Scene 1: Mark-To-Market Party, 1992
A party in a small office at Enron. Present are: Employees drinking champagne; Claudia Roe, a very attractive blonde woman of forty in a short skirt. She sticks close to the most powerful man in the room – Ken Lay, an easy, convivial man in his sixties, greeting and acknowledging every employee with practised southern hospitality; Andy Fastow, a nervy, lupine guy in his thirties, is circling with an unsettling grin.
Fastow is on the outskirts of the group of Employees, trying to ingratiate himself.
(to Roe)I loved your speech, by the way.
Employee 2 Really great speech.
Roe Oh, thank you so much.
Fastow Quite a party.
Employee I beg your pardon?
Lay How you doing. Good to see you.
Lay and Roe glide by this group, despite Fastow's outstretched hand.
(one eye on Lay)Just. It's great news. About mark-to-market.
Employee 2 Oh, the accounting system.
Employee We just came down for the champagne.
Employee 2 Tastes kind of sweet.
Roe Should we expect a speech from you, sir?
Lay No, Claudia, I don't think we need ourselves another speech right now. Informality. Colleagues enjoying themselves.
Fastow Look, even Ken Lay's here.
Fastow You think he plays golf?
Employee I don't know!
Lay magnanimously greets another couple of starstruck employees. He's like an avuncular politician.
Fastow Where's the guy who put this thing together?
Employee 2 What do you mean?
Fastow Jeff Skilling.
Employee No idea.
Fastow The mark-to-market guy.
Employee 2 Never heard of him.
Fastow Maybe he's not a big party guy.
Employee Maybe you'd get on(!)
Fastow Actually I always thought we would.
Lay Have I met the mark-to-market guy?
Roe Jeff Skilling. I don't know where he is.
Lay I've only got a half-hour here. Make sure I shake his hand.
Outside the party, Skilling straightens his suit, his hair. He looks like a bespectacled, overweight, balding accountant. He takes a deep breath.
He enters the party and finds himself a drink for confidence.
Fastow You can't get Lay away from Claws there. It's like she's his carer.
Employee You should go talk to him!
Fastow Yeah. You think I should?
Employee I think you should.
Fastow He's just a guy, I'm a guy.Yeah. This is how things happen!
Employee You go, girl(!)
(noticing Skilling)There he is.
Roe goes over to collect Skilling.
Employee 2 You're a son of a bitch.
Employee (Who is that guy?!)
Fastow strides over to introduce himself to Lay.
Roe Jeff, come over – Ken Lay.
Skilling 'Hi, how are you.'
Roe (sarcastic) 'Hi, how are you.' Ken Lay.
Fastow Hi there, Mr Lay.
Lay Hi there, you're not Jeff Skilling, / by any chance –
Fastow No sir, I wish I was, I'm Andy –
Lay Andy, Andy Fastow.
Fastow Yes sir!
Lay I make a point of knowing people, son.
Roe drags Skilling over to Lay.
Roe Ken –
Lay slaps Skilling on the back.
Lay Here's the guy! Jeffrey 'mark-to-market' Skilling. You know Claudia. Our star abroad.
Skilling I believe I may have seen her in Vogue.
Roe That was cropped from a profile in Forbes.
Skilling I'm surprised you find the time.
Roe I'm surprised you read Vogue.
Lay One of the fifty most powerful women, wasn't it?
Roe I don't recall.
Skilling Most powerful women?
Roe Number fourteen.
Lay That's the party I'd like to be at (!)
Skilling I remember. There was a great bit on Oprah and her dogs.
Roe We were talking mark-to-market.
Skilling I think one of her dogs was at number twelve.
Fastow I just wanted to say congratulations – mark-to-market, much more appropriate, much more transparent. Exactly the right thing.
Skilling Thanks. Are you –
Fastow Sorry. Andy, Andy Fastow, you hired me –
Roe This new accounting system, Jeff, you think it's worth celebrating?
Skilling You're not familiar with mark-to-market?
Roe I'm not an accountant.
Lay You settled for fourteenth most powerful woman in the world.
Fastow Mark-to-market's the accounting system for all the big investment banks / on Wall Street.
Roe Yes. But we are a gas and oil company.
Fastow No, no, you see –
Skilling We're an energy company. When you say 'gas and oil' people think … trapped wind and Arabs.
Lay (gesturing to staff) I've been explaining mark-to-market but people get all tied up in knots.
Lay In what sense?
Skilling There are people at this party who don't understand the idea?
Fastow Mark-to-market lets us show the future / profits. / Hugely liberating –
Lay / We know.
Skilling / I know. A group of people have worked their asses off to get the SEC to understand and approve this –
Roe And it's very much appreciated.
Skilling Everyone gets mark-to-market here, right?
Fastow exhales and glances at the group of employees who had teased him.
Fastow I've talked to some people, I don't know …
Skilling I've got slides I can bring down.
Skilling It doesn't kill you? Everyone standing around celebrating their ignorance –
Roe It's not a celebration of ignorance, Jeff, it's a party.
Skilling These people are getting paid.
He takes it upon himself to clink his glass to get everyone's attention. It's a surprise. Any speech would be deemed to be Lay's job.
Skilling Hi. Hi. Everybody. For those who don't know, I'm the reason you're here. I said I would only join this company if we started to use mark-to-market. What does that mean? Anybody? Well, it's a way for us to realise the profits we're gonna make now. If you have an idea, if you sign a deal, say that we're gonna provide someone with a supply of champagne for the next few years at a set price, every month whatever – Then that definite future income can be valued, at market prices today, and written down as earnings the moment the deal is signed. We don't have to wait for the grapes to be grown and squashedand … however the hell you make champagne. The market will recognise your idea and your profit in that moment. And the company will pay you for it. If you come up with something brilliant – you know, life is so short. If you have a moment of genius, that will be rewarded now. No one should be able to kick back in your job years from now and take all the credit for the idea you had.
Fastow They'll have to have their own ideas.
Skilling Right. This guy gets it. Any questions? Anyone not understand? OK, well. Have a party.
Skilling turns and walks back to Lay, Roe and Fastow.
Roe Nicely done
Skilling downs his drink.
Skilling I should have brought the fucking slides.
We see projections of the joys and stability of the 1990s.
Bill Clinton, the break-up of the Soviet Union, Microsoft, the Internet and the rise of the home computer and Intel, Friends, Nelson Mandela's election, images of Arnie in Terminator 2.
An Employee comes forward to speak to us.
Employee 2 (to us) The nineties. It's a time of little conflict internationally, the fastest growing economy there has ever been. And the fashions are pretty good too. There's a new administration; a president who plays the saxophone. He's a Democrat, but he understands the South.It feels – genuinely – like the most exciting time to be doing business in the history of the world. There's a feeling that the people who are gonna change things aren't in parliaments or palaces, but in corporate boardrooms all over the United States of America.
Scene 2: Afterparty
In a corporate boardroom, high up, Skilling and Roe finish having clothed, quick sex.
Roe I've been thinking about mark-to-market.
Skilling That's … concerning.
He is doing his trousers up. Roe is pulling down her skirt and straightening herself.
Roe Essentially, we are deciding what our own future profits will be.
Skilling No. The market is. You want to have this argument now?
Roe All I said is, we get to decide the profits. Why would that be anything but a good thing?
Skilling Right. But you're wrong.
Roe Spiky.Look at you! Look at your face!
Roe You just changed is all.
Roe I'll bet you were a real serious kid. My oldest is like that.
