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US corporates face stiffer disclosure rules

Recent post-Enron SEC statements confirm that public companies in the US will soon have to undergo far greater scrutiny than ever before.


One way to measure the scale of the fallout from the collapse of Enron is to phone major law firms in the US to try to get on-the-record comment about what has happened.

Never usually shy with opinions, many lawyers are reluctant to talk about the scandal. The reason is that almost anyone who is anyone in the US legal world is working on one aspect or another of the Enron case.

A partner in a mid-size Washington DC firm acting for a group of Enron creditors says: "There are a lot of sophisticated financial institutions out there who are not very happy. I don't want to risk upsetting them more by talking to journalists right now." Sometimes, she says, you just have to keep quiet: "This is what happens when there is $30 billion at stake. I can see Enron-related issues being litigated 10 years out from now."