Peacock Scholarship

The Importance of Trust & Transparency: An Analysis of Enron, FTX, and Other Instances of Accounting Fraud

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The following thesis emphasizes the importance of both trust and transparency in the American marketplace with respect to minimizing fraudulent activities through a thorough analysis of the Enron scandal, the FTX scandal, and other instances of accounting fraud. Moreover, this thesis ultimately serves as a means to educate others in such matters through an even more critical description of how such cases impact Americans from an economic regard. The thesis begins by describing the origins of Enron Corporation, in addition to Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling’s promotion of a belligerent work environment. This description further recounts how the many malpractices of Enron – such as its misuse of mark-to-market accounting techniques and special purpose entities – ultimately caused its own collapse. Continuing, the thesis relates this pattern of misconduct to FTX Trading Ltd, a cryptocurrency exchange that filed for bankruptcy after a series of reports concerning the company’s embezzlement of customer funds. This particular part of the thesis demonstrates the notably apparent role of fraud in contemporary society, as many other companies continue to exploit investors through a lack of transparency. The thesis then elaborates on the nature of fraud through an analysis of other cases like those of WorldCom, Waste Management, and Sunbeam Corporation. In reiterating the economic effects of these cases, the thesis also describes the overarching consequences of fraud with respect to investors, employees, creditors, and, most of all, the American public. Finally, the thesis elaborates on the contemporary importance of both trust and transparency by considering the implications of new industries, particularly those related to cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens. This includes an analysis of how companies may efficiently mitigate fraud by following regulatory standards and recognizing the socioeconomic responsibilities they have as institutions with vast influence.

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  • 06/13/2023
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