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Private Enterprise, Public Outrage

January 28, 2002

I was shocked and disgusted but somehow not surprised by a detail of Kenneth Lay's compensation structure nearly buried at the end of the story of his resignation (Jan. 24). You reported that Lay had a credit line of $7.5 million from Enron, meaning he could borrow that much from the firm at any given time for his personal use. He took advantage of this arrangement multiple times last summer, and then would repay the loan with his Enron stock, only to take advantage of the credit line once again.

All this was happening in the months just prior to his famous September speech exhorting his employees to buy the "undervalued" stock. Then Enron announced its worst quarter ever. Finally, I understand Lay's motives--they were in his own best interests. Of course.

Lynn Lipinski

Culver City

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Now that Lay has resigned as chairman of Enron, maybe the Bush administration can hire its old buddy as a consultant on privatizing Social Security. All that talent shouldn't go to waste.

Margaret Morris

Ventura

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