Detroit has a third settlement agreement that would end its costly interest-rate swaps. An attorney for the city this morning says the city plans to file the deal in the next few days. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes has twice rejected similar proposals, calling them too expensive for the city and too generous to the creditors: UBS AG and Merrill Lynch Capital Services.
Here is the Reuters story about the agreement.
The Detroit Free Press posted this piece.
In The Detroit News today, Darren A. Nichols reports on a “work in progress”: the professional relationship between Mayor Mike Duggan and Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr.
As Orr focuses on the city’s finances and restructuring plan (to be submitted to the bankruptcy court this week) and Duggan leads most of the city’s daily operations, the two men have reached what they say is a productive relationship based on mutual respect.
“We’ve actually had some frank conversations, but they usually end up with a consensus being built in some way,” Orr told The Detroit News. “It’s a level of confidence and almost a sense of earnestness that when an agreement is reached, that’s what’s gonna be done. You don’t have to come back and revisit it.”
As we anticipate the release of the city’s Plan of Adjustment in the coming week, here are five stories from the weekend that Next Chapter Detroit doesn’t want readers to miss:
In advance of the city’s restructuring plan, expected in court this week, Stephen Henderson, editorial page editor at the Detroit Free Press, predicts: “If Detroit’s emergency manager has his way, the city will walk from nearly 80% of its debt to banks and insurers. Most important, he will treat bondholders, including those whose debt has never been subject to principal write-downs in a bankruptcy, the same as every other lender.”
The New York Times “Vocation” feature talked with a Detroit police officer about what it’s like to patrol the streets of the bankrupt city and live with the uncertainty of the city’s future finances.
The American Enterprise Institute weighs in on the history and future of Detroit’s pension systems and concludes, in part: “It’s hard to know what should be done about Detroit’s pensioners, many of whom would truly be impoverished if subjected to major benefit cuts. But the conventional morality play painting Detroit’s employees as mere bystanders to the city’s fiscal bankruptcy is clearly wrong.” AEI will host a panel discussion in Washington D.C. Tuesday afternoon titled “The Detroit Bankruptcy: Conflicts and implications” that will stream online. More information at: www.aei.org/events/2014/02/18/the-detroit-bankruptcy-conflicts-and-implications/
The Wall Street Journal provides a succinct explanation of what U.S. District Court Chief Judge Gerald Rosen is doing behind the scenes of the bankruptcy negotiations.
Have you wondered exactly how the Detroit Blight Authority is mapping all the city’s properties? Crain’s Detroit Business profiles Loveland Technologies Inc., the new company with new technology … and a new approach.
-By WDET’s Sandra Svoboda
@WDETSandra and firstname.lastname@example.org
The Richmond Times-Dispatch today published a guest column written by Alex Nyerges, director of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The VMFA is owned and maintained by the Commonwealth of Virginia, just like the Detroit Institute of Arts is by the city of Detroit. You can see where this is going…
He is alarmed by the possible sale of the DIA’s collection, opining “a ‘forced’ sale would not only destroy the core of this great American museum, but it would betray the entire principal on which art museums were established: to hold works of art in trust and in perpetuity for their community and future generations. The precedent that such a sale could set has been a matter of acute concern to American museums and should such a sale occur it is unlikely any American museum would participate.”
Who would buy the art? Read his piece.