What I Did Was Wrong Essay

800 Words Mar 26th, 2016 4 Pages
“What I did was wrong. I am guilty, I believe I am guilty, I believe what I did was criminal”—these are the cautionary words of Andrew Fastow, the former Chief Financial Officer of Enron Corporation. In 2001, the corporate empire Enron came crumbling down in a catastrophic scandal bolstered by an army of finance professionals who felt they could do no wrong. In short, the company hid losses through ghost corporations to inflate balance sheets. Fastow, deemed the architect of the scandal, was indicted on multiple counts of fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy. In the boardrooms before the crash, instead of listening when Enron’s board of directors asked “Is this allowed?” Fastow consistently sought out internal and external accountants to reaffirm his dubious plans. Why Fastow ignored the concerns of directors and continued his scheme may be explained by the combination of what psychiatrist Robert B. Millam calls “acquired situational narcissism” and an organizational behavior study by Kausel, Culbertson, Leiva, Slaughter, and Jackson (2015) which explores when narcissists dismiss advice.
The individual’s perception of the world can be distorted in high stake jobs like finance; the drive of fame and rewards becomes commonplace and can fundamentally alter an individual’s behavior. The most affected professionals are the least in touch with reality, and those at Enron likely prove no exception. When considering the individuals that approved Enron’s decisions, it’s easy to…

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