Skilling Not … really.
Roe You know, I read that it's better to hire people who were bullied at school. Cos, you know, they want it more. They've got inbuilt competition.
Skilling I wasn't bullied! I got things quicker. When you get things quicker, you begin to resent people who don't.
Roe You thought you were special.
Skilling No, hey, I was drunk when I told you that stuff … I don't want to get on the couch about it.
Roe Oooh! 'Whatever.'
Skilling You know what, we accept that some people are prettier than other people and their lives are probably easier, and we accept that some people are funnier – but if you're smarter, you're supposed to walk around like you're shamed by it. Like everyone's viewpoint is equally valid. Well, it's not, some people are fucking idiots.
Roe (laughs) Not here.
Skilling No, not here. Exactly.
They look out of a window over Houston.
Skilling I love a workplace at night. No banality.
Roe Before the market opens. The world waiting.
Skilling We need to talk about a thing.
Roe Ohh! Ken told you.
Skilling (lying) Yeah.
Roe Yeah. I like how you bring it up after you screwed me …
Skilling / What did he say to you?
Roe I'm not gonna break that confidence. But if you think when I'm president, you're getting special favours –
Skilling Wait, Rich is leaving?!
Skilling You're getting President?
Roe You said you knew!
Roe You are a real son of a … I can't / believe –
Skilling I was gonna say Susan and I have separated.
Roe Oh my God!
Skilling Rich is leaving Enron?
Roe Do I need to feel guilty?
Skilling Has Lay offered you the job?
Roe I can't be the cause of a marriage break up –
Skilling I can't believe he's going.
Roe We've only had sex three times.
Skilling Rich is leaving (!) And it's four times.
Roe Yes, Rich is leaving. And I had sex with you three times.
Skilling That is wrong, but –
Roe One, South America. Two, after the SEC announce- / ment. Three –
Skilling / You forgot the plane.
Roe How are you defining sex?
Skilling Sex. Penetration.
Roe We didn't have penetrative sex on the Enron jet! We fooled around. I went down on you.
Skilling That's penetration! I was penetrating your –
Roe Oh my God, well if you want to throw that in …!
Skilling I don't want to throw anything in (!) It doesn't matter, nothing will be penetrated any more.
Roe When did Susan leave?
Skilling Has he offered you the job?
Roe That's none of your business. When did your wife leave?
Skilling I left. She left. But I – left.
Roe I hope I'm irrelevant.
Skilling You are entirely irrelevant.
Skilling Will I have to call you Madam President?
Roe Come on, how old are you?!
Skilling I'm forty-two.
Skilling Oh God.
Roe Stop it. You're Harvard, you're McKinsey, you're running a whole division. You're just having a mid-life / (crisis).
Skilling It's not that.I just, don't think this is the world I want to live in.
Roe Don't talk that way.
Skilling I don't mean …I've just been thinking. Waking up at night with all these ideas.Ideas for here.You know, maybe every extraordinary thing that's ever happened was conceived by a man alone in a room at four in the morning.
Roe I think most acts of depravity too.Look, don't get all … I'm sure you've got ideas. I'll talk to Ken –
Skilling He doesn't get me. I didn't grow up on a farm.
Roe And you're a godless atheist.
Skilling I'd like to be the other thing. Be nice.
Roe It is nice.
She picks up her underwear and puts it in her handbag.You gonna go home?
Skilling shakes his head.
Skilling I'm going back to work.
She eyes him.
Roe As an addendum, can I just say, previously you had an incentive equal, I believe, to mine for not disclosing this. I'd like to stress that this and the other three occasions, or four if you're gonna be a high-school girl about it, are not to be discussed or recounted at any future date. And it will not be happening again.
Roe You got a Kleenex? I appear to be running.
Skilling gets a tissue out of his pocket. Roe takes it and gently wipes all the way up her inner leg, wiping off the ejaculate that has run down her thigh.
She tosses the Kleenex away deliberately casually and confidently strides from the office.
Scene 3: Ken Lay's Office, 1996
Bill Clinton (on screen) I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie. Not a single time. Never.
In another office, Ken Lay sits with Roe and Skilling sitting before him.
Lay When was Enron born? Was it in 1901 when the first Texas oilfield was discovered and Houston became the original oil town? Was it 1938 when Congress passed the Natural Gas Act regulating the energy industry, or in the eighties when Reagan freed it again?
Roe I would –
Lay Most folk'd say in 1985 when I oversaw the merger between Houston Natural Gas and Internorth to become head of a new unnamed company.
Skilling Sure, that would be –
Lay In the past folks thought the basic unit of society would be the state, or the church or, Lord help us, the political party. But we now know it's the company. And the family. And those things should be the same. A place where a group of like-minded individuals work for the betterment of themselves and for those they love. I believe in God, I believe in democracy and I believe in the company.Now I think it's right for Rich to be leaving, I think it's the right decision. It does put me in the position of needing myself a president.
Roe I imagine you'd want to indicate that Enron is not an old-fashioned, macho place to work.
Skilling 'Macho'. That's subtle.
Lay Where is our company going? I wonder which of you knows.
Pause. Lay leans back.
The competitors look at each other.
Roe Ken, before he talks over me here I wanna say –
Skilling I want to build a trading floor –
Roe He doesn't have the skills to manage / people effectively –
Skilling / A different sort of company. Hire the best graduates, if they're not top two per cent we don't want 'em. Make Wall Street look like Sesame Street.
Roe / Jeff has trouble relating to others. He doesn't remember names. He called a client stupid.
Skilling What client?
Roe Fan Bridglen.
Skilling I have no idea who that is.
Roe makes a 'see?' gesture
Skilling You're a politician, Claud. I've never claimed to be.
Lay Some of my best friends are politicians.You wanna build a trading floor?
Skilling Yes sir.
Lay For trading?
Skilling Ask me what I want to trade.
Lay What were you gonna say, Claudia?
Roe My vision. The international energy company. Enron: delivering gas and oil to the world.
Skilling (spits it) That's a parochial vision.
Roe The world is?Jeff, sometimes I wonder if you have anger issues.
Skilling Fuck you.Beat.Ask me. What. I would trade.
Lay What do you see us trading, Jeff?
Roe Brilliant (!)
Skilling Sure, we make it. We transport it. We sell it. Why don't we trade it? You gotta pull back and look at this thing from above. Why do we even have to deliver the gas at all?
Roe Well, we're a gas company, Jeff.
Skilling If we got a customer wants a steady supply of natural gas and we don't have a pipeline near them, what do we do?
Lay We buy the gas off someone who does have a pipeline there and we charge the customer a little more than we pay for it.
Skilling So let's always do that. Buy from someone, sell it on. In. Out. Without ever having to deliver the gas or maintain the pipeline. We're just dealing in the numbers.
Roe We should be focusing on building more plants.
Skilling God, if you could hear yourself. 'Build more fucking powerplants.' No imagination, go crazy – What about wind farms or hydro …?!
Roe Wind farms?! I'm sorry, I thought I was the only woman in the room.
Skilling We don't need the hard stuff.
Roe India, Africa – huge power requirements in the future –
Skilling That will take years! You really want to pay for people to go build pipelines along disputed borders, tribes with AK47s? You want that fucking mess – ?
Roe I think in the most volatile areas in the world it might be worth controlling their energy supply, yes.
Skilling Scratching around in the dirt. I'm not talking about pushing on an industry already in place. I'm trying to tell you … Ken, you've seen some changes in business since you started.
