Disclosure in the dock

Cover story

In the three months since Enron, the world's largest energy company, collapsed, a whole series of revelations about accounting sleights of hand, inflated earnings and dubious ownership structures have come to light. Is that just a coincidence? Yes and no.

Clearly, the Enron scandal is an extreme situation and lies far beyond normal experience, but equally, in one sense it is symptomatic of the bust that has followed on from the boom years. Even without Enron, investors were starting to pay

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