- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 17, 2002

HOUSTON (AP) Five years before Enron collapsed in a big accounting scandal, an executive joked at a party about making "a kazillion dollars" through something he humorously dubbed "hypothetical future-value accounting," the Houston Chronicle reported yesterday.
Videotaped jokes by some former Enron executives at a January 1997 party bear ironic parallels to events that helped bring down the energy conglomerate, the newspaper said.
The videotape, of a going-away party for former Enron President Rich Kinder, features nearly half an hour of absurd skits, songs and testimonials by executives and prominent citizens including President Bush, the newspaper reported.
Enron, which two years ago ranked No. 7 on the Fortune 500, declared bankruptcy on Dec. 2, 2001, haunted by shady accounting, hidden debt and inflated profits. Stock that had traded at $90 in August 2000 plummeted to pennies.
At the party, then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush pleaded with Mr. Kinder: "Don't leave Texas. You're too good a man." And his father, former President Bush, told Mr. Kinder, "You have been fantastic to the Bush family. I don't think anybody did more than you did to support George."
In one skit, former administrative executive Peggy Menchaca played the part of Mr. Kinder receiving a budget report from then-President Jeff Skilling, who played himself.
When the pretend Mr. Kinder expressed doubt that Mr. Skilling could pull off 600 percent revenue growth for the coming year, Mr. Skilling described how it could be done.
"We're going to move from mark-to-market accounting to something I call HFV, or hypothetical future-value accounting," Mr. Skilling joked.

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