Who Are Some Big Companies That Went Bankrupt?


Quick Answer

Pan American World Airways was the largest international airline in the United States from 1927 through 1991. The 1973 oil crisis reduced demand for international travel, forcing Pan Am to expand its operations into domestic flights. This unsuccessful expansion, along with deregulation of the airline industry, led to the company's eventual demise.

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Full Answer

Pets.com was one of the most well-known dot-com busts from the early 2000s. The company raised $82.5 million before its February 2000 initial public offering. In November 2000, the company ceased all operations and filed for bankruptcy. E.F. Hutton was a well-respected stockbroker in the 1970s and 1980s. Scandals involving money laundering and check kiting, along with the 1987 stock market crash, caused the public to lose confidence in the firm and close their accounts.

Enron's high-profile bankruptcy in 2001 also caused the downfall of accounting firm Arthur Andersen and led to major law changes in the accounting industry. Some of the company's executives were incarcerated as a result of their fraudulent activities prior to the bankruptcy. Enron's artificially inflated energy prices also played a role in Pacific Gas and Electric's bankruptcy later that year. PG&E was unable to compete in a recently deregulated energy industry and did not recover until 2004.

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