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Politics and Economy:
The Enron Story
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Were there any clues to indicate the impending collapse of Enron? NOW's on-air report explores suspicions about Enron's business practices, and talks to the people that knew Enron best — its employees and business partners.

The Enron situation is extraordinarily complex. Enron was the world's largest energy trader. Enron's demise is the largest bankruptcy in American history. Here are a few of the facts that you need to know.

Enron Must-Knows

Num. of Enron employees:  21,000
Enron stock high and low:  $90/60¢
Num. of seated U.S. Senators who took Enron campaign contributions:  71
$ amount of Enron political contributions 1990-2002:  $5.9 mill.
Enron's off-the-books liability (est.):  $690 mill.
Est. Enron loss to employee 401Ks:  $1.2 bill.
Sources: NPR, THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE ECONOMIST, FORBES, and the Center for Responsive Politics
Impact: Legislation that will change the way American business and politics work is likely to result from this very public debacle. There are at least ten Congressional committees and two federal agencies investigating the situation. Early predictions suggest that a campaign finance reform bill, earlier stalled in the House, will come up for debate again soon. Congress is also looking into limiting the percentage of 401K funds that an employee can hold in company stock. Accounting firms are also likely to come under greater regulation — especially the "special purpose entities" — off balance sheet partnerships that held so much of Enron's debt.

Read Bill Moyers' commentary on Enron's place in history.

Listen to NPR: The History of Enron download RealPlayer
Listen to NPR: Enron Employees download RealPlayer
Listen to NPR: What Happened? download RealPlayer
Listen to NPR: Enron's Accounting download RealPlayer
Listen to NPR: Enron and Campaign Finance download RealPlayer
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