Enron, Jeff Skilling, White Collar Crime

Jeff Skilling: The Blogs Weigh In

As it turns out, we’re not quite alone in lamenting the quasi-life sentence handed out to Jeff Skilling yesterday. Twenty-four years seems an awfully long time for what Skilling was convicted of to a lot of other folks as well.
• Larry Ribstein says “the lynch mentality that has surrounded Skilling and Lay is appalling” and notes that Skilling got “13 years longer than Al Capone.”
• Ellen Podger asks “If we are so intent on punishing the wrongdoer with heavy prison time, then how can we accept Andrew Fastow being sentenced to 6 years, or Scott Sullivan receiving 1/5 of the sentence received by Bernie Ebbers. It becomes clear that what we are really doing here is punishing individuals who exercise their right to a jury trial. And permitting the government to continue this practice is not proper.”
• Geoffrey Manne says: “…Skilling’s sentence is problematic not only because…it is probably disproportionate to the actual crime (which I take it is the point Dave wants to see the rest of us make about drug prosecutions), but also and primarily because the costs of excessive prosecution are so large.”
• And Christine Hurt explains why defending Jeff Skilling is hardly indefensible.
Wow. That’s a pretty smarty pants group of folks coming in on the DealBreaker tequila soaked Skilling Prison Blues side of things. Which is kind of scary. Usually when this many academic types start to agree with us we start wondering if we’ve got it wrong.

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5 Responses to “Jeff Skilling: The Blogs Weigh In”

  1. Joseph Pokalsky says:

    I worked at Enron for 6 yrs. from 1991-1996 and so I understand how the company worked. The operating division heads had a lot of latitude in how they reported earnings. While I can’t disagree with the jury’s verdict I do disagree with the Fed focusing mainly on Lay, Skilling and Fastow. Despite Fastow’s last affidavit they have ignored the division heads that sold hundreds of millions of dollars of stock while knowing the numbers they were posting were bogus.

  2. Jeff Mantel says:

    Comparing Skilling’s sentnce to that of al Capone is most interesting: Al Capone’s exploits did not cause tens of thousands of employees to lose their retirement security. Skilling’s actions did just that. He deserves what he got and more.

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