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Enron's Pleas

Friday, January 11, 2002; Page A06

Following is a chronology of Enron's troubles and the CEO's discussions with Bush administration officials. Discussions about Enron's problems are noted in italics.

Oct. 15, 2001: Enron CEO Kenneth L. Lay talks to Commerce Secretary Donald L. Evans while Evans is in Russia leading a trade mission. Commerce officials say the call dealt with an Enron energy project in India and did not cover Enronıs financial troubles.

Oct. 16: Enron reports a $638 million third-quarter loss and discloses a $1.2 billion reduction in shareholder equity, partly related to partnerships run by chief financial officer Andrew Fastow.

Oct. 22: Enron acknowledges a Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry into a possible conflict of interest related to the companyıs dealings with the partnerships.

Oct. 24: Enron ousts Fastow.

Oct. 28: Lay talks by telephone with Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill to inform him of financial problems facing Enron, according to O'Neill spokeswoman Michele Davis. She said Treasury officials could detect no ripple effects in financial markets from Enronıs troubles and OıNeill did nothing to help the company.

Oct. 29: Lay talks by telephone with Evans. A Commerce spokesman says Lay asked Evans if he could do anything to influence a decision by Moodyıs Investors Service to downgrade Enronıs credit rating. Evans, after talking to the general counsel at the Commerce Department, determines it would not be appropriate to intervene in a decision by a private credit rating agency, according to Commerce spokesman Jim Dyke.

Oct. 31: Enron announces the SEC inquiry has been upgraded to a formal investigation.

Nov. 8: Enron files documents with SEC revising its financial statements for the past five years to account for $586 million in losses.

Lay speaks again with O'Neill about Enronıs plight, according to Davis.

Nov. 9: Dynegy Inc. announces an agreement to buy its much larger rival Enron for more than $8 billion in stock.

Nov. 19: Enron restates its third-quarter earnings and discloses it is trying to restructure a $690 million obligation that could come due Nov. 27.

Nov. 20: Concerns about Enronıs ability to weather its spiraling financial problems send the companyıs stock down nearly 23 percent, to its lowest level in nearly 10 years.

Nov. 21: Enron reaches agreement to extend $690 million debt payment.

Nov. 26: Enron shares fall 15 percent, to $4.01.

Nov. 28: Dynegy backs out of deal after Enronıs credit rating is downgraded to junk bond status. Enron shares plunge below $1, with the heaviest single-day trading volume ever for a NYSE -or Nasdaq-listed stock.

Dec. 2: Enron files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and sues Dynegy for wrongful termination of merger.

Jan. 9, 2002: Justice Department confirms it has begun a criminal investigation of Enron.

Jan. 10: The company's auditor, Arthur Andersen LLP, says it destroyed some Enron documents. Attorney General John D. Ashcroft, who received campaign funds from the company for his 2000 Senate race, recuses himself from the investigation.

© 2001 The Washington Post Company


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