Detroit’s city pensioners vote to cut their own pensions

07/23/2014
It’s ironic that Detroit government workers and pensioners, on the one-year anniversary of the Motor City’s bankruptcy, have voted to cut their own pensions. Their vote is part of a “grand bargain” bankruptcy restructuring that seeks private, philanthropic and state funds to help avoid massive cuts in government pensions. The bargain reduces Detroit’s debt by...

TAGS: bankruptcy, Chicago, Detroit, Michigan

What the Detroit bankruptcy ruling means for Illinois

By Jacob Huebert
12/03/2013
Today U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Steven Rhodes ruled that “nothing distinguishes pension debt from any other debt” – and that Detroit’s pension debt can therefore be partially discharged in bankruptcy. What does that mean for Illinois, where huge unfunded pension liabilities threaten to render the state government and many local governments insolvent? If the courts...

TAGS: Detroit, judge rhodes, Michigan, pensions

Detroit ruling reveals pensions not protected in bankruptcy

By Paul Kersey
12/03/2013
As lawmakers in Springfield prepare to vote on a controversial pension reform plan, a federal bankruptcy court judge in Detroit issued a ruling that could have major consequences for government employees throughout the country. Dealing with numerous objections to the nation’s largest municipal bankruptcy, Judge Steven Rhodes ruled that pension debts were not given “extraordinary...

TAGS: Detroit, Michigan, pension guarantee, ruling

An unfair approach to pension reform

By John Tillman
12/02/2013
For 33 years, Clyde Tome served the city of Detroit as a firefighter. Every day he was on duty he knew his life was on the line; in one encounter with riot fires, Tome watched a colleague die. Another time, he saw a nearby fireman killed in a random shooting. For his commitment, Tome counted...

TAGS: Detroit, pensions

Fitch Ratings: Chicago approaching “inflection point”

11/12/2013
Triple-notch credit downgrades for government entities are supposed to be rare. They normally happen only in response to major financial events, such as a sudden fiscal emergency. But Chicago just received its second triple-notch downgrade in just six months. And that spells trouble for Chicago taxpayers. Citing skyrocketing pension costs and a lack of meaningful...

TAGS: Chicago, Chicago Park District, Detroit, downgrade, pensions

Detroit: A story that must be told

By Ted Dabrowski
08/23/2013
Two weeks ago I took in the demise of Detroit with my own eyes. I was fortunate to be with my colleague, Detroit native Paul Kersey. As we embarked on the trip, he told me “Detroit is a story that must be told.” He was right. I’d seen the pictures and knew the history, but...

TAGS: Detroit

Devil’s Night

By Paul Kersey
08/13/2013
I grew up in Detroit, and as far back as I can remember my hometown was in trouble. But if there was a time when people just gave up on the place, it was probably October 30, 1984 — just a couple weeks after the Tigers won the World Series — when fires on “Devil’s...

TAGS: Detroit