Enron to Edison

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The Florida Retirement System, a $92 billion pension fund that lost a reported $325 million buying tumbling shares of Enron stock has decided to buy Edison Schools for $174 million. Not surprisingly, many teachers and Florida Democrats object. In a letter to Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Doug Wiles, the Democratic leader of the Florida House of Representatives, wrote, "I'm certain that the majority [of teachers] would not approve of a significant investment in a business that seeks to eliminate their own jobs," and later added, "We must take steps to ensure that the State of Florida is not in the business of bailing out failing private companies." Trace Urdan, an analyst who follows Edison for San Francisco's ThinkEquity Partners, had a different take claiming the move was a sound financial decision and in fact, "something of a steal."