America is the most forgiving country in the world. It is the best place on the planet to go bankrupt. Other countries doom you for life plus a year, whilst the USA lets you wipe out your debts and move on.
We Americans are a forgiving people in general. We believe in the second chance.
Right now, we are conducting a test.
The Jeffrey Skilling Test of Forgiveness — Second Chance?
Jeffrey Skilling was the CEO of Enron who went to jail for twelve years of a fourteen year sentence [originally sentenced to 24 years, it was reduced to 14, and he served 12 plus a $40MM fine] for a myriad of charges including securities fraud, insider trading, lying to auditors, and conspiracy while he lorded over Enron.
Enron was an energy company that collapsed when it was reported that the company had engaged in wide-spread accounting fraud and corruption. It also took down Arthur Andersen, the accounting firm.
Skilling went to jail, served his time, and for the last two years has been working on a new deal, Veld, LLC.
What is Veld, LLC, Big Red Car?
Veld, LLC is Skilling’s startup (undertaken with a Stanford math PhD) that will create a digital marketplace wherein investors may trade stakes (called pods in the marketplace) in 1-10 operating wells.
It is considered a high-yield investment proposition.
Skilling has been working on the business for two years and is now out raising money. He is targeting an end-of-year launch.
He has been attending a series of investor meetings — which says something in and of itself that he can arrange a meeting with legitimate investors.
An investor who looked at the deal said it was solid, but had decided the Enron/Skilling baggage was too hard a lift.
Bottom line it, Big Red Car?
Is the world ready to forgive Jeffrey Skilling for the carnage he created at Enron? Can he get a second chance? Does he deserve a second chance?