Detroit Descends into Bankruptcy
Detroit became the largest American city yet to file for bankruptcy this week, following what governor Rick Snyder described as ’60 years of decline’.
“I know many will see this as a low point in the city’s history,” Governor Snyder said in a memo formalising Detroit’s liquidation, “If so, I think it will also be the foundation of the city’s future,” he suggested. (Wall Street Journal)
Noting that the murder rate in the city is at a 40 year high, with over 70,000 properties lying abandoned and 40% of street lights not working, the BBC was considerably blunter.
“Detroit’s fall is complete. It is a depressing, if inevitable, end to a grotesque saga of decline, corruption and mismanagement,” the BBC said.
Nowadays Berlin based techno DJ and erstwhile Ford car company executive Ryan Elliott reminisced about growing up in Detroit, in an interview with Skrufff in 2010.
“My whole life I’ve grown up with abandoned skyscrapers, it seems normal to me, but you never see that in London not even here in Berlin anymore,” he recalled.
“When I first started working at Ford (at the end of the 90s) it was still the good times then we went through job cuts five, six or seven times,” he said.
“I was in the finance department, I was a financial analyst, and I saw the group that I worked in go from 50 people down to ten down to five.”
“I didn’t loose my job, I left the company at the end of September before moving here to Berlin, I was lucky enough not to lose it. I also wanted to pursue this path, of the music, to give it a serious try,” he said.
Detroit legend DJ Bone defended the city in an interview with Skrufff a year earlier when The Observer branded it a ’ghost town’ and ‘byword for decline’
“I’m sure that to most of the world Detroit may look like it’s down and out for the count but this city is full of very creative and resilient citizens. I see it as a neglected gem of a city, neglected by some of its inhabitants and State leaders,” said Bone.
“Life in Detroit has always been hard. It’s the toughest environment that I’ve ever witnessed but this such environment breeds creativity, uniqueness and genuine people,” he added.
“What happened was a lot of jobs went away, crime went up and tons of people left the city. Compared to 10 or 20 years ago Detroit is a bit more dangerous but it’s all about being aware of your surroundings.
12 months later in a follow up interview he said ‘Detroit is in horrible shape but it has been like that in the hood of the D for as long as I remember’ though was less fatalistic about comments by financial guru Marc Faber who predicted the entire US would eventually go bankrupt.
“I’m concerned but not worried. The US government is too proud to actually go bankrupt,” said Bone.
“If it did happen though there would be a huge class war, rich vs poor,” he predicted.
“The divide between the two classes would be more evident with people segregating themselves according to wealth. More US companies would pack up and move to other countries for cheap labour.”
Jonty Skrufff: https://twitter.com/djjontyskrufff