Re "Watkins Depicts Fear at Enron," Feb. 15: On Valentine's Day, Sherron Watkins became America's sweetheart. Enron had the (so-called) best and brightest CPAs and attorneys. Watkins went against the grain and stood up to those stuffed shirts. If there were more Sherrons in the country, there would have been no Internet bubble (which turned undeserving young insiders into overnight millionaires) and the resulting downfall, with many hard-working people and the retired losing their last penny.
Watkins should be appointed to the chairmanship of the SEC. This is the great thing about America: For every greedy, sleazy CEO there is a Sherron Watkins.
Marina del Rey
Hmm, let's see. If, as Watkins says, Ken (Lay) was bamboozled by Jeff (Skilling) and Andy (Fastow), why did Ken take the 5th? Methinks there was (and, for all we know, still is) something rotten in the state of Enron (a.k.a. Texas). No wonder Dick's (Cheney) cave is almost as hard to find as Osama's.
Why are Skilling, Lay and the others in Enron who filled their pockets with money pretending that they were not aware of the shady dealings in their company? For the millions of dollars that they were paid in salary and bonuses, it was their business to know and keep track of what happened in the company. That's what they were being paid for. If they truly did not know the goings-on, then I deem that they were the most well-paid bunch of incompetent employees in history.
As Congress drags the officials of the Enron scandal before the TV cameras, I can only turn away in shame and embarrassment. These people are products of our own making.
The modern corporation has become completely dysfunctional, and we have made it so. It denies every mandate of modern life such as sustainable growth, biodiversity, political development and social equality. If it dares to honor the claims of the workers, the environment or the community, we take it to court for bypassing an opportunity for profit.
We have made large corporations profoundly inhuman. Competition, coercion and exploitation are essential aspects of their activities, all motivated by the desire for unlimited expansion. We have insisted that the market is value-free and should be allowed to operate outside the realm of ethics and morality. The officials of Enron are pawns in our own game. Our addiction to the market has made us all moral midgets.
William H. DuBay
The Enron executives should be allowed to make one final trade before they are given any just penalty for the fraud they have committed. Trade $1 million in cash for every one-year reduction in jail sentence.