College of Law Faculty Scholarship


Enron's Tangled Web: Complex Relationships; Unanswered Questions

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This essay originally was presented orally at the University of Cincinnati College of Law's Sixteenth Annual Corporate Law Symposium. The essay describes corporate agency and agency-related relationships as implicated in the "Enron affair" and explores ways in which the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 fails or attempts to address the alleged malfunctions in these relationships. The essay concludes that the reforms enacted in Sarbanes-Oxley provide little assistance in resolving agency and agency-related problems associated with Enron's public misstatements and omissions. Ultimately, the essay exhorts scholars and practicing lawyers to work together to resolve these problems through (among other things) additional research into cognitive and behavioral science and direct client assistance both in the decision making process and in the search for and selection of corporate directors and officers.