Bethany McLean

The Smartest Guys in the Room
  • The Smartest Guys in the Room

  • Brought to you by Penguin.

    What went wrong with American business at the end of the 20th century?

    Until the spring of 2001, Enron epitomized the triumph of the New Economy. Feared by rivals, worshipped by investors, Enron seemingly could do no wrong. Its profits rose every year; its stock price surged ever upward; its leaders were hailed as visionaries.

    Then a young Fortune writer, Bethany McLean, wrote an article posing a simple question - how, exactly, does Enron make its money?

    Within a year Enron was facing humiliation and bankruptcy, the largest in US history, which caused Americans to lose faith in a system that rewarded top insiders with millions of dollars, while small investors lost everything. It was revealed that Enron was a company whose business was an illusion, an illusion that Wall Street was willing to accept even though they knew what the real truth was. This book - fully updated for the paperback - tells the extraordinary story of Enron's fall.

    © Bethany McLean, Peter Elkind 2003 (P) Penguin Audio 2021

Bethany McLean is a writer for Vanity Fair and the co-author of The Smartest Guys in the Room. She was previously editor-at-large of Fortune, and spent three years working at Goldman Sachs. She lives in Chicago. Joe Nocera is business columnist for the New York Times. He has won three Gerald Loeb awards for excellence in business journalism and was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in 2006. He lives in New York.

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