Enron by Lucy Prebble

Scene 5: Trimming The Fat

The sound of motorbikes revving, screeching brakes, the hum of manly pursuits.
Split scene.
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.
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.
Skilling Yeah, you have. You know I was supposed to announce it on the tour today?
Skilling I heard you got aggravated on some trader?
Skilling They'll do that to ya.
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 andThe Seven Secrets of Highly Effective People and shit like that –
Skilling Don't. It's bullshit. Read Dawkins, The Selfish Gene?
Skilling Read Darwin.
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.
Skilling Charles Darwin showed how an idea can change the world. A single beautiful idea changed the way we look at everything.
Skilling No. We're more. Because now we understand our own nature. And we can use that.
Skilling For business. Business is nature.
Skilling Exactly. Money and sex motivate people, Andy. And money is the one that gets their hand off their dick and into work.
Above:
He passes it to Roe.
Below:
Skilling That's cos you're weak.
Skilling What did you say?
Skilling I can't hear you!
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.
Skilling That's what I'm looking for. It's a political decision though. Ken's dealing with it.
Beat.
Skilling Are you smart, Andy?
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.
Above:
Beat.
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.
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:
The stock goes up.
Skilling And J.P. Morgan.
The stock goes up.
Skilling And finally … Deutsche Bank!
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.
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.
He hands Skilling a fifty-dollar bill.
Skilling What, are you tipping me, Ken?
Skilling Is it right you're using the jet later?
Skilling The company jet?
Skilling Just thought we were getting you out to Washington?
Skilling But deregulation's on that agenda?
Skilling OK, well, enjoy your kids.
Show table of contents