RoboCop rises just as the city of Detroit plummets further into a nightmarish financial abyss, just in time to protect a handful of residents from the fiscal shitstorm on the horizon. The future is here and it's in many ways as bad as what science fiction predicted.
A new report from the city's emergency manager details exactly how close to bankruptcy we are. And if Detroit were to file for municipal bankruptcy, it would be one of the largest bankruptcies ever — even larger than General Motors or Chrysler in 2009.
While emergency manager Kevyn Orr hasn't said the b-word in the report released late last night, it's clear that it's an option. The numbers speak for themselves. Per the Detroit Free Press:
- The city, as of today, has a $US162 million deficit, and we're not even halfway through the current budget year.
- The city has $US9.4 billion in bonds and debt.
- There are $US5.7 billion in retiree health care costs to take care of.
- Even by selling off or privatizing key assets, such as the water department, lighting department or transportation department, the city still has to contend with $US15 billion in long-term debt.
In short, the city is broke — beyond broke, flat broke, no-one-will-cosign-for-you-on-a-loan broke, too-broke-too-pay-attention broke — because the city has way too much to pay for and not enough revenue from residents to pay for it. Also, corruption. All you financial wizards can read the full report here and try to make sense of it, but that's pretty much it.
Not to fear, though! You may have heard a few years back that a couple of artists suggested erecting a 10-foot statue of RoboCop, Detroit's toughest cop, somewhere in the city. Mayor Dave Bing nixed that idea, but Bing's powers have been neutered since the emergency manager took over. Yesterday, the brains behind the idea announced that the statue was cast and is on its way to Detroit to be bronzed.
No word on where exactly the statue's final resting place will be, but you can put your money on Roosevelt Park, in front of the old train station and across from Slows, being at the top of the list. Chances are the city will sell off its parks, anyway. And the park is nicely insulated from the vast majority of the city's other 78,000 vacant buildings and the state-controlled failing schools borrowing money from city-controlled failing schools.
Welcome to the future!
(Photo via Kickstarter)
Any other good news going on in Detroit? Tweet it to me.