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

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