Thomas Cook's failure has left half a million people stranded abroad. Here are 9 of the worst company collapses in history.
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- Thomas Cook's bankruptcy - which stranded 600,000 passengers and ruined travel plans - is just one example of disastrous company collapses.
- Lehman Brothers' collapse wrecked the global economy and sunk the stock market. The Enron scandal showcased the lengths corporate financiers would go to defraud investors.
- Here are 9 examples of harrowing corporate bankruptcies throughout world history.
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After a disastrous bankruptcy, British-based travel company Thomas Cook's collapse has left 600,000 people stranded across the world.
A Thomas Cook flight attendant said she found out she lost her job via Facebook. One man reported that a Tunisian resort was "holding travelers hostage" until they pay the money it said it was owed by Thomas Cook.
While corporate bankruptcies are often chaotic for employees and executives, the world's worst company collapses have shaken up entire world markets.
Lehman Brothers' collapse helped push the global economy toward the financial crisis. Pan American World Airways' bankruptcy shattered an global symbol of American travel. The Enron scandal showcased the lengths some corporate financers would go to defraud investors.
Earlier collapses -like the Medici Bank and the South Sea Company - became markers of their eras.
Here are 9 of world's worst corporate downfalls of all time:
1494: The Medici Bank, longtime money holder for the Vatican, collapsed due to ineffective leaders and tenuous cash reserves.
1853: England's South Sea Company eventually failed after causing an economic collapse in the 18th century.
1911: The Supreme Court ordered John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil to be broken up, dissolving one of the largest US monopolies.
1983: The holding company Carrian filed the largest bankruptcy in Hong Kong history. The collapse was due to one of the largest accounting frauds in history, and led to a dramatic investigation including the murder of an auditor and suicide of the firm's advisor.
1991: Pan American World Airways, once the world's largest international air carrier, shuts down.
1997: Woolworths announces it would close 400 stores in the US, leading to 9,200 jobs lost.
2001: Enron, a Texas-based energy company, filed for bankruptcy after years of corporate fraud and corruption.
2008: Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, ushering in the Great Recession.
2019: British travel company Thomas Cook announced bankruptcy, leaving 600,000 passengers stranded across the world.
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