Enron Plays The Pipes

This old-time gas company is trading fuel for a future as a new-economy superpower. Will the swap work?

It's Saturday night, and the only thing between you and a movie from Blockbuster Video is the unpaid late fee for last week's rental. If that sounds familiar, then you'll appreciate this: next year Blockbuster plans to offer up to 500 movie titles online in more than a dozen major cities around the U.S. That's right, video on demand (not the frustrating no-rewind, no-pause pay-per-view offerings of today) for anyone with a DSL line at home.

What's remarkable is that Blockbuster's partner happens to be an energy company called Enron. At a time when so many old-economy companies seem helpless...

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