Former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling, who’s serving 24-years in prison on securities fraud, has lost an appeal to have his sentence overturned. The judges denied the request, but they did say the judge got the sentencing wrong, which might mean a lighter sentence. There’s no indication yet of when he’ll be resentenced, or how significant of a change will be made.
We have to think that the reputations of the Enron guys have been rehabilitated, somewhat, by the events of the last year. For one thing, we’ve seen much bigger crimes (Madoff), as well as deeper suspicions of government cronyism. Bush’s descritpion of Ken Lay as “Kenny Boy” now seems tame compared the incestuous relationship between Treasury and the banks.
And at the time Enron collapsed, we hadn’t yet seen a firm collapse so swifly and so everyone assumed there had to be a serious fraud. This year we’ve seen so many banks collapse, we’ve learned that panic and incompetence is enough to bring about a swift fall– no need for fraud.