Do you think the damage from the pending bankruptcy of the city of Detroit will be limited to Detroit? Think again.
Detroit is partly the victim of economic trends far beyond its control, the downsizing and outsourcing of the auto industry and the collapse of the sub-prime bubble, to name just two. And yes, the city has suffered from corrupt and inept local government. But leaving Detroit to a bankruptcy process that favors investment bankers over local pensioners will neither provide a fair outcome nor contain the damage.
In the past two weeks, other Michigan cities and counties, including Saginaw and Battle Creek, have had to postpone bond issues, as the damage from the Detroit bankruptcy spills over. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, who hoped to whack both public employees and the heavily Democratic city of Detroit by promoting bankruptcy, could end up shooting himself and his state in the foot.