Kenneth Lay Takes the Easy Way Out (Again)
Enjoy that executive suite in Hell, buddy!
Ken Lay, the dishonored founder of Enron whose deceit and double dealings cost 4,000 employees their jobs, and many of them their entire life savings, died of a massive coronary this morning.
I know some of you think that this heart attack is cause for celebration. I don’t. I think that the sweet release of death is too good for this disgraced, fraudulent scoundrel. I would have preferred a nice, lengthy jail term, let’s say about forty years. Besides, a heart attack is not a moral indictment. There are plenty of benevolent people who die of heart attacks. I know at least five people who have lived pretty decent lives and suffered the same fate as Lay. And when their turn came to meet their maker, they weren’t relaxing in one of their vacation homes or receiving the best medical care that money can buy.
In fact, I wonder how many former Enron employees have died, or seen a sharp decline in their health as a direct result of losing their jobs and their savings. I wonder how many of them will have to sit through the inevitable eulogies that try to make this asshole look like a tragic figure who, like Oedipus, was simply overcome by his circumstances. Lest you think I exaggerate, I offer you proof that some have already begun the post mortem exoneration process. From Bloomberg: “Lay's death robs his family of any chance to proceed with his appeal to attempt to clear his name by reversing the conviction,” said
So now you see where this is headed. If Kenneth Lay had murdered two or three people in cold blood, no one would be describing him, like Ben Richardson of the BBC, as a “fallen hero.” He would be accurately depicted as a piece of garbage. But Lay didn’t get his hands dirty. He simply ruined the futures of thousands of people and was fortunate enough to not have to spend one single day in prison because of it. Let’s not allow the media to turn this guy into Achilles.