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   Faculty experts available to comment on the collapse of Enron



William Morris

(415) 405-3606
(415) 338-1665


Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 11, 2002 - Several San Francisco State University professors are available to add perspective and depth to stories on the collapse of Enron.

George Lee, professor of international business, is an expert on the ability of large corporations to manipulate markets.

"I think one of the more interesting aspects of the Enron story is the economics of special interests that come into play," said Lee. "If you look at how much Enron donated in soft money to the political parties in comparison to the money they saved from tax cuts, the ratio was close to 1 to 1000. They got their money's worth. But the economy doesn't operate efficiently when we allow that type of behavior. If you want the market, especially the energy market, to operate efficiently then you can't have monopolies and oligopolies stifling the market as Enron helped do in California."

Office phone: (415) 338-1038; cell phone: (650) 703-1090; e-mail:

Robert Smith, professor of political science, is an expert on the history and role of the U.S. Congress in cases like this.

"Congress should investigate and then legislate," said Smith. "That is, find out what happened and why and then pass legislation to try to prevent it from happening again. There is already a lot of investigating and I expect more because it brings out the TV cameras, but in the end I don't expect much legislation."

Office phone: (415) 338-7524; home phone: (510) 222-7273; e-mail:

Robert Chope, a psychologist, career counselor and professor of counseling, has researched the psychological and career profile of whistleblowers. He explains why no one from Enron went to an outside government agency to report the wrongdoing.

"Many people in organizations are exposed to wrongdoing but it's extraordinarily difficult to ask leaders of an organization to 'get off the gravy train.' It takes a very special person to be willing to risk a job, a career and a reputation to protect his or her personal honor and values," said Chope. "This is true even with the many whistleblower protection laws that are in place."

Office phone: (415) 338-1496; answering service: (415) 982-2636, press 1; e-mail:

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Last modified February 20, 2002, by the Office of Public Affairs