Nocera: Mr. Gladwell’s argument falls apart. His view is that more
disclosure, which is what the Securities and Exchange Commission tends
to strive for, would not have made any difference. But what Mr.
Skilling (and others, including Enron’s founder, the late Kenneth L. Lay)
were charged with was not hiding things in plain sight — but hiding
things out of sight that would have exposed the fraud. That is, they
lied to the investing public about the true condition of the company.
And no matter how you slice it, that’s against the law...
...The point is not the sheer volume of disclosure; it’s whether disclosure illuminates or obfuscates. Enron usually did the latter. In effect, Mr. Gladwell has conflated fraud with overvaluation.