Detroit on the Edge of Fiscal Insolvency

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

For the second time this year, a review team appointed by the state of Michigan concluded that Detroit’s financial situation is so dire it constitutes a financial emergency. The city’s fate now lies in the hands of Governor Rick Snyder, who decides this week if the state will intervene and appoint an emergency manager to run the city.

Charlie LeDuff was born and raised in Detroit and is the author of "Detroit: An American Autopsy," a look at the rise and fall of the city. He's also a reporter at Fox 2 News in Detroit. According to LeDuff, what Detroit needs most is "to clean house, start paying our bills, and admit what it is we owe."

Though that may sound straightforward, Detroit’s financial descent spans eight decades and can be attributed to a myriad of factors, limited cash flow and bad governance chief among them. "When we were rich and making a lot of money and G.M. and Ford and Chrysler were cranking out those paychecks, those paychecks papered over a lot of sin," says LeDuff.

The situation Detroit finds itself in today cannot be maintained. In order for the state and city to move forward, Detroit must find a way to attract jobs, improve the education system, tear down the empty buildings, and achieve financial solvency. And they must find a way to do that without help from the Federal government.

According to LeDuff: "The Feds have got nothing left for Detroit. Zero. Not a nickel's coming in here. They bailed out the auto companies, they sent in money to tear down buildings. It disappears, or we have to send it back because it's not managed properly. It's necessary that we get our own house in order. And we’re finally starting to do that."


Charlie LeDuff

Produced by:

Jillian Weinberger

Comments [1]


Detroit and Philly should be progressive paradises.
When the redistributed money runs out and the economy collapses, the
fruits of smug election victory becomes ashes in the mouths of all citizens
and dumb identity politics is the only explanation they get as the
ship sinks.

Is this what we can expect for the nation as a whole as the
progressively governed cities begin
to drop like canaries in the coal mine?

Feb. 20 2013 09:34 AM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.