The Financial Times takes a deeper look at Enron and the events surrounding its collapse in our special series of features on the collapsed energy trader.
Feeling the heat
In early 2000, as they rode the wave of what would become the longest economic expansion in US history, America's chief executives could do little wrong. They were lauded by the media, highly rewarded by shareholders and largely left alone by regulators and lawmakers. That era has long since passed, given a final kick into history by the collapse of Enron, the energy trader.
Enron ties itself up in knots, then falls over
In their only public statements since Enron filed for bankruptcy on December 2, top company executives have blamed its demise on a collapse of confidence in financial and energy markets.
But public documents filed before the collapse, and others that have since emerged, reveal that the seeds of destruction were sown among a network of affiliates established by the energy trader.
Enron: virtual company, virtual profits
As congress prepares for an intense round of questioning of Enron directors and officials, there is a growing suspicion that at the heart of the once-mighty energy trader was a financial hole.
Evidence is accumulating that the Houston-based group, which boasted of being asset-light, may also have been light on profitability at core operations.
Enron chief scorned asset division
It was a tale of two businesses. Enron's aggressive trading arm, promoted by former chief executive, Jeffrey Skilling, brought it stock market favour, a rocketing share price and its eventual demise. The other part, largely concerned with developing and running energy generation and transmission assets, was scorned by Mr Skilling, who spoke of creating an "asset-light" company.
Commissions culture drove Energy Services offshoot
Although the internal report published by Enron's board blamed the company's collapse on the energy trader's top executives, a Financial Times investigation reveals that mid-level executives in at least one major Enron division, Energy Services, (ESS) also used the aggressive accounting that contributed to Enron's demise.
The day the lights went out at Enron
Jeffrey Skilling, former Enron chief executive, testifies to a congressional committee portraying himself as a distant, sometimes shambolic figure who had no idea that millions of dollars in debtswas being stashed into off-balance sheet partnerships. "The Enron corporation was enormous," Mr Skilling told investigators. "Could I have known everything going on everywhere in the company?"
Enron: big bucks from a company
With politicians from Colorado to Washington admitting they were beneficiaries of Enron, it is clear the influence of the nation's seventh largest company was wide. In Enron's home state of Texas, it was also deep. Those who tracked the company's 15-year transformation into the country's biggest energy trader say Enron had the loyalty of Texas until it collapsed.
The days that Enron shook the world
Enron's collapse was felt from the company's Houston headquarters across the globe to the boardroom of a Japanese auto components maker and the shareholder assemblies of Australian banks. This FT focus looks at the shockwaves from Enron's bankruptcy as they rippled round the world 10 days after its December 2 Chapter 11 filing.