Power Failure

  • by Mimi Swartz, Sherron Watkins
  • Narrated by Henry Leyva
  • 5 hrs and 53 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From inside the walls of Enron, a lone whistleblower attempted to avert the course of events leading to the largest bankruptcy in American history. On August 16, 2001, Sherron Watkins wrote an anonymous letter to Enron's Chairman, Ken Lay, laying out problems with Enron's use of partnerships to hide debt. She warned of a possible scandal that could topple the company if investors and the news media learned of the operations. Then, she revealed her identity and confronted Lay directly. Lay did nothing, and the scandal broke, sending Enron's stock price into the basement and wiping out the life savings of many thousands of people. Hear how Enron's culture of greed and the relentless cutting of moral corners led to the ultimate disaster, as told by an insider.

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What the Critics Say

"Swartz paints the most detailed portrait yet of the company's ambitious executives and toxic culture." (Business Week)
"The book offers particularly strong perspective on some of Enron's wilder escapades... It does a stunning job of chronicling the power games within Enron." (Publishers Weekly)
"Riveting to the reader who knows that Enron ended in bankruptcy but has no knowledge of what life was like inside the organization." (New York Times Book Review)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

ENRON (Light)

A light read that broadly covers the rise and fall of ENRON. If you are looking for juicy gossip you won't find a lot of it in here...nor will you find much in detail...nor will you find much outside of the author's knowledge. All-in-all a moderate recommendation but I would suggest that there are better recountings elsewhere. Rate this one about a 3 - recommended with reservations. A good "beach" listen.
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- Karen

Complex . . . but good.

This is a complex tale that doesn't stop to educate the listener on business and investment terms. The minutia of the business transactions may frustrate some listeners, however the big picture should be easily understood by most all. It is a shocking realization of how corporations can manipulate their earnings to meet earnings projections and satisfy stockholders.
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- Brian

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-28-2003
  • Publisher: Random House Audio