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Looking Back on 2005

Posted by Brooke Shelby Biggs on January 2nd, 2006

Sure, sure, The New York Times is the voice of the status quo according to lefties, the bully pulpit of the liberal elite according to righties. But if corporate corruption, graft, greed, incompetence and influence-peddling are of concern to you - no matter your political stripe - you have to admit that a lot of stories used to fly under the radar of the Gray Lady are now frontpage news, and that is good news. Perhaps we can thank Kenneth Lay for that; what we at CorpWatch have long done just wasn't as sexy before he came along. Thanks, you big lug.

So here in the first week of a new year, we begin with a clean slate, ready for a year of customary despoiling. In reflection, let us review the year in corporate crime, courtesy of Gretchen Morgenson at The New York Times. (Or, of course, you could page through a few thousand of our favorite stories on the subject from the last 12 months ...)

Welcome to the CorpWatch Blog!

Posted by Brooke Shelby Biggs on December 20th, 2005

Welcome to the Corpwatch Blog! We're introducing this new feature as a tool for you to navigate our resources, and to help provide context to breaking news elsewhere on the Web.

For example, you may have read today that the ex-CEO of Qwest Communications was indicted today for illegally cashing in on his company's IPO during the Internet boom, to the tune of $100 million. But did you know that Qwest in 2001 entered into Enron's bogus scam to trade digital bandwidth like any commodity? Back then, investigators discovered that the deal was all smoke and mirrors: Qwest agreed to pay Enron $308 million for use of "dark fiber" -- unused fiber optic capacity. In exchange, Enron agreed to pay Qwest between $86 million and $195 million for access to active sections of Qwest's network. Both companies could report these phantom revenues on their balance sheets to fool investors.

It's this kind of news-behind the news only CorpWatch can offer, and we think this forum is the place to do it.

We hope you find this new blog to be useful, informative, and enlightening. Of course, we welcome your comments, complaints, and especially compliments.




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