we got we got to sit down in the front04:56row there were three empty seats are my04:58sister and my friend and I we were all05:00there and we sat there for four or five05:02hours watching the debate and in the05:05vote and I’m telling you it’s not likeit is on c-spanthese fan is such a you knowtwo-dimensional flattens everything outvery strictly framed you don’t get theperipheral vision on c-span one of the05:19things I tell my crew and I if I if I’m05:23allowed to when I’m invited to the film05:25schools to talk to students I always05:27tell them that you’re gonna find more05:29truth in the peripheral hmm then in the05:32in the spot-on because in the spot-on05:34you’re getting the official story you’re05:37getting me you know whatever it is they05:40want you to report but what’s going on05:42over here what’s going on around you if05:44you have a sense of trying to pay05:46attention to that you’ll find these05:47things that that you’ll never see in a05:50documentary or in a movie or on the05:52nightly news and so what I saw from that05:57front row of the gallery last Wednesday05:59was both a bit exhilarating and06:04frightening exhilarating in the sense06:06that you could see that on the06:08Democratic side that they many of them06:11had found the courage of their06:13convictions had found their their soul06:15their guts to stand up for this even06:18though the polls show it’s kind of a06:2150/50 in the country on impeachment a06:23little more in favor of it but06:26nonetheless a risky proposition06:28especially for a number of Democrats in06:30swing districts the fact that they would06:32take that stand in such a profound way29:13electoral states remember Hillary only29:14lost Michigan by two votes per precinct29:18that’s it and it’s not because lunch29:20bucket Joe stayed home you know or voted29:24for Trump it’s it’s because the the when29:28they talk about the working-class Amy I29:29just accessorize me crazy oh you know29:31Trump won all these working-class votes29:32in Michigan in Pennsylvania no what29:35happened was is that the Democratic29:36Party didn’t stand up in the way that29:40they should have for what the youth29:41wanted for what people of color neededand and the the there are 90,000 peoplein Michigan almost 90,000 who went tothe polls mostly Democrats and verylarge numbers of them in Detroit FlintPontiac Saginaw all these are all blackcities majority black they stood in linein the cold for two to three hours tovote they went in there and they votedfor state Rep state Senate CountyCommission we don’t have dogcatcher wehave drain commissioner the person incharge of the sewage that’s the lowestname on the ballotthey stood there they voted for theDemocrats all down ballot and left thetop box blank 19th only lost Michigan by10 11 thousand votes 90,000wanted to send a message to theDemocratic Party you forgot us a longtime ago out here and we will not put upwith us anymore we’re not gonna vote forTrump but we’re not gonna we’re not30:36going to tolerate you sending us another30:38Republican White Democrat if we go that30:42route if we go that route it’s30:44guaranteed we will lose the electoral30:46college we will win when we put somebody30:48on that ballot that excites the base30:51women people of color young people when30:55they wake up that morning they feel the30:56way that many of us many of you watching30:57felt the morning that you were gonna in30:592008 and you were gonna get to go and31:01vote for Barack Obama and you couldn’t
Enron: Making Money in the Financial World – Stock Market, Commodity Trading Scandal (2005)
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room is a 2005 documentary film based on the best-selling 2003 book of the same name by Fortune reporters Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, a study of one of the largest business scandals in American history. About the book:McLean and Elkind are credited as writers of the film alongside the director, Alex Gibney. The film examines the 2001 collapse of the Enron Corporation, which resulted in criminal trials for several of the company’s top executives; it also shows the involvement of the Enron traders in the California electricity crisis. The film features interviews with McLean and Elkind, as well as former Enron executives and employees, stock analysts, reporters and the former Governor of California Gray Davis.The film won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary Feature and was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 78th Academy Awards in 2006. The film begins with a profile of Kenneth Lay, who founded Enron in 1985. Two years after its founding, the company becomes embroiled in scandal after two traders begin betting on the oil markets, resulting in suspiciously consistent profits. Enron’s CEO, Louis Borget, is also discovered to be diverting company money to offshore accounts. After auditors uncover their schemes, Lay encourages them to “keep making us millions”. However, the traders are fired after it is revealed that they gambled away Enron’s reserves, nearly destroying the company. After these facts are brought to light, Lay denies having any knowledge of wrongdoing. Lay hires new CEO Jeffrey Skilling, a visionary who joins Enron on the condition that they utilize mark-to-model accounting, allowing the company to book potential profits on certain projects immediately after the deals are signed…whether or not those projects turn out to be successful. This gives Enron the ability to subjectively give the appearance of being a profitable company even if it isn’t. Skilling imposes his Darwinian worldview on Enron by establishing a review committee that grades employees and annually fires the bottom fifteen percent. This creates a highly competitive and brutal working environment.Skilling hires lieutenants who enforce his directives inside Enron, known as the “guys with spikes.” They include J. Clifford Baxter, an intelligent but manic-depressive executive; and Lou Pai, the CEO of Enron Energy Services, who is notorious for using shareholder money to feed his obsessive habit of visiting strip clubs. Pai abruptly resigns from EES with $250 million, soon after selling his stock. Despite the amount of money Pai has made, the divisions he formerly ran lost $1 billion, a fact covered up by Enron. Pai uses his money to buy a large ranch in Colorado, becoming the second-largest landowner in the state.With its success in the bull market brought on by the dot-com bubble, Enron seeks to beguile stock market analysts by meeting their projections. Executives push up their stock prices and then cash in their multi-million dollar options. Enron also mounts a PR campaign to portray itself as profitable and stable, even though its worldwide operations are performing poorly. Elsewhere, Enron attempts to use broadband technology to deliver movies on demand, and “trade weather” like a commodity; both initiatives fail. However, using mark-to-model accounting, Enron records non-existent profits for these ventures.Enron’s successes continue as it became one of the few Internet-related companies to survive the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, and is named as the “most admired” corporation by Fortune magazine for the sixth year running. However, Jim Chanos, an Enron investor, and Bethany McLean, a Fortune reporter, question irregularities about the company’s financial statements and stock value. Skilling responds by calling McLean “unethical”, and accusing Fortune of publishing her reporting to counteract a positive BusinessWeek piece on Enron. Three Enron executives, including CFO Andrew Fastow, meet with McLean and her Fortune editor to explain the company’s finances. Fastow creates a network of shell companies designed solely to do business with Enron, for the ostensible dual purposes of sending Enron money and hiding its increasing debt. However, Fastow has a vested financial stake in these ventures, using them to defraud Enron of tens of millions of dollars. Fastow also takes advantage of the greed of Wall Street investment banks, pressuring them into investing in his shell entities and, in effect, conduct business deals with himself.
Bethany McLean, Author, “All The Devils Are Here”
Bethany McLean, author of “All The Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis,” discusses life after the Enron scandal and the economic recession.
Vanity Fair’s Bethany McLean took a critical look at the fracking industry in America.