Sen. Carl Levin Senator6@levin.senate.gov
Tue Mar 5 19:00:04 2002

Dear Friend:

Thank you for contacting me about the Congressional inquiries into the
collapse of Enron. Enron was the largest energy trading company in the world,
and at one point, it was listed as the 7th largest corporation in the United
States. Yet the company abruptly collapsed, upending the lives of thousands of
Enron employees and shareholders.

Enron's collapse also rattled the American people's confidence in Wall
Street and the federal agencies that oversee it. Now, it is alleged that Enron,
with its auditor Arthur Anderson, issued misleading financial statements;
engaged in corporate conflicts of interest; shredded documents while under
investigation; pursued insider profits at the same time employees were losing
their hard-earned savings; hid debt; and took earnings that are taxable in the
U.S. and using offshore paper entities, mainly in the Caribbean, converted them
to nontaxable earnings.

Americans in record numbers now rely on the stock market for their financial
security including their retirement savings, college education for their
children, quality care for elderly parents and adequate money for their
retirement. Investors and employees rely on the expectation that corporate
executives and board members are acting in the best interests of the
stockholders, according to their duty, and that the information companies pass
along to the investing public is accurate and trustworthy. That is why the
situation surrounding the collapse of Enron is so disturbing.

The American people deserve an explanation for this debacle and legislative
action to close any loopholes.

The Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI), which I chair, is one of
the subcommittees that has initiated an investigation the Enron Corporation.
The PSI is looking at the role of the Enron Board of Directors; the role of
Arthur Andersen; and Enron's use of offshore entities.

Enron's deceptions and accounting gimmicks are clearly unacceptable. The
Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations is planning to hold hearings on the
Enron collapse later this year after we have had the opportunity to thoroughly
examine the facts of the case.

It may be that Enron and Andersen broke laws or it may be that the principal
scandal is what passes for legal conduct in today's marketplace. But in the
interim, we must take steps to ensure that no other company is permitted to use
deceptive corporate structures and accounting practices to hide information
concerning their financial health from stockholders and employees.

I will be sure to keep your views in mind as we proceed through the
investigation. Best wishes.


Carl Levin - Senator6@levin.senate.gov 


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