- ‘A Crime': Groups Say Detroit Bankruptcy Plan Benefits Rich, Attacks Working People (Common Dreams, Nov 10, 2014):
Newly-approved Plan of Adjustment means sacrificing pensions, healthcare, city services, they say
- ‘A Crime': Groups Say Detroit Bankruptcy Plan Benefits Rich, Attacks Working People (Common Dreams, Nov 10, 2014):
Newly-approved Plan of Adjustment means sacrificing pensions, healthcare, city services, they say
- Man Tries to Trade Decrepit Detroit House for New iPhone (ABC News, ‘
One homeowner is resorting to bartering for the latest iPhone as a tactic to sell a beleaguered property in Detroit.
The owner has dropped the asking price on a three-bedroom home in east Detroit from $5,000 to a new iPhone 6 as the owner is desperate to sell ahead of the area’s tax auction season where “thousands” of homes near foreclosure will flood the market, real estate broker Larry Else told ABC News.
“This house is really not worth much at all,” Else said. Continue reading »
Oct 4, 2014
The Detroit water shutoff for people who have fallen two months behind on their water bill will continue, after the moratorium on the shutoffs was overturned. With Detroit struggling with recession and rampant bankruptcy, and resources to contact the water department failing to keep up with demand, the water shutoffs have been harder to overturn and outsourced to independent contractors that are not following the regulations to insure citizens are not being denied their necessary resources. We look at video from Detroit, and discuss the collapse of a human right in Detroit on the Lip News with Mark Sovel and Elliot Hill.
- Detroit fire department has alert system made of pop cans, doorbells (Freep, Sep 6, 2014):
Detroit is so broke that firefighters get emergency alerts through pop cans, coins, door hinges, pipes and doorbells.
And they make these gizmos themselves — one involving a pop can that gets tipped over by an incoming fax. The clink of the can means there’s an emergency. Then there’s the chain-reaction gadget: a fax hits a door hinge, which then tugs on a wire, which then sets off a doorbell. Continue reading »
- With Half Of City Residents Delinquent, Detroit Restarts Water Shut-Offs (ZeroHedge, Aug 26, 2014):
“Utility disconnection is always considered a last resort, obviously because of consequences for households,” but as Detroit News reports, but water-providers can expect more controversy, as a month-long moratorium against shutting off water for those behind on their bills expired last night. Halting service to people that don’t pay generate outrage among not just Detroit residents but a wider audience who proclaim ‘water should be a right‘. However, as one utility director noted, “We’ve seen a lot more payments…They need that little kick in the pants to get in here and do it.” Water industry experts say c Continue reading »
Demonstrators protest against the Detroit Water and Sewer Department July 18, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. The Detroit Water and Sewer Department have disconnected water to thousands of Detroit residents who are delinquent with their bills. (AFP Photo / Getty Images / Joshua Lott)
- Thirsty for justice: Detroit protesters flood streets over water shutdown (RT, July 19, 2014):
Hundreds of demonstrators paraded through Detroit, protesting the city’s decision to terminate water supplies to thousands of residents with delinquent accounts.
“Fight, fight; water is a human right,” the protesters chanted as they marched the city on Friday. Media estimated their number at 300-1,000 people.
The protest was organized by the group National Nurses United, which says the termination of water supplies, in the middle of summer, could turn into a public health emergency. The group’s co-president, Jean Ross, called the shutoffs an “attack on the basic human right of access to safe, clean water.” Continue reading »
Watch the photos here:
- The Death And Decay Of Detroit In Real Time, As Seen From The Streets (ZeroHedge, June 7, 2014):
With the stock market hitting record highs day after day, it is easy to move on and forget that one of American’s once premier cities, Detroit, has been bankrupt for nearly a year. But out of mind doesn’t mean out of sight, especially now that Google has launched its street view Time Machine, which provides for 7 years worth of street images, capturing the time shift of the tumultuous period period starting in 2007. One blogger who decided to take this time lapse data and apply it to the city of Detroit is GooBing Detroit who, as the following time-lapse photos demonstrate, has captured Detoit’s unprecedented slow-motion collapse into death and decay in what is the closest we have to “real time.”
Perhaps what is most stunning about the following series of photos is not the ultimate fate of the bankrupt city, but how quickly a once vibrant metropolis has succumbed to blight and sheer desperation.
Hopefully not coming to a street near you.
All photos from the Goobingdetroit tumblr depict various areas and streets in Detroit, then and now.
