Enron commercial with ethereal voices singing 'Why?'
Fastow's lair where LJM has been fully and complexly constructed, like a large, supportive web.
Among the shadows there are strange movements going on. The Raptors scuttle about. Not entirely human sounds. In the centre, Fastow.
The tiny red box is safely put away, buried. We can see it throb. The Raptors creep eerily around in the shadows.
Skilling enters. The Raptors hide.
Skilling Andy? Is everything right down here?
Fastow Jeff! Everything's peachy.
Skilling This place has got big.
Fastow You won't believe the investment I got us. You wanted LJM to look official. Well, I've got fifteen million from J.P. Morgan, ten million Credit Suisse, five million from Merrill, everyone wants in with LJM –
Skilling Everyone wants to invest in our shadow …? Why?!
Two more figures emerge from the shadows: it is the Lehman Brothers.
Lehman Brothers Hey, Mr Fastow!
Fastow Oh, wait a second – it's the fucking Lehman Brothers. What do you guys want?
Lehman Brothers We were wondering –
Fastow I'm busy here, what the fuck d'you want?
Skilling That's one of the biggest investment banks in the world. You can't talk to them that way!
Fastow No, but that's the thing, Jeff. I can! They're all so desperate to be seen alongside Enron. And who's Enron's CFO? Check it out.
Lehman Brothers We were in talks about doing some underwriting work for Enron.
Fastow For Enron?
Lehman Brothers Yeah, we were hoping you'd consider giving us the contract –
Fastow Way I see it, if I give you a contract worth tens of millions of dollars, least you can do is invest in a side project I got going on. Course Enron could always take its business elsewhere –
Lehman Brothers No, no, no, Andy, we heard. What you looking for?
Fastow Let's start small, how 'bout ten million?
Lehman Brothers Ten million! Everyone up at Enron OK with this, Jeff?
Skilling What you asking me for?
Lehman Brothers I mean, we assumed it was fine.
Skilling You got a problem with LJM?
Lehman Brothers Not at all.
Skilling You got a problem with Andy?
Lehman Brothers Well, he's got a certain –
Skilling You do, you got a problem with me.
Lehman Brothers No sir. Absolutely not. LJM's a real ground-breaking strategy.
The Lehman Brothers give Fastow the money.
Lehman Brothers Nice doing business.
Fastow Good job, fellas!
Skilling Hey, Lehman Brothers!
The conjoined figures struggle to turn round in unison, both pulling in opposite directions. Eventually, they manage it.
Lehman Brothers Yeeees?
Skilling What's your analyst rating our stock at?
Lehman Brothers Uh, Buy –
Skilling Not Strong Buy?
Lehman Brothers Not right … now.
Fastow Let me.
Skilling nods graciously.
Fastow If you rated us Strong Buy, more people would invest in Enron, right?
Lehman Brothers I guess …
Fastow And if more people invest in Enron, we can finance more projects, which makes Enron stronger and therefore –
Lehman Brothers Making it a / Strong Buy …
Fastow / A Strong Buy! See how it makes sense now?Now, get the fuck out before I change my mind.
The Lehman Brothers slink out.
Skilling I can't believe it. Everything upstairs is bullshit compared to this.
Fastow I know! I think we've found the future of business … by accident.
Skilling But where does all the debt go?Sounds from the shadows.What's that?
Skilling What is it?
Fastow Don't worry about it.
Skilling What the fuck is this?
Skilling goes to explore. One of the Raptors approaches Skilling to check him out. It smells him cautiously.
Fastow The Raptors. You like 'em? They like you.
Skilling That's where the debt goes?
Fastow These sort of entities, we could never have them publicly at Enron, but LJM doesn't need to show its books. So we can … experiment here.
He feeds one of them a dollar bill.
Skilling They're consuming our debt.
Fastow Yes! And debt's just money. All money is debt.
Skilling In … what … sense?
Fastow If the bank gives you money, you owe them. You put money in the bank, they owe you.All money is debt. It's just how you present it.
The Raptors gain confidence at this and play with Skilling a little.
Skilling Go on.
Fastow OK. Well, this one here, is dealing with Broadband. This one's taking care of Video On Demand while we set it up. And that one … that one's consuming all the fucking debt coming out of that rusting hulk of a power plant in Dabhol.
Skilling That plant has no fucking power coming out of it.It's surrounded by protesters. When Claudia makes a deal it doesn't just lose money, people march against it.
Fastow You gotta put a stop to all that.
Skilling She thinks her balls are cut off, what about my balls?!
Fastow A man's got a right to his balls.
Skilling This is the future. Not Claudia and her gift from grampa. Ken's gotta accept it's my show!
Fastow He has to.
Skilling You think her numbers are right?
Fastow Her division's numbers?
