Here’s a nice review of the movie made from Bethany McLean’s ’92 wonderful book on Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.

What does Bethany McLean think?

“I have no complaints,” she told me in an e-mail. “It was thrilling just to have someone interested enough in our book to make a documentary of it. On top of that, I think Alex and his team did an amazing job.”

McLean also says the movie “conveys the fact that Enron isn’t just an isolated example of bad people doing bad things.”

“The Enron story wouldn’t have been possible without a lot of enablers — the banks, the accountants, even the press. And the mindset — short-term profits, meeting quarterly expectations, etc. — that caused the collapse of Enron is still all too prevalent in America.”

Perhaps. It is not clear precisely what the right “mindset” is for corporate America (I certainly want CEOs to care about profits), but Enron certainly didn’t have it. Others are not so impressed with the movie. There is no doubt that the book is excellent, however, and comes with no ideological baggage.

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