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By Rebecca Smith, John R. Emshwiller

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They’re an abomination,” he told the reporter bitterly. Yet even Olson didn’t know the full extent of his own story until months after Enron’s collapse, when congressional investigators obtained some of Merrill’s internal records of its dealings with the energy company. In an April 1998 memo to a senior Merrill executive, the two complaining investment bankers said that Olson “has a poor relationship with Jeff [Skilling], and, particularly, Ken [Lay]. . ” Olson’s replacement by Donato Eassey helped mend that relationship.

You mean Enron management? Emshwiller asked. That’s right, Fleischer said, as well as the partnership investors, which included some of Enron’s banks. The idea of the partnerships was to allow Enron to sell some of its assets to a third party to raise cash and reduce corporate debt. “The banks didn’t know enough about the assets in Enron to operate the partnerships,” Fleischer said. “They wanted Fastow. Enron pushed him to do it. ” Over time, some on Wall Street started criticizing the idea of having the chief financial officer run these outside partnerships.

Glatzer had told him that the Boies firm was working on a contingent fee basis, which meant it didn’t get paid unless Glatzer won some money—a show of faith that gave Glatzer’s claims more credibility. Besides, Emshwiller had developed a soft spot for Glatzer. The lawyer laughed a lot and loved to tell tales, ranging from his days at Yale with a certain fun-loving George W. Bush to his drinking parties in New York with his cousin the Lubavitcher rabbi and other Orthodox Jews. The reporter never checked out these stories, but they were entertaining.

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