Skilling Yeah. You think she's doing anything … untoward?
Fastow I'd be surprised if there was nothing untoward. I mean, everybody … you know.Beat.You want me to take a look?
Skilling If you have cause for concern.
Fastow Well, sure, I mean. I can tell clever numbers. I'm the king of 'em!
Skilling strokes a Raptor.
Scene 2: The Purge
Roe (to us) Something is happening to business. At the beginning of this century. Things have started to get divorced from the underlying realities. The best metaphor is this. Say we hold a competition here to determine who is the most beautiful woman in this room. Everyone gets a vote, the woman would bethe one with the most votes and you'd win if you bet on her. Now the smart player wouldn't look at all the women and choose the one he finds most beautiful. No, the smart player would try and imagine what average opinion would state is the most beautiful woman, and vote for her. And there's a level above that, where the really smart person would assume that most other people are doing the same thing and so they would try and choose the woman that most other people would think was most other people's idea of the most beautiful woman. And there's even a level above that, and above that. And those are the values that determine prices, commodities and everybody's future. And who actually is the most beautiful woman in the room … is irrelevant.
One of the Raptors runs towards Roe and chases her out of the building.
After a moment, Lay enters Skilling's office, looking pained.
Skilling Did you do it?
Lay Still feel raw about that.
Skilling I felt she had to hear it from you.
Lay Can't recall what our thinking was there now.
Skilling She wouldn't have taken it seriously from me.
Lay I never did like letting people go.You want to have a cigar?
Skilling I'm good, thanks.
Lay gives him one anyway.
Lay I was very disappointed in the things Claudia said in there. Didn't show a lot of class.
Skilling Regarding what?
Lay I don't believe she had to go so far in trying to save her own skin.
Skilling I didn't want to have to bring those figures to your attention. I know they didn't look like much –
Lay Any deceit is deceit. If something's brought before me I have to act on it. Doesn't have to be brought to me, of course.
Lay Now you made that decision and you brought it before me and a chain of events were put in place. Difficult to break that chain. You wanna pray with me, Jeffrey?
Lay bows his head in prayer, his hands together. He closes his eyes. Skilling copies him.
After a few moments, Lay has not spoken. Skilling opens his eyes. He watches Lay, not sure what to do.
He watches Lay, fascinated.
After a little while, Lay stops his silent prayers and raises his head. Skilling immediately tries to bow his to make it look like he hadn't stopped.
Skilling It's a privilege.
Lay Don't you worry, son.You know how you tell the scout on a pioneer wagon?
Lay He's the one with all the arrows sticking out of him.
Beat. Lay touches Skilling on the shoulder. It's a paternal, almost saintly action, but takes Skilling by surprise.
Lay Listen, I know it's not been easy, having an old man on your back. You want to ride out, get the bit in your teeth and I'm all for that. I'm gonna take a step back. Place you can use me is on the board, on the Washington golf courses, charityluncheons. That's what I'm good at. You just carry on making us millions.
Skilling We really gotta get deregulation moving –
Lay I'm gonna have more talk with Junior. I got hope for him yet.
Skilling But that's how we're gonna make our money. If he doesn't come through –
Lay These things take time.Beat.Can't even smoke these indoors any more.
Skilling You can do what you want, Ken.
Lay Uh-uh. Can't even smoke indoors.
He drifts off. Pause. Skilling picks up the cigar left him.
Scene 3: Rooftop
Roe is having a last cigarette outside on the rooftop/terrace of the Enron building.
Skilling comes out.
Roe has been crying. She hastily attempts to cover any sign of her tears.
Skilling You're not gonna jump are you, Claud?
Roe Fuck you.
Skilling I'll leave you alone.
Roe Don't move. Don't you dare go anywhere.
Skilling You can go and get any number of jobs –
Roe I WANT TO WORK HERE!Beat.This is where I work!
Skilling Not any more.
Roe That man had faith in me for fifteen years. I've given my life to this company. You had him come in and talk to me like I'm some thieving kid in his store.
Skilling I asked Ken because I thought it would be worse for me to fire you –
Roe I was not fired. I resigned. You show me one part of my numbers done differently from anyone else here – you lied to get me out.
Skilling I didn't have to lie. You're an amateur.
Roe Oh, really?
Skilling Did you tell him something I should know about …?
Roe There's rumours. Is it true Broadband and Electricity aren't bringing in any money? That Video On Demand doesn't even have the technology developed?
Skilling Of course not. That would make all the profits we've declared on those things void.
Roe Yes, it would.
Skilling Why do people talk that way? We'll make those profits. It's like playing poker with these guys who get mad when you win on the last card, 'Why did you stay in? You're not playing properly!' It's poker, you idiot. Doesn't matter how you win – as long as you win! When electricity gets deregulated, the cashflow –
Roe Oh, grow the fuck up. Electricity won't be deregulated! Ken's not gonna get that kid in the White House!
