Today the Labor Secretary announced that Enron employees would be awarded at least $66.5 million in settlement of claims against the board of trustees of the employee 401(k) and employee stock option programs. This announcement, although better than nothing, is a drop in the bucket to the $1 billion employees claim was lost from the retirement plans.

Here’s some simple math: $66,000,000 settlement less legal fees / $1,000,000,000 total loss = $0.066 cents on the dollar. This means that if you had $100,000 in your 401(k), you would get a measely $6,600 reimbursed for your trouble. The lawyers on the other hand will reap $20 million in fees for getting a $86 million settlement. Lawyers get paid, trustees admit to no wrongdoing, Labor Secretary gets press, and the employees, well, they still get screwed. Too bad.

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