Detroit’s Financial Autopsy

If you are seriously interested in municipal finance, particularly in the mechanics of how Detroit slid into bankruptcy, check out the Detroit Free Press’ investigation entitled How Detroit Went Broke, Sep. 15, 2013. It runs to 23 pages, and is full of charts and graphs tracking Detroit’s downward slide with regard to tax revenues, population, deficits etc. — all accompanied by text tracing Detroit’s Mayors from Albert Cobo to the current Dave Bing.

For all its length, it’s well worth a perusal, even if it disregards the causes of some important factors, like why did Detroit’s population split in such large numbers? Why didn’t the city make any serious effort to counteract the rampant criminal activity that was overtaking it? What was the impact of the Detroit riots? Of the catastrophic collapse in safety and quality of Detroit’s schools?

But whatever may be missing in this analysis, it’s a fountainhead of information, at least for readers who are interested in municipal finances and governance. Click here.

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