Debt strangling vulnerable businesses

Oregon companies that borrowed heavily to power through better times are struggling with debt.

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Harry & David is just one example of a company that borrowed heavily to prosper and is now scrambling to avoid defaulting on its bonds.

For much of this decade, debt was to the economy as meth is to the inveterate tweaker. Consumers and businesses borrowed trillions of dollars at a rate unprecedented in modern economic history and blew through that money in a wild binge of spending.

Now, that binge is over and the economy is suffering a nasty case of withdrawal. Some are now talking about “peak debt,” the way that energy watchers talk about “peak oil.”

To read Jeff Manning’s full report in the Oregonian, click here.

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