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Fortnightly Magazine - July 15 2002

Many of the innovations gained in energy markets could be at risk. As one trader told me, "You can still make a profit in this market if you're smart. But, if you try to do anything clever, you're immediately under suspicion." This environment could have a chilling effect on market innovation.

Any malfeasance by power market participants should be investigated and punished. But, politicians should avoid the temptation to latch on to the easy sound bite, or to throw the deregulation baby out with the Enron bathwater. "It's Enron's fault" may be an effective political slogan in the short-term. But, it's unlikely to have the staying power of, say, "The buck stops here."

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