Forgive Us Our Debts, Please!

Donald Trump is not alone in his misery. Hapless borrowers, crushed by debts they assumed during the go-go 1980s, have made the term "cash crunch" a byword of the '90s. The average U.S. company is so loaded down with loans that it must spend fully 50% of its pretax earnings on interest payments, vs. 32% in 1980. "The major issue facing the nation is that people and companies can't live off debt indefinitely," says Louis Masotti, a professor at the Stanford and Northwestern business schools.

Greyhound became one of the latest casualties of debt last week when the strike-bound bus line...

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