The cover story of this week's issue of Bloomberg Businessweek examines the United States Postal Service as it hurtles toward insolvency at an alarming rate.
Facing a projected $6.4 billion loss this year, the Postal Service is expected to hit its own debt ceiling by the end of this fiscal year on Sept. 30.
The federal government will then have to choose between letting the agency default on its massive pension obligations or bailing it out to the tune of more than $50 billion.
The Businessweek article, written by Devin Leonard, looks at the drivers behind the agency's financial woes, including its cushy relationship with postal workers unions and its flailing efforts to stem its customers' migration to the Internet.
At the end, the article asks whether the U.S. will be able to follow in Europe's footsteps and reinvent its postal monopoly to regain relevance and profitability.
If it cannot, Leonard concludes, the postal service is at serious risk of collapse.