The dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) define the bankruptcy , in the first meaning of the term, such as break of a surface of certain stiffness or hardness. By extension, a bankruptcy is known as a crack or slit in the land .

For example: "I did not see the bankruptcy on the ground and, when I passed with the car, I punctured a tire", “The bankruptcy of the panel took place with the fourth or fifth blow; only then did the outbreak be heard ”.

The concept, however, is much more frequent at the commercial level to name the action and effect of breaking a merchant . Bankruptcy, also known as bankruptcy , occurs when a person or organization You are not in a position to face payments you must make.

This means that if a company You have to pay a debt and you have no money for it, you can declare bankruptcy. This is a legal situation that involves various obligations and responsibilities. In other words, bankruptcy occurs when the liability payable to an entity exceeds the assets (available economic resources) of this .

Filing for bankruptcy has several effects. In principle, the person (physical or legal) is disabled to manage their goods . This administration is in the hands of a third party known as a trustee.

Bankruptcy, on the other hand, sets the rights of the creditors (who cannot demand improvements in the situation after filing for bankruptcy) and gathers all pending lawsuits against the debtor before the same judge.

Let's see below how some of the most important companies in the world have broken or failed flatly in the last ten years:


At the time, it became one of the largest companies Natural gas, electricity, paper production and communication, worldwide. He came to have a staff of more than 22 thousand people. But after it was proved that his success was due, in part, to the manipulation of truth and resources, he declared bankruptcy towards the end of 2001.

Arthur Andersen

It was thanks to the prestige of Arthur Andersen, founder of the Enron company, that it was able to hide a fraud of colossal dimensions for years. But once their lies were uncovered, Andersen's company soon fell, given that the market ceased to rely on any brand related to its name. At the end of 2002, after having lost the respect of his followers and all his capital, he declared bankruptcy.


It was a Swiss airline founded in the 1930s, which had a long life until it opted for the wrong strategy. In the early 90s, he chose alliances with other companies, but instead of consciously investing to broaden his horizons through important collaborations, he dedicated himself to buying small airlines. This led to a deep economic crisis that, together with the shock wave of the attacks in 2001 in North America and the prices of competition, led to bankruptcy in 2002.


In the early 1960s, Parmalat was nothing more than a discrete pasteurization plant. However, a series of successful investments made it a large multinational. The success of this company was based on the same decision that put it at risk and, finally, led to a failure from which it would not recover: the purchase of small companies, based on a growing debt. When the situation became unsustainable, its founder was arrested for fraud and this marked a before and after for the giant of the products dairy products.