WASHINGTON – Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., and Ranking Member Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., sent letters to four federal regulatory agencies Friday to determine what the agencies knew about how Enron was run and whether they could have done anything to avert the company’s collapse.
The letters seek information about agency communications with Enron Corporation and its accountant, Arthur Andersen LLP, as well as any concerns, complaints, investigations or enforcement actions involving Enron, dating back to 1992.
The letters underscore the Governmental Affairs Committee’s commitment to ensure that federal regulatory agencies are doing all they can to protect the public interest and to prevent a future Enron from occurring. Five thousand people lost their jobs, thousands more lost billions of dollars in savings, and the U.S. capital markets have been shaken as a result of the deceptive business practices that led to Enron’s bankruptcy and the failure of anyone inside or outside the government to anticipate it.
“We want to know where the watchdogs were,” said Lieberman. “Was there anything they could have done to prevent the financial loss experienced by so many hard-working people and is there anything they can do to prevent a similar loss in the future?”
“I am pleased to be able to join Chairman Lieberman in pursuing information to further the Governmental Affairs Committee’s investigation into the collapse of Enron Corporation,” said Thompson. “I believe the American people deserve to learn what role federal agencies did play, could have played, or should have played over the years in helping to avoid or mitigate the failure of Enron.”
Letters, dated February 15, were sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the Labor Department. The Enron subpoena, in addition to information about the company’s contacts with the four agencies, also seeks documents regarding bonuses and deferred compensation paid to top company management, as well as information regarding severance pay for lower-level employees. A second subpoena was issued to Arthur Andersen seeking information about its contacts with federal regulatory agencies regarding Enron. Please click the link below, and scroll to the bottom of the page for links to the letters.