Lou Pai

has got to be one of the most unreal person I've ever heard of. That's quite saying something is it not? How come you ask? Or maybe you're thinking what a stupid name. Lou Pai was a "mystery man" in the Enron scandal. He was an "invisible CEO" at Enron Energy Services Enron Xcelerator, exclusive divisions. He quit the company, earning a huge profit, before the bankruptcy became public. He hasn't been charged with anything, he's not par with Ken Lay, Jeff Skilling or Andrew Fastow when it comes to fraud and embezzlement or is he? Who can tell?

He's really, really rich. Richie Rich rich. He's not Bill Gates rich maybe. Still it reminds me of this bit with David Cross in which he tells an anecdote about a trip to a really expensive restaurant. Upon receiving the dessert, a chocolate cake slice, he noticed that there was a metal foil on top of it. Upon closer examination he realised it was a thin sheet of gold. And as David rightly puts it "that must be the ultimate fuck you to poor people". And he's right, because no possible use can be found in putting the most expensive metal in a thin sheet on top of a chocolate cake slice. It's aesthetically pleasing for the few minutes that pass while you're reaching for it. (Providing it's real gold and not fake). That's a mark of rabid consumerism, greed, egocentrism. And that is also what Lou Pai symbolizes (by extension at least).

According to Wikipedia Lou Pai is the son of a Chinese mathematician who moved to the USA in 1946, shortly after WWII. In Kentucky or somewhere he found a job as a professor of mathematics. Lou Pai graduated with a degree in economics and then proceeded to finish a masters. He then started to work at Enron where he was apparently good at making money.

In the documentary Enron:The Smartest Guys in the Room he doesn't appear a lot. It's just stated that he liked to invite customers over to a strip club. That's really, very sleazy....you know....dude... Not saying that Mr. Pai did anything wrong per se. But a group of over payed suits going to a strip club to bargain over energy deals. There's something evil about it. You know. Electricity, nuclear power, oil, natural gas. It's obvious the man has an insatiable appetite for power and it's corporeal manifestations.

But wait. This is just the beginning. The stupid bastard impregnated one of the strippers. That must be one happy marriage. Reportedly, that is also the reason he divorced his wife and subsequently quit Enron. That is to say: he quit Enron because his wife knew about him cheating on her and he needed the money to settle the divorce. They think he left Enron with at least $270 million, some estimates go up to about $350 million. Honestly. Who needs that kind of money. I can't help it, I'm balking. But his ex-wife got some of it. Good for her. Guess what, she's a bit rotten too. When she first got suspicious about her husband she sought advice from some John Doe or other. This man staked Lou out and assessed his net worth. Well, after the divorce he's sued Lou's ex because he says the agreement was that he would be rewarded with more.

Isn't life a bitch? Lou's come a long way from Nanking. He's found the land of dreams and a family to call his own (and another one his ex-). For a time he was one of the biggest land owners in Colorado.1 But he wasn't very welcome there maybe it's his own fault. He beefed up the security and denied locals land access which they'd had for decades. One local recounts...

...the culmination of a series of disputes over fences and grazing areas. Montoya approached the man's pickup truck after the employee chased Montoya's pregnant cows from a neighbor's field in the Aspen Highlands subdivision.

"I told him, 'You're pushing my cows too hard. What's your problem? You don't own the property,'" Montoya says. "He started calling me names -- you know, 'f-you' this and that, 'f-ing Mexican.' I told him he had no right to talk to me like that. That's when he pulled a big revolver and told me he was going to blow my head away.

"He was trying to provoke me. I used my better judgment. A guy pulls a hogleg on you, what do you do? I told him, 'You're pretty bad with a gun, ain't you?' About that time, my son pulled up. He put the gun back down. He didn't know what my son had.

Not an easy neighbour mr. Pai it seems. Lou Pai and his wife gave up on the Colorado ranch in the end and moved to Texas or somewhere where she opened a ranch. Lou Pai is dealing in pollution emission credits these days.


1 - For a very long and interesting article about Lou Pais adventure in Colorado. Read: (I loved it) http://www.westword.com/2002-04-18/news/the-mystery-of-pai/

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