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Crony capitalism American-style

Remember the East Asia crisis? when the US Treasury and its IMF allies blamed that region's problems on crony capitalism, lack of transparency, and poor corporate governance? Countries were told to follow the American model, use American auditing firms, bring in American entrepreneurs to teach them how to run their companies. (Never mind that under the leadership of their own entrepreneurs East Asia grew faster than any other region - and with greater stability - over the previous three decades.) The unfolding Enron scandal brings new meaning to two favorite American sayings: ``What goes around comes around,'' and ``People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.''

Enron used fancy accounting tricks and complicated financial products (derivatives) to mislead investors about its value. No transparency here. It used its money to buy influence and power, shape U.S. energy policy, and avoid regulations.