This week marks the tenth anniversary of Enron’s collapse. The Houston energy company took down thousands of jobs, billions of dollars, and a good chunk of the stock market with it.
But as Andrew Schneider reports for StateImpact Texas radio partner KUHF this week, Enron did a lot of good before things went bad. “It was a major benefactor for Houston charities,” Schneider reports. “It helped build the Houston Holocaust Museum and expand the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. And Ken Lay led the effort to build the Astros a new ballpark and keep them from leaving the city.” Enron built towering new office buildings and put thousands of people to work.
So when it fell, it had a huge effect on Houston’s psyche as the energy capital of the world, Schneider reminds us ten years on. Four thousand people in Houston lost their jobs, and Enron’s accounting firm Arthur Andersen closed down. “Enron’s rivals, notably Dynegy and El Paso,” Schneider writes, “never entirely recovered from the blow to the energy trading market.
What happened to the people that worked at Enron? How did Houston recover? You can read and listen to KUHF’s four-part series on the aftermath of the Enron collapse here.