Learning from Enron
This essay argues that the Enron affair has been misunderstood as a failure of monitoring, with adverse consequences for the drafting of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Higgs report. Where Enron’s board failed was in underestimating the risks that were inherent in the company’s business plan and failing to implement an effective system of internal control. Enron demonstrates the limits of the monitoring board and points the way to a stewardship model in which the board takes responsibility for ensuring the sustainability of the company’s assets over time.
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