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The 10 Largest Bankruptcies Of All Time

Wayne Duggan

Despite a continued recovery in the U.S. economy and generally strong growth of American industry last year, not all companies enjoyed a prosperous 2014. In fact, two of the ten largest bankruptcies in history happened last year. Here’s a rundown of the 10 largest bankruptcies (by assets) of all time.

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10. Chrysler (2014)

Chrysler closed its lengthy bankruptcy early in 2014 by making its final owed payments to the United Auto Workers after previously completely repayments to the United States Government five years early in 2011. Chrysler had $39.3 billion in assets.

9. MF Global Holdings (2009)

MF Global Holdings Ltd (OTC: MFGLQ) collapsed in 2009 after the brokerage made a $6.3 billion bet on European sovereign debt. MF Global had $40.5 billion in assets.

8. Energy Future Holdings (2014)

Energy Future Holdings Corp. filed for bankruptcy in 2014 after the company’s big bets on natural gas failed to pay off. The company had $40.9 billion in assets.

7. Conseco (2002)

Many of Conseco’s problems stemmed from an ill-advised purchase of mobile homes financier Green Tea Financial in 1998. The insurance company had $61.4 billion in assets at the time of its bankruptcy.

6. Enron (2001)

Rampant fraud within the energy-trading company led to Enron’s infamous stock slide and subsequent bankruptcy. The company has $65.5 billion in assets.

5. CIT Group (2009)

After over a century of operations, CIT Group Inc (NYSE: CIT) filed for bankruptcy when it couldn’t find funding during the credit crunch in 200.9. The commercial lender had $80.4 billion in assets.

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4. General Motors (2009)

Bogged down by debt and unfavorable union deals, General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) agreed to bankruptcy in 2009 as part of the terms of its government bailout. GM had $91.0 billion in assets.

3. WorldCom (2002)

After a nearly $4 billion accounting scandal, the operator of the world’s largest Internet network and second largest long-distance phone company filed for bankruptcy in 2002. WorldCom had $103.9 billion in assets.

2. Washington Mutual (2008)

One of the most shocking failings of the financial crisis of 2008-2009 was Washington Mutual; a $16.7 billion nine-day withdrawal run left the bank crippled. The company had $327.9 billion in assets.

1. Lehman Brothers Holdings (2008)

Investment bank Lehman Brothers is not only the largest bankruptcy of all time (by twofold), it is the poster child for the financial crisis. The company had $691.1 billion in assets.

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