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Trouble in neighboring Puerto Rico, which recently filed for a form of bankruptcy after a string of debt defaults, has investors worried that the U.S. Virgin Islands might be next.

With just over 100,000 inhabitants, the protectorate now owes north of $2 billion to bondholders and creditors. That’s the biggest per capita debt load of any U.S. territory or state - more than $19,000 for every man, woman and child scattered across the island chain of St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John. The territory is on the hook for billions more in unfunded pension and healthcare obligations.

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Italy is rushing to approve emergency rules outlining liquidation procedures for two failed banks in the northern Veneto region in time for them to open on Monday.

The government is set on Sunday to approve a decree law setting up rules that would let Intesa Sanpaolo SpA buy some assets of Banca Popolare di Vicenza SpA and Veneto Banca SpA at a token price and determine the state intervention needed to avoid losses for senior bondholders.

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The calm [when Banco Popular branches were able to open on Wednesday morning] was a victory for the European Union policy makers and bureaucrats who had spent years building the machinery for euthanizing major banks without using taxpayers’ cash or setting off a domino effect in the markets.

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Spanish bank Santander on Wednesday said it would buy struggling rival Popular for one euro and carry out a capital increase of around 7 billion euros ($7.9 billion) to cover the capital and provisions required to boost Popular's finances.

Struggling under the weight of 37 billion euros of non-performing real estate assets left over from Spain's financial crisis, Popular had seen its share price slump by more than a half after the ECB body that winds down troubled banks warned Popular may need to be wound down if it failed to find a buyer.

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Lender institutions and finance ministers from the 19 Eurozone countries agreed to help Greece pay back nearly $8 billion it is required to by July. But that was the easy part of their discussions.

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After the 2008 financial crisis took millions of investment dollars from Americans, shell shocked financial advisers and briefly turned the country upside down, only one bank was indicted: Abacus Federal Savings in Chinatown, New York — the 2,531st largest bank in the U.S.

A new documentary from Oscar-nominated “Hoop Dreams” director Steve James follows the subsequent legal battle, which plays out in the film as a David and Goliath tale of a small bank taking the fall for the financial crisis over an isolated incident with a corrupt loan officer.

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Puerto Rico is facing a fresh round of creditor lawsuits after a temporary reprieve on litigation was lifted, exposing the distressed Caribbean island to the consequences of the defaults on much of its $70 billion of debt.

The cases filed Tuesday are the first of what’s expected to be a wave of new legal challenges from investors seeking to force the U.S. territory to pay what it owes. With the government so far unable to reach an agreement with bondholders, such lawsuits threaten to expose Puerto Rico to adverse legal rulings and could lead the island and its federal overseers to use bankruptcy-like procedures to cut its debts in court.

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Greece hasn't received many compliments from its northern neighbors since the crisis began many years ago.

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Puerto Rico’s federal overseers took an initial step toward considering the use of bankruptcy-like proceedings to allow the island to escape from $70 billion of debt and approved a plan that calls for extracting concessions from owners of water agency bonds.

The decision comes just days before the expiration of a legal stay that has sheltered Puerto Rico from lawsuits filed by bondholders after an escalating series of defaults.
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