Anatomy of Greed by Brian Cruver
The Unshredded Truth from an Enron Insider

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Synopsis

Brian Cruver was a firsthand witness to the disturbing, surreal, and hilarious moments of Enron’s long dance with death. When he first entered Enron’s office complex, “the Death Star,” he was the epitome of the Enron employee: young, brash, sporting a shiny new MBA, and obscenely overpaid. From his first day, however, when he was told that some colleagues hadn’t really wanted to see him hired, he found himself in the middle of a venal greed machine whose story unfolded with all the absurdity and frustration of a tale by Kafka crossed with Tulipomania and Liar’s Poker. While Cruver’s book examines the accounting tricks, the insider stock trades—and in a special section, how the grossly lucrative fraudulent partnerships were structured and funded—it also describes everyday life as an Enronian—cocky wheeling and dealing, the sex ’n keg party on the trade floor, casual conversations at the shredder, and the insidious group-think that made Enron employees unquestioningly accept propaganda spoon-fed them by Ken Lay, Jeffrey Skilling and others, such as Tom White, then Vice-Chairman of Enron Energy Services, now Secretary of the Army under George W. Bush. Part of a team with rare “double” access to both external customers and internal systems, Cruver reveals the twisted reality behind the world’s perception of Enron as one of the world’s great corporations. Demonstrating a clear understanding of how business issues intertwines with human foibles, Cruver exposes Enron’s flaws in an entertaining way all readers can understand. A portrait of the author as a young Enronian, Anatomy of Greed reveals the sting of reality, humility, and pain felt by a man whose idols turned out to be fools and scoundrels, and who learned that there is more to life than stock options. Soon to be a TV/film drama, this is a gonzo chronicle that goes behind the scenes to chart the decline and fall of the world's weirdest and richest business cult.
 

About Brian Cruver

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Brian Cruver was a senior manager at Enron until the collapse, then was among 4500 workers laid off on December 3, 2001 - the day after Enron filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. He lives in Houston with his wife.
 
Published September 2, 2003 by Basic Books. 384 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences, History, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

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While sometimes sophomoric and self-satisfied, Cruver’s narrative has several virtues, among them its explanation of how Enron’s culture reflected the personalities and ambitions of Lay, a consummate politician (Cruver guesses that Lay had been preparing for a run at high public office before the...

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Because of his comparatively low-level status within the company and lack of real access to the company's inner workings, Cruver's awareness of Enron's financial problems was essentially limited to the same press releases and newspaper accounts the general public saw.

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