Detroit is so close to insolvency that there is talk in the city of selling off some of the Detroit Institute of the Arts' treasures, including works by Henri Matisse and Vincent van Gogh.

Still, the old, ingrained habits of the public sector are hard to break as Malia Mattoch McManus of Reuters reports:

The city of Detroit may be facing a deepening financial crisis but that hasn't stopped four trustees of its public pension funds from spending $22,000 of retirement system funds to attend a conference in Hawaii this week.

Detroit is $15 billion in debt. But that doesn't seem so troubling when you are serving the public interest at a "four-star resort on the world-famous Waikiki Beach in Honolulu."

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