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turlough

Going, Going, GONE!!!

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HOUSTON, Texas (Reuters) -- Talk about an anniversary present. On Tuesday, the second anniversary of Enron Corp.'s collapse into bankruptcy, the once high-flying energy trading company will start to auction off its gleaming 50-story headquarters in downtown Houston. Enron spokesman Eric Thode said Monday that bids would be taken at a Houston law firm from anyone who put up $3 million in earnest money. The auction could take two to three days to complete, he said. Bidding was expected to start at around $55 million. The building, familiar to scores of TV news viewers because of a sculpture out front of the company's crooked "E" logo that has since been removed, is owned by a syndicate of banks led by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Those banks, some of Enron's largest creditors, will receive the proceeds from the sale, Thode said. The banks gained ownership interest in the building in the 1990s for $285 million and leased it back to Enron. County appraisers set the current value of the oval-shaped, mirrored structure at $93 million. An adjoining 40-story building -- built for Enron, but never used because of the company's 2001 bankruptcy -- sold for $105 million about a year ago. Enron, which once dominated the trading of natural gas and electric power contracts, filed for bankruptcy on December 2, 2001, amid a scandal after disclosures that it cooked the books to hide debt and inflate profits. At its peak, Enron employed 20,000 people worldwide, including 7,500 in Houston. Now it has 12,000 employees, with only 1,200 at the headquarters. They will move into smaller downtown Houston offices at the end of February, the company has said. The building sale is subject to the approval of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York, which is overseeing Enron's bankruptcy.

EnronBuilding-001.jpg

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It's wrong that so many people have their retirement savings ripped off and Bush's buddy Ken "Kenny-boy" Lay has essentially escaped proscecution.

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