- Will Detroit Be The First Major Chinese City In The United States? (Economic Collapse, May 5, 2014):
Is Detroit destined to become a Chinese city? Chinese homebuyers and Chinese businesses are starting to flood into the Motor City, and the governor of Michigan is greatly encouraging this. In fact, he has formally asked the Obama administration for 50,000 special federal immigration visas to encourage even more immigration from China and elsewhere. So will Detroit be the first major city in the United States to be dominated by China? It could happen. Once upon a time, Detroit was the greatest manufacturing city in the history of the world and it had the highest per capita income in the entire country. But now it is a rotting, decaying, bankrupt hellhole that is in desperate need of a savior, and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder appears to be fully convinced that China can be that savior. Continue reading »
- No seat at the table: The invisible victims of Detroit’s bankruptcy (Al Jazeera, April 25, 2014):
America Tonight’s Azmat Khan reveals the forgotten creditors who stand to become casualties of the city of Detroit twice over, through no fault of their own and with little means to do anything about it
Al Jazeera April 18, 2014
Eighty thousand buildings fill Detroit’s landscape, the result of 50 years of decline. Unsightly and dangerous abandoned buildings line city streets in crime-filled neighborhoods. Now, Detroit is embarking on an effort to clean house. In its bankruptcy restructuring, the city has proposed to set aside half a billion dollars toward demolishing and fixing up rundown buildings. Bisi Onile-Ere reports from Detroit, Michigan.
- The Political Conspiracy Behind the Bankruptcy of Detroit: Anatomy of a Crime (WSWS, Feb 21, 2014):
The Workers Inquiry into the Bankruptcy of Detroit and the Attack on the DIA & Pensions was held Saturday February 15 at Wayne State University. The WSWS published an initial report on the meeting on February 17. Today we publish an edited version of the report to the Inquiry delivered by Larry Porter, assistant national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party and chairman of the Workers Inquiry.
Video coverage of Lawrence Porter’s full report to the Inquiry
Why was Detroit taken into bankruptcy?
In my report, I have the responsibility of uncovering the evidence of a crime.
H/t reader M.G.:
“Another story from the UK Guardian….about Detroit. This is happening all over America while our corrupt leaders fiddle………”
- The death of a great American city: why does anyone still live in Detroit? (Guardian, April 3, 2014):
The city’s social contract was shredded long ago and everyone knows time is running out – but some Detroiters have hope
Khalil Ligon couldn’t tell if the robbers were in her house. She had just returned home to find her front window smashed and a brick lying among shattered glass on the floor. Ligon, an urban planner who lives alone on Detroit’s east side, stepped out and called the police.
It wasn’t the first time Ligon’s home had been broken into, she told me. And when Detroit police officers finally arrived the next day, surveying an area marred by abandoned structures and overgrown vegetation, they asked Ligon a question she often ponders herself: why is she still in Detroit?
- Detroit: bankrupt city readies for divisive $450m Red Wings arena (Detroit, March 29, 2014):
• Billionaire Mike Illitch to build new hockey stadium
• Critics question use of $284.5m of public money
Police have started handing out parking tickets outside The Comet Bar, a cozy if incongruous spot smack in the middle of the blighted deadzone between downtown and midtown Detroit. Not so long ago it was hard enough to get the cops to come for a shooting, says the Comet’s pink-haired barmaid, who goes by the name of Nine.
The ticketing appears to be part of a drive to prepare the area for one of the biggest urban renewal projects Detroit has ever seen. And one that is dividing the community. Soon the contractors will move in to start work on a sports and entertainment district at the centre of which will be a $450m arena for the Detroit Red Wings ice hockey team – funded in large part by this bankrupt city.
- US Prepares To Provide A Billion To Ukraine As Detroit Plans Mass Water Shutoffs Over $260 Million (ZeroHedge, March 24, 2014):
Moments ago the CBO released its estimate of what S. 2124, aka “Support for the Sovereignty, Integrity, Democracy, and Economic Stability of Ukraine Act of 2014“, better known as the “Payment of Overdue Gazprom Invoices Act” – here is the verdict: “CBO estimates that enacting the bill would decrease direct spending by $373 million over the 2014-2024 period. S. 2124 would achieve that decrease mostly by rescinding funds that were provided as an emergency requirement. Certain sanctions, if enacted, would affect revenues, but CBO estimates that those effects would not be significant. Pay-as-you-go procedures apply because enacting the legislation would affect direct spending and revenues. CBO estimates that the statutory pay-as-you-go effects of S. 2124 (which, by law, do not including the effect of rescinding funds provided under the emergency designation) would be to increase the deficit by $320 million over the 2014-2024 period.” Of course, the total amount authorized is substantially higher at $1.3 billion, and will be met through various loan guarnatees, and other US-backed promises, which the CBO is assuming right now, will not result in outlays (they will).
