Bill Anderson on Ken Lay

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I asked Bill Anderson for a comment on Ken Lay’s death:

While a person can die of a heart attack at any time, I have no doubt that the stress of the last five years played the major role in Ken Lay’s death. The federal prosecutors can rejoice, and residents of Houston (or, should I say, most residents of Houston, since some have a healthy skepticism of the government’s charges) can dance in the street. Of course, there will be those people who looked forward to seeing Lay go to prison and are disappointed that he “cheated” the hangman.

That does not change the fact that Lay and Skilling were convicted of being at the helm of a spectacular business failure that owed much to the manipulation of money by the Federal Reserve. I always will contend that Lay was not a criminal, just a business manager who read the financial tea leaves very poorly, at least when it came to the fed-inspired stock market bubble.

Lay is dead, dying in disgrace, and Alan Greenspan is feted as a hero. Yet, if Lay is a criminal, then Greenspan is a criminal kingpin. Lay lost his billions and Greenspan his trillions.

10:57 am on July 5, 2006