Jun 7, 2004
Enron energy traders bragged about "stealing" millions of dollars four years ago by helping create the California energy crisis. And they did it all on tape.
The tapes were made public after a small Seattle-area public utility went to court to get them from the Justice Department. The Justice Department and Enron didn't want them released.
And no wonder – they prove that Enron traders made secret deals with power producers to shut down plants in order to drive prices up.
One trader brags about "all the money you guys stole from those poor grandmothers in California."
"Yeah, Grandma Millie, man!" says another.
Another trader brags about Ken Lay: "He steals money from California to the tune of about a million." When asked to rephrase, he says, "Ok, he, um, he 'arbitrages' the California market to the tune of a million bucks or two a day."
And when a major forest fire shut down a major transmission line into California, providing an excuse to raise prices even further, Enron traders even crowed gleefully about that, singing, "Burn, baby, burn! That's a beautiful thing."
These slimeballs knew exactly what they were doing, and these tapes prove it.
Somewhere right now, some oil company executives are probably singing and bragging about THEIR latest schemes.