Either way, one thing is certain: in order to enforce the fading Pax Americana in the Ukraine, and to keep the funding to the otherwise insolvent Ukraine flowing, which as everyone knows will be first and foremost used to pay Russia’s Gazprom, the US is about to send lots of money abroad. As in, not in the US.
So when it comes to priorities, whom does Putin have to thank for the billions in Western funds he is about to receive? Maybe he can start in Detroit, where the local utility is planning mass water shutoffs over $260M in delinquent bills.
In other words, while the US is enforcing some odd international law, according to which a democratic vote is not credible but a violent coup is, US citizens are about to have no drinking water over a paltry $260 million.
- Bankruptcy In The USSA: Detroit Bondholders About To Be GM’ed In Favor Of Pensioners (ZeroHedge, Jan 31, 2014):
First, the Obama administration showed that when it comes to most preferred voter classes in the eyes of the Obama administration, some unsecured creditors – namely labor unions, and the millions of votes they bring – are more equal than other unsecured creditors – namely bondholders, and the zero votes they bring. Five years later we are about to get a stark reminder that under the superpriority rule of a community organizer for whom “fairness” trumps contract law any day, it is now Detroit’s turn to make a mockery of the recovery waterfall. As it turns out, bankrupt Detroit is proposing to favor pension funds at roughly double the rate of bondholders to resolve an estimated $18 billion in long-term obligations, according to a draft of a debt-cutting plan reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
- Camden, New Jersey: One Of Hundreds Of U.S. Cities That Are Turning Into Rotting, Decaying Hellholes (Economic Collapse, Dec 15, 2013):
All over America, formerly prosperous communities are being transformed into crime-infested wastelands of poverty and despair. Of course the most famous example of this is Detroit. At one time, Detroit was the greatest manufacturing city that the world had ever seen and it had the highest per capita income in the entire country. But now it has become a rotting, decaying hellhole that the rest of the planet laughs at. And of course Detroit is far from alone. There are hundreds of other U.S. cities that are suffering a similar fate. In this article, the focus is going to be on Camden, New Jersey, but the truth is that there are lots of other “Detroits” and “Camdens” all over the nation. Jobs and businesses are leaving our cities at a staggering rate, and what is being left behind is poverty, crime and extreme desperation.
Earlier this month, Rolling Stone published an article that took a hard look at the nightmare conditions that exist in Camden. A city that once made Campbell’s soup and some of this nation’s most famous warships is now a national disgrace. The following are six of the best quotes out of that article: Continue reading »
- Detroit Eligible To File Chapter 9; Pension Haircuts Allowed Bankruptcy Judge Rules (ZeroHedge, Dec 3, 2013):
Update, and it’s official:
- JUDGE: DETROIT ELIGIBLE FOR IMMEDIATE BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION
- DETROIT TO REMAIN UNDER BANKRUPTCY COURT PROTECTION, JUDGE SAYS
As somewhat expected – though hoped against by many Detroit union workers – Judge Steven Rhodes appears to have confirmed Detroit is eligible for bankruptcy protection (after pointing out that the city’s accounting was accurate and it is indeed insolvent) making this the largest ever muni bankruptcy.
- JUDGE RHODES SAYS HE WILL ALLOW PENSION CUTS IN DETROIT’S BANKRUPTCY
- DETROIT JUDGE: NOTHING SEPARATES PENSIONS FROM OTHER DEBT
- Cops in bankrupt Detroit forced to buy own uniforms (RT, Oct 31, 2013):
Patrolling the streets of bankrupt Detroit, Michigan is no easy feat for the local police department, and budget woes are about to make things ever for difficult for law enforcement officers in the Motor City.
The president of the Detroit Police Officers Association told a local CBS affiliate that city cops are going to have to empty out their own wallets if they want to remain fully equipped while on the job. The financially-devastated city is cutting back on spending left and right, and new slashes to the budget mean officers are going to soon be responsible for buying their own uniforms and ammunition.
- The Ten US Cities With Less Than Ten Days Of Cash On Hand (Zerohedge, Oct 29, 2013):
As the Detroit bankruptcy hearing heats up following news that the city’s unsecured creditors, among them pensioners, are set to recover pennies on the dollar, 16 to be precise, the question of which are the next cities to follow in the footsteps of bankrupt Motown, becomes relevant once again. Courtesy of the WSJ, and the second part of its series on “U.S. Cities Grapple With Finances“, here is a list of the US cities that when push comes to shove metaphorically, and when the money runs out literally, will have no choice but to knock on the door of the local regional bankruptcy court and submit that long-prepared bankruptcy petition. Specifically, here are the cities that have 10 days or less in cash on hand available. Because, unless one is the Fed, cash and lack thereof is all that matters.
