Manipulation As Sport

Transcripts show power market manipulation as sport

Transcripts of phone conversations reveal that Enron traders discussed manipulating the California power market -- and even joked about stealing from grandmothers. The calls were made during the Western energy crisis in 2000 and 2001.

A public utility near Seattle obtained the transcripts from the Justice Department, which is investigating Enron's trading practices. As transcribed by the utility, the conversations show traders talking about creating congestion on transmission lines and doing other things to manipulate the power market.

In one transcript, a trader asks about "all the money you guys stole from those poor grandmothers of California." Senator Dianne Feinstein says the tapes "provide concrete evidence" of manipulation and fraud by energy companies. And the California Democrat says it will happen again unless the energy market is restructured.