Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Sympathy for the Devil?

At the Enron trial, former CFO Andrew Fastow held up under cross examination, making it harder for the defense to maintain the line that Enron was doing fine, except for Fastow's theiving.
But Fastow may have done something even more remarkable; he may have elicited a shred of sympathy for himself since his bad boy days at Enron when he gave his ferocious temper full rein to bully fellow executives into line. The Houston Chronicle account makes the former financial wunderkind sound almost human:
The 44-year-old ex-CFO maintained his story and his composure throughout his time on the stand, even with Lay's lawyer Michael Ramsey sometimes yelling angrily at Fastow Monday afternoon and seemingly mocking Fastow's hearing impairment.
Fastow, who has frequently asked all the attorneys to repeat questions, asked Ramsey to repeat some queries.
"You really can't hear me?" an angry-sounding Ramsey shouted.
"Ask your client — I do have a hearing problem," Fastow replied.
The Financial Times (sorry, subscription needed) reports that defense lawyers elicited tears from Fastow:
It took four days of testimony, but defence lawyers managed to transform Andrew Fastow from the biggest villain in the Enron fraud trial to its most sympathetic witness.
Sherron Watkins, who wrote the famous warning letter to Ken Lay, is on the stand today.

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