Lay Sure. I'm as old as the plains.
Skilling Well, it's time to evolve again. We have to. America doesn't have the natural resources any more. Not really. And that's good, that's fine. We have intellectual capital, and the best of it in the world. Look at the societies that do have the raw materials, how modern do they feel, really? Then take a landlocked, barren country like Switzerland. What do they do? They invent banking.We should be coming up with new ideas. About everything. Employ the smartest people we can find. And have 'em free to look at whatever they want, free from the old assumptions about what this company is.
Roe Sounds like hippy talk to me.
Skilling I'm not gonna patronise you by pretending you believe what you just said.
Lay You got one idea about trading.
Skilling I got plenty of ideas. Mark-to-market, energy trading, that's just the beginning.
Roe I can push through natural gas deals we already have experience of. You want power? Enron. India? Enron. South America? Enron.
Skilling Countries are meaningless.It's all going to be virtual. Oil and land run out.
Roe In which case, don't you think it's worth being the only people in the world with power plants?!
Skilling There is a whole, glistening, clean industry above what you're talking about that no one's even thought of yet.
Roe Except you (!)
Lay You see, I'm like Claudia. I like holding things. In our father's day, a man worked and he saw himself in his work. If he made a table, he saw himself in the table he made. It was part of him, and he of it. I am oil and pipelines.
Skilling My father was a valve salesman. I didn't want to grow up to sell valves. Tiny pieces of something bigger he never saw. There is a dignity to holding something, Ken. Butyour daddy was a baptist preacher. There's a dignity to giving people something they can't touch.
Roe Suddenly you have a 'calling'. Well, I find it distasteful.
Skilling I don't want to work for you. I feel I gotta say if Claudia takes this job I won't be staying.
Lay considers the younger man and his presumption.
(to Skilling)I think you should step out.
Skilling tries to maintain his dignity and leaves. Lay takes Roe's hand.
(to Roe)You know, you were always my favourite. But I'm offering Jeff the job.
As Roe's dreams are shattered, Skilling's dreams are made real.
The transformation of Enron. From discreet, regular offices, Skilling and Lay oversee it becoming an open-plan, free, shiny expanse.
It should feel like a physical liberation; a clearing of clutter.
Lay (to us) Henry Ford. There's a man folk think revolutionised things. He did not. He took people out of the equation. Of which I do not approve. No, the man who ought to be remembered is Alfred P. Sloane – Head of General Motors and a great philanthropist. There was a time when the cost of the automobile meant that most Americans could never afford one. And General Motors felt there must be a way to open up that market. Over at Ford, Henry didn't care. Ford felt that only a man who'd saved every single cent for a car deserved one. And if he had not the money, he should not have the car. Never mind that meant the automobile was only available to the very rich. Now Alfred P. Sloane said, well hang on a minute, if a man will pledge to pay the full amount of the car in instalments, over time, we will provide him with one. And when we do, he will use that car to travel to a place of work, where he will make more money than he might otherwise, thus he will use that very car in his effort to make good on his promise. And in such a way the common man was given access to the automobile. And in such a way General Motors overtook Fordas the most successful and profitable company in America. And in such a way, the world is changed.Today I am pleased to announce the appointment of Jeffrey Skilling to the post of President of the Enron corporation.
Skilling and Lay shake hands.
Skilling looks down at the Enron he envisioned beneath him: glass, reflective surfaces, futuristic design, open spaces, a huge trading floor.
Scene 4: An Orgy Of Speculation
Skilling Let's trade.
Above us somewhere there is a twinkle of gold. And then another of silver somewhere else. And then more – commodities like stars in the sky.
The sound of singing, each their own different song. It builds to an atonal babble of commodity prices and bids. It's a musical cacophony of the trading floor. Over time, the voices all conjoin to meet in a pure, single note. It is beautiful.
Voices sungGold. Up twenty-five.
The gold glints somewhere in the auditorium.
The voices and notes become an atonal mess again. Eventually blending to everyone singing a single note and price.
Voices sungAluminum. Down one.
A shimmer from aluminum.
And again the clamour builds up before finding a commodity value in one distinct harmony.
Voices sungNatural gas. Up five seventy-one.
Voices sungOrange juice. Down fourteen.
They split again into babble.
Voices sungPork belly. Up seven twenty-four.
This empty, beautiful purity in Skilling's head is interrupted by the reality of the Traders' arrival.
The Traders flood the stage. The stock price rises.
The chaos, the physicality, the aggression and shouting of a trading floor. This simmers to doing deals, buzzing on phones and computers making money. Overlap is fine.
A melee of sound and trading and speculation into –
Trader 5 I'm waiting on a call from Louisiana. Are you in play?
Trader 3 Speculation confirmed.
Trader 6 Spread's widened.
Trader 3 Another bid. What's the market doing?
Trader 5 What's the market doing?
Trader 7 Crude is up.
Trader 5 Gimme price.
Trader 7 Twenty-three.
Trader 1 Yes!
Trader 4 If market closes below twenty-one, this guy's fucked.
Trader 1 I really am.
Trader 2 You're fucked.
Trader 1 I lose a million.
Trader 6 Hey, it's at twenty-three –
Trader 2 For now …
Trader 5 That's off the back of upgraded / carbon price forecasts.
Trader 1 / Carbon price forecasts. Jesus Christ.
Trader 7 Dropping!
Trader 1 Oh fuck. I'm gonna lose a million dollars. Fuck.
Trader 3 Hey, market's not closed yet.
Trader 5 There goes your bonus.
Trader 1 Bonus ain't shit. I just don't want Jeff Skilling up my ass.
Trader 6 Chill, dude. Skilling gets it. He's a fucking trader, man.
Trader 3 You've drunk the Kool-Aid.
Trader 5 Tell him about last week.
Trader 6 Oh yeah. You were in Dallas.
Trader 4 Is this the shit with me?
Trader 6 Look at this kid, twenty-six years old – hey, you tell it.
Trader 4 So I had a big loss.
Trader 1 How much?
Trader 6 Tell him.
Trader 4 I got down twenty million / dollars.
Trader 8 Twenty million.
Trader 4 In one day.
Trader 5 whistles the loss.
Trader 4 It's not a good day.
Trader 5 And it's the day Jeff's coming down to visit the floor.
Trader 4 And I'm the skunk at the lawn party.
Trader 2 He's pacing and crying around the place.
Trader 4 It was twenty million dollars!'
Trader 6 'It was twenty million dollars!'
Trader 5 Any Wall Street bank'd push him off the roof then check his teeth for gold.
Trader 2 We thought it was hilarious.
Trader 4 You did. I remember that.
Trader 5 And Skilling's heard about the loss.
Trader 2 Sure he has.
Trader 4 There's nothing Skilling don't know. And he comes in, he makes a bee-line for my desk and everybody watches.
Trader 2 He goes over and he puts his arm round this fuck, in front of everybody and he says, what does he say?
Trader 4 He says, 'Only people prepared to lose are ever gonna win.' And he slaps me on the back and he leaves.
Trader 5 Slaps him on the back.
Trader 4 And he leaves!
Trader 2 True story.
Trader 4 And that's Jeffrey fucking Skilling.
Trader 2 Hey, anyone invited to Mexico here?
Trader 5 For what?
Trader 2 One of Skilling's death weekends, man! Rolling jeeps and motorcycles and wotnot. Someone's gonna fuckin die /
Trader 5 That is the coolest thing.
