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Political Connections and Enron's Meltdown

January 14, 2002

The knee-jerk retort of Republicans whenever it is pointed out how they always favor the well-to-do over the needy is that those who are doing the pointing are guilty of "class warfare." As if policies that favor only one small segment of our society to the detriment of the vast majority are not class warfare but being critical of it is.

Now we have the Enron scandal. The biggest bankruptcy in the history of our country. A handful of executives (including pals of our "compassionate conservative" president) made untold hundreds of millions of dollars by selling their stock, which they knew was overvalued, and then destroying incriminating documents (Jan. 11). All this while thousands of men and women working for Enron lost their life savings after they were prevented by company rules and company rulers from selling the stock in their pension plans. Oops, there I go again. Class warfare.

Ronald Rubin

Topanga

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I can hear the hand-slapping among the Democrats regarding the Enron bankruptcy. Here is their chance to take the emphasis off the vilification of the Clinton presidency. Before they get too elated, they should be aware that Enron gave millions of campaign dollars to both Republicans and Democrats. Many Democrats are enjoying their place in office from the coffers of Enron. It's going to be interesting to see who is going to prosecute this company, since everyone had their hands out at one time or another.

Carol Lindsey

Ventura

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I will be looking for The Times to give the American people a full, fair and unrelenting reporting of the tangle of associations between Bush administration members and Enron. I feel that if ever a special prosecutor was called for, this is the time. I do not think considerations concerning the war in Afghanistan should deter this investigation. President Clinton proved that it is possible to continue doing the business of the country even though the Republicans carried on a full-time, full-term investigation of everything they could think of.

Now is the time for the U.S. to show the world that we practice what we preach--justice for all!

Beverly Gaye Scofield

Santa Maria

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Reading your articles about the debacle of the Enron meltdown, in which only those at the top were allowed to cash out their investments, and the lush profits reaped by the Carlyle Group, an investment company with good connections and employees from former Republican administrations (Jan. 10), I thought about Joseph E. Stiglitz. Stiglitz recently was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics. His thesis is that economic transactions are not guided by pure market forces because all parties to the transaction do not have equal knowledge. He calls this "asymmetrical knowledge." He states that regulations are needed to provide a more level playing field.

The guiding hand of markets is invisible because it does not exist. A simple and obvious concept that is making news daily.

Marion M. Powers

San Clemente

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