[OPE-L:6440] is there an 'Enron path' out of the crisis?

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@msn.com)
Date: Thu Jan 24 2002 - 09:05:49 EST

In [6438] Gil wrote in part about workers' ownership plans 
(ESOP)* :

This reminds me of the current situation with Enron.

Workers and managers alike who owned billions (?) of dollars 
worth of Enron stock -- and could not sell them -- lost
practically all of their savings (mostly invested in pension funds)
when the corporation went into bankruptcy.

This is a pretty appealing path for other corporations in the US
who offer ESOP and find themselves in financial crisis, isn't it?  
Will many other corporations follow Enron's example?  

While this is an appealing variant on a standard way of 
overcoming a crisis (lowering wages below the value of labour
power),  I tend to doubt whether  the funds in these accounts are 
large enough to jump-start the macroeconomy again. What do others 

However, if we combine the loss of earnings from ESOP with the
loss of workers' savings in pension funds and losses in mutual
funds, etc. we are talking about a much greater amount of $. 
This cumulatively represents a significant loss in the equity owned
by the US working class (and as I have noted before, for workers
with savings accounts, especially retired workers on a fixed income,
the loss of income due to declining interest rates has lowered the
standard of living of a significant percentage of the US working
class).  Taken together, this represents a significant redistribution
of income and wealth from one class to another.  Even so, are these 
losses of a scale great enough to significantly help the capitalist class 
restore profitability and macro growth?  If not, then what *is* 
required ???

In solidarity, Jerry

* ESOP = Employee Stock Ownership Plans

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