Enron on Dec. 2 filed the largest Chapter 11 bankruptcy in history, after it slid into ruin amid questions of fraudulent accounting and conflicts of interest by its top money man. Chief Financial Officer Andrew Fastow earned some $30 million acting as the managing partner of two off-balance sheet partnerships that did business with Enron and ultimately led to a $1.2 billion loss of shareholder equity.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating conflict of interest issues at Enron and the Justice Department has launched a criminal probe into its finances.
Several sellers joked about how little-used the manuals were. "Excellent condition. Perfect condition, in fact. (What, you didn't really think it had been read over and over, dog-eared and well used?)" joked one seller, whose manual was bid as high as $76.22.
The ethics manual was not the only Enron item on sale. As of Thursday afternoon, 571 Enron-related items were listed on eBay, ranging from trinkets emblazoned with the Enron logo to internal documents. A risk management manual from the company's failed broadband unit was fetching $960.
Christmas tree ornaments adorned with Enron's logo were bid as high as $100, while a box of Enron golf balls were bid at $32. One of the rarer items -- an AM/FM headset radio with an Enron logo--was going for $20.
The abundance of eBay Enron listings was a source of amusement to the weary employees who remain at Enron, a spokesman said. "All I know is that the office chatter about this site seems to bring a smile to people's faces. I'd say that's a good thing," spokesman Vance Meyer said.