12:26 PM, Dec 3, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The bankruptcy of Detroit, which has been a widely appreciated fact for some time now, has now become sanctioned by law. As Reuters reports:
Detroit is eligible for bankruptcy protection, a U.S. judge ruled on Tuesday after determining the city is broke and had too many creditors to make negotiations over more than $18 billion in city debts and other obligations possible.
Those “obligations” include the pensions that were promised municipal employees who are now retired and had assumed that promises made by the city were good.
The story is sad and infuriating. The city was driven to this condition by corrupt, one-party rule that made extravagant promises (when it was wasn’t busy stealing) it never had the ability – and, perhaps, the intention – of keeping.
The ruling could be seen as an opportunity and license to bail in cities that also inherited the fruits of maladministration and the buying of votes with public money.
It does, however, seem like only yesterday that President Obama was saying that he “refused” to let the Motor City go bankrupt. Must have been Romney, then, who did it.
10:09 AM, Sep 27, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Detroit failed after years of one-party rule (guess which one), mismanagement, and corruption. Businesses closed down. Buildings were left derelict until they were torched for the fun of it. Feral animals roamed the streets as the people fled. After the usual protestations that it would never happen, city officials were compelled to declare the largest municipal bankruptcy in the nation's history.
Dead trees, junk cars, and dim, dim streetlights.11:06 AM, Sep 4, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Tom Walsh of the Detroit Free Press, writes about some of the obstacles in Detroit's way if it is to show its best face come the "invasion by the nation’s media in October for baseball playoffs and, hopefully, a World Series."
12:14 PM, Aug 21, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Lame jokes ("gone to the dogs") cannot mask the demoralizing nature of the latest news of Detroit's descent from the world's premier manufacturing city to third world squalor.
As Chris Christoff of Bloomberg reports:
The value of the Detroit Institute of Arts to Detroit is an open question.Aug 19, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 46 • By PHILIP TERZIAN
No doubt, the bankruptcy of Detroit will have unintended consequences. But one possibility, currently under discussion, is especially distressing: sale of the paintings in the Detroit Institute of Arts, which, unlike most municipal collections, is owned by the city, not a nonprofit trust.
Unintended consequences.8:01 AM, Jul 29, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The bankrupt city of Detroit may have found a way out of its health care woes for its retired city workers: shifting the costs to taxpayers nationwide via Obamacare. If Detroit and other struggling municipalities follow through, the result could be a "huge cost" to taxpayers. The New York Times has the story:
9:26 AM, Jul 27, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The city of Detroit is unable to light or police its streets but it can provide circuses on ice for its (mostly unemployed) citizens. While the city may have declared bankruptcy just the other day, as Chris Isidore of CNN reports:
Aug 5, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 44 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
It's been a while since Benjamin R. Barber, the left-wing political scientist and ex-Howard Dean adviser, attracted the attention of The Scrapbook. Barber is one of those anticapitalist types who is careful to disguise his unpalatable ideology in anodyne terms—see Jihad vs. McWorld: How Globalism and Tribalism Are Reshaping the World (1995)—in order to be welcome at Davos, or the Kennedy School, or Foundation World.
Detroit shows the way.Aug 5, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 44 • By DAVID SKEEL
Although Detroit’s bankruptcy is only a few days old, it already has become clear that it could bring answers to two very important questions: whether municipal bankruptcy law is a plausible alternative to either bailouts or decades of fiscal malaise for large cities that are sagging under unsustainable debt, and whether it is time for Congress to enact a bankruptcy law for states too. So far, the answer to both questions looks like yes.
10:44 AM, Jul 24, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Steve Hayes, with Mara Liasson and Charles Krauthammer, last night on Fox News:
11:17 AM, Jul 21, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Detroit mayor Dave Bing tells ABC's George Stephanopoulos that there's no bailout "yet":