Op/Ed: Full Circle-Detroit’s Bankruptcy, An Unique Opportunity To Transfer Wealth, Assets-The March 2013 Interview

Photo Credit – The Colombian 

“Looking back on the nearly 18 month period since the City of Detroit entered the roads leading to U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes Court, we reflect on the variety of twists and turns traveled.

From the Fiscal Crisis first declared by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R) in early 2013 and then former State Treasurer Andy Dillon, to a forced Consent Agreement for a period of nine months, ultimately leading to the appointment of former Jones Day Bankruptcy Attorney from way of Maryland, Kevyn Orr’s rein as Detroit’s Emergency Manager.”

Minutes after 5:00 pm on July 11, 2014, several local media resources revealed an unnamed source affirmed Detroit Retirees voted for what is known as the Grand Bargainan legislative deal designed to cut earned pensions 4.5% or more, along with health and life insurance. Up to 20,000 retirees will be impacted by the true results of this vote. This is despite language in Michigan’s Constitution and Funding Document declaring promised pension benefits SHALL NOT be impaired.

U.S. Federal Bankruptcy Judge Rhodes is scheduled to make a finalized decision on Detroit’s Bankruptcy July 18, 2014.

Over in Illinois during the first week of July, the State’s Highest Court – Supreme Court of Illinois stuck down an 2012 Public Act which sought to cut health care benefits earned to retirees. Citing language in Illinois State Constitution in Article 13, Section 5 Illinois Supreme Court in a 6 to 1 majority barred State Legislative leaders or other resources of impairing retirees pension and health benefits – irregardless to whatever “fiscal crisis” of the moment is boasted.

However, Detroit’s road to Bankruptcy Court sets it apart from any other State in the latest rounds of Austerity Focused legislative officials displaying a strong willingness to cut pension and benefits to retirees, before ever deceasing their own. Today, the focus is Water, plus in particular Detroit and by extension Michigan’s natural resource of abundance, called The Great Lakes.

Scientifically and by plain geography, Michigan has the largest water resource surrounding its’ land mass, outside of the seven major oceans of our World. The poorest of Detroit residents have not felt positive about our precious water resources as of late — as shutoffs of this natural resource – water -have been denied for as simple as owning $150.00 or less on a bill by the Detroit Water and Sewer Department (DWSD).

Announced rarely boastfully in April 2014 the DWSD and Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, who earlier was cited by Forbes calling Detroit and Michigan residents, “Dumb, Lazy, Happy and Rich”, the Department would cease water service to any Detroiter owing over $150.00 on their bill or delinquent for two months. The old and young alike suffering in a major American city from an estimated 40% poverty, 25% unemployment and 35% underemployment rate, were affected.

Officials from the United Nations of Human Rights, after activists with the group Detroit Water Brigade (DWB) contacted the U.N., declared the shutoffs inhumane. Yet, the shuts offs continue as activists with DWB work day and night supplying the City’s poverty stuck residents with free water.

Meanwhile, the ultimate goal with Detroit’s Bankruptcy: A Transfer of Assets from Residents to Austerity Focused Corporations, Lawyers and Industries, continues to disappear if one will, before Detroit Residents very eyes.

But selling Detroit’s water to the highest bidder so far, has been a difficult task – to say the very least.

Adjoining neigbor Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson (R) rejected a “Grand Bargain Deal” to take on legendary costs for necessary water lines upgrades the DWSD demanded. Afterwards, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel (D) quickly followed. The “Grand Bargain Deal” to turn the DWSD into a “regional authority” is on life support – to say the very least.

Now, time financially speaking of course, to prepare an asset for sale to a privatized corporation – one must have a ledger history of account receivables aged in the collections process. Enter the water shutoffs of late, as Detroit Residents prior to April 2014 did not routinely experience facing a cease and desist of water resources for owning $150.00 or less prior.

Could all of these actions a Major American City — Detroit have experienced to date, been predicted as lawyers, firms and other entities associated with navigating the largest U.S. Municipal Bankruptcy case in history, goes forth. A recent article from Crain’s Detroit Business has estimated authorities in the City’s Bankruptcy case proceedings have gained a running total net of $75 Million dollars and counting thus far.

Yes, it could have been predicted and was. By a Detroit Resident named Tom Barrow, Certified Financial Accountant.

In an exclusive interview with Michigan’s TOP POLITICO Program on March 12, 2013, Barrow revealed shocking details on a March 4, 2013 meeting he had with then State Treasurer Andy Dillon at the bequest of then Councilwoman JoAnne Watson — who was in attendance.

On March 12, 2013, our resource obtained an Exclusive Interview with President of Citizen’s for Detroit’s Future, Former Head of Michigan Licensing Board of Accountancy and C.P.A.- Tom Barrow.

In the interview, C.P.A. Barrow a former 2013 candidate for Mayor of Detroit warned Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder’s intentions to assign a Emergency Manager to the City, could lead to dangerous consequences for Pension Retirees.

Mr. Barrow specifically shared details of a financial review meeting he was invited to attend with Councilwoman Joanne Watson (D) and State Treasurer Andy Dillon. State Treasurer Dillon revealed under Barrow’s tough and pointed financial questions, the City of Detroit did not have a immediate fiscal crisis.

During the meeting C.P.A. Barrow provided unique insight how State Treasurer Dillon decried the primary reason an Emergency Manager was assigned to Detroit — was to deal with the City long-term debt by restructuring or eliminating Detroit’s Retiree Pension Obligations.

Thursday, July 18, 2013, Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder with his Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr announced Detroit, Michigan will launch the largest bankruptcy proceeding in United States history, after Detroit’s Pension Board launched a suit to determine if Gov. Snyder and E.M. true mission in the bankruptcy process of the end City of Detroit Retiree Pension Guarantees.

To understand the present day, a full circle of the past is necessary. This is an highly important interview and sound file about Detroit’s current plight. Listen to this 19 minute interview, exclusively granted to Independent Underground Radio LIVE – March 12, 2013, below:


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