Cox v. Lay

Chris Cox, 3/7/95:

The threat of lawsuits over so-called forward looking information, how is this company going to do in the future, is so serious that many if not most CEO’s these days refuse to talk to the press at all about their company’s performance and yet that is exactly the kind of information the market needs to operate. How a company has performed in the past is interesting, but everybody wants to know what is going to happen from here forward. That is the information the market seeks out.

Shortly thereafter, Cox marshaled a bill through Congress that made it easier for executives to avoid liability for making misleading statements to investors about future prospects.

Ken Lay, 8/24/01:

We think the company is on solid footing, and we’re looking forward to continued strong growth. We had a very, very strong first half, including second-quarter net income up 40%, earnings per share up 32%, and operational physical volume delivery up 60%. In the last five years, we have had 25% per year compounded annual growth in earnings per share.

I think you’ll continue to see strong growth in all of our business areas. Our revenues and income quarter-to-quarter continues to be strong and we have strong momentum.

Shortly thereafter, Enron declared bankruptcy.