By Jeff Reeves of
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- There's something downright despicable about debt out there these days. From outrage over the massive federal budget deficit to a new resolve (or fear of unemployment) prompting Americans to once more live within their means, it appears that the days of easy credit and easy spending are becoming a thing of the past.
But what about corporations? The economic earthquake of the past few years has made debt an unavoidable reality for some, prompting them to borrow funds to keep the lights on. Others swooped in to buy out embattled competitors -- taking on billions in debt even if the strategic partnership was a relative bargain. The old adage that you have to spend money to make money seems to have held true even in these lean times.
But believe it or not, there is a fairly large group of companies out there living debt-free -- and reaping huge rewards of their fiscal restraint.