The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Just say you're sorry, and you won't be prosecuted - if ...

Sep 22, 2003

On September 17, Merrill Lynch, one of the biggest stock brokers in the country, cut a deal with the government.

In 1999, Merrill Lynch had set up a fake company, allowing Enron to pretend to sell it an interest in power facilities in Nigeria. In fact, there was no sale, but Enron showed a 12-million dollar profit on its books. Enron also sold some power to Merrill Lynch, which promptly sold it back at the same price to Enron. But Enron used various accounting tricks to claim a large gain from the transaction. Merrill Lynch even admitted that it might have suggested some of these deals to Enron.

The federal prosecutor, in announcing there would be no criminal prosecution, said that Merrill Lynch "is committed to being a responsible citizen and ensuring that the illegal activities that occurred will not be repeated."

Tell that to 12,000 Enron employees who lost their pension money when Enron's shares, which their 401(k)s were invested in, collapsed.

Tell that to the people in California who are still paying the bill for Enron's manipulating of energy prices.

Of course, they already know that big companies get away with murder.