23 October 2014

And It's Still Feasible!

As I posted several months ago here, Martha Kopacz, the "feasibility expert" appointed by the judge overseeing the chapter 9 bankruptcy of Detroit, had delivered her written report in which she concluded that Detroit's plan was "feasible." Much water has flowed over the dam since her initial report as Detroit has modified its plan several times to satisfy creditor objections. Thus, her testimony Wednesday (reported here and here) that the plan remains feasible (but not "by much") is the last piece of evidence in the confirmation hearing.

Those who want to know more about the amorphous standard of feasibility can read my soon-to-be-published article Who Bears the Cost? The Necessity of Taxpayer Participation in Chapter 9 (which you can download for yourself by going here).

Expert Kopacz carefully hedged her conclusion with warnings about "no margin for error," the need to reform the city's purchasing practices, and the necessity that the elected city council toe the line set in the plan. Without wishing to play the role of curmudgeon, let me confess my doubts. City government is a democracy of a sort and the long-time beneficiaries of Detroit's unsustainable largess haven't disappeared. Whether they will be suppressed for long in favor of "good government" remains to be seen.

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