Skilling We will.
Roe I could have made India work! All your deals getting doneall the time, bad deals. Sign it, book it, throw it over the fence. Doesn't matter if it's a bad deal, just get the deal done.
Skilling You don't know anything.
Roe I know you.You know when you went to that college in Pennsylvania.
Skilling I went to Harvard.
Roe (shakes head) When your father showed you round his old college in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. You told me about it our first night. You looked out that window, saw all those abandoned steel mills, for miles. All that dead industry. That gray sky.
Skilling I left all that behind.
Roe No. That's what you're creating now.
Skilling Get out of my building.
Roe You know what I'm gonna do? I'm gonna go home, to my beautiful children. And I'm gonna sell every single one of my shares.
She stubs her cigarette out. She leaves him.
His Daughter blows bubbles somewhere on stage.
Daughter One, two, three, four, five –
Skilling I have to check the stock price.
Skilling Because that's how Daddy knows how much he's worth.
Skilling Well, the market knows how many people believe in Daddy. That's important.
Skilling It's important because I want people to like me. I don't want them to go round saying bad things.
Skilling Because in business these things matter.
Skilling Because it's important to look strong. That's the first thing.
Skilling Because that's how you make money.
Skilling Because I want to provide for you.
Skilling Because I love you. Now let Daddy go to work.
Skilling turns to his Daughter but she has disappeared, leaving only bubbles in her wake.
Scene 4: The American Spirit
Skilling gives a speech to Employees.
Skilling Our stock is so strong. So strong that I think all employees should have the opportunity to benefit. I want to extend the stock option to everybody. From the mail room all the way up.
Employee Why be paid in stock and not cash?
Skilling Because if you're invested in the company you work for you are literally investing in yourself – it is an act of beliefin yourself. Which you should all have. Because, I believe in you. So, grab that opportunity. Now, tonight's a big night for us. I hope you've all voted. I don't know if you know, but we got a local boy in the race(!)Laughter. They are now looking up concentrating on an image of America on screens.Election coverage:The screen goes red.INDIANA CALLED FOR BUSH.+ 12.They cheer.Screen turns blue.VERMONT CALLED FOR GORE.+ 3.They boo.FLORIDA.They inhale.TOO CLOSE TO CALL.
Scene 5: Andy's Lair Of LJM
Skilling enters. Fastow is with the Raptors watching the election results roll in.
Skilling You got it on down here?
Fastow Sure. We're having a party.
Fastow turns round. He has a bottle of champagne. They all stare at the screen.An electoral map of the United States on screen:ALABAMA: TOO CLOSE TO CALL.
Skilling Alabama too close to call?! You gotta be fucking kidding me.
Fastow Hey, it's early.
Skilling I'm going crazy with this.
Fastow Hey, they're calling my baby – !It's blue.NEW JERSEY: CALLED FOR GORE.+ 15.
Fastow Goddamn you, New Jersey. I love you, but you break my fucking heart. That's my cousins, there.
Skilling Now we got the big boys –
Fastow Lone Star! It's red.TEXAS: CALLED FOR BUSH.+ 32.
Fastow Come on!
Skilling Yeah but here goes the other side.It's blue.CALIFORNIA: CALLED FOR GORE.+ 54.
Skilling It's all about Florida.Beat.FLORIDA: CALLED FOR GORE.+ 25.
Skilling Fuck fuck fuck.
Fastow What about Colorado, we might get Colorado.
Skilling What the fuck we want with Colorado, eight fucking votes. This is chicken shit. Game's over.
Fastow Hey, come on, we've had eight years of this shit, we'll have eight more –
Skilling No, Andy, you don't know. Clinton's been real good to us. This guy … this guy scares me.
Fastow Come on, man – scares you?! I've seen you nearly die on a quad bike just to see what it feels like to nearly die –
Skilling That's it. We're done.
Fastow Have a little faith.
Skilling Faith?! Andy, you gotta understand. I don't have any cash. I can't operate. I have no money.
Fastow (shock) You, personally?I got money – I can –
Skilling Not me personally, Andy, you prick. What, you think I'm some drinking, gambling-it-away prick can't find cash on my salary? What is it you think?!
Fastow No, no, I … We'll get through this.
Skilling Without someone friendly to us right now, we're dead.
He seems to be in pain – his stomach.I haven't been sleeping. People need to get paid.
Fastow Pay them in stock, with our stock price –
Skilling Everyone is paid in stock. Already, that's why it can't go down –
Fastow No, it can't. This whole set-up is founded on / the stock price –
Skilling I know!
Fastow Are you saying it's going down?
