Remember The Smartest

It’s always hard to relate to hunger when you’ve just downed a great five-course. But that’s the way our cognitive mind operates. It understands only the greed of our present, not the fear of the future. “That stock you were going to buy 6 months ago is soaring.” our conscious says.

But then we rationalize and tell ourselves to wait and see what becomes of the investments we own yet to soar. The only thing worse than being stuck in traffic, is getting into another lane as the lane you just came from begins to move. Our objectives remain within the margins of safety. We don’t gamble for no good reason. “Remember Enron” we tell ourselves. After recently watching “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room“, it comes to light how truly brilliant they were, almost fooling us in our faces with a motto like “Ask Why”.

Remember how so many were fooled by so few. How much good money was speculated on a company that embraced risk for the sake of greed, convincing us they knew how to make green stuff appear out of thin air (pun intended). Profits in the Billions, no balance sheets, no questions.

Remember the pension funds lost as executives retired with millions. Remember how much trust the public had in the seventh largest corporate body in the world of international finance. And then recall how fast so much money evaporated into the same unknown it originated from.

Remember how the masses speculated so blindly that the greatest cannot fail nor falter. And how stupefied the populace felt thereafter.

Remember the reporters who were so easily intimidated by corporate executives who personally flew down to their oppressors to express in person their magical schemes.

Remember how the leaders of such a celebrated organization, Lay and Skilling, were able to seamlessly encouraged employees to invest their life savings into this faulty enterprise while they, in discretion, unloaded their accounts.

Remember the secret funds of LJM1 and LJM2 hiding the company’s debts. Remember California, the government deregulation, the fraudulent marked-to-market accounting methods and the firms that had it overlooked.

Remember well, for Enron was not the first and will not be the last. Notice that what we know today is merely from the tapes, documents and testimonies that were not destroyed, shredded or manipulated.

Remember, for tomorrow shall be no different, and those who act foolishly will pay a heavy price while those who act based on logical judgment can at least stand confidently with the odds in their favor.

Ask why. Challenge the conventional thinking of humankind for it is so frequently proved to be erroneous. And remember that even the greatest can fall. Ask why.



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