Enron's taped 'jokes' shock for Bush By Simon English in New York (Filed: 19/12/2002)
An Enron videotape from six years ago featuring both President Bushes and top executives jokily refers to the notorious energy company as a hotbed of fraud.
The extraordinary tape, compiled as a leaving present for director Richard Kinder in 1997, veers from the funny to the eerie in half an hour of gags about financial misdemeanours.
It is likely to be subpoenaed by federal prosecutors and will increase the embarrassment felt by the Bush family at its close ties to a company that became a byword for American corporate sleaze.
Former chief executive Jeffrey Skilling takes part in a sketch spoofing Enron's accounting and explaining how he is going to boost profits.
"I haven't mentioned this before, Rich, but this is the key. We're going to move from mark-to-market accounting to something I call HFV - Hypothetical Future Value accounting. If we do that, we can add a kazillion dollars to the bottom line," he says.
An accountant who objects to the methods is then dubbed a "spoilsport" by Mr Skilling, who later insisted under questioning from investigators that he knew nothing about the company's dubious methods.
Richard Causey, the former chief accounting officer who was hauled before Congress to explain Enron's bookkeeping, is seen joking: "I've been in this job a week managing earnings.
"It's easier than I thought it would be. I can't even count fast enough to keep up with the earnings rolling in."
The former President Bush praises Mr Kinder, saying: "You've been fantastic to the Bush family. I don't think anybody did more than you did to support George."
The current President Bush, then Governor of Texas, adds: "Rich, I've been asked to think of one thing I'd say to you on your departure from Enron. It's this: Don't leave Texas. You're too good of a man."
Enron was Bush's biggest financial supporter and former chairman Ken Lay advised vice president Dick Cheney on the nation's energy policy.
Have you seen the video? I have. I watched it several times. Guess what, it wasn't Rich in the video when they spoofed the accounting part. Also, clearly shows that that HPV accounting was Skillings work (not Kinder's) since they were suggesting to Rich that they use it, and they did finally implement it after Rich Kinder left.
Oh, and your a little late. That came out a year or so ao, when Melissa Davis, Kurt Wulff and Carole (I'm as dumb as a brick) Coale ganged up on poor uncle Rich.
A woman was play acting Kinder. She had the accent down cold. Rich was "shown" to be shocked at what the Skilling character was proposing. Funny stuff; very positive for Kinder in showing that when he was in control, there was no, "funny business".
Once Skilling took over it was down hill for Enron.