Chapter 2. Honest Beginnings

On November 8, 2001, the day the SEC issued a subpoena to Arthur Andersen, it was business as usual at the firm. The firm had built a reputation for being tough and honest as it expanded into a network of approximately 350 freestanding local offices in 84 countries throughout the world. Andersen’s 85,000 employees were aware of Enron’s troubles but few anticipated the extent or severity of the outcome. Andersen had weathered rough storms in the past, and most staff assumed this one would pass, too. Andersen’s staff shared a common understanding that the acts of one office or one individual were not a reflection of the entire firm.

As one of the top accounting firms in the world, Arthur Andersen had gained a reputation ...

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