Skilling I'm saying it can't go / down.
Fastow That's what I'm saying.
Skilling Well don't tell me what I already / know!
Fastow I'm trying to make it work here!
Skilling Well that's your fucking job, ain't it?Beat.Sorry.
Fastow You need capital. You need cash. One, two, three?
Skilling More like four –
Fastow Four million I can find …
Skilling stares at him.
Skilling Million?! No.
Fastow You need four billion dollars? Cash?!
Skilling We're the world's most innovative company. How can we not find four/ billion dollars?!
Fastow That's not what I do. This is all … this is structured finance. This is how it looks … I can't make real money just appear.
Skilling (losing control) Then what good are you …? What fucking good is any of this to me?! Then we're going down, Andy, / and it's your –
Fastow Wait, look –Screens go red.RECOUNT: FLORIDA CALLED FOR BUSH.
Skilling What does that mean?
Fastow If you need actual capital …
Skilling But they called it for Gore.
Fastow If you need cash coming in the door, actual cash, then you need to sell something real …
Skilling I've sold everything!So, what, have we won?!
Fastow Fox says yes!
Skilling CNN says no.Screens go blue.FLORIDA RETRACTED FROM BUSH.
Skilling What the fuck are they doing?
Fastow Well, they gotta decide.
Skilling What's going on out there?!
Fastow Someone has to call this.
Skilling What dumbass is running this thing?
Fastow They can't do this. If there's one thing this country won't stand for it's ambiguity.Flicking through channels.Who's won? who's / won?!
Skilling Who's won!?
Just then, Lay enters, hanging up on a phone call. He is deliberately oblivious to the strange, exaggerated world of LJM. The Raptors scuttle away.
Lay Gentlemen. Guess who's just got off a call with the next President of the United States?
Skilling Say we got a Texan in the White House.
Skilling is clutching his stomach.
Lay Like father like son.
Skilling falls to his knees with the relief.
Lay And we got ourselves a deregulated state to play with.
Fastow There's your cash!
Skilling A small state? Or …
News Report The state of California has announced it's going to be the first state to implement a deregulated electricity market.
Video footage of George W. Bush being sworn in as President of the United States.
Scene 6: Texas Vs California
The floor is flooded with Traders.
During the following, Traders are manipulating California's electricity market by moving energy around. It should be tremendous fun, extremely fast, physical and overlap is encouraged.
(addressed to the Traders)Gentlemen. We've finally got our chance to move out all across the country. This is about competition. A deregulated system means one thing and one thing only controls electricity. The market. The market is supposed to show the weakness of regulation. The free market is there to show regulators how wrong they're getting it. I'm setting you free in California, fellas, bring it on home.
Trader 3 California! Yes, people, an electricity market of such complexity, designed by people of such simplicity.Loopholes so big you could fuck a fat chick through 'em and neither of you touch the sides. Let's find arbitrage opportunities. Let's. Fucking. Play.All right man, this is Clem up at Enron. We're buying as much electricity as we can and taking it out of the state.
Trader 4 Ricochet! Fat Boy! Burn Out! Death Star!
Trader 2 You want your power back? Fucking pay!
Trader 7 Wheeling electricity out of the state, push the prices up, get 'em high –
Trader 4 Sell it back when they're desperate!
Trader 5 The most beautiful thing about electricity –
All Traders It cannot be stored!
Trader 4 Holy shit, price is up through a hundred!
They all look.
Trader 1 I've never seen prices like these –
Trader 5 Welcome to Californ–I–A!
Trader 6 We're making billions of dollars!
All Traders For Enron!
News reports begin playing between and underneath the traders. They should overlap as appropriate.
News Report California's power supply came up short today, and the lights went out. Rolling blackouts have hit the sixth largest economy in the world. For the first time in sixty-five years, the electric power market is in chaos. Electricity rates are climbing and California has gone into meltdown.
Trader 5 There's a fire on the core line!
Trader 2 More fires we have, more prices go up!
All Traders Burn baby, burn!
Short physical sequence.
News Report Another day, another death in the story of California's blackouts. The driver of a station wagon was killed early Friday when she collided with a transit bus at an Oakland intersection where the traffic lights were down.This after surgeons were left without operating lights in San Pablo forcing patients to be airlifted to facilities out of state –
Skilling (to camera crew) We are doing the right thing in California. I mean, people are saying we shouldn't trade electricity – do you really believe that? Let's, let's stop trading wheat. Let's stop trading – you know, we need automobiles to maintain the logistics system, so does that mean we can't trade steel? We are the good guys in California. We are on the side of angels.
News Report Today, the governor of California, Gray Davis, declared a state of emergency after being forced to cut power for hundreds of thousands of people throughout the state.
