The cost of deregulation

I believe in God and I believe in free markets,” Kenneth Lay told a religion editor for the San Diego Union-Tribune early last year. Not surprisingly, Lay’s devotion to deregulated markets became an article of faith for Enron, the Houston-based energy company he heads. Enron’s collapse in December, one of the largest bankruptcies in history, manifests the hazards of drawing too close an association between ultimate and penultimate matters. An increasingly unregulated marketplace may have been the god that failed Enron.

 

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