The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

Enron Redux?

04/17/2010

Years ago, I was lucky not to have been one of the many investors who lost money in the Enron debacle. About a year before their fall, Enron got into trouble with the State of California about electricity rates. It quickly became apparent that the people at Enron enjoyed a very high opinion of their own intelligence. Remembering that “pride goeth before the fall”, I got out. It is no small irony that the best-selling book about Enron was later titled “The Smartest Guys in the Room”.

Last month, I sold Goldman Sachs for largely the same reason. Intelligence becomes over-rated and dangerous when it becomes hubris. Their current legal difficulties are no surprise, and I have no plans to ever buy GS again. Maybe, it is true that justice comes in many guises. I hope so!

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