A look back at the infamous Enron "Metal Man" ad

Tom Paine

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Part of the purpose of the 2012 Jobs Act was to make capital more accessable to early stage companies, and make it easier for qualiified individuals to invest, while still providing reasonable investor protections.

However, there is concern in the angel investor community that final rules for implementation of the Jobs Act recently adopted by the SEC and due to go into effect later this month will in fact discourage, rather than encourage, angels from investing. Others are still concerned that, even with these constraints, the JOBS Act will still encourage more fraud.

But thinking back in history a bit, there were huge some huge NYSE-traded corporations that, in spite of all of regulations that listing came with, were capable of carrying out massive fraud on investors.

A reminder of this was the remarkable (and nonsensical) Enron advertisement called "Metal Man" that ran not too long before the Enron scandal blew up in late 2001. The epitome of corporate narcissism, the ad tried to portray the notion that somehow Enron had better ideas than anyone else. In fact, the company's value was mostly built on a house of cards. The "Why?" mantra of the ad probably later haunted many investors who asked themselves why they invested in this wayward Houston outfit.

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