Show Enron Some Love

The name Enron may now be synonymous with lost jobs, ruined retirements and galling corporate fraud. But the company--whose former CEOs Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling go on trial in Houston next week--also left a legacy of bright ideas. Here are three we can (grudgingly) thank it for.

•LOWER ELECTRICITY BILLS Yes, Enron's market manipulation triggered California's rolling blackouts in 2000, but its unceasing push for deregulation of power markets made an impact. "The trading aspect of their business actually solved a problem," says Brian Hamilton, CEO of Sageworks, a research firm in Raleigh, N.C. Deregulation doesn't work unless traders manage...

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