In March 2001, Fortune magazine's Bethany McLean ran a story about Enron, a Texas-based energy business that the magazine had once named "America's Most Innovative Company." McLean wanted to determine how Enron made its money, but spokespeople for the company were determined to be unclear. Her article suggested that the company, for all its bluster, might have been in more trouble than anyone realized.
As it turned out, Enron had been falsifying their revenue for years, at one point claiming annual earnings of over $100 billion when in fact they were deeply in debt. The extent of the fraud was exposed in October 2001, and when the company filed for bankruptcy that year, the pain was felt most acutely by the shareholders who lost billions of dollars, and by the employees who lost their jobs, health insurance and 401(k)s. Even the accounting firm that represented Enron collapsed.
How much do you know about one of the biggest business scandals of all time? Take our Enron quiz and find out.
Posted 25 Mar 2010