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Quote of the Day

“We are the good guys. We are on the side of angels.”

– Jeffrey Skilling, then CEO of Enron, in a interview with PBS in 2001 after being accused of manipulating energy markets across California. Enron would soon erupt into one of the largest accounting scandals in history and declare bankruptcy in less than 10 months. Skilling would be charged on this day in 2004 (read more below).

February 19th – This Day in Stock Market History

February 19th, 1981 – Ford motor company announces a $1.5 billion loss for the 1980 fiscal year (equivalent to $5 billion today adjusted to inflation).

At the time, it was the largest American corporate loss ever announced.

It was also the first loss reported for Ford since Ford’s IPO in January 17th, 1956.

New York Times coverage of Ford's $1.5 billion loss
New York Times coverage of Ford’s $1.5 billion loss

By the end of 1981 Ford’s stock would be down nearly 75% from it’s highs just a few years earlier. But Ford would quickly recover:

(Click to Enlarge)

Ford_chart

February 19th, 2004 – Former Enron Corp. chief executive Jeffrey Skilling is charged with fraud, insider trading and other crimes in connection with the energy trader’s collapse. He was originally sentenced to 24 years in prison, but has since made deals to get that reduced.

He was released in February 2019.

skilling-enron2

Enron, once the darling of Wall Street and declared “One of American’s Most Innovative Companies” 6 years in a row by Fortune Magazine is now known for one of the biggest accounting scandals to come out of Wall Street. At the time, Enron was the largest bankruptcy in American history.

Enron employed bogus accounting gimmicks, recording non-existent assets on its balance sheet and recording revenue prematurely.

By August 2001, Enron’s share price (see chart below) was over $90. But company executives were selling – an estimated $1.1 billion in shares were sold by company executives between October 1998 and November 2001.

The Enron scandal is depicted in an excellent documentary and book : The Smartest Guys in the Room



Best February 19th in Dow Jones Industrial Average History:

1931 – Up 1.86%, or 3.36 points.

Worst February 19th in Dow Jones Industrial Average History:

1946 – Down 2.73% or 5.5 points

Chart of the Day

Enron’s Stock Chart:

enron stock chart

We have a collection on Enron related stock charts and dates in history here

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