Steve McAlexander on Sun, 10 Feb 2002 20:13:03 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-bold] Is Congresss capable of investigating itself about Enron? I don't think so......

Matrix...ok! Neat.  What I find fascinating is that Enron doled out
money to both political parties in Congress and now Congress is going to
investigate itself in this matter?  Are the American public on drugs or
was MK ULTRA more successful that we even know?  This to me is an
incredible conflict of interest are we ethically and morally bankrupt
and blind too?  Sheesh

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Brian Holmes
Sent: Sunday, February 10, 2002 12:36
To: Nettime
Subject: [Nettime-bold] Enron's Matrix

A wonderful coincidence in names, or perhaps what Hegel would have
called the ruse of reason, links the popular film Matrix, with its
Baudrillardean simulacra-theme, to the popular disaster of Enron, the
occult engine of the virtual economy that sucked all our blood in the
1990s. The matrix, as any movie-going adolescent could guess, is a
computer that adjusts reality to serve the needs of a few very powerful
postmodern vampires. The endless numbers churned by this machine may
have proved Hegel's old dictum, that the rational is real. But does
anyone still believe that the real is rational?...

_Hard Money, Strong Arms And 'Matrix'
How Enron Dealt With Congress, Bureaucracy_

They called it "the matrix" -- a computer program that brought a
scientific dimension to Enron's effort to seduce politicians and sway
bureaucrats. With each proposed change in federal regulations, lobbyists
punched details into a computer, allowing Enron economists in Houston to
calculate just how much a rule change would cost. If the final figure
was too high, executives used it as the cue to stoke their vast
influence machine, mobilizing lobbyists and dialing up politicians who
had accepted some of Enron's millions in campaign contributions. "It was
a new thing to be able to quantify the regulatory risk," said economist
Gia Maisashvili, who helped Enron develop the system. "We were the
pioneers." The matrix illustrates the brash, calculating methods that
Enron managers used to play Washington politics. The company that made
headlines by erasing rules and ignoring convention in the business world
applied the same principles in Congress, state capitals and the
administration, bragging that its shrewd political tactics blew past
customary constraints. Enron's lobbying techniques grew so aggressive
that a key member of Congress reportedly exploded in anger when the
company's chief executive pressed him on deregulation matters. They
began, however, with a vigorous application of the most time-proven
method: lavishing campaign money on politicians.... [snip]

By Joe Stephens
Washington Post
Sunday, February 10, 2002

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