A mural displays notable historical figures and a fading Puerto Rican flag on a dilapidated building in San Juan earlier this month. Between its public-sector debt and money owed pension funds, the U.S. territory is grappling with more than $120 billion in debt.
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People carry a large Puerto Rican flag as they protest looming austerity measures amid an economic crisis in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Monday. The May Day demonstrations come as the island faces a Monday deadline for reaching a deal on debt payments, or entering bankruptcy-like proceedings.
Richard Cordray, shown here at a March 2015 hearing, directs the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has proposed new rules to overhaul the multi-billion dollar debt collection industry.)
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said Mosaic Life Care in St. Joseph, Mo., "deserves credit" for forgiving debts of former low-income patients, but he said that result should not have required congressional and press attention.
Puerto Rico's governor, Alejandro Javier Garcia Padilla, shown here in an appearance in Washington this month, has been urging Congress to allow the commonwealth to seek bankruptcy protection.
Sait Serkan Gurbuz/AP
Radwan Mahmoud, a Syrian refugee, works as a laborer on a construction site in Lebanon. He's supporting 12 family members and earning about $16 a day. With a population of just over 4 million, Lebanon is host to more than 1 million Syrian refugees.
A woman looks on at the U.S. Capitol in 2013 after the most recent government shutdown. Congress has made no progress toward avoiding a government shutdown when it will run out of funding Sept. 30.
In the years before the Great Recession, many Americans piled up too much credit card debt. Now, they seem to be a little wiser about using plastic, saysRichard Cordray, who heads the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
In 22 states, people who default on their student loans can have professional licenses suspended or revoked. The percentage of Americans who default on student loans has more than doubled since 2003.
Construction workers in Washington, D.C., in December. The latest jobs report will further drive the "misery index" to its lowest level in more than half a century. But economists say meager wages and big debts are still problems.
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