Will the Big Five Go Down One?

For Andersen, the Enron scandal may only get worse. A senior Administration official told TIME last week that an indictment of the Big Five accounting firm or some of its executives could be imminent. An adviser to the company, meanwhile, acknowledged that it was on the brink of serious financial trouble and suggested that an indictment might force it to seek protection under bankruptcy laws. This is vehemently denied by Andersen spokesman Charlie Leonard. "You can't [declare bankruptcy] if you're solvent," he says. "Andersen is solvent."

Nonetheless, some of Andersen's most prestigious and loyal clients--including pharmaceutical giant Merck, mortgage agency Freddie...

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