Oct 25, 2006

"When I Shook Skilling's Hand, It Was Limp..."

Jeffrey & Me
By Jason Leopold

The conclusion to the ongoing Enron saga was anti-climactic. Jeff Skilling, the company's former chairman and chief executive, will spend the next 24 years in a federal penitentiary after being found guilty by a federal court earlier this year of insider trading, wire fraud, conspiracy and other charges related to his involvement in the financial machinations that led to Enron's demise five years ago. The one-time high-flying energy company is now nothing more than a symbol of 1990s/Millennium-era corporate greed and Skilling its public face.

For Skilling, however, the realization that he will be spending the next two decades holed up in an eight-by-six foot cell has yet to set in. A month ago, he was arrested for public intoxication near his wife's home in Dallas. Last year, he was arrested in New York on similar charges. It's sad, really, to watch someone of Skilling's stature, the architect of the company's transformation from a pipeline owner into an energy trading powerhouse, a person who believed so passionately in the power of the free market that at one point in his career he helped an Enron employee develop an idea she had to trade weather derivatives in the open market, to fall so spectacularly and so publicly.

When I met Skilling in December 2001 at the Washington, DC, offices of his law firm O'Melveney & Myers, the firm he hired to represent him in matters before Congress and the Securities and Exchange Commission, there were no signs of the meltdown that was to come. But he was certainly knee-deep in the first stage of grief: denial.<more>

On a side note: NEWS JUNKIE has been on the top 50 of Amazon.com's Top 100 books for nearly two weeks and is also a Los Angeles Times Bestseller--without the benefit of mainstream U.S. press coverage.

Jason should be proud particularly happy because his book was published by an independent, Process Media/Feral House Books. This is an amazing accomplishment for them and for independent publishing in general. Bully!

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Blogger Quzi Formerly CC said...

Good Morning Justice Bloggers and Fitzie!

What an image of the Wall Street analysts "experts"...Enron appearances, appearances...sounds like the playbook of the corrupt, hypocritical GOP in power now!

Interesting read again, Jason!...

9:09 AM  
Blogger Patrick J. Fitzgerald said...

Jason, I hope you forward a copy of your book to Jeffrey in the pen.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Jackie said...

Skilling is still in denial and looking for a way out. The appeal is the last window. Maybe the Bush team will intervene and not let Jeff do the 24 years. Look they saved Kenny boy with his fake death. Now I know what all of you are thinking but remember this most baby boomers didn't know who deep throat was and thought they wouldn't here the name in our life time yet it happen. So I believe Kenny will get caught.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great job, Jason! I'd love a signed copy too.

When are you coming to Columbus to visit the FreePress and promote your book?

9:53 AM  
Blogger teak said...

Jason Leopold is now my favorite reporter thanks to that "lady" prosecutor that directed us blog dummies to his articles.

I rarely email but I did when Jason was down and was surprised that he emailed me back pronto. He cares about his work, his country, his fellow citizens, and democracy.

Keep writing, Jason. Your country needs you more than ever. Don't lose your empathy, it makes you who you are...wiser, stronger, a great reporter.

11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kudos to Jason for a heckuva job! LOL

He is one of the best reporters today! :)

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everytime I hear that name...Skilling...I think of Skittles candies! LOL

2:07 PM  
Blogger Bubby said...

"So I believe Kenny will get caught." Miss Jackie, from your lips to God's ears.

SPB I have a question for you. Where do these crooks actually do their time? When I hear comments about the orange jumpsuits and 8X6 cell it makes me wonder. Where is The Dukester? Where is Ney going? And what do you think about Skilling wanting to postpone the beginning of his sentence until after his appeal? That just doesn't seem fair to me.

3:48 PM  
Blogger Special Prosecutor Biloxi said...


I just saw your message. I will answer your questions on the top of tomorrow morning. I have been busy today and will be for the remainder of the evening. but good questions. But, I promise that I will answer you. I found out what type of strategy that Skilling's lawyers will use in Skilling's appeal. So, I will comment on that tomorroe morning.. See you tomorrow. Good night! Biloxi out!

7:26 PM  
Blogger Special Prosecutor Biloxi said...

Great article by Jason! I have corresponded with Jason from time to time. And he has a true understanding of the Enron scandal than the MSM. I am proud of Jason for his accomplishments in his book but overcoming his challenges and his deep depression in his past life. He is a very good journalist and person. Congratulations on your book, Jason!


11:33 AM  

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