Lay (on phone) Kenneth Lay here for the Governor of California. Governor! I understand you're considering running for President. You think it's gonna help you any to have the sixth largest economy in the world go dark on your watch? Voters remember that sort of thing. So how 'bout paying the prices we're asking?Well, I'm sorry to hear you say that, Governor.
He hangs up the phone.
(to Traders)Boys, step it up.
Trader 5 Come on!!
A climax of sound and activity is being reached. It builds and builds.
Trader 1 This is the largest single transfer of wealth I've ever seen!
Trader 7 We're like the Roman empire! We're going fucking down!
Trader 4 Let's rape this motherfucker!
Trader 5 Push it through the fucking roof!
Trader 1 Okay, okay!
Trader 2 / Do it, do it!
Everyone and everything is at fever pitch, yelling and encouraging.
Skilling You know the difference between the state of California and the Titanic? At least when the Titanic went down the lights were on.
Every light in the world seems to go out.
Utter darkness everywhere. For a shade longer than is comfortable.
And then …
Nothing but the light from a small doorway.
In front of the light of the doorway, a man comes into view. It is the short, homuncular figure of Ken Lay. A suited man comes on stage and goes through the door, first shaking Lay's hand.
Lay Hi, Mr Mayor, I'm sure we can get this under control.
Another suited man approaches the door. Lay shakes hands with him.Thanks for coming out.
Another suited man right behind him shakes Lay's hand and goes in.Don't worry, I got the guy to fix this.
And then, another suited man approaches. He is huge and square and muscular in his suit. Lay looks up at him, his face breaking into a grin. They shake hands. The man's broad back fills the doorway.Mr Schwarzenegger! I'm so glad you could make it. Now, let's go inside and talk about the future of California.
Arnold Schwarzenegger steps into the meeting, followed by Lay.
The door closes.
Scene 7: Skilling's Office
Skilling I hate those guys. I hate those legislators and politicians – not because they restrict business and fuck up the markets, even though they do and it does. I hate government because I know those guys. I went to school with them. And let me tell you, the weakest, most ignorant, most drunken fucking incompetents went to work for the US government. Because they weren't smart enough for the private sector. And that's the truth. I got head-hunted. And those bottom-of-the-fucking-barrel, frat-party know-nothing fucks who never got the call design the regulations for an energy market they know nothing about. It's my job to find ways round that. Why should we respect ineptitude? Why should we look at the lazy fucking regulations they've put in place by committee and go, 'Yeah, you suck at your jobs, fine, we'll ignore that and just suck at ours too.' Who do you think is gonna win in the end?! The greedy or the inept?! We're not perfect, but wait till you see the other guys.
Skilling is in a meeting with the Lawyer.
Skilling So why the fuck are people picketing my house?!
Lawyer There were deaths in California. If I'm gonna represent you I need to know your level of involvement.
Skilling I want you to represent me, not the company. I didn't kill anyone.
Lawyer There may be civil suits against you.
Skilling This is crazy.
Lawyer I can find other companies that were doing this over there. But you're getting the bad press cos your guys gave it a name.
Skilling What do you mean?
Lawyer (consults his papers) Ricochet. Fat Boy. Burn Out. Death Star. All on record as your traders' names for their strategies in California.
Skilling Death Star?!
Lawyer What I'm saying. 'Death Star' – makes it sound like kids on a video game.
Skilling That's a perception problem.
Lawyer Jeff, sending a state into chaos is, you know, that's not just a perception problem.
Skilling Will this affect the stock price?
Lawyer I'm a lawyer, not a stock analyst.
Skilling Cos that cannot happen.
Lawyer Maybe you should have thought of that before.
Skilling But we didn't do anything illegal in California.
Lawyer That's a matter of opinion.
Skilling I got a group of the smartest people in the world who can tell you why what they did was not illegal.
Lawyer If it wasn't illegal, it was stupid.
Skilling I don't think you understand how markets work.
Lawyer OK, well, let me put it to you this way, what do you think the chances are of other states deregulating after what happened in California?
Skilling You don't get to choose! You don't get to say, we like this much of free markets but not the whole thing. That's not free!
Lawyer I'm not interested in the economics.
Skilling So what are you interested in?
Lawyer Protecting you. There'll be a couple of guys in trading will take a fall, they'll get a little wire fraud –
Skilling Those guys deserve medals.
Lawyer There'll only be a bigger problem if there's anything else, any underlying …
The red box throbs from deep underneath.
Skilling Yeah. OK. But you can make this go away?
Lawyer I'm the best. You'd be paying for that. And that's why we'd win.
Skilling OK. OK.
A large Enron Security Officer appears in Skilling's doorway.
Skilling looks dishevelled and highly strung.
Security Officer You wanted me to take a look at something?
