California Scheming

Internal documents describe the amazing, code-named ways that ENRON rigged the state's energy prices

When Federal regulators last week released internal memos that showed how Enron squeezed cash out of energy-hungry California, it was hard not to notice how many of the energy traders' secret strategies borrowed names from the state's most famous products. Hollywood was saluted with Get Shorty and Ricochet, while Marin County's George Lucas got a nod with Death Star. Some of the schemes operated in a manner that many Californians found disturbingly familiar: Enron made money hawking electrons that didn't exist. That's a business plan some former dotcom millionaires can remember well.

If it was all meant as an ironic joke,...

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