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Thu. 2 Dec 2021, 10:50am ETBenzinga
In: Education, General

Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date.

What Happened? On Dec. 2, 2001, Enron officially filed for bankruptcy.

Where The Market Was: The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded at 9,851.56 and the S&P 500 traded at 1,139.45.

What Else Was Going On In The World? In 2001, NASA’s Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) spacecraft became the first spacecraft ever to land on an asteroid. Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) released its iTunes music platform. The average U.S. monthly rent was $715.

Enron Goes Under: To this day, Enron is known as one of the largest corporate scandals in the history of the U.S. market. The company was once number seven on the Fortune 500 list. When the company filed for bankruptcy on Dec. 12, 2001, it had $63.4 billion in assets, making it the largest U.S. bankruptcy in history.

Enron’s stock price peaked at over $90 per share in mid-2000. When the market closed on Friday Nov. 30, 2001, Enron’s stock price was just 26 cents.

Wall Street Crime And Punishment: When Enron's Numbers Didn't Add Up

For years, Enron executives had been using nefarious accounting practices to hide billions of dollars in debt from failed business deals and projects.

When the market reopened on Monday following the Sunday bankruptcy filing, the Dow dropped 1.16%.

Enron CEO Jeff Skilling would ultimately serve 11 years in prison for charges related to the fraud. The company’s CFO Andy Fastow served about five years in prison.

Unfortunately. Enron’s reign as the largest corporate bankruptcy lasted less than one year. Worldcom reported $107 billion in assets when it filed for bankruptcy on July 21, 2002.

Photo: courtesy of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.