The FT reports that Enron traders, 'using trading strategies with ominous names like 'Death Star' and 'Get Shorty'.....raked in hundreds of millions - possibly billions - of dollars' during California's 2000 energy crisis. The energy trading unit made so much money that the profits helped obscure the difficulties of the rest of the Enron group.
While Californian consumers suffered and taxpayers subsequently paid out billions to help resolve the crisis, certain Enron traders took advantage of the situation and have been accused of illegally manipulating the market.
Tim Belden, the former head of Enron's West Coast electricity trading arm, has recently pleaded guilty to charges of committing wire fraud and is now helping investigators get to the bottom of what actually transpired in California and elsewhere in the group.
It was at a Las Vegas conference during the summer of 2001 that Jeff Skilling, then CEO at Enron, made the ill-advised crack:
'What's the difference between California and the Titanic ?.......... At least the lights were on when the Titantic went down'.
This writer asks what's the difference between Jeff Skilling and the Captain of the Titanic ?.............Nothing - they both went down with the ship!