The list below ranks the top 10 cities in terms of days cash on hand. Needless to say, a city with a low number in this category (such as 0.0) may have trouble paying bills, bribes, lap dances and other core municipal outlays.
Shifting away from the stock, and looking at the flow, as Detroit showed the world the very hard way, cities mired in pension costs will ultimately default and lead to massive haircuts to the retirees. The following 10 cities have the greatest percentage of pension costs as a percentage of the city’s general fund. Continue reading »
- Detroit Pensioners Face Miserable 16 Cent On The Dollar Recovery (ZeroHedge, Oct 27, 2013):
If there is ever a case study about people who built up their reputation and then squandered it for first being right for all the wrong reasons, and then being wrong for the right ones, then Meredith Whitney certainly heads the list of eligible candidates. After “predicting” the great financial crisis back in 2007 by looking at some deteriorating credit trends at Citigroup, a process that many had engaged beforehand and had come to a far more dire -and just as correct – conclusion, Whitney rose to stardom for merely regurgitating a well-known meme, however since her trumpeted call was the one closest to the Lehman-Day event when it all came crashing down, it afforded her a 5 year very lucrative stint as an advisor. Said stint has now been shuttered.
The main reason for the shuttering, of course, is that in 2010 she also called an imminent “muni” cataclysm, staking her reputation once again not only on what is fundamentally obvious, but locking in a time frame: 2011. Alas, this time her “timing” luck ran out and her call was dead wrong, leading people to question her abilities, and ultimately to give up on her “advisory” services altogether. Which in some ways is a shame because Whitney was and is quite correct about the municipal default tidal wave, as Detroit and ever more municipalities have shown, and the only question is the timing.
- A 140-Acre Forest Is About to Materialize in the Middle of Detroit (The Atlantic, Oct 25, 2013):
After nearly five years of planning, a large-scale attempt to turn a big chunk of Detroit into an urban forest is now underway. The purchase of more than 1,500 vacant city-owned lots on the city’s lower east side – a total of more than 140 acres – got final approval from Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder last week.
The buyer is Hantz Farms, and it’s a venture of financier John Hantz, who lives in the nearby Indian Village neighborhood. Indian Village is an affluent enclave of manor-scale historic homes, but much of the surrounding area is blighted. Hantz Farms will pay more than $500,000 for the land, which consists of non-contiguous parcels in an area where occupied homes are increasingly surrounding by abandoned properties.
H/t reader M. G.:
“… here is a very interesting story about Detroit and it’s pending bankruptcy.
The greedy guts want it all, and they don’t care who gets hurt or destroyed.”
- Detroit faces crucial trial three months after bankruptcy filing (Guardian, Oct 22, 2013):
An unusual trial starting Wednesday to determine whether Detroit may scrub its books in the largest public bankruptcy in US history
Thousands of Detroit streetlights are dark. Many more residents have fled. Donors are replacing ambulances that limped around for 200,000 miles. Millions in debt payments have been skipped.
Is there really any doubt the city is broke?
A judge starts exploring that question Wednesday in an unusual trial to determine whether Detroit indeed is eligible to scrub its books in the largest public bankruptcy in US history. Unions and pension funds are claiming the city failed to negotiate in good faith before filing for chapter 9 protection in July.
- Detroit ‘Contagion’ Spreads; Widely-Held Puerto Rico Muni Bonds Collapse (ZeroHedge Sep 10, 2013):
“It’s getting concerning,” notes one fixed-income banker, Puerto Rico muni bond yields “never got near 10% [yields] even in the crisis.” Some of the 27-year maturity Puerto Rico bonds just traded at a dismal 67 cents on the dollar (10.082% yield) and the most recently issued 2036 Electric Power bonds have collapsed from par a month ago to just above 82 cents on the dollar today. As the WSJ reports, the fall in prices also is a sign of investor risk aversion in the wake of Detroit’s record municipal-bankruptcy filing in July; but it seems the anxiety and outflows from ETFs is having just as big an impact as Puerto Rico bonds now trade cheaper than Detroit’s. “It’s out of whack,” one analysts warns, though the island’s double-digit unemployment and recent weakness in economic indicators somewhat support the concerns – and while the “yields are attractive” it is possible that the island’s borrowing costs could go higher as supply is extremely heavy in coming months. With 77% of managers holding Puerto Rico bonds, this is a problem…
Puerto Rico debt is a flash point in the municipal-bond market, because the island is a prolific debt issuer and its bonds are widely held. About 77% of U.S. mutual funds hold some sort of Puerto Rico debt, according to Morningstar. The island’s bonds are attractive to investors because they offer relatively high yields, and unlike most other municipal debt, interest on them is exempt from federal, state and local taxes. Continue reading »
I wish I could say the same about donations here at Infinite Unknown.
