. I then explore how character (especially of those at the top of an organization) can lead to Enron-like disasters, and I talk about how cognitive dissonance can lead to very smart people making very stupid decisions. I end with some musings about how lawyers can learn from Enron.
Keywords: Enron, professional responsibility, lawyers, corporate culture, cognitive dissonance, Titanic
JEL Classification: M14, M52, Q40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Rapoport, Nancy B., Enron, Titanic, and The Perfect Storm. Fordham Law Review, Vol. 71, p. 1373, 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=498122