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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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ELCA funds avoid major Enron losses

Enron's collapse only slightly affected ELCA Board of Pensions and ELCA Foundation fund performance, said Terry Mencel of the board. "Our fund diversification minimized our exposure to Enron," he said.

Enron caused only a 0.18 percent loss to the board's U.S. stock portfolio, and a 0.63 percent loss to its fixed-income portfolio, he said. "From a non-investment standpoint, any loss is huge, but we expect negative numbers in the short term."

Robert Holland, chair of the ELCA Corporate Social Responsibility advisory committee, said the Enron scandal underlines the wisdom of several old sayings. "Employees and investors: Don't put all your eggs in one basket," Holland urged. To overaggressive business executives, he offered: "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time." Auditing firms, he said, must "trust, but verify."

"Deplorable though the Enron episode is, it has one silver lining," he added. "The damage it has done to all concerned should impel many corporations to carefully review and tighten their ethical standards."


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