Once in a while, the complicated is made clear by just a few words. Couldn’t figure out what Enron actually did? Let Michael J. Kopper explain it to you. (Once a mid-level swindler at the company, he is currently trying to duck jail time by ratting out his betters. Well, his superiors anyway.)
On the stand last year, Mr. Kopper described the essence of the deal in a flat, analytical style. “We stood between the two parties in order to skim money off of it,” Mr. Kopper said, his face blank and voice devoid of emotion. How much did he make on the deal? “Four and a half million dollars,” he said.
“That’s a pretty good return on $25,000, isn’t it?” a defense lawyer responded.
Yes, it was, Mr. Kopper said.
The lawyer asked how long it took to cobble together such a rich, efficient transaction. “Not that many hours,” Mr. Kopper said. “Maybe 10 to 12 hours of work.”