Reproduced from S&P Global Market Intelligence; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. corporate bankruptcies have risen in 2020 — already reaching the highest number at this point in the year since 2010 — but the pace remains well behind what was seen during the Great Recession.

Why it matters: The increased pace of bankruptcies has grabbed headlines in light of the coronavirus pandemic, but is quaint compared to what took place from 2007–2009. In fact, there have been fewer bankruptcies so far in 2020 than in 2006 and in 2005, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

By the numbers: A total of 470 companies have gone bankrupt as of Sept. 7.

  • However, there were 608 bankruptcies through Sept. 7, 2010.
  • 1,108 bankruptcies by Sept. 7, 2006.
  • 610 bankruptcies by Sept. 7, 2005.

There were 2,747 bankruptcies through Sept. 7 and 4,095 by year-end in 2007; 3,247 through Sept. 7 and 5,268 by year-end in 2008; and 4,025 through Sept. 7 and 4,988 by year-end in 2009.

What to watch: The reduced number of bankruptcies is good for individual companies but is largely a result of the Fed flooding markets with liquidity and keeping U.S. interest rates at extremely low levels.

  • That is allowing inefficient companies to stay in business and weighing down overall U.S. productivity, many economists argue.

Go deeper

Updated Sep 17, 2020 - Science

In photos: Historic wildfires rage across the U.S. West

A woman who lost her home at a trailer park surrounded by burned cars and properties destroyed in the Almeda Fire in Talent, Oregon, on Sept. 16. Photo: Paula Bronstein/AFP via Getty Images

79 large wildfires are burning across the U.S. West, mostly in California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho, per a Bureau of Land Management statement Wednesday.

The big picture: The mega-fires have killed at least 35 people and burned some 5 million acres in Oregon, Washington and California, where air quality is among the worst in the world. Smoke from the blazes has been affecting East Coast skies this week. It's also been spotted some 5,000 miles away in Europe.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 30,065,728 — Total deaths: 944,604— Total recoveries: 20,423,802Map
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 6,674,070 — Total deaths: 197,615 — Total recoveries: 2,540,334 — Total tests: 90,710,730Map
  3. Politics: Former Pence aide says she plans to vote for Joe Biden, accusing Trump of costing lives in his coronavirus response.
  4. Health: Pew: 49% of Americans would not get COVID-19 vaccine if available today Pandemic may cause cancer uptick The risks of moving too fast on a vaccine — COVID-19 racial disparities extend to health coverage losses.
  5. Business: Retail sales return to pre-coronavirus trend.
Ina Fried, author of Login
9 hours ago - Technology

Scoop: How the Oracle-TikTok deal would work

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

An agreement between TikTok's Chinese owner ByteDance and Oracle includes a variety of concessions in an effort to make the deal palatable to the Trump administration and security hawks in Congress, according to a source close to the companies.

Driving the news: The deal, in the form of a 20-page term sheet agreed to in principle by the companies, would give Oracle unprecedented access and control over user data as well as other measures designed to ensure that Americans' data is protected, according to the source.