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A Reckoning for Indebted Companies

The Covid-19 pandemic threatens companies as well as people. Inevitably it will do further damage to the global economy as supply lines are disrupted by quarantines and businesses that depend on people being out and about—restaurants, hotels, entertainment providers, airlines—run short on customers. Securities markets are bouncing all over the map, mostly downward, trying to price the risk.

The danger is heightened by the heavy load of debt American corporations have piled up as they have taken advantage of low-cost borrowing….

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