Column chart showing of the 20 largest non-financial company bankruptcies from 1980 to May 2009. The list is headed by  WorldCom, Inc. with assets of 103,914 million US$ and  Enron Corp. with assets of  65,503. However 2009 has already placed 4 corporations amongst the top 20 non-financial bankruptcies since 1980. Number 3 position  is taken by Chrysler LLC , car maker, assets of 39,300. Number 7 by General Growth Properties, real estate investment company, assets of 29,557. Number 8 by Lyondell Chemical Company, manufacturer of chemicals, assets of 27,392. And number 18 by Charter Communications, Inc.,  broadband communications operator with assets of 13,882 million US$.

The motor car, the machine that revolutionised the world and contributed largely to the 20th century social model, has been badly wounded by the 2008 financial and economic crisis. The first casualty is Chrysler, the US car maker number 3, that filed for bankruptcy on 30 April 2009. The car crisis has a global scope, hurting even the former profitability champion Toyota, and is not likely to stop at Chrysler doorstep. Other 2009 large non-financial bankruptcies include chemical, real estate and communications operator industries, signalling the reach and the depth of the economy crisis.


20 Largest Public Company Non-Financial Bankruptcy Filings
1980 - May 2009


Bankruptcy Date


Pre-Petition Assets
(million US$)

WorldCom, Inc.2002-07-21Telecommunications103,914
Enron Corp.2001-12-02Energy Trading, Natural Gas65,503
Chrysler LLC2009-04-30Manufactures & Sells Cars39,300
Pacific Gas and Electric Co.2001-04-06Electricity & Natural Gas36,152
Texaco, Inc.1987-04-12Petroleum & Petrochemicals34,940
Global Crossing, Ltd.2002-01-28Global Telecommunications Carrier30,185
General Growth Properties, Inc.2009-04-16Real Estate Investment Company29,557
Lyondell Chemical Company2009-01-06Global Manufacturer of Chemicals27,392
Calpine Corporation2005-12-20Integrated Power Company27,216
UAL Corporation2002-12-09Passenger Air Carrier25,197
Delta Air Lines, Inc.2005-09-14Passenger Airline21,801
Adelphia Communications Corp.2002-06-25Telecommunications21,499
Mirant Corporation2003-07-14Electric Services19,415
NTL Incorporated2002-05-08Telecommunications16,834
Delphi Corporation2005-10-08Automotive Systems Manufacturing16,593
Kmart Corporation2002-01-22Retail Discount Stores14,630
Northwest Airlines Corp.2005-09-14Passenger Airline14,042
Charter Communications, Inc.2009-03-27Operates Broadband Communications13,882
Tribune Company2008-12-08Media & Entertainment Company13,149
Yukos Oil Company2004-12-14Oil Production and Distribution12,276

Total assets value



Source: see BankruptcyData



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