How national media are reporting Detroit’s bankruptcy
By Nathan Bomey
The infamous headline that declared, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” is now all too true.
The city of Detroit today filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy, generating a swarm of media attention.
The New York Times, which notably titled Mitt Romney’s November 2008 editorial on the auto industry crisis “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” is just one of countless media organizations reporting the city’s financial moment of reckoning.
Here’s a sampling of coverage.
• The New York Times says the uncertainty in the Chapter 9 bankruptcy process means “there is no road map for Detroit’s bankruptcy,” although some business leaders believe it’s “the only choice left” to restore Detroit. After a “stunning” expansion in the early 1900s, Detroit crumbled under the weight of a shrunken tax base, legacy costs, bad technology and poor financial decisions, the Times said. The city’s bankruptcy could set precedent and could lead to other municipal bankruptcy filings, the Times suggested.
• The Wall Street Journal says the city’s “financial outlook has never been bleaker.” “Hurt by a flight of residents and businesses to the suburbs, cuts in state aid and a crash in real-estate values, Detroit borrowed to meet operating costs as well as long-term liabilities such as pensions and health care for retired city workers,” the Journal reported.
• The Associated Press says the filing came after Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr “was unable to convince a host of creditors, the city’s union and pension boards to take pennies on the dollar to help facilitate the city’s massive financial restructuring.”
• Bloomberg says Detroit’s bankruptcy filing follows “years of job losses at U.S. automakers” that “intensified a decline that began in the 1950s, when white homeowners began moving to the suburbs,” citing “Detroit: A Biography” author Scott Martelle. Read the rest in the Detroit Free-Press.