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Contribution to Book
Enron, Titanic, and The Perfect Storm (Enron book version)
Enron: Corporate Fiascos and Their Implications (2004)
  • Nancy B. Rapoport

In this essay (updated from the earlier Fordham Law Review version, I explore the contention of Jeffrey Skilling, former Enron CEO, that Enron's debacle was due to a perfect storm of events. I reject his contention, arguing instead that Enron's downfall was more like Titanic's - hubris and an over-reliance on checks and balances led to Enron's downfall. I then explore how character (especially of those at the top of an organization) can lead to Enron-like disasters, and I talk about how cognitive dissonance can lead to very smart people making very stupid decisions. I end with some musings about how lawyers can learn from Enron.

  • Enron,
  • professional responsibility,
  • lawyers,
  • corporate culture,
  • cognitive dissonance,
  • Titanic
Publication Date
March, 2004
Nancy B. Rapoport & Bala G. Dharan
Foundation Press
Citation Information