DOMESTIC politics have returned powerfully to the United States, as further revelations have come out over the collapse of energy giant Enron. As Socialist Worker showed in its 8 December issue, the scandal will reverberate for a long time to come.
The White House is full of senior officials who own Enron stock. Economic adviser Larry Lindsay and trade representative Larry Zoellick went straight from Enron's payroll into office.
The biggest shareholding is that of army secretary Thomas White, a former Enron executive who held stock options worth between $50 million and $100 million. Some 29 company executives grabbed $1.1 billion by selling company shares between mid-1999 and mid-2001. The stock price was kept high by a series of reports which Enron now admits overstated profits by $400 million.
Financial mechanisms prevented workers from selling share options they had taken out as a way of saving. These are now worthless. The latest revelations have hit British accountants Arthur Andersen. The company has admitted that it destroyed Enron documents, both paper and electronic. Enron is also linked to New Labour through a series of donations to the party.