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Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

About the Show

CNBC presents the documentary that delves into one of history's greatest business scandals.

Narrated by Peter Coyote, the film unfolds like a drama with the emotional power of Greek tragedy, taking you inside as top executives walk away with more that $1 bullion and investors and employees lose everything.

ENRON: The Smartest Guys in the Room is the inside story of one of America's greatest business scandals, in which top executives of the country's seventh largest company walked away with more than $1 billion while investors and employees lost everything.

The story begins in 1985 when Enron was formed through the merger of Houston Natural Gas and InterNorth, the Omaha, Neb. natural gas company.

By 2000, the company had grown into the largest natural gas merchant in North America, eventually branching out into trading other commodities, including water, coal and steel. Meanwhile, Jeff Skilling is named CEO, and the company stock skyrockets.

But when Enron's sleight of hand accounting and unethical trading eventually meet the realities of balance sheets that don't balance and products that don't exist, unwitting employees whose financial futures are anchored to the Enron ship watch in horror as it quickly sinks.

Web Extras

  • QUIZ: How Much Do You Know About Enron? Thursday, 25 Mar 2010 | 12:54 PM ET

    How much do you know about one of the biggest business scandals of all time? Take our Enron quiz and find out.

  • Portfolio's Worst American CEOs of All Time Thursday, 30 Apr 2009 | 4:03 PM ET
    Throughout the history of business, the failure or success of a company has relied on many factors, not the least of which is the corporate savvy or managerial shortcomings of the executive at the top. Recently, many CEOs have come under fire for mismanagement, costing taxpayer and shareholder money alike amid the worst economic downturn in decades. So how do these corporate leaders stack up against the worst CEOs of all time? To answer that question,  assembled a panel of professors from top bu

    So how do today's corporate leaders stack up against the worst CEOs of all time? Here is the result of Portfolio.com's findings: The 20 Worst American CEOs of all time.

  • Largest US Bankruptcies Monday, 2 Nov 2009 | 2:02 PM ET
    Lehman Brothers' chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing is the largest in history, dwarfing all others. Take a look at the ten biggest corporate filings in US bankruptcy court, based on pre-bankruptcy assets. >

    Lehman Brothers' bankruptcy protection filing is the largest in history, dwarfing all others. Take a look at the ten biggest corporate filings in US bankruptcy court.

  • A Rogues Gallery of Financial Crime Wednesday, 17 Dec 2008 | 4:30 PM ET
    Accused of running a $50 billion Ponzi sceme, Bernie Madoff may have masterminded the biggest fraud in Wall Street history. But he’s not alone. Over the years, people from CEOS to traders have tried to take advantage of the system. Here are a few of them in past two decades.

    Over the years, people from CEOS to traders have tried to take advantage of the system. Here are some of the notables from the past two decades.

Contact Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

  • Show Times

    Check the U.S. schedule for upcoming show times.