MF Global filed for bankruptcy early this month. Its filing is the fifth largest financial industry public company bankruptcy by assets, after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., CIT Group Inc., Washington Mutual Inc., and Conseco Inc.. Its collapse was caused by overambitious expansion, criminal CEOs, and others. In the wake of MF Global's bankruptcy, let’s look at other largest bankruptcies in the U.S history.
Pacific Gas & Electric Co filed for bankruptcy in 2001. This largest utility company fell victim to California’s electricity crisis of 2000-2001. However, after paying $10.2 billion to its hundreds of creditors, it emerged from bankruptcy three years later.
Value at bankruptcy: $36.15 billion
In 2009, Thornburg Mortgage announced that it would enter Chapter 11 bankruptcy as the housing crash credit crunch doomed the Santa Fe-based mortgage lender.
Value at bankruptcy: $36.5 billion
The recent financial crisis threatened Chrysler LLC so that in June 2009, the automaker emerged from a Chapter bankruptcy reorganization. The company was reorganized in alliance with Fiat.
Value at bankruptcy: $39.3 billion
MF Global was a primary dealer in US Treasury securities until 31 October 2011. The company filed for bankruptcy protection after its stock plunged 67%, quarterly losses hit record, and its European debt exposure was revealed. The global financial derivatives broker said that it had total assets of about $41 billion against liabilities of nearly $39.7 billion.
Value at bankruptcy: $41 billion (as of Sept. 30)
The Enron giant scandal which was revealed in October 2001, eventually led to the bankruptcy. The company was attributed as the biggest audit failure.
Value at bankruptcy: $65.5 billion
Hurt by declining sales for many years, General Motors was dealt a death blow by the financial crash. Last year, the company was re-listed on the New York Stock Exchange, with record value of $20.1 billion.
Value at bankruptcy: $91 billion
WorldCom filed for bankruptcy protection in 2002. The telecommunications heavyweight suffered from an accounting and executive malpractice scandal. Two years later, the company, with a new name MCI, emerged with around $5.7 billion in debt and $6 billion in cash. In 2005, MCI was acquired for $7.6 billion by Verizon Communications.
Value at bankruptcy: $103.9 billion
Due to dramatic losses in its stocks, massive exodus of most of its clients, and devaluation of its assets, the fourth largest investment bank in the U.S filed for bankruptcy protection.
Value at bankruptcy: $691 billion
In-Depth Look - 3rd Largest Bankruptcy - Bloomberg
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