Enron Traders Schemed About California on Tapes

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by omcate, Jun 2, 2004.

  1. omcate


    Joked About Stealing From Grandmothers
    By KRISTEN HAYS, Associated Press

    HOUSTON (June 2) - Enron Corp. traders openly discussed manipulating the California power market and joked about stealing from grandmothers during the Western energy crisis in 2000-2001, according to transcripts of telephone calls filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

    The transcripts, some littered with profanity, were filed by a public utility district near Seattle.

    The calls on the transcripts are central to the Justice Department's investigation of Enron's trading practices.

    John Forney, a former top trader in Enron's defunct Western trading operation based in Portland, Ore., is slated to stand trial on charges of wire fraud and conspiracy. Two other former Portland traders, Timothy Belden and Jeffrey Richter, have pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and are helping prosecutors.

    Energy merchants regularly tape trader conversations to keep a record of transactions.

    According to the Snohomish County Public Utility District, which obtained audiotapes of trader conversations from the Justice Department and transcribed them, traders openly discussed creating congestion on transmission lines, taking generating units offline to pump up electricity prices and overall manipulation of the California power market.

    For example, in one transcript a trader asks about "all the money you guys stole from those poor grandmothers of California.''

    To which the Enron trader responds, "Yeah, Grandma Millie, man. But she's the one who couldn't figure out how to (expletive) vote on the butterfly ballot.''

    Conversations that involve Forney, Belden and Richter appear throughout the transcripts.

    In one of those transcripts, a trader says to Richter, "So, uh, somebody's figured out how to set congestion?''

    Richter: "Well, we ... we can set it if we want. I mean, it's not a hard game to do.'

    In another, an Enron trader identified as David discusses shutting down a steamer from a generating unit to increase prices.

    "I was wondering, um, the demand out there is er ... there's not much, ah, demand for power at all and we're running kind of fat. Um, if you took down the steamer, how long would it take to get it back up?

    "Oh, it's not something you want to just be turning on and off every hour. Let's put it that way,'' another trader says.

    "If we shut it down, could you bring it back up in three - three or four hours, something like that?'' David asks.

    "Oh, yeah,'' the other trader says.

    "Well, why don't you just go ahead and shut her down, then, if that's OK,'' David says.

    Eric Christensen, a lawyer for the utility district, said it is seeking to convince a FERC administrative law judge that Enron should be ordered to surrender as much as $2 billion in unjust profits.

    06/02/04 11:59 EDT
  2. tradARRR


    interesting. I wonder who, in a position of power at Enron, wasn't corrupt??

    Ya know, they say if you hang around shit long enough, you start to smell like it.....

    they thought they could get around the system and make easy money illegally, but in the end, they got caught. Its just not worth it to break the law......
  3. the only intersting thing to me is people actually believe this type of activity is exclusive to enron....
  4. nkhoi


    what happen if all enron records were at world trade center.
  5. It is cbsnews that has the original tapes you can hear them here :


    "Burn, baby, burn. That's a beautiful thing," a trader sang about the massive fire.

    Four years after California's disastrous experiment with energy deregulation, Enron energy traders can be heard – on audiotapes obtained by CBS News – gloating and praising each other as they helped bring on, and cash-in on, the Western power crisis.

    "He just f---s California," says one Enron employee. "He steals money from California to the tune of about a million."

    "Will you rephrase that?" asks a second employee.

    "OK, he, um, he arbitrages the California market to the tune of a million bucks or two a day," replies the first.

    The tapes, from Enron's West Coast trading desk, also confirm what CBS reported years ago: that in secret deals with power producers, traders deliberately drove up prices by ordering power plants shut down.

  6. maxpi


    I blame California for being so WEAK in the area of energy production. Traders saw a wounded dinosaur and they killed the thing and ate it. If they did criminal things I won't miss them while they are doing the time but hey, they were traders, they just overdid it. The lesson to other states should be to not ever become that vulnerable.

  7. Now don't tell me that the war in Iraq with the consequences of oil inflation doesn't profit to Saudi Arabia and their friends the US oil companies in the same maner. Did they make provoke the war on purpose like Enron's sabotage of course there is no tapes to tell so at the moment ...

    btw http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/may2004/053104saudiattack.htm
    CNN Says Saudi Attack Was a Conspiracy

    Prison Planet | May 31 2004

    Comment: I was just watching CNN International and they admitted that the Saudi attack looked like a 'conspiracy of collusion' between the Saudi government and the 'terrorist group' - commenting that the 'terrorists' were wearing military uniforms and they were allowed to escape.

    I also heard a mainstream British radio report today that also stated that three of the four terrorists were allowed to escape after a deal had been struck, although I can't find anything in print which confirms this at the moment.

    Saudi security forces 'allowed kidnappers to flee'

    London Times

    Saudi security forces allowed some kidnappers in the bloody weekend attack on a residential compound to flee because they threatened to blow up the building, according to reports.

    One employee of the Oasis compound said today that a hostage heard the gunmen shouting that they would release their captives if the security forces let them go.

  8. tradARRR


    would you trade illegally to make massive profits, if you knew the SEC was watching over your activities??

    I sure as hell wouldn't: I'd rather do an easy $150-200K/ yr day trading vs $1million/ year illegally trading for 5 years, then 5 years of JAIL anyday!!!! Plus, when you go to jail, you don't get to keep illegal trading profits :mad: :mad: :D
  9. omcate


    I ***THINK*** if you use the illegal trading profits to buy a multi-million mansion at Florida, you can keep the property no matter what happens.:p That is one of the reasons that many former and current CEO's, CFO's, COO's, etc. invest in the Florida real-estate market.:D


    Another embattled executive, former WorldCom CFO Scott Sullivan, is building an enormous mansion in Boca Raton, Fla. Sullivan is accused by WorldCom of cooking the books, leading to the company's bankruptcy this week, the largest bankruptcy in American history. On the very day WorldCom filed for bankruptcy, construction continued at full pace at Sullivan's gigantic mansion.

    Sullivan, who drives around Boca Raton in a silver Range Rover, says everything he did was legal. Under Florida law, his principal place of residence is essentially untouchable — safe from civil lawsuits and creditors.

  10. California looks like it is killing itself. It's a testimony to the strength of the productive people there that it survives its legislature. It pushed for natgas electrical generation despite evidence of decreasing domestic natgas reserves.

    The little bit I heard about The Crooked E today made me sick, but then again, alot of what I hear about California makes me sick.
    #10     Jun 2, 2004