Trader 4 Dan Rice was on fire and shit / the last time.
Trader 2 And Fastow gets to go. Lapdog motherfucker.
Trader 7 Going up!
Trader 4 You seen that double-breasted douchebag? Thinks he's Sinatra.
Trader 2 What the fuck Skilling see in the guy?
Trader 3 We're going into electricity, a whole new market and you get Fastow to run it, I mean, really, Fastow?.
Suddenly, Fastow enters, all smooth self-importance. All the Traders react mockingly.
Trader 5 Oh jeez, here it is.
Fastow Yeah, hi. You gotta help with some figures. The electricity retail market.
Trader 3 You're kidding right? We're closing deals here.
Fastow I'm here on behalf of Jeff Skilling.
One of the Traders makes a 'whoo' noise.
Trader 2 We don't have shit on your retail markets. We're traders.
Fastow Just get me whatever numbers you've got on electricity suppliers you trade with, that's your fucking job.
Trader 2 No, that's your fucking job and you're asking me to do it. Skilling gets that, right?
Fastow goes for Trader 2, physically. He gets right in his face, aggressively.
Trader 5 Crude down six.
Trader 1 Fuck, man!
Fastow I don't have time for you to be whoever the fuck you are!
Trader 3 We don't have other companies' figures lying around, Andy. You gotta call 'em up.
Fastow Don't tell me what I got to do.
Trader 2 Is this guy serious?
Fastow touches him.
Fastow I'm very serious.
Trader 3 Whoa whoa whoa.
Trader 2 Come on then, motherfucker, you wanna play with the big boys?
Trader 2 shoves Fastow, who squares right up to him, fearless.
Trader 3 Come on, Fastow, you'll get destroyed.
He moves in to break it up.
Fastow is pulled away.
Trader 1 Oh God, crude's falling.
Trader 5 You're gonna take it in the ass.
Fastow I want that recorded.
Trader 3 I gotta fine you for that.
Trader 2 Fuck, Clem.
Trader 3 That was physical on the floor.
Trader 2 But it's Fastow!
Trader 3 I gotta take two hundred.
Fastow watches, pleased. Trader 2 reaches into his pockets and doles out a whole heap of bills on the floor.
Trader 2 Take five hundred. Cos I'm gonna finish.
Trader 2 swings around and hits Fastow, who, not expecting this, scrambles out of the way into other Traders, who all take a pop at him. Other Traders mock and physically berate him. One shows him his penis.
Fastow (That's illegal.)
As Fastow beats a hasty retreat he tries to maintain some dignity.
Fastow I'll remember that when I'm CFO.
Trader 2 Did everybody see that?
Trader 4 Big hat, no cattle. Motherfucka.
Trader 3 (genuinely staggered) Is it me or did that guy just come in here and say, tell me how to sell electricity?
Trader 5 I think he did.
Trader 3 Unbelievable. Market closing!
The bell rings for end of trading.
Trader 1 This is it, this is it!
Trader 4 What's the price?
Trader 5 Someone call it!
Improvisation of trading at its highest pitch.
Trader 4 Boom!
Trader 1 COME ON!
Trader 1 is delighted, sweating, filled with testosterone and joy.
Trader 4 You're one lucky fucking cock-sucking cash-loving son of a bitch.
Trader 1 (to us) I wish you knew. You're right. You were right. It's there in a number right in front of you and no one can dispute it. There's just you and the guy on the other end, and who can move faster and who can move smarter. But it's not just up here, there's something … primal. You never felt more alive in your life. Can tell by the movement of a guy across the floor what way things are going. You hear everybodyand also you hear one voice. Closest thing there is to hunting. Closest thing there is to sex. For a man, that is.
Lights of commodity prices over the faces of all the Traders, a sea of figures.
Alan Greenspan (on screen) (Clearly, sustained low inflation implies less uncertainty about the future, and lower risk premiums imply higher prices of stocks and other earning assets. But how do we know when irrational exuberance has unduly escalated asset values …) irrational exuberance … irrational exuberance …
Scene 5: Trimming The Fat
The sound of motorbikes revving, screeching brakes, the hum of manly pursuits.
Below: Enron gym. Skilling is on a running machine, in sports clothes. He's pushing himself and relishing the physical challenge.
Above: Ken Lay's office. Lay and Roe are meeting.
Below: Fastow enters the gym with trepidation in a suit.
Skilling Andy Fastow.
Fastow You want me to go wait somewhere?
Skilling This is the meeting. Get on.
He gestures to the running machine beside him. Fastow, nervous, takes off his shoes and jacket and gets on the machine.
Skilling immediately ups it to a run for Fastow.
Fastow I'm sorry I screwed up Electricity.
Skilling Yeah, you have. You know I was supposed to announce it on the tour today?
Fastow Yeah. I tried, I really –
Skilling I heard you got aggravated on some trader?
Fastow I –
Skilling They'll do that to ya.
Fastow I won't be mocked.
Skilling Is that right?
He can't help smiling a little. He ups Fastow's speed. Fastow tries to keep up.
Skilling You ever read those business books, How to Win Friends and… The Seven Secrets of Highly Effective People and shit like that –
Fastow Yeah, I –
Skilling Don't. It's bullshit. Read Dawkins, The Selfish Gene?
Fastow I don't know it –
Skilling Read Darwin.
Fastow Am I getting fired, Jeff?
Skilling By rights you should be out. I got this company running on Darwinian principles.
He ups Fastow's speed again.
Fastow redoubles his efforts.
Fastow Please don't fire me!
Skilling Charles Darwin showed how an idea can change the world. A single beautiful idea changed the way we look at everything.
Fastow That we're just animals?
Skilling No. We're more. Because now we understand our own nature. And we can use that.
Fastow Use it for what?
Skilling For business. Business is nature.
Fastow Like self-interest and competition?
Skilling Exactly. Money and sex motivate people, Andy. And money is the one that gets their hand off their dick and into work.
Roe I don't know if I can work under this regime, Ken.
Lay Come on now, Claudia.
Roe I mean it.
Lay I don't like this fighting. This is a family!
Roe Well, families fight! And Jeff doesn't listen to anyone.
Lay He could learn something from you in charm, I'll give you that.
Roe How am I supposed to head a division where ten per cent of my people are cut every time we have an evaluation?!
Lay It's the bottom ten per cent.
Roe Who don't get replaced! Or get replaced with really smart twenty-year-olds with no idea what's going on!
Lay It's a strategy! Gimme a break, Claudia, you gotta be nice to me today. It's my birthday.
Roe It is? Well, happy birthday, Ken.
Lay Fact I got a card from an old friend's son.
He passes it to Roe.
Roe 'Happy birthday, Kenny Boy! Now you're really old! Call me sometime. From W.'
Lay He ain't got the manners of his daddy. But I think we got a shot at the White House with him. Stick around, it's gonna get interesting.
Fastow I'm gonna have a heart attack.
Skilling That's cos you're weak.
Fastow I'm sorry I fucked up electricity!
Skilling What did you say?
Fastow I'm sorry I fucked up electricity!
Skilling I can't hear you!
Fastow I'm sorry!
Skilling presses the stop button on Fastow's running machine, hurling the younger man from his treadmill.
Fastow regains his balance and composure as Skilling calmly slows his own speed.
Skilling Never apologise, Andy.
He gets off his machine.Fact is, it's not all your fault.
An exhausted Fastow agrees physically while he pants.
Skilling Electricity's an industry with no competition, no natural selection. We're never gonna make real money till it gets deregulated.
