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Is court the best place for the Enron debacle?

FACE-OFF • Sheila Hamilton says state should sue, but Lars Larson says we'd just be beating a dead horse

Sue Enron? Sure, why not? Let's throw a few hundred thousand taxpayer dollars (just to get started) at a lawsuit against a bankrupt company with few physical assets. Not a good idea.

Did the company rip off Enron employees? It certainly sounds like it. I'd find everyone who knew about the scene and throw them in jail. But there are problems with calling in the lawyers and spooling up the lawsuit machinery.

1. The money is gone. Enron is flat broke. Remember, for the most part, this company bought and sold energy É and had few physical assets.

2. The money was ill-gotten gains. Like it or not, a lot of those six- and seven-figure portfolios built up by Enron and PGE employees were the product of what now appears to be criminal activity. Workers didn't know it at the time (not many of them anyway), but that doesn't change the fact that they now appear to have been the (paper) beneficiaries of a scam.

If I understand Sheila correctly, the top law enforcement officials in Oregon should now go to court to sue a criminal (allegedly) enterprise to get back the (illegally earned) value of the stocks employees had been given by their (alleged) criminal employer.

3. You're a fool if you put all your eggs (stocks) in one basket (company). Workers had to take stock as the company's match to their pension É but that hot company stock also persuaded them to buy some of their own.

Both Republicans and Democrats took hundreds of thousands in campaign contributions.

Clinton staffers helped Enron with a power plant in India during the '90s, but the company's contributions to Bush and company appear to have bought

little influence.

Suing a company that's gone broke sounds like a bankrupt idea to me.

Ð Lars Larson is the host of a talk show on KXL (750 AM) that runs from noon to 4 p.m. weekdays. Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..