Skilling Yes, please. Yeah.
Lawyer I'll take care of it.
The Lawyer leaves.
Security Officer Sir.
Skilling Hey.Sorry, this is a little – can you, can you sweep this office for … equipment or recording …
Security Officer You think you're being bugged, sir?
Skilling Maybe, something –
Security Officer That might be a matter for the FBI –
Skilling No, no, just take a look –
Security Officer You think it's the government, sir?
Skilling No –
Security Officer A rival company – ?
Skilling I don't know. I just got a feeling.
The Security Officer checks around the office surfaces.
Skilling How's things in Maintenance?
Security Officer I'm in Security, sir.
Security Officer It's good.
Skilling You all got your 401Ks? You're all OK?
Security Officer Absolutely, sir. I got a daughter and I'd like her to go to college, do something real … Well, things become a lot easier with the stock options you've given us, that becomes a possibility.
Skilling Yeah. Good.Listen, can you hear, like a hiss like, you can tell something's on …? Wait, maybe under …
He gets down on the floor. He eventually puts his ear near the floor.Here.
The Security Officer gets down on the floor too. He copies Skilling who puts his ear to floor. They listen, lying on the floor together.
Skilling There's a sort of, ticking sound.
Security Officer Might that be your watch, sir?
Skilling's head is leaning on his wrist with his watch on. He gets up, embarrassed.
Skilling It was earlier.
Security Officer Could be something just needs rewiring, sometimes a static charge / (can build up).
Skilling / Yeah.
Security Officer Well, you let me know if you hear anything.
Skilling Sure.It's hot out, don't you think?
Security Officer Real dry. The trees are bribing the dogs.
Skilling Hey. You'll be straight. I've been thinking about our next venture. I've been thinking about taking Enron into weather.
Security Officer Weather?
Skilling Yeah, for investors or companies whose worth can be damaged by bad weather. We could carve out a market in protecting against that. Have people buy up shares in weather.
Security Officer Like insurance?
Skilling Sort of, yeah. We break up the risk, sell it off in parts like credit derivatives.
Security Officer You're losing me, sir.
Skilling (keen, looking for paper and pen) Sit down. I can explain it to you in minutes.
Security Officer Sounds a little out of my –
Skilling It's not, it makes total sense.
Security Officer I just want to do my job.
Skilling You don't want to hear what's next for the company?
Security Officer You're telling me to –
Skilling Sit down! You want to be a doorman the rest of your life? Sit down and listen!
Security Officer I'm a Security Officer, sir.
Skilling Sure, I know.
Security Officer I just got a shift I gotta do is all.
Skilling I just wanted you to understand …
Security Officer I'm fine. We trust you all up here, sir.
Skilling Didn't mean to be wasting your time.
Security Officer Nothing to it. I apologise.
Skilling Very Enron, though. Dealing in weather?
Security Officer Sure. It's your company, sir … You run it how you want it run.
Security Officer leaves.
Skilling's intercom beeps.
Secretary (voice-over) Mr Skilling, there's a reporter on the line from Fortune magazine –
Skilling (down phone) Jeff Skilling.I can't answer those questions right now. I am not an accountant. Look, I don't think you understand the complexity of the way we operate here. If you print an article now without our side, I personally think that's unethical. Sure, I'll send someone out, at Enron's expense. He'll fly out and help you understand the questions you're asking.Goddamn.
Scene 8: Andy's Lair
Skilling enters Fastow's shady lair, all anxiety.
The Raptors stay visible. Two have grown very bold now – fast and aggressive. One of them is weak and sickly, the other two flank it to protect it.
Skilling approaches to pet them and one of the strong Raptors is aggressive. He backs off. It follows him and pins him. Skilling is deeply unnerved by them.
Skilling Andy?!No reply.Andy!
He tazers a Raptor to protect Skilling. It falls down, ultimately unharmed. The others back off.
Skilling What the fuck was that?!
Fastow Something's spooked 'em.
Skilling What's wrong with that one?
Fastow It's sick. I don't know. Maybe I gave it too much.
Skilling Too much what?
Fastow Hmm? Oh, of the debt, Jeff.
Skilling Will it spread?
Fastow No. I don't know.
He tries to look at and comfort the injured Raptor.
Skilling Well. That's a good reason. That's a good excuse, we're getting rid of them.
The Raptors seem to hear him and snap around, maybe moving towards Fastow for support.
Skilling You heard me.
Fastow We can't. They're consuming a billion dollars' worth of debt.
Skilling Get rid of them.Beat.I need you to fly out to New York.
Fastow What's in New York?
Skilling A reporter. Fortune magazine. They're running an article on us.
Fastow A reporter wants to talk to me!
Skilling It's not a positive article.