Fastow Yes! Deregulate electricity and that market's ours.
Skilling That's what I'm looking for. It's a political decision though. Ken's dealing with it.
Fastow That's great. So I can keep my job?
Skilling Are you smart, Andy?
Fastow Yeah, I am.
Skilling I'm fucking smart. And I like guys with spikes. Ididn't know you had any till I heard about you taking on a pack of traders. Now that takes a special kind of stupid. But also balls. You started in finance?
Skilling Let's get you back there. I know your background, you're an abstracts man. Securitisation, Risk assessment. I never met anyone less suited to retail in my life. Let's get you down in finance. Where you can keep away from people.
Fastow Thank you. Yeah. I won't let you down.
Roe I won't let you down.
Lay What is it you want?
Roe I want to build a power plant in India.
Lay India? Nobody's in India.
Roe You wanna be the first? Jeff won't go for it, he doesn't even think outside the States. One power plant.
Lay 'One power plant!'
Roe It's India, Ken. The size of it. Don't you want some skin in that game?
Lay Okay, let's get you your power plant.
Roe I knew I could come to you.
Lay I understand your concerns about Jeff. But look, we got the stock analysts coming in today to rate the company. Let's see what Jeff Skilling means for the share price.
As Lay says 'share price' the share price is revealed; a figurative representation of the company's worth, represented by light somewhere on stage.
An Analyst enters and speaks to us.
Analyst (to us) An analyst rates a company's stock to the outside world. We're go-betweens. The first port of call for someone looking to invest their money. Where's safe? Where's profitable? We'll rate a company at 'Buy', 'Sell' or 'Hold'. Why trust what we think? Well. We know the world, we're from the world. We're employed by the biggest investment banks and brokerage firms so we know how it works. You need access to hear the rumours, to get the skinny. It takes years to get access, to build up knowledge. A company needs customers and good press maybe, but if it really wants to thrive? It's us they need to impress.
The analysts are Sheryl Sloman of Citigroup, J.P. Morgan and Deutsche Bank. All follow Skilling, enraptured.
As he walks around the space, various Employees approach Skilling with contracts for him to approve and sign. He smoothly signs though barely looks at them, treating them like autographs.
Skilling Ladies and Gentlemen, Enron is a new kind of company. You want to see the next big thing? It's in the minds of one of these people. We're not just an energy company, we're a powerhouse for ideas. No other company lets people work as freely and creatively as we do. If you hire only the most brilliant people you can create new industries, new economies and reinvent the old ones. Electricity will be deregulated, it has to be, and when it is, Enron will be right there, expanding our vision. The league we're in? We're not the Houston Oilers, we're not even the Dallas Cowboys. We're the whole damn NFL.
The Analysts line up and face the audience.
Skilling Now, let's see Citigroup.
Citigroup Analyst, after a drum roll, reveals her verdict:
Citigroup Analyst Strong buy!
The stock goes up.
Skilling And J.P. Morgan.
J. P. Morgan Analyst Strong buy!
The stock goes up.
Skilling And finally … Deutsche Bank!
Deutsche Bank (in German) Strong buy!
The stock goes up.
It's reached half of its full height. Skilling looks genuinely touched by this.
The Analysts become a barbershop quartet and sing.
J. P. Morgan Analyst singing
E-N-R-O-N, E-N-R-O-N, E-N-R-O-N, E-N-R-O-N.
If your company bank accounts need filling
He's available, and willing
To see to it that you make a killing!
Skilling, Skilling, Skilling, Skilling, Skilling,
Be boo doo wop wop ba doo!
The Analysts parade off.
Skilling Thank you for recognising our work and I'm happy –
He notices the stock price rise.I'm so excited –
He sees it rise again.I'm a little sad?It drops very slightly.Ha! I'm Enron.
He's delighted by his power and effect. Grinning at the recognition and level of belief.
Lay comes down and approaches his protégé.
Lay I got something for you, golden boy.
He hands Skilling a fifty-dollar bill.
Skilling What, are you tipping me, Ken?
Lay I'm handing out fifty-dollar bills to every employee I see. My money. This is the first time we've hit a fifty-dollar share price.
Skilling Is it right you're using the jet later?
Lay Yeah. Going to visit the kids.
Skilling The company jet?
Lay Time with the family. That's important.
Skilling Just thought we were getting you out to Washington?
Lay I'm stopping off in Washington. Bill and I are playing a little golf. I'll pretend I don't see him switching the balls in the rough.
Skilling But deregulation's on that agenda?
Lay Relax, will ya? These things take time.
Skilling OK, well, enjoy your kids.
Scene 6: Time Is Money
Daughter (voice-over) One, two, three, four, five, six … seven, six …
Skilling You can do this. Seven …
Skilling's Daughter appears somewhere high up, not close to him.
Daughter Show me the money!
Skilling (amused) God, I can't believe your mother let you watch that.
Daughter Show me the money!
Skilling OK, once more, but you count with me this time.
He gets a stack of one-dollar bills out of his pocket and begins counting them out ostentatiously, as a familiar game.One, two, three, four, five, six, seven … come on! / Seven …
Daughter Seven, eight, nine, ten!
Skilling Good girl. Eleven, twelve … How long you think before I've counted out a million dollars?
She doesn't know, she fidgets.
Skilling One dollar bill a second. No stopping, how long before I counted out a million dollars? One, two – how long before a million? Dollar every second – guess.
She makes a noise, enjoying the attention of her dad but not comprehending.It would take Daddy, at one dollar a second, eleven days to count out a million dollars. Eleven days! No sleeping.
Skilling What d'you mean, again? OK, one, two, three, four … how long would it take for Daddy to count out a billion dollars?
Skilling Yeah, there's such a thing, a billion dollars! One, two three, four – I'm gonna do it now –
Skilling OK. I'll work it out instead.
He calculates in his head.Counting a billion dollars would take me … thirty-two years?!
He scowls, checks.Yeah, around thirty-two years.
His Daughter fades into the dark.
Daughter (voice-over) One, two, three, four, five, six, seven …
The counting continues into:
Physical sequence. The company at work. The Traders dance. As they do they create a round table. Skilling holds meetings around it. People come and go. Meetings end and begin. The table is removed. Fast, ordered, fluidity. Numbers fly through the air. The stock price throbs, but never alters much, gradually edging up in comforting, rhythmic pulses. Lay plays golf somewhere in bright sunlight. Time passes. Days and nights. Gradually a slowing. Computer lights over faces. A calm.
Eventually, Claudia Roe makes her way through the building to Skilling's office.
Scene 7: Skilling's Office
Skilling is watching the financial news.
Roe I've been trying to avoid you.
Skilling Well. This is my office.
Roe Yeah. Maybe it was the wrong place to come.
Skilling turns the sound down on the television.
Skilling You probably want Ken's office. It's just down the hall.
Roe Come on.
Skilling Have you seen the stock price today?
Roe I see it every day. I see it in the elevator, I see it on the walls. I see it on my desk.
Roe I said to people, wait, just wait, the shine'll wear off, the bubble's gonna burst folks. And … a year goes by, two. But I keep saying it because, if I stop, it's bound to happen and the worst thing would be to not be able to say I told you so.
Skilling Well, I'm sure you've got more class than that.
Roe I don't. I don't think you do either. Go on, you can say it.
She waits for him to say it.
Skilling It's not about that.
Roe Oh come on! I know what you guys call my division on your biking weekends in Mexico.
