The country was still in shock over the terrorist attacks on 09 - 11 - 01, and now this was happening.
Enron Corporation, one of the world's most dominant "energy traders", was filing for bankruptcy.
And this was just the beginning of a horrendous story.
Kenneth Lay, the Chairman of the Board, Jeffrey Skilling, the Chief Operating Officer, and Andrew Fastow, the Chief Financial Officer, all pointed fingers at one another.
The three, as well as many other players, were subsequently convicted of sometimes multiple counts of fraud.
Kenneth Lay died before his sentencing, the others were all sentenced to lengthy prison terms.
What a terrible tragedy to witness.
No, I'm not talking about the higher ups and what happened to them.
I'm talking about the night I saw an interview with a couple who had worked for and retired from Enron.
All of their retirement was in Enron "securities"- somewhat of a misnomer considering what happened - and it was gone.
Well, not completely gone, but the more than $600,000.
00 in combined retirement plans was now worth less than $3,500.
00 and they were in their mid 60's.
What were they supposed to do? The other event that left a lasting impression was what happened the following summer.
In June of 2002, it was revealed that Enron had paid out more than $744,000,000.
00 in cash and stock to its top executives during the year leading up to the bankruptcy filing.
Do these kind of things sound familiar to you? On this morning's news it was announced that an AIG executive received $15,000,000.
00 shortly before the company had to be bailed out - an $85,000,000,000.
00 check that the taxpayers are writing in order to keep the insurance giant from going under.
And the sad thing is, we may only be seeing the beginning.
A few things to learn from past and current events.
Don't depend on anyone other than yourself to take care of YOU.
There is no certainty in how long social security will be around and it was never intended to be the sole income in retirement anyway.
Retirement plans, collectively, have lost a staggering $23,000,000,000,000.
00 in value in the past month.
That leaves us with one thought in closing.
What are you doing to secure your and your family's financial future?