Cadillac for sale, several greedy owners (paper shredder extra)

Enron - A year after the firm's spectacular fall from grace, the contents of its extravagant Houston HQ go under the hammer

It has come to symbolise greed, scandal and corruption. A year after Enron collapsed – exposing America's biggest ever corporate fraud and sending world stock markets into a spin – the contents of the company's extravagant head office in Houston are to be auctioned off.

The three-day sale, which begins on Tuesday at the Inter-Continental Hotel in Houston, offers hundreds of top-of-the-range computers, antiques and even gas-guzzling Cadillacs and Chevrolets from the executive car park.

But the most sought-after of the 14,084 lots is a 4ft-high lump of tarnished metal that stood outside the entrance to Enron's glitzy 50-storey head office at 1400 Smith Street.

Bidding for "Lot 2E: Stainless Steel Tilted Lighted Enron E" is expected to be fierce."This is undoubtedly the star of the auction," said Ross Miller, co-author of What Went Wrong at Enron. "I would guess that people will bid upwards of $100,000 for the 'E'. The price could be very surprising indeed."

Enron's fall from grace – after it fraudulently concealed billions of dollars of debt in secret companies – was sudden and spectacular. At their peak, Enron shares were worth $90. Today, they can be bought for just 12 cents. If potential buyers wanted to bid for the steel "E" in stock, then they would probably need close on a million shares.

More modest items are also going under the hammer, from Enron flags and corporate trinkets to office chairs and fax machines. But lot 14022 stands out. It is a "Fellows PS70 paper shredder". The machine came to symbolise the Enron scandal after the company's auditor, Andersen, destroyed thousands of documents relating to its client.

A year after the collapse, no one involved is behind bars. But the US Justice Department is working its way up the Enron corporate tree. Last month, former chief financial officer Andrew Fastow was charged with 78 counts of money-laundering and fraud. Investigators hope the trial will uncover fresh evidence to allow them to bring more charges against executives.

In the meantime, it's not just the contents of the office that are up for grabs. While former chairman Kenneth Lay can still be found schmoozing with Houston high society on the country club scene, he has had to hoist a "for sale" sign over some of his 15 homes in Texas and Colorado.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living