The last donation has been in March 2013. And there have only been 3 donations this year so far.
But one thing’s for sure, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts deserves every dollar of these donations and a lot more for his work.
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
- The “New Economy” Is The No Jobs Economy (Paul Craig Roberts, Aug 5, 2013):
I am flattered by the traffic on this site, and by the generosity of donors from across the United States–large cities and small villages–and the world. We have donations from Indonesia, Russia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mexico, most countries in Europe and from Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. It is exciting to me that people from around the world realize the stakes and seek better information than the media, public officials, and corporations provide.
It is encouraging that people around the world ask my permission to translate my columns into their languages and post them on their websites. My columns even appear in Azerbaijan.
- Ron Paul On Gold And Why “We’ll See More Detroits” (ZeroHedge, July 25, 2013):
In a brief but perfectly succinct interview on CNBC yesterday, Ron Paul shared his opinion on the need to own gold (and the physical demand for the manipulated metal) and the Detroit bankruptcy (“we’re going to see more Detroits”). He concludes that “long term, you can expect governments not to change” and that they’ll keep taking on more debt and printing more money until people lose confidence in both the U.S. dollar and the U.S. military, both of which will be shake the foundation of a fiat/dollar system.
State Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina ruled that the law allowing Gov. Rick Snyder (R) to authorize the bankruptcy filing was unconstitutional, according to Reuters. Aquilina ruled in favor of Detroit retirees and workers who argued the Michigan Constitution protected the retirement benefits in their city pension funds.
“They want your f$$$ing retirement money!”
- George Carlin (2005)
- Detroit: federal judge halts legal challenges to bankruptcy filing (Guardian, July 24, 2013):
Ruling is major victory for city which had been sued by pension funds claiming bankruptcy threatened 22,000 employees
A federal judge agreed with Detroit on Wednesday and stopped any lawsuits challenging the city’s bankruptcy, declaring his courtroom the exclusive venue for legal action in the largest filing by a local government in US history.
The decision by US bankruptcy judge Steven Rhodes was a major victory for Detroit, especially after an Ingham County judge last week said that Governor Rick Snyder ignored the Michigan constitution and acted illegally in approving the Chapter 9 filing. That ruling and others had threatened to derail the case.
Retirees had sued, claiming the bankruptcy threatened their pensions that are protected by the constitution.
- Detroit By The Numbers (ZeroHedge, July 23, 2013):
With the Detroit bankruptcy hearing under way (constitutional crises notwithstanding), we thought it useful to cut through the rhetoric, break-down the mutally-assured-destruction barriers, and peer into the cold-hard facts as the city looks to restructure its $18 billion in debt.
$18 billion Detroit’s estimated debt obligations.
$11.9 billion City’s unsecured obligations to lenders and retirees.
$6.4 billion City’s obligations backed by enterprise revenues (Revenue Bonds).
38 cents Of every tax dollar that the city collects goes to service legacy debt and other obligations rather than providing services for the city’s residents and businesses.
$115.5 million Detroit’s negative cash flows in fiscal year 2012. Continue reading »
- The Tip Of The Iceberg Of The Coming Retirement Crisis That Will Shake America To The Core (Economic Collapse, July 22, 2013):
he pension nightmare that is at the heart of the horrific financial crisis in Detroit is just the tip of the iceberg of the coming retirement crisis that will shake America to the core. Right now, more than 10,000 Baby Boomers are hitting the age of 65 every single day, and this will continue to happen every single day until the year 2030. As a society, we have made trillions of dollars of financial promises to these Baby Boomers, and there is no way that we are going to be able to keep those promises. The money simply is not there. Yes, I suppose that we could eventually see a “super devaluation” of the U.S. dollar and keep our promises to the Baby Boomers using currency that is not worth much more than Monopoly money, but as it stands right now we simply do not have the resources to do what we said that we were going to do. The number of senior citizens in the United States is projected to more than double by the middle of the century, and it would have been nearly impossible to support them all even if we weren’t in the midst of a long-term economic decline. Tens of millions of Americans that are eagerly looking forward to retirement are going to be in for a very rude awakening in the years ahead. There is going to be a lot of heartache and a lot of broken promises.