Fastow What do you mean, it's not a positive article?!
Skilling They have questions.
Fastow Fuck them! We don't have to –
Skilling You got to go out there and explain how it works. How money flows through the business. That we're not a black box.
Fastow But we are a black box, Jeff.
Skilling We are not! We're a logistics company! With a ton of great ideas –
Fastow I don't want to leave LJM.
Skilling You're going and you're / (gonna) –
Fastow Please don't make me go.
Skilling You're Chief Financial Officer –
Fastow Jeff, I'm at my best here.
Skilling (violent) Be a fucking man! You're going to have to choose between LJM and Enron.
Fastow I created LJM.
Skilling I created you!Andy, I love you. And I would do anything for you. But you're gonna have to choose.
Fastow What am I going to say?
Skilling Look, if we disclose everything, there'll be panic, right?
Skilling So for everybody's good, they don't want trouble, we don't want trouble –
Fastow What if they do want trouble? I mean, they're a magazine. What if they take a good look, what if they take a really close look and they come to the conclusion that everything's just hedged against our own stock –
Skilling Andy, don't you dare say that in my – (presence).
Fastow What if they look and they see that underneath there's nothing actually there –
Skilling Nothing?! Twenty thousand employees taking home paychecks nothing? World's most innovative company? We run Texas, is that nothing? Then the whole fucking thing's nothing. Then the world's nothing.
Fastow OK, OK! I'll go! I'll just take all the paperwork. Throw information at them. Bury them / in it.
Skilling You go and you do that!
As Skilling is at his most manic and the Raptors are circling, Ken Lay enters.
Lay is absolutely oblivious to the Raptors, the odd environment and the men's turmoil. He holds two scraps of material.
Lay Hey, Jeff! Here you are. Listen, I need your opinion. I don't know which of these for the cabin of the new jet.
He holds the choices up.
Both men stare at him. The Raptors stare at him.
Skilling (slowly) Andy has to fly out to New York.
Fastow There's a loss of confidence. I think. Going on.
Lay So I'm hearing. I'll talk to Dick.
Skilling That won't do it. Ken, this has all been across your desk, you know what's / going on.
Lay Listen, if you boys are talking business –
Fastow I mean, I was only doing what I was asked to do.
Skilling And if the stock falls –
Lay The stock is not going to fall. That is not going to happen. You're running this show, Jeff.
Skilling We need to have a / conversation –
Lay (threatening) I don't want to have a conversation! Once you bury a dead dog, you don't dig it up to smell it.Now, which goddamn pattern?
Lay doesn't look at the Raptors or anything except the material swatches and sometimes Skilling.
Skilling, desperately buying into the charade, points at one. Lay nods, satisfied and lowers the swatches.
Lay OK, listen up. This is a confidence thing. You're gonna have to make a call with the stock analysts to reassure the market. This is just a confidence thing.
Skilling, dead-eyed, gets ushered off by Lay.
Fastow So I'll just do … what you aked me to then, Jeff, yeah?
Lay turns back, eyes the minion.
Lay Jeff's not here.
Fastow I can – I'll take care of it, Mr Lay.
Lay You don't belong to me, boy.
Left alone with his creations, Fastow rallies himself to do his master's bidding. He eyes the Raptors.
Fastow I'm sorry, girls. I gotta take you off the books.
He destroys the Raptors.
Fastow I don't care what they say about the company. As long as they don't make me look bad.
He torches LJM.
Scene 9: The Asshole
Skilling climbs stairs like a man on his way to the gallows, unkempt and addled.
He eyes the stock price.
Lay Everyone just needs a bit of faith restored. Stand straight, Jeffrey. You couldn't shave?
Skilling I know. I'm fine. I'm Jeff Skilling. OK. OK.
As he goes up, he notices his presence pushing the stock price up a very little bit.
Lay Here we go.
This spurs Skilling on.
As they go up, Enron Analysts and Journalists emerge from everywhere to listen to the conference call.
Skilling Just an outstanding quarter, another outstanding quarter. We're growing real quick in earnings and revenue and we have the strongest position in every market we're in … You know, so I have no idea why our stock's as low as it is, fifty-four dollars, that's crazy! People are saying we're opaque, we're a black box, we're not. That's like calling Michael Jordan a black box just cos you don't know what he's gonna score each quarter! (Pause.) We are very optimistic.
Silence. Skilling exhales.
Lay You'll take questions now.
Skilling I'll take questions now.
Analyst Hi. Richard Grubman here, hello.
Skilling Mr Grubman.
Analyst (slightly haughty) Hello. I don't really care about the earnings at this point. What I want to see is a balance sheet.
Skilling We will have that done shortly. But until we put all that together, we just cannot give you that.
Analyst I am trying to understand why that would be an unreasonable request.
