U.S. municipalities have filed five bankruptcies this year, and -- next week -- Jefferson County, Ala., could make a sixth. Could city and county defaults shake the muni-bond market just as investors are fleeing to it amid stock-market declines?
For Central Falls, Rhode Island, whose motto is ironically "A City with A Bright Future," the tough economy has proved too much to bear. Local regulators had to make the tough decision Monday to file for Chapter 9. Could other municipalities follow suit?