NEWS December 2001
On 2 December, the energy company enron filed for bankruptcy days after a proposed buyout deal collapsed. Under CEO Jeffrey Skilling, the company had used loopholes to hide billions of dollars of debt, while the CFO Andrew Fastow pressured the auditor Arthur Andersen to ignore major issues. With assets of $63.4 billion, it was America’s largest ever bankruptcy.
In Argentina, a financial crisis led to widespread rioting. At the beginning of the month, all bank accounts were subjected to a new limit of $250 in cash withdrawals per week, upsetting the middle class. A general strike was called on 13 December, and by 19 December rioting had spread throughout the country, leading the government to declare a state of emergency. On 20 December, having failed to convince the opposition to join the government to quell the unrest, president Fernando De La Rúa resigned.
On 22 December, passengers subdued Richard Reid as he attempted to detonate a bomb aboard American Airlines flight 63 from Paris to Miami. The British man had been radicalised after converting to Islam in prison in the early Nineties, and had previously spent time training at a terrorist camp in Afghanistan. Reid was immediately arrested upon arrival in the USA.
December 2001 – The seasonal blitz gives everybody reasons to cheer, from Bungie devs to PS2 owners and even Dreamcast devotees. Nick Thorpe reminds us all how the chaos of Christmas 2001 went down