Skilling I'm not saying we can't tell you what the balances are. But we'll wait – at this point – to disclose those until all … the right accounting is put together.
Analyst You're the only financial institution that cannot produce a balance sheet or a cashflow statement with their earnings.
Skilling Well, you're … you – Well, uh, thank you very much. We appreciate it.
Analyst Appreciate it?
There is utter silence as everyone realises what he just said to an important stock analyst.
Then suddenly there is frenetic activity.
Business Anchor Shockwaves were sent through the market today when Jeffrey Skilling referred to a senior stock analyst with a common but offensive term.
The Analysts all get on their phones and BlackBerries to their banks and brokerage firms
J. P. Morgan Analyst (together, overlapping, merging into one) You're never gonna guess what the fuck just happened – I think the big JS is losing it here – You got shareprice on Enron? – Something's going on down there – Called a Wall Street analyst an 'a-hole' during a conference call – CEO's gone sorta postal – I'm gonna recommend we hold – I don't know for now – I'm hearin' stuff here I don't like – Enron, the energy company – We gotta ask for the books – They're a black box – I wanna sell – Are people selling? – Enron – OK, we're outta there – Hold on Enron – Sell – Hold – Sell – Somebody selling – Enron – Sell – Hold – OK – Selling – What's the market doing? – Hold – Selling – Enron – Sell – Sell – Selling Enron, Enron – 'Asshole, asshole, asshole.'
The Analysts have taken themselves off, hurrying back to their marketplace hubs, a sea change in the offing.
But their effects are already painfully clear on the stock price, which is free-falling.
A spotlight on Skilling alone, unsupported. Just him and his representation of his self-worth, the stock price.
Skilling approaches it desperately, trying to regain former glories.
Skilling No! Please, come on. I'm happy, I'm … excited …The stock price does not respond.Come on, this is crazy.Nothing.IT'S ME! Everything will be fine, don't be idiotic!
The stock price drops slightly. Skilling recoils with shock.No, no, no, sorry –
It drops further. He's terrified.Jesus, no, stop. Oh God.
He goes to his phone. He dials a number he knows by heart. It rings.Hi, sweetheart. It's your dad. Are you OK? Yeah, I'm sorry, I know, it's four in the morning. Is your mom there?Beat.OK, well, this is important. I need you to tell her something. Are you awake? OK. Tell her to sell her shares. Sell her shares, All of them. I love you.
He turns to the stock price.What do you want? You want me? Is that it? Is that what you want?!
He ends, his arms outstretched, crucifying himself before the market.
The blocks beneath where Skilling was standing are removed by Analysts and Brokers as shares continue to be sold and the company weakens.
A sour, tuneless version of the 'Enron' barbershop quartet from earlier plays.
Scene 10: Private Meeting
Sheryl Sloman and Ken Lay are in a meeting with Skilling.
(to Skilling)You're resigning?
Lay We wanted to tell you first.
Sloman When are you going public with this?
Lay Later on today. We don't want the market getting the wrong idea. You've been a great cheerleader for us.
Sloman I'm a professional stock analyst.Let's not pretend. This is highly unusual. There should be a year leading up to this, a structured handover. Jeff, why are you resigning?
Skilling (teary) The company's in great shape, it couldn't be less to do with that. I … A company like this, it consumes your life. I've neglected my daughter. This is personal.
Lay It's not cos of the stock.
Skilling I'm doing this for the company. It'll go up when I announce. The market's decided. It wants me out.
Sloman That's not true. People say, people say all over, 'I'm not long Enron, but I'm long Jeff Skilling.'
This seems to affect him deeply.
Skilling You pour your life into something and, if it doesn't reflect back at you … I'm so tired.I can't sleep.
Sloman Are you worried about recent performance? Are there accounting issues?
Lay There are no accounting / issues –
(to Skilling)Is that why you can't sleep?
Skilling I haven't slept since I was fourteen.
Sloman People are talking about what's been going on here.
Lay We're going to deal with all that.
Sloman That Fortune article raised a lot of questions.
Lay I can honestly say the company's in the best shape it's ever been.Jeff?
Skilling I should go.
Lay Yeah, you go get ready to announce.
Sloman This is a blow for you.
Lay (understating) I would have preferred he stay.
Sloman Is Jeff sick, Ken?
Lay Depends what you mean by sick.
Sloman I've always been a supporter of Enron Corporation. But, you know, the CEO leaving like this? That doesn't spin. You've got to hold this thing together.
Lay Don't you worry about anything here. I'm a safe pair of hands.
With a reassuring squeeze of her arm, Lay stalks off, leaving Sloman thoughtful.
News Reporters In breaking news, Enron's CEO has resigned. Now the market's left asking the question the company is famous for: WHY?