he city of Stockton, Calif., is filing for bankruptcy protection after talks with creditors ended in failure. On Tuesday night, Stockton's City Council voted to stop payments on bonds, enacted a hand-to-mouth budget, and slashed the health and retirement benefits of city workers, and the city manager is expected to formally file bankruptcy papers immediately. Stockton, a city of about 300,000, borrowed heavily during the real estate boom; now it's the nation's largest city to seek municipal bankruptcy.
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