Skilling That's traders. I don't call it that.
Roe Tits Industries. It's not even clever. At least it used to be … what did it used to be?
Skilling I don't know.
Roe You know.
Skilling Skank of America.
She nods. Beat.
Roe Anyways. I came by to say an old friend of mine from college emailed. He's a professor at Harvard now. He used to drink his own urine for a dare by the way. Now he's a professor. Still. He asked if I could put him in touch with you. They want to use Enron as one of the business models they teach.
Skilling At Harvard?
Roe He said I must be proud.
Skilling Give him my number.
Roe I did. Just don't ask him for the stories about me.
Skilling I heard about your party for the opening of the plant at Dabhol.
Roe It was a great party.
Skilling You hired an elephant.
Roe Shame you couldn't make it.
Skilling I don't have time to jet off to your consolation prize in India. I'm running a company here.
Skilling You know the whole thing was a coward's way of getting things done.
Roe I had to go to Ken. You wouldn't have. Every time I look at my assets there's less of 'em. You're selling everything I have!
Skilling That's not true.
Roe It is! I'm running a division which isn't expanding, it's not even contracting, it's having its balls cut off.
Skilling That's business!
Roe It's your business.
Skilling Damn right it is!
Roe I'm fighting to survive here!
Skilling Either I'm running this company or Ken is.
Roe You should tell him that.
Skilling I do! He just … nods and … gives me a cigar!
Roe It's his company.
Skilling It's the shareholders' company.
Roe You need smart people around. To disagree with you.
Skilling I don't know if Ken is the smartest guy ever to run a company or the dumbest motherfucker in the world.
Roe I meant me. You need me around to disagree with you.
Skilling Do I?
Roe Yeah. You look good, by the way.
Skilling I … You mean I lost weight.
Roe Sure, but. You know three guys in my division got Laseks on their eyes after you. Can't find a soul in the building with glasses now. Everyone's copying Daddy.
Skilling It works.
Roe It's not dangerous?
Skilling Well, I don't know, Claud, I guess. It's lasers in your eyes.
She uses this as an excuse to look into his eyes.
She's deliberately close to his face. She puts her hands on his face.
Roe Have you ever failed at anything, Jeffrey Skilling?
Skilling Don't. I don't think that's / (a very good idea).
Roe I'm not.
Beat. Skilling closes his eyes. He leans in.
Just then, over her shoulder, Skilling spots a massive graphic flash up on the screen showing the financial news – 'ENRON!'
Skilling spins around. Once he sees what she's referring to, he's just as excited as Roe. They both scrabble for the volume control. One gets there first and turns it up.
Business Anchor By close of market today, energy darling Enron's stock rose twenty-six per cent in a single day to a new high of $67.25. That's staggering isn't it, Elise?
Analyst It sure is, Gayle. That's why we're naming them our Must Buy of the Week!
Business Anchor It's astounding, their ambition and creativity –
Analyst Yeah, yeah – they're unstoppable. They're the light of the new economy. I mean, I'd rate them, right now, at being worth sixty billion dollars.
Business Anchor Well, that's great news for their investors. So Jeffrey Skilling over at Enron's certainly doing something right!
Analyst He sure is!
Skilling reacts to his name.
Business Anchor Now let's go over to Francine for a tale of two very different cities …
Roe Sixty billion dollars! How can we be worth sixty billion dollars?!
Skilling If someone's prepared to pay that for us then / that's what we're worth –
Roe But that's huge! That's fantastic!
Skilling Sixty billion dollars. That's nearly two thousand years.
Skilling Forget it.Fuck. How is that possible?!
Roe Hey, we're announcing profits all the time, and you seem to know where that money's coming from. Everyone's behind you! And I'm just saying that includes me.
She makes to leave.
Roe Oh, and I don't know if you heard. You know your guy in finance, with the suit and the hair?
Skilling Andy Fastow?
Roe He's had a baby. Little boy. Named him Jeffrey.
Scene 8: An Unholy Partnership
Below, darkly, Fastow's lair: a dingy place at the bottom of Enron. Fastow flits happily between complex piles of paperwork, records and maybe screens.
Fastow (to us) I don't know if you're big fans of hedging. I can't see how you wouldn't be. A hedge is just a way of protecting yourself from risk. You literally hedge your bets. If you got a lot of money in airlines, for example, you might think, hey, this is all going really well, lots of people fly – my investment is safe and going up. But what happens if there's a huge airplane crash, maybe people die, oh no, folk get scared of flying and your stocks plunge. Well, the smart guy hedges his airline investment with – maybe – an investment in a car rental company. When air travel frightens people, they want to feel in control, they'll drive interstate. So when your airline shares go (noise and motion of plane crashing) , your car rental shares go (noise and motion of car brooming upwards.) So you never lose money. Whoop … whoop.
(He repeats the same gestures again, of a plane crashing, then the car brooming upwards. And then the upward car again. A beat. The crashing plane.)With enough imagination you don't ever have to lose anything. When I write down everything that can possibly go wrong, as a formula. A formula I control. Nothing seems scary any more.
He goes back to his calculations.
Skilling Andy. Andy, you had a baby.
Fastow (delighted) Yeah.
Skilling Congratulations, fella. You got a picture?
Fastow In my wallet.
Fastow starts looking for his wallet.
Fastow Oh man, it's down the hall. Shall I – ?
Skilling I don't (mind) –
Fastow You really wanna –
Skilling Do it next time.
Fastow He's called Jeffrey.
Skilling Wow. Great name(!)
Fastow Hey, who's done more for me in this world, you know?
Skilling You know what I was doing when my daughter was born?
Skilling I was on the phone from the hospital negotiating my deal. To come work here.
Fastow You get a good deal?
Skilling makes a so-so gesture and sound.
Fastow You know when you have a baby and it gets handed to you for the first time? I had this incredible, indescribable feeling – this defining realisation that in my life, from this point on – So. Many. Things could go. Wrong.
Skilling I guess.
Fastow And I say that as a man who knows how to manage risk. Risk is just the fear of losing something. Risk is life, basically.
Skilling These. What are these?
He is looking at papers covered in complex scrawlings. Maybe they're half-screwed up.
Fastow (proud) Oh, these are the Raptors.
Fastow Financial models I'm –
Skilling Are these hedges?
Fastow Not as you'd normally understand them. But they're a way of managing risk. I'm playing with them. Just in my own time, just for …
Skilling For fun?!
Fastow (finds all three) Raptor One, Raptor Two, Raptor Three …
Fastow Like in Jurassic Park.
Skilling You're thirty-seven years old.
Fastow It's actually really well done.
Skilling So these are protecting you against losses in investments?
Fastow Yeah. Like, you know, with hedging how – say you've got a lot of money in airlines –
Skilling I know about your planes and cars thing, Andy, I've heard you at parties –
Fastow OK, well, I've been seeing if there's a way of making a model that acts like the car rental company, without actually having to give my money to the car rental company.
Casually intrigued, Skilling looks through them all.
Skilling A little theoretical.
Fastow Well, that's the thing. A theoretical car rental company hedges your airline investment just as good as a real one does. On the books.
Skilling Well, sure, unless planes fall.
Fastow Yeah, but they almost certainly won't. It's crazy to have all this money flying out the door for things that probably won't happen. This model locks in the high value of your first investment. You own that, that's real.
Skilling These are interesting.
Fastow Yeah … ?
Skilling I could do with more guys like you.
Skilling is having some pain.
Fastow You OK?
