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Enron Corporation's December 2, 2001, Chapter 11 reorganization filing was the largest bankruptcy in history, until it was exceeded in 2002 by WorldCom. Enron, headquartered in Houston, Texas, had grown quickly into a superficially giant and well-regarded company. It rapidly collapsed following the sudden disclosure of massive financial misdealing, which revealed the company to be a shell rather than a real business. During 2001, Enron stock fell to about $0.30—an unprecedented collapse for a blue-chip stock.

The Enron scandal helped propel passage of the McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (March). While Enron was neither the biggest nor the most important source of political funds, it had been active in making political contributions and attempting to influence legislators. Part of the Enron scandal involved ...

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