Fortune reporter Bethany McLean was virtually the only journalist in America who dared write about Enron's financial problems prior to November 2001. Now that its collapse has become the nation's hottest story, teams of business journalists are digging into the largest corporate meltdown in American history. But as in the savings and loan debacle a dozen years ago, it took news organizations too long to piece together the clues. "It's fair to say the press did not do a great job in covering Enron," admits Steve Shepard, editor-in-chief of Business Week magazine. "Enron was really a systemic failure of all the checks and balances we have on corporate governance: integrity of management, board of directors, audit committee of the board, outside accounting firm, Wall Street analysts and ultimately the press. And all of us failed."
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