Expand chart
Data: S&P Global Ratings; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

U.S. corporate debt continues to hit new all-time highs. The chart above shows how little operating income (technically, non-financial companies' funds from operations) supports the median American company's ever-growing debt load.

Think of this in personal finance terms. Financial advisers like to say that you shouldn't have total debts, including your mortgage, of more than 2.5 times your income. In corporate America, that ratio is now more than 6.5 times.

  • Up until now, interest rates have been low and credit has been flowing freely, making it easy for companies to service these debts. But now rates are rising, and these debt loads could start to bite.
"Given where we are in the credit cycle, there are concerns about how and when prevailing conditions will turn. Such a change could spark bouts of strong volatility and periods of rapidly rising financing costs and illiquidity — limiting borrowers' financial flexibility — giving rise to increased defaults."
Jacob Crooks and David Tesher, S&P Global Ratings

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Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 32,471,119 — Total deaths: 987,593 — Total recoveries: 22,374,557Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 7,032,524 — Total deaths: 203,657 — Total recoveries: 2,727,335 — Total tests: 99,483,712Map.
  3. States: "We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus.
  4. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer.
  5. Business: Coronavirus has made airports happier places The expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance looms.
  6. Education: Where bringing students back to school is most risky.
Mike Allen, author of AM
8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden pushes unity message in new TV wave

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What he's saying: The ad — which began Friday night, and is a follow-up to "Fresh Start" — draws from a Biden speech earlier in the week in Manitowoc, Wisconsin:

Trump prepares to announce Amy Coney Barrett as Supreme Court replacement

Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Photo: Matt Cashore/Notre Dame University via Reuters

President Trump is preparing to nominate federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana, a favorite of both the social conservative base and Republican elected officials, to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Republican sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Barrett would push the already conservative court further and harder to the right, for decades to come, on the most important issues in American politics — from abortion to the limits of presidential power. If confirmed, she would give conservatives a 6-3 majority on the high court.