Detroit Bankruptcy Trial Begins Wednesday

Fox News, October 23, 2013

The city of Detroit for months has disclosed the awful condition of its finances. Now it’s up to a judge to determine if the largest public bankruptcy in U.S. history really can go forward.

An unusual trial starts Wednesday, pitting Detroit’s emergency manager and his legal team against unions and pension funds that claim the city isn’t qualified to scrub its books clean under Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

A city isn’t eligible for a bankruptcy makeover unless it shows that key steps were met, especially good-faith talks with creditors earlier this year. It’s a critical decision for Judge Steven Rhodes: If Detroit clears the hurdle, the case then would quickly turn to how to solve at least $18 billion in debt and get city government off the ropes.

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Jim Spiotto, a bankruptcy expert in Chicago, said it’s “virtually impossible” to argue that Detroit is solvent.

“They’re not paying their debts,” he said. “Look at their blighted areas. Look at their services.”

Nonetheless, unions and pension funds are challenging Detroit on the eligibility question. They claim emergency manager Kevyn Orr, who acquired nearly unfettered control over city finances following his appointment by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, was not genuinely interested in negotiating when they met with his team in June and July. Orr insists pension funds are short $3.5 billion and health coverage also needs to be overhauled.

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The trial in front of Rhodes is expected to last several days, with testimony from Orr, Police Chief James Craig, financial consultants and, possibly, the governor. It will be an autopsy on what Snyder has called decades of ruinous financial decisions in Detroit combined with an exodus of people–the population has dropped to 700,000 from 1.8 million–and other social and economic factors.

“The city’s restructuring must provide a foundation for the city to begin to provide basic, essential services to its residents in a reliable fashion,” Orr said in July when he took Detroit into bankruptcy. “Without this, the city’s death spiral … will continue.”

Orr’s team estimates that 65 percent of Detroit’s annual revenue would be eaten up in debt payments by 2017 without an overhaul in bankruptcy court. Miles away from court, countless streets are bleak: By last spring, at least 16,700 structures were inspected and classified as dangerous. Thousands of streetlights are dark.

Private donors are replacing ambulances that limp around with more than 200,000 miles. The fire department has just one mechanic for every 39 fire vehicles. The number of Detroit parks has dropped to about 60 in recent years from more than 300, due to a lack of money.

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  • D.B. Cooper

    I hope you white Michigan fools pay up. You deserve what you vote for, and I know who you voted for.

    • Mike Conrad

      It’s going to be more than Michigan paying for this mess, and there are going to be many more messes like this one.

      • me

        Every ‘progressive’ on Capitol Hill should be forced to live in Detroit. It’s their baby, so they should physically and financially take care of it themselves.

  • There were protestors at the Federal courthouse in Dirtrot today.

    They can protest a building, but they can’t protest financial statements.

    • MBlanc46

      Protests and demonstrations is all Negroes are good at. If they put half the energy into study and work that they put into marching and demonstrating, they might actually accomplish something.

      • They’re “good at it” because they think it works. Almost every time they march and show off on the streets, they get something.

        The dirty little secret is that it only “works” because white panderers surrender every time. Did the March on Washington 50 years ago or Lyndon Johnson’s immense political skill bring about the civil rights acts of the ’60s?

        • MBlanc46

          It wasn’t any one march or demonstration that brought about the end of Jim Crow, and it wasn’t only marches and demonstrations. But without the marches and demonstrations, things would have happened rather differently. However, all the marches and demonstrations in the world won’t solve being $18 billion dollars in debt.

        • What “worked” was a lot of sympathy from otherwise rational whites who had convinced themselves that if blacks were treated like whites, they would begin acting as if they were white.

          Epic fail.

    • Katherine McChesney

      Dirtrot. LOL.

  • Whitetrashgang

    Detroit should get rid of there police and fire department to save money. Instead they could combine the local crackhouse and barber shop to be used as a volunteer police and fire service.Also get rid of lights and water and just everyone a flashlight and a bucket to get their own water. I have many more ideas.

  • Dave4088

    Don’t laugh people. Once the black and brown population reaches critical mass coast to coast, and that day will come sooner than later, the entire country will be in a death spiral.

    • So CAL Snowman

      ” the entire country will be in a death spiral.”

      It’s not already?

  • bigone4u

    No matter what goes on in courtrooms or accountant’s heads, Detroit is permanently ruined. All that’s going on now is just fighting over money. Sensitive whites are mourning the loss of the beauty and commerce created by the white race, which stupidly invited Negroes to join OUR civilization without realizing the Negro race destroys civilizations.

    • MBlanc46

      The Negroes have pushed it to the brink, but it’s not over till it’s over. I haven’t been there for about 15 years, but there was a lot of solid infrastructure amid the ruins. If the Negroes can be gotten under control (this is where you come in, bankruptcy court), there can be a renaissance in Detroit. Just look across the river at Windsor, Ontario, a thriving, dynamic small city. The difference to Detoit: no Negroes. We built Detroit. It’s ours. We should take it back.

    • Sick of it

      Accountants are a lot more level headed when it comes to these situations than politicians. Accountants know numbers do not lie.

  • Spartacus

    This was obviously caused by racism.

    • Whitetrashgang

      That why blacks always wear runners and will kill each other for them.

    • I suspect racism had something to do with this.

    • Mike Conrad

      Isn’t everything?

  • Eric Michael High Yalla Rap Academic Dyson on MSNBC interviewed a black negroliod Diversity from Detroit today and asked the unthinkable question: Are blacks responsible for Detroit’s problems?

    Of course not, blackaloid said, it’s all because of deindustrialization and the White governor.

    Blacks are NEVER the cause of anything bad that can’t be blamed on Whitey.

    Not even Jesus is hated as much as we are.

    • Blacks are the cause of everything bad, but it is blamed on Whitey.

  • MekongDelta69

    “Without this [$$$], the city’s death spiral … will continue.”

    I’m looking for a problem here…
    .
    .
    Looking…
    .
    .
    Still looking…
    .
    .
    Nope – don’t see one…
    .
    .
    Moving along…

  • The fire department has just one mechanic for every 39 fire vehicles.

    On “Emergency” Gage and DeSoto did a lot of routine maintenance on their vehicle. Guess that was pre-union “We don’t do that”.

  • Andy

    http[colon]//www[dot]youtube[dot]com/watch?v=ab9M_St6bPk

    This is a cute example. But yes, tens of thousands of years of separate evolution do produce group differences.

  • me

    Detroit should just have a fence built around it and be labeled a ‘Black Achievement Museum’. They’d get federal funding for being a national museum, and it would be an accurate lesson on what the Bantu is capable of. Egypt my ass!