Extended Audio Sample

Download Power Failure: The Inside Story of The Collapse of Enron Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Power Failure: The Inside Story of The Collapse of Enron Audiobook, by MiMi Swartz Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (77 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: MiMi Swartz, Sherron Watkins Narrator: Karen White Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2002 ISBN: 9780736697934
Regular Price: $25.00 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $20.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

“They’re still trying to hide the weenie,” thought Sherron Watkins as she read a newspaper clipping about Enron two weeks before Christmas, 2001. . . It quoted [CFO] Jeff McMahon addressing the company’s creditors and cautioning them against a rash judgment. “Don’t assume that there is a smoking gun.”
Sherron knew Enron well enough to know that the company was in extreme spin mode…

Power Failure
is the electrifying behind-the-scenes story of the collapse of Enron, the high-flying gas and energy company touted as the poster child of the New Economy that, in its hubris, had aspired to be “The World’s Leading Company,” and had briefly been the seventh largest corporation in America.

Written by prizewinning journalist Mimi Swartz, and substantially based on the never-before-published revelations of former Enron vice-president Sherron Watkins, as well as hundreds of other interviews, Power Failure shows the human face beyond the greed, arrogance, and raw ambition that fueled the company’s meteoric rise in the late 1990s. At the dawn of the new century, Ken Lay’s and Jeff Skilling's faces graced the covers of business magazines, and Enron’s money oiled the political machinery behind George W. Bush’s election campaign. But as Wall Street analysts sang Enron’s praises, and its stock spiraled dizzyingly into the stratosphere, the company’s leaders were madly scrambling to manufacture illusory profits, hide its ballooning debt, and bully Wall Street into buying its fictional accounting and off-balance-sheet investment vehicles. The story of Enron’s fall is a morality tale writ large, performed on a stage with an unforgettable array of props and side plots, from parking lots overflowing with Boxsters and BMWs to hot-house office affairs and executive tantrums.

Among the cast of characters Mimi Swartz and Sherron Watkins observe with shrewd Texas eyes and an insider’s perspective are: CEO Ken Lay, Enron’s “outside face,” who was more interested in playing diplomat and paving the road to a political career than in managing Enron’s high-testosterone, anything-goes culture; Jeff Skilling, the mastermind behind Enron’s mercenary trading culture, who transformed himself from a nerdy executive into the personification of millennial cool; Rebecca Mark, the savvy and seductive head of Enron’s international division, who was Skilling’s sole rival to take over the company; and Andy Fastow, whose childish pranks early in his career gave way to something far more destructive. Desperate to be a player in Enron’s deal-making, trader-oriented culture, Fastow transformed Enron’s finance department into a “profit center,” creating a honeycomb of financial entities to bolster Enron’s “profits,” while diverting tens of millions of dollars into his own pockets

An unprecedented chronicle of Enron’s shocking collapse, Power Failure should take its place alongside the classics of previous decades – Barbarians at the Gate and Liar’s Poker – as one of the cautionary tales of our times.


From the Hardcover edition. Download and start listening now!

BK_BKOT_000239

Quotes & Awards

  • A lucid account of the Enron debacle that may be the best informed and best written to date. Andrew Hill, Financial Times
  • A compelling history of Enron . . . offering a savvy interpretation of its subject. Washington Post Book World
  • Paints the most detailed portrait yet of the company’s ambitious executives and toxic culture. Business Week
  • Colorful, movie-treatment narrative style Entertainment Weekly
  • The book most Enron watchers have been waiting for. New York Daily News
  • Reads like Tom Wolfe himself. Daily Telegraph

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Juli | 12/24/2010

    " Fascinating inside look at the Enron culture. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael | 1/6/2010

    " Sherron Watkins was an Enron insider who had much to gain and lose in this book. This is not the history to read, but does provide a unique insider's perspective. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 10/12/2004

    " I learned so much from this book. Saw corporate dishonesty from the inside. Really enjoyed it. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Mimi Swartz is an executive editor at Texas Monthly and won a National Magazine Award in the public interest category in 1996. She has been a staff writer for The New Yorker and Talk, and has written for the New York Times, Vanity Fair, and Esquire. She lives in Houston with her husband and son.
About the Narrator

Karen White is a classically trained actress who has been recording audiobooks since 1999. An Audie Award finalist, she has earned numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards. Her reading of The Hemingses of Monticello by Annette Gordon-Reed was named one of AudioFile’s Best Audiobooks of 2009.