Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



In this article, I explore the contention of Jeffrey Skilling, former Enron CEO, that Enron's debacle was due to a perfect storm of events. I reject his contention, arguing instead that Enron's downfall was more like Titanic's - hubris and an over-reliance on checks and balances led to Enron's downfall. I then explore how character (especially of those at the top of an organization) can lead to Enron-like disasters, and I talk about how cognitive dissonance can lead to very smart people making very stupid decisions. I end with some musings about how lawyers can learn from Enron.

Publication Citation

Rapoport, Nancy B., Enron, Titanic, and the Perfect Storm (2004). ENRON: CORPORATE FIASCOS AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS, Nancy B. Rapoport & Bala G. Dharan, eds., Foundation Press, 2004.