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Subject:  Speaking of Integrity ... Date:  4/1/2006  2:22 PM
Author:  GATTACAGRAD Number:  561 of 563

I e-mailed this to earlier today and am posting here for discussion ...

Dear Tom, David, Bill, & Motley Fool Staff,

I'm a new subscriber and was truly saddened this morning when I became aware of your stance on Enron and the practices of its former executives. I'm not a former Enron shareholder, nor did I ever trade in Enron, and so I'm not "feeling the pain" as many do. I did however own and hold (a substantial amount of) WCOM as it went bankrupt, along with 2 or 3 other painful lessons over the years.

I read every one of your articles I could find on Enron, including Bill's discussion of the accounting behind the fall. What I found were rationalized, selfish and sometimes childish arguments such as:
- "tattling" is bad for your "friends" (so don't do it?)
- the accounting was technically legal
- investor's greed unfairly pressured Enron's leaders
- it's the government's fault; let's recover our losses from them

I'm really shaken by this, because I hold you all in very high regard for past ethical stances--having followed you for many years. A little on my background ... I'm a 1983 graduate of the Air Force Academy, and still a Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. At that institution we had a relatively simple code of honor, which I attempt to live by daily: "We will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate among us anyone who does." To date I've believed that The Motley Fool founders also lived by a similar code.

What seems very clear to me is that Enron's leaders lacked integrity and did not behave ethically, at least by standards higher than the U.S. legal system. They were blinded by greed during those years, as were many Enron investors, WCOM investors, dot-com investors and myself. I have to wonder if The Motley Fool is being driven here by greed (or perhaps unresolved pain from Enron losses). Is it possible that Enron's leaders, employees and investors all made choices for which they are responsible, rather than the U.S. government?

I sincerely hope you'll reconsider your ethical position and the pending law suit.

Sincerely & Respectfully,

TMF GattacaGrad
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