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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

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 28, 2020 - Energy & Environment

The global investment slump

Data: IEA; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

A few days ago the International Energy Agency updated its analysis of the pandemic-fueled decline in investment.

Driving the news: IEA now sees global industry investment on the upstream (exploration and production) side falling by 35% this year, a slightly steeper drop than their prior analysis in May.

J&J and Merck to partner for COVID vaccine production to boost supply

Empty vials that contained a dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine against the COVID-19. Photo: Phill Magakoe/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden will announce Tuesday that pharmaceutical giant Merck will help Johnson & Johnson manufacture its newly authorized coronavirus vaccine to boost supply, a senior administration official tells Axios.

The big picture: The development has the potential to vastly increase supply, possibly doubling what the J&J could make on its own, the official said. The company has run into challenges while trying to expand its vaccine production to a global scale.

Casinos throw cash at sports betting media

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Casinos are investing millions on sports betting content to lure bettors to their online and in-person sportsbooks.

Why it matters: It’s a mini gold rush for some sports media companies that were struggling in the pandemic.