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Enron's greed is the rule, not the exception

February 15, 2002 | Page 4

Dear Socialist Worker,

One of the chants that we raised at World Economic Forum protests this past weekend was "We are all Argentina, they are all Enron!" That chant could not be more apt, as there's now a whole line of other companies stepping forward to say that they, too, lied about profits, hid exorbitant payouts to executives and otherwise cooked their books.

Meanwhile, workers have been made to pay for the messes. Just days after Kmart filed for bankruptcy, the company said that it was conducting an "internal investigation" about possible inaccuracies in its financial statements. And Kmart workers, like workers at Enron, also had parts of their 401(k) plans invested in the company. With Kmart's stock plummeting to a 34-year low, many will have to postpone retirement.

There's also the case of Global Crossing, which was somewhat overlooked in the wake of Enron. It's one of the largest bankruptcies ever filed. Now information has come out about accounting improprieties that occurred while insiders cashed out $1.3 billion worth of stock during the past three years.

Meanwhile, Tyco International is being called "Enron II" in some circles--because it also revealed that it lied about its profits. Tyco has laid off thousands of workers in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania during the last few years. At the same time, one Tyco executive received a $20 million payout for a single transaction, even as the company headed toward bankruptcy.

All these examples just further illustrate that Enron is not an exception, but the rule.

Petrino DiLeo, New York City

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