As shocking as the Enron debacle has been, it pales in comparison with the potential implications of the Andersen scandal. There always have been and always will be companies that attempt to cook their books. Regular outside audits under the presumably watchful eye of the SEC were established after the crash of 1929 to protect investors from such crooked practices. What Andersen's aiding and abetting of Enron's dishonest dealings has done is to discourage Americans from putting their money anywhere but under their mattresses, because how are we to know that any audit is for real? That is a recipe for another Great Depression, and legitimate enterprises will be punished along with the bad apples. Enron was crooked, but Andersen is by far the greater criminal.
How stupid do [former Enron CEO] Kenneth Lay and his wife think the public is? Mrs. Lay describes their present financial situation as "nothing left" (Jan. 29). I'm sure it's quite different from the employees' "nothing left." The Lays really give capitalism a bad name.
In "Enron's Run Tripped by Arrogance, Greed" (Jan. 27), about Enron's practice of pushing the envelope for every rule, you failed to state the obvious: Every deal Enron made was hammered out in negotiations with executives, attorneys and accountants of other companies. By focusing solely on Enron's apparent transgressions, you are missing the story.