Detroit on the Edge of Fiscal Insolvency

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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."