The Futures Market and the Enron Trial

The Business Law blog has a short post today on the futures market and the Enron trial. (Shorter: the market thinks the defendants are in deep trouble.) The post, a mere two paragraphs, is worth reading, not least because it notes that Skilling’s lawyers have protested that it is “crass to ‘trade on human life.'”

This quote reminds me of a statement in a brief by the State of Mississippi about (my former) professor Kip Viscusi’s use of cost-benefit analysis in estimating health costs saved by early smoking-related deaths: such calculations were said to be “utterly repugnant to a civilized society.”

Appeals to such moral heuristics are pretty common, but it sure was suprising to see them deployed by the defense team!

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1 Response

  1. Christine says:

    Of course what is interesting is that Enron embraced the “markets in everything” approach, from natural gas to broadband to water to weather. So, I guess there’s a limit to that theory?