For Detroit, a Crisis Born of Bad Decisions and False Hope. DETROIT — This city was already sinking under hundreds of millions of dollars in bills that it could not pay when a municipal auditor brought in a veteran financial consultant to dig through the books.
A seasoned turnaround man and former actuary with Ford Motor Co., he was stunned by what he found: an additional $7.2 billion in retiree health costs that had never been reported, or even tallied up. “The city must take some drastic steps,” the consultant, John Boyle, warned the City Council in delivering his report at a public meeting in 2005. Detroit Cant Wait - City of Detroit Financial Facts and Figures. Today, Governor Rick Snyder spoke with members of the media about Detroit's financial condition in response to a report issued this week by Michigan Treasurer Andy Dillon and the Detroit Financial Review Team.
In the video above, Governor Snyder addresses the findings of that report. Video: Watch Governor Snyder's media round table. "For many years, the city has been overestimating its revenues and overspending, [and] to resolve their deficit, they've been taking on massive borrowings," Snyder said. In addition, the city faces ballooning obligations for retirement obligations and, unfortunately, the city's recent actions have not been enough to solve the short-term and long-term needs of the city. Unlikely West Michigan foes debate bridge in Detroit. Supporters and opponents of the new international bridge from Detroit to Windsor, Ontario, are still debating the merits of the proposal nearly a week after the bridge plan failed to get enough support in the state legislature.
At least 100 people in Zeeland listened to the unlikely opponents at a forum Tuesday night hosted by the Ottawa County Tea Party Patriots. The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce and State Representative Dave Agema (R-Grandville) agree most of the time. The Grand Rapids chamber is one of many chambers of commerce in Michigan to support a second bridge. “I strive not to encumber taxpayers in any way shape or form,” Agema said in arguing against the new international trade bridge. State Representative Dave Agema chairs the Transportation Subcommittee of the state House Appropriations Committee. “I think it would be nice to have a bridge,” said Holland resident Doug Bender. He retired from driving commercial trucks ten years ago. Overestimating 'Inequality' - Reason.com. Some Democrats seem to think that the very fact "inequality" even exists should be enough to lure the entire nation to the progressive cause.
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, in a recent piece imploring President Barack Obama to put emphasis on social justice in his State of the Union speech, argued as much, writing that "to focus on inequality is political realism. Like it or not, the simple fact is that Americans 'get' inequality; macroeconomics, not so much. " They may "get" it, but the message is probably a lot less powerful than Krugman imagines. Tracing Detroit's Decline. "The financial crisis that has made Detroit one of the largest cities ever to face mandatory state oversight was decades in the making, a trail of missteps, of trimming too little, too late, of hoping that deep-rooted structural problems would turn out to be cyclical downturns that might melt away as the economy picked up," say Davey and Walsh.
"Some factors were out of the city’s control. As auto industry jobs moved elsewhere over the decades, for example, Detroit lost much of its affluent tax base. Lower than expected state revenue sharing did not help, nor did corruption allegations in the administration of Kwame M. Kilpatrick, a mayor who resigned in 2008 and was convicted on Monday of racketeering and other federal charges. " "But recent findings from a state-appointed review team and interviews with past and present city officials also suggest a city that over the years was remarkably badly run. " Detroit Sports Profit as DIA Collection Considered for Collateral.
Detroit’s Tigers stadium (image via Flickr user Cavalier92) As the Detroit Institue of Arts (DIA) continues its long slide to Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s butcher block, several issues have come to light regarding the fate of its artwork and the financial context of the Detroit bankruptcy.
On Sunday, the Detroit Free Press published an article confirming what we had previously suspected regarding the possible use of the DIA’s artworks to collateralize new debt. That piece outlines how Orr has repeatedly told the DIA that he would like to use its assets to raise $4-500 million “to create a revenue stream for perhaps 20 years.” What this means is somewhat ambiguous, but this much is clear: the museum’s collection is worth more than enough to collateralize a debt obligation of this magnitude. DIA chief operating officer Annmarie Erickson explains to the Free Press, however, that “putting the art up as collateral doesn’t protect it.” January 17, 2014 April 2, 2014 December 4, 2013 June 4, 2013.
Detroit Bankruptcy: Tearing Up the Pension “Contract” Jul 26, 2013 It was by far the largest municipal bankruptcy in history, and the first time a major city in the United States had gone in to court to declare itself insolvent.
IN RE CITY OF DETROIT, MICH.