Skilling These shoes … they're not broken in.
Fastow What size are you? You want mine?
Skilling No, Andy, I don't want your shoes. Thanks.
Fastow You like 'em? They're Italian.
Skilling Yeah I, jeez, I don't know. They're fucking shoes.
Fastow Great news about the stock price.
Skilling You want to get a beer?
Fastow (excited) I got a beer.
He opens up a tiny fridge that's been installed somewhere in his office/lair.
Skilling You got a refrigerator?
Fastow Yeah, I just asked 'em. I called up and said. Came down same day. Put it in.
Skilling Who did?
Fastow We did.
Fastow It's a long way up to the … thing.
They open and drink two beers.
Skilling I got a problem, Andy. We got great stock price. We're declaring huge profits using mark-to-market. Correctly. But those actual profits aren't coming through yet. So.
Fastow There's losses.
Skilling That's right. We've got the best business plan, the highest share price, the smartest graduates. Trouble is. Right now. We're not making any money.
Fastow How bad?
Skilling You with me?
Skilling I can't find. Any area. Right now. Except trading. And there, day to day, we may lose as much as we make.
Fastow You're not kidding?
Skilling I am not kidding. I don't know what I'm gonna do. I don't mind taking losses. But I can't report taking losses right now. The gap between the perception and the reality is …
He has one hand up at neck level indicating the high perception and the other he puts lower to indicate the reality.
Skilling I don't know what I'm going to do.
His arms droop despondently. Fastow dives in to hold the perception hand up.
Fastow Wait, you got a perception here, a reality here. You just need something for this to lean on while we bring this up.
Fastow brings Skilling's lower hand up to meet his higher hand.
Skilling shakes off the foolish physical intimacy.
Skilling If those Washington fucks would just deregulate electricity like Clinton promised, we'd have those profits!
Fastow Hey. Fuck it. Two guys in a room. You want my help?
Skilling What you got?
Fastow How you doing with a Chief Financial Officer?
Skilling I haven't found him yet.
Fastow You considered everybody?
Skilling Everybody with / experience of –
Fastow You considered me?
Skilling For CFO … ? One of the most powerful positions in / any corporation … ?
Skilling You're not a people person, Andy.
Fastow You really care about that?
Skilling Two guys in a room.
Fastow You ever had an affair? When you were married.
Skilling None of your fucking business.
Fastow That's a yes.
Skilling Is this something you've heard?
Fastow No, OK, wait, that's wrong. You like porn?
Skilling Do I – ? I don't have time to take a shit –
Fastow I think porn could save every marriage in this country. As internet porn goes up, divorce rates gonna go way down –
He makes gesture of one thing going up as the other goes down.That's the industry to get into, I'll say that …
Skilling Find the point.
Fastow I want to give Enron a mistress.
Skilling (beat) That's why I like you, Andy. You're fucking nuts.
Fastow Having something off the books, even if it's Jenna Jameson in an unmarked folder, your virtual mistress – she supports your marriage, strengthens it. We can do the same for a company.
Fastow For those occasions we need to … 'offload'. We create a company that exists purely to fulfil Enron's needs.
Fastow We could push debt, we could push those losses into this other entity, sell it to this entity. So we make money and move a loss off the books, wait for it to turn to profit –
Skilling Then move it back. Why doesn't everyone do this?
Fastow How would we know if they did?
Fastow I mean it! This is an area where we're expected to be creative. The regulations encourage it.
Skilling This isn't one of your theoretical models. A whole investment fund with money enough to buy bad assets off Enron? Who would do that? Who would invest?
Fastow Maybe nobody has to invest. We can make the company ourselves. I could use these raptor models. To make a sort of shadow company. A virtual Enron.
Skilling We can't do business with ourselves –
Fastow Of course not. But. The rules state, if we're gonna do business with another entity, it has to be independent from us.
Fastow But. Here's the kicker. To qualify as independent it just means three per cent of its capital has to come from independent sources.
Skilling Only three per cent?
Fastow Yeah, so ninety-seven per cent of a whole shadow company could just be … Enron stock.
Skilling So Enron can do business with a company that's ninety-seven per cent Enron?
Skilling Still gotta find that three per cent.
Fastow is excitedy scoping out the room they are standing in.
Fastow Maybe. Look, say this entity, let's call it … LJM. If this room is LJM – it's filled with Enron stock, now we own that, we don't have to pay for and it's worth a great deal. But we need three per cent of it to be real. The equivalent of this desk.
He walks around clearing the area to make the three per cent clear.
Fastow What if this three per cent is a smaller entity, designed the same way, which itself is made up of Enron stock –
Skilling Except for three per cent.
Fastow Yes, wait.
Fastow opens a drawer in the desk and takes out a shoebox that had housed his new Italian shoes. He places it on the desk.Here. And this three per cent is an even smaller entity …
He opens up the shoebox.
Skilling Made up of Enron stock …
Fastow Except for three per cent!
Out of the shoebox he produces a matchbox.
Skilling On and on.
Fastow Until for all this to be real, for this huge shadow company to exist, all we actually need …
He opens the matchbox and takes out a tiny red, glowing box.
He holds it up. The men are bathed in it like some totem from an Indiana Jones film.
Fastow Is this …
Skilling And how much is that?
Fastow Chump change. Few million.
Skilling If that's a few million … ?
Fastow Imagine what the whole structure is worth, what it could do for Enron.
Skilling It's made entirely of Enron stock …
Fastow (brandishing tiny box) Aaah, not entirely, this is what keeps it independent.
Skilling But we can use it to support Enron stock, making sure it doesn't fall …
Fastow Yup –
Skilling The same stock that it's made of … ?
Skilling That's fucking brilliant.
Fastow It is, isn't it?
Skilling So this shadow company, what did you call it?
Fastow LJM. After my wife and kids, Lea, Jeffrey and –
Skilling This LJM can buy bad assets off Enron that are operating at a loss. And if anyone looks into it –
Fastow It's just box after box after box. Russian dolls, until you get to …
The tiny box glows red and throbs.
Fastow And who's gonna notice something as small as this? How's something this tiny ever gonna cause any trouble?
Skilling Andy, you fucker! This is a whole new thing!
Fastow And this is just a few million, hell, I could put that in.
Skilling No, I don't like that.
Fastow Oh. OK.
Skilling Doesn't that feel a bit cheap? A special purpose entity financed by the CFO?
Fastow The CFO?
Skilling Why not? Come on, we'll get banks to put that in – Wall Street money.
Fastow (slightly surprised) Yeah, but don't we check with our accountants?
Skilling Sure.Hey! Get me Arthur Andersen!
Arthur Andersen appears to one side. He has a ventriloquist's dummy, Little Arthur.
Arthur Andersen As your accountant, we think this idea is –
A different voice from his mouth:
Little Arthur – poor to very poor.
Arthur Andersen This is due to –
Little Arthur – conflict of interest.
(to Skilling)Well, maybe we just need a more sympathetic accountant.
(to Arthur Andersen)We could always take our business elsewhere.
Arthur Andersen's dummy's eyes flit wildly.
Arthur Andersen Arthur Andersen will –
Little Arthur – approve –
Arthur Andersen – approve the strategy –
Little Arthur – if the lawyers approve.
Fastow That's what we pay a million dollars a month for?
Skilling Yeah, that's exactly what we pay a million dollars a month for.I need the lawyers!
The law firm of Ramsay and Hewitt appears to their other side: one male, one female. They appear as 'Justice'; blindfolded, with sword and scales.
