Enron by Lucy Prebble

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.
Lay and Roe glide by this group, despite Fastow's outstretched hand.
Lay magnanimously greets another couple of starstruck employees. He's like an avuncular politician.
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.
Roe goes over to collect Skilling.
Fastow strides over to introduce himself to Lay.
Skilling 'Hi, how are you.'
Roe drags Skilling over to Lay.
Lay slaps Skilling on the back.
Skilling I believe I may have seen her in Vogue.
Skilling I'm surprised you find the time.
Skilling Most powerful women?
Skilling I remember. There was a great bit on Oprah and her dogs.
Skilling I think one of her dogs was at number twelve.
Skilling Thanks. Are you –
Skilling You're not familiar with mark-to-market?
Skilling We're an energy company. When you say 'gas and oil' people think … trapped wind and Arabs.
Skilling Seriously?
Skilling There are people at this party who don't understand the idea?
Skilling / I know. A group of people have worked their asses off to get the SEC to understand and approve this –
Skilling Everyone gets mark-to-market here, right?
Fastow exhales and glances at the group of employees who had teased him.
Skilling I've got slides I can bring down.
Skilling It doesn't kill you? Everyone standing around celebrating their ignorance –
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.
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.
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.
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