“WNET has told a story which needs to be voiced. I commend them,” writes Richard Bowen in an article today about Playing by the Rules: Ethics at Work – Ask Why, which aired on THIRTEEN January 19. Through interviews with former executives and Justice Department officials, the episode examines the collapse of the energy company Enron, as well as the subsequent ruination of Enron’s accounting firm, Arthur Andersen.
In his article, “A Case Study on Enron: How to Destroy a Company!” Bowen praises the episode and the series, and gives more background on the collapse of Enron and the culture of the company.
Enron’s 64-page code of ethics were just words on paper; management did as it pleased.
It developed a culture which asked, “what did you do for Enron today?” It was a culture which did not welcome bad news or dissent. A punishing culture, where strict evaluations at end of year subjected the bottom 20% of employees to dismissal. A culture where huge employee bonuses sometimes reached into the millions enabling one to buy bigger houses and send their kids to Ivy League schools. Why raise a voice?
Bowen is widely known as the Citigroup whistleblower during the housing bubble financial crisis meltdown. He held the position of Business Chief Underwriter before Citigroup stripped him of all responsibilities. Bowen went on to testify about Citibank’s fraudulent activities to the Securities and Exchange Commission, providing it 1,000 pages of evidence.
Bowen spoke about Citigroup in the premiere episode of Playing by the Rules: Ethics at Work, “The Whistleblower,” which also features his former colleague at Citigroup, Sherry Hunt.
Bowen is a professor of accounting at the University of Texas at Dallas. He was named CPA of The Year (2012) by the Dallas Society of CPA’s and Dallas’ D CEO Magazine recognized him as the 2012 recipient of its annual Financial Executives Award for Excellence in Corporate Governance.
Playing by the Rules: Ethics at Work is a new three-part series produced by WLIW, a member of the WNET family of companies. The first two episodes, The Whistleblower, about Citibank, and Ask Why, about Enron, are streaming now the THIRTEEN site and on its free THIRTEEN Explore apps.