Here’s a Simple Lesson on Business Ethics From the Former CFO of Enron
Legal and ethical aren’t necessarily the same thing.
July 2, 2015 — 8:55 PM SGT
Andrew Fastow, the former chief financial officer of Enron was a speaker at Camp Alphaville, a conference hosted by the Financial Times‘ well-known finance blogAlphaville. Since leaving prison, he’s been talking to business students about ethics in business. The point he makes, perhaps unsurprisingly, is that business ethics can be a tricky thing. Practices that are perfectly legal and wide-spread can be unethical. While the off-balance sheet transactions that triggered Enron’s collapse were approved by the company’s lawyers, accountants and management, Fastow said, he nevertheless deserved to go to jail for misleading investors. As Fastow said at the event on Wednesday: “I wasn’t the chief finance officer at Enron, I was the chief loophole officer.” Continue reading