Ken Lay died today from a massive heart attack. He was facing a long prison sentence in an upcoming sentencing hearing. He once dined with presidents and now he sleeps with the fishes.
His recent trial produced few details on his role in the whole financial fiasco that was Enron. Was he a cunning thief or snakeoil peddler, like Deval Patrick? Was he a bumbling do-gooder, like Tom Reilly? Was he just a rich pampered softie who didn’t get bogged down with the details like Christie Mihos? Was a rich pampered softy who gets bogged down in the details like Chris Gabrielli?
I don’t really know which example best exemplifies Ken Lay, but I would side with the Mihos example. I think Lay was not a bad guy, but was rather a rich, pampered softie with powerful and influential friends. His stunningly rapid downfall and death should be enough to sober us all. Be good to everyone on your way up because you will be seeing them again on the way down.