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Thursday, June 03, 2004

Former Debater in the News

A close friend from college (we were both on the debate team at Kansas) is right in the middle of the news about the Enron tapes.

Eric Christensen, a lawyer for a Seattle-area utility (and formerly a lawyer for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission), is quoted several times in this story about how "Enron traders derided users."

Here's one of the juicy quotes transcribed by the utility:
In one transcript, a trader asks about "all the money you guys stole from those poor grandmothers of California."

To which the Enron trader responds, "Yeah, Grandma Millie, man. But she's the one who couldn't figure out how to (expletive) vote on the butterfly ballot."

"Yeah, now she wants her (expletive) money back for all the power you've charged right up -- jammed right up her (expletive) for (expletive) 250 dollars a megawatt-hour," the first trader says.
OK, here's another one, from a different news story:
"He just f---s California," says one Enron employee. "He steals money from California to the tune of about a million."

"Will you rephrase that?" asks a second employee.

"OK, he, um, he arbitrages the California market to the tune of a million bucks or two a day," replies the first.
Eric is also quoted in this story:
"This is the evidence we've all been waiting for. This proves they manipulated the market," said Eric Christensen, a spokesman for the utility.
Eric was a great researcher, even in college. He and his colleagues were certainly determined:
Snohomish County PUD consultants listened to about 1,000 hours of phone conversations, which were recorded in August, September and December 2000 and January 2001, said Eric Christensen, assistant general council for the PUD. Additional conversations likely took place by cell phones, online instant messaging and Internet chat rooms, which traders used to conduct business.

The PUD filed transcripts of about 80 phone conversations with the FERC, Christensen said. The utility made nine of the conversations public online.
Way to go Eric!

Now, does Enron have any assets?

Note: In his senior year, Eric debated with Jim Reed, who is now something of a health law expert.

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