A meeting of important political and business leaders from Detroit recently took place on an island resort. The meeting, which occurs on an annual basis, revolves around the topic of the regional economy. During the gathering on the island, known as the Mackinac Policy Conference, everyone discussed the future of Detroit’s financial future, striving towards policies that are inclusive of innovation and entrepreneurship. The concept of a 21st century global market was one that was spoken of especially frequently.
Under the guidance of Governor Rick Snyder, Detroit was not long ago placed under state control. The decision to do so can be understood by the $15 billion debt that Detroit is crippled with. It is indeed an area on the brink of municipal bankruptcy. The Governor himself was in attendance at the Mackinac Policy Conference, as were four of the candidates who are running for Mayor in the upcoming elections. However, with the massive debt that Detroit is carrying, it is possible that they are competing for a job which may not exist for much longer. State control will continue in the region for at least another 18 months and during this time government officials have their titles but little real power.
The emergency provisions haven’t been received well throughout Detroit with many viewing those imposing sanctions as “unelected dictators”. The debt is spread across many different financial institutions, such as JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America. Attempts to repay some of this debt has created a city that can no longer afford to light its streets or pay for officers to police neighbourhoods. A fact that no doubt contributed to the fact that there were the same amount of murders in Detroit last year as occurred in New York, although the population of New York is eleven times that of Detroit.
When the time eventually comes to declare bankruptcy, things such as the Detroit Institute of Arts have been listed as an asset for sale. The institute contains work from Matisse and van Gogh, although even these incredibly valuable pieces of art will prove of little help in restoring the city to financial equilibrium.
Read more about the financial situation in Detroit by clicking here.