The debt ceiling explained

Sep 24, 2021
If Congress fails to raise or suspend the debt limit, it won’t cause a government shutdown. But it could mean a failure to pay Social Security and federal salaries. 
Storm clouds gather near the U.S. Capitol on Sep. 22, in Washington, D.C.
Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

This Puerto Rico default is different

Apr 29, 2016
Puerto Rico is about to miss an interest payment on the most secure level of bonds.

Student loan default rates don't tell the whole story

Sep 23, 2014
Colleges can game the system to hide their students’ problems with debt.

Argentina defaults

Aug 1, 2014
Talks broke down between Argentina and some of its bondholders, triggering default. Tim Fernholz, reporter for Quartz, explains.

What does all of this talk about default really mean?

Oct 16, 2013
Make no mistake, if the U.S. government defaults on its debt obligations, it will be a catastrophe. But the media has been misusing the term.
Reporters stand outside the Speaker of the House's office on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, October 15, 2013, waiting for comments from the Republican leadership.
JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

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A debt-ceiling roadmap to ruin?

Oct 15, 2013
The paydays that could prompt a government default if a debt-ceiling deal collapses.

Who does the U.S. actually owe $16.7 trillion to?

Oct 2, 2013
Although we often think of our debt as owed to foreign countries, in reality, America owes a lot of money to ourselves. Even regular Americans indirectly own a large chunk of our national debt.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has informed Congress that the government will exhaust its borrowing authority by October 17, after which it could default on its loans.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

What happens if Greece defaults? A flow chart

May 24, 2012
If Greece ditches its austerity plan and defaults on its loans, how might that play out in the global economy? Follow our flow chart to find out.