Ramsay This is not a legal issue.
Hewitt This is an accounting issue.
Skilling The accountants say it's a legal issue.
Ramsay Well, it was ever thus.
Hewitt It's against your own code of conduct –
Ramsay It's their code of conduct.
Hewitt Oh yes. Quite right. Your board could waive it.
Ramsay Ask your board.
Hewitt It's really not our business.
Ramsay / Hewitt We'll bill you later on today.
Skilling I need the board.
And then, revealed on the level above Skilling and Fastow, the Board appear. The Board is made up of shadowy, dark, imposing figures with the heads of mice, and, in the centre, Ken Lay.
Skilling The accountants and lawyers are OK with it if you're OK with it, Ken.
Lay Oh, well in that case … One moment.
The Board briefly consult.
Lay Who's gonna run this thing?
Fastow I will. I mean, I want to.
Lay And who are you?
(to Skilling)You know you won't find anyone you can trust like you trust me.
Lay Young Andy Fastow?
Skilling He's our new Chief Financial Officer.
Fastow is delighted at this.
Arthur Andersen OK?
Ramsay / Hewitt OK?
Little Arthur OK.
Ramsay / Hewitt OK.
Lay OK. Here's to LJM.
He signs papers in front of him.
The Board, Arthur Andersen and Hewitt and Ramsay disappear. Fastow and Skilling hug in the centre of the circle.
Skilling You've saved my fucking life.
Fastow It's good, isn't it?
Skilling All I have to do is keep the stock price up.
Fastow Which makes LJM exist.
Skilling Which makes Enron strong.
Fastow Which keeps the stock price up.
Skilling It's better than good. It's perfect.
Scene 9: Party Like It's 1999
Flashes from cameras.
A media event becomes a party filled with Employees, Press and Analysts. It's a financial love-in.
Skilling is being photographed for yet another magazine cover as the dynamic CEO changing the world. The Photographer is beneath him to make him look impressive, god-like.
A Reporter interviews him.
Reporter 'World's Most Innovative Company', how does that feel?
Skilling I'm just pleased we're giving shareholders value for money.
Reporter I guess it's a work-hard, play-hard sort of environment?
Skilling We're aggressive, we take risks, and that's why we're successful. Way I see it, if your executives aren't waking up at four in the morning, their heart beating out of their chest, they're not doing their job.
The Reporter flirts a bit.
Reporter Sure. So, here we are at the end of a millennium! Can you let me know what the next big innovation's gonna be?
Skilling Well, I was gonna wait to announce this later tonight, but I'll give you a sneak preview. Video On Demand. We've teamed up with Blockbuster and Enron's gonna be streaming movies directly into your home by this time next year.
Reporter Oh my God!
The stock price goes up.
Skilling is approached by Lay.
Lay Jeff, you know the Congresswoman?
Skilling Hi, great to meet you.
Lay Anne's been very useful for us up on the Hill.
Congresswoman Such a creative atmosphere. I'm thrilled to meet you, you're the expert in energy trading, right?
Lay That's like saying Alexander Graham Bell knew about telephones. You're meeting the guy who invented the concept.
Congresswoman Well we're all just thrilled to be here. I don't know how you're doing it, but keep on doing it.Split Scene.Beneath:
Fastow's lair is revealed. He is finishing constructing LJM, the huge construct that has been designed literally and metaphorically to 'support' the level above it, Enron.
Fastow, dressed in an even more dandyish fashion, is in his element.
He takes calls on his phone. He's hugely in demand.Hi you're talking to Andy Fastow, Chief Financial Officer to the stars. Hey Rex, you fuck, you know how many other divisions are begging for help with their numbers right now?! You're gonna have to hold. Lou baby, don't tell me 'bout your numbers now – hey, I know those targets were unhittable, I know that. But you gonna take those losses? I didn't think so!Hold on, I got another one. Yeah yeah yeah, you love me. No I'm not going up to the party. I leave my office, the whole world falls apart, you know what I mean? Don't worry. Everything's developing nicely down here.
Lay Where's our Chief Financial Officer?
Skilling Still working, I guess.
Lay No harm. He's hardly the life and soul –
Skilling He's not a performer, he's got his own qualities.
Lay Claudia thinks we should keep an eye on him.
Skilling Oh for – seriously, Ken? You're listening to her!? She's jealous! This has all been built by me for Christ's sake. He's mine! All these ideas are mine!
Lay It wasn't my intention –
Skilling Broadband, electricity, energy trading, Video On Demand –
Concerned Employees approach Skilling.
Employee Could we talk about Video On Demand?
Lay Of course we can, sir, of course we can. Who doesn't want movies streamed direct into their homes?
Employee 2 I don't think it's possible for next year.
Skilling Video On Demand?
Employee I can't see how it's possible at all.
Lay I don't like that talk. That's unsupportive.
Skilling We've got our best people working on it.
Employee 2 Sir, that's us.
Employee We're the ones working on it.
Skilling Tell me what you need and you'll get it.
Employee It's not that –
Employee 2 It's about what's physically possible. There's not bandwidth capacity for it.
Employee 2 It's the sort of … lines that internet information travels / along –
Skilling I know what the fuck bandwidth is. Buy as much as we need.
Employee It doesn't work that way. There's a finite amount available.
Skilling There's a finite amount?
Skilling And people want it?
Skilling slaps the employee on the back. He turns back to the press interview.
Skilling Here's the next big thing, people: trading bandwidth.
Reporter Trading bandwidth?
Skilling (turns to everyone) Yeah, it's a hell of an Enron idea. If you're not using your bandwidth capacity, we could sell it on. It's tradeable. But people don't think in those terms because it's a virtual commodity. Well, Enron gets virtual. We're changingbusiness, we're changing people's lives, we're changing the world.
Lay applauds. The Employees are congratulated and sheepishly proud. The stock goes up hugely. Reaction is ecstatic, like a religious cult. Skilling is messiah-like.
A huge party: absurd, luxurious, delusional, the peak of bull-market excess. Skilling shakes hands with everyone, is treated like a movie star.
Just then, Roe makes a grand entrance to the party. Never one to be outshone, she is on a Harley motorbike, dressed entirely in leather.
Skilling You've got to be kidding me.
She shows off the back on which is stitched 'ENRON'. Whoops of celebration. She removes the helmet, revealing herself, and shakes down her hair. Everyone loves it and all attention is lavished on her.
Skilling This is what I'm talking about. Everything's the Claudia Roe show.
Lay It's a very entertaining show!Fireworks are starting to go off in the distance. The party reaches a peak of excitement as everyone goes upstairs to view them and celebratory opulence.As everyone gets ushered out on to the balcony –Below:
Fastow hears/senses another presence in the lair of LJM.Above:
Roe marshals guests into place for the countdown she will be leading. Below, during this:
Fastow goes to seek out the source of the sound. Uncanny silence. He can sense someone … but where?
Another movement from the opposite side. Fastow swings around – what the …?Above:
Roe begins a countdown to welcome in the new millennium. Others eventually join in.Ten!Nine!Eight!Seven!Six!Five!Below, during this:
Out of the shadows, a Raptor appears. It creeps forward, cocks its head and considers Fastow. Fastow stares back.Four!Three!Two!One!
Roe turns on the party's big event – the lighting up of a huge neon display welcoming in the new year: 2000.
Fastow turns slowly around to see the other two Raptors have also taken corporeal form and have crept into LJM.
Fastow Clever girls.