Detroit bankruptcy

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pages: 515 words: 132,295

Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business by Rana Foroohar

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3D printing, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, bank run, Basel III, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, deskilling, Detroit bankruptcy, diversification, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Emanuel Derman, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial intermediation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, High speed trading, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Internet of things, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, labour mobility, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market design, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, oil shock, passive investing, pensions crisis, Ponzi scheme, principal–agent problem, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Rana Plaza, RAND corporation, random walk, rent control, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, Tobin tax, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vanguard fund

Bureau of Labor, “Table 2: Retirement Benefits: Access, Participation, and Take-up Rates, State and Local Government Workers,” National Compensation Survey, March 2015. 32. Chris Christof, “Detroit Pension Cuts from Bankruptcy Prompt Cries of Betrayal,” Bloomberg, February 5, 2015. 33. Wallace C. Turbeville, “The Detroit Bankruptcy,” Demos, November 2013. 34. Wallace C. Turbeville, “Detroit Moves to the Next Phase,” Demos, November 7, 2014. 35. Turbeville, “The Detroit Bankruptcy.” 36. Rana Foroohar, “Detroit Turns Up,” Time, November 13, 2014; author interviews with Turbeville; Turbeville, “The Detroit Bankruptcy.” 37. Fix LA Coalition, “No Small Fees: LA Spends More on Wall Street than Our Streets,” March 25, 2014. 38. “The Looting of Oakland: How Wall Street’s Predatory Practices Are Costing Oakland Communities Millions and What We Can Do About It,” ReFund and ReBuild Oakland Coalition, June 2013. 39.

Yet the stories of firemen who retire with million-dollar pensions are mostly myths that don’t capture the reality of the situation. The truth is that in many cases, it isn’t the pension load itself that is bankrupting governments and threatening entire regional economies, but the way in which local and state officials were fleeced by Wall Street during times of economic hardship. Consider the story of Detroit, the biggest municipal bankruptcy in American history, and the high-profile pensions fight at the heart of it. At its peak in 1950, Motown’s population was more than double the 700,000 people living in the city today. Detroit’s long-term decline was about many things, including civic mismanagement, political corruption, and systemic labor issues. The malaise of American manufacturing from the 1980s onward hit Detroit harder than any other major city.

“The people [meaning pensioners] tried to get a seat at the table, but the emergency manager had a monopoly on the information [on city finances] and for the first four months of the process his was the only story available.”34 That, says Turbeville, along with what he believes were dubiously calculated numbers (crunched by emergency manager Kevin Orr’s team) that overestimated pension liabilities, resulted in a widespread belief that oversize pensions had caused Detroit’s demise. In fact, he says, it was the financiers who cut the dubious bond deals with the city in the first place that put Detroit into bankruptcy. That Wall Street debt was “the biggest contributing factor to the increase in Detroit’s legacy expenses,” explains Turbeville, who wrote an influential report in 2013 outlining the role that finance had played in Detroit’s demise.35 The long and short of it was that the people negotiating the debt settlement on behalf of the city were completely outsmarted and outflanked by financiers, who cut deals for millions of dollars of extremely long-term interest rate swaps that were subject to immediate termination if the city’s credit deteriorated, which of course it quickly did.


pages: 255 words: 75,172

Sleeping Giant: How the New Working Class Will Transform America by Tamara Draut

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, battle of ideas, big-box store, blue-collar work, collective bargaining, David Brooks, declining real wages, deindustrialization, desegregation, Detroit bankruptcy, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, ending welfare as we know it, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, full employment, immigration reform, income inequality, invisible hand, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, obamacare, occupational segregation, payday loans, pink-collar, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trickle-down economics, union organizing, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, white flight, women in the workforce, young professional

—Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1776 Contents Cover Also by Tamara Draut Title Page Copyright Dedication Epigraph Introduction CHAPTER ONEThe Bargain-Basement Economy CHAPTER TWOThe New Indignity of Work CHAPTER THREEMeet the New Populists CHAPTER FOURThe Great Power Shift CHAPTER FIVEThe Legacy of Exclusion CHAPTER SIXThe Privilege of Visibility CHAPTER SEVENThe Sleeping Giant Stirs CHAPTER EIGHTA Better Deal The Blueprint for a Better Deal Acknowledgments Notes About the Author Introduction My father died a few short months after the city of Detroit declared bankruptcy. He was a steelworker, the epitome of the person you likely conjure up when you hear someone described as “working class.” White, male, hard hat and lunch pail, steel-toed boots, and a dark blue uniform he’d bring home at the end of every shift and promptly throw in the washing machine. The earthy, sweaty, and metallic smell lingered in the laundry room after he closed the lid. He was America’s hero, the brawny backbone of American prosperity and a broad middle class the likes of which the world had never seen. These were the men who soldered, heaved, and secured America’s industrial might in the world, and as a result earned the pride and respect of our nation. That working class is dead, Detroit’s bankruptcy a blunt symbol of its ultimate demise.


pages: 695 words: 194,693

Money Changes Everything: How Finance Made Civilization Possible by William N. Goetzmann

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Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, asset-backed security, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Bretton Woods, Brownian motion, capital asset pricing model, Cass Sunstein, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, compound rate of return, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, delayed gratification, Detroit bankruptcy, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, double entry bookkeeping, Edmond Halley, en.wikipedia.org, equity premium, financial independence, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, frictionless, frictionless market, full employment, high net worth, income inequality, index fund, invention of the steam engine, invention of writing, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, laissez-faire capitalism, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, new economy, passive investing, Paul Lévy, Ponzi scheme, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, shareholder value, short selling, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, spice trade, stochastic process, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, time value of money, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, tulip mania, wage slave

See also shareholder democracy de Moivre, Abraham, 264–66, 270, 347 de Molay, Jacques, 209 Demosthenes: bank loan and, 84; dispute over mining lease and, 89–90; logical arguments of, 90–91; maritime trade dispute and, 77–78, 80; portrait of, 74; suing for his stolen inheritance, 85–86, 95 denarius, 129–31 Dent and Company, 425, 427, 429, 430 deposits: in Athenian banks, 84–85; in Roman banks, 112 Depreciation certificates, 394, 400 Depression. See Great Depression derivatives, financial, 276; on Law’s Mississippi Company shares, 357; pricing models for, 284; Regnault’s valuation of, 281 Detroit, bankruptcy of, 517 development: China’s Self-Strengthening Movement and, 430; imperialism associated with, 418–19; World Bank and, 459. See also economic growth De Witt, Johan, 255–57, 262, 266, 270 Dilmun, in Mesopotamian copper trade, 53–55, 58, 59, 64 Dimson, Elroy, 464 discovery. See exploration Disraeli, Benjamin, 420 diversification of investments: in ancient Near East, 58, 61, 64; in Athenian maritime trade, 79; with first British investment funds, 417; globalization of equity and, 403; by index funds, 508, 509–11; by investment trusts, 473–74; limited liability and, 119–20; Lowenfeld’s science of, 414–16, 453, 470; modern science of, 404; portfolio optimization models for, 504–8; Roman publican societies and, 123.


pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna

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1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, LNG terminal, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, megacity, Mercator projection, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day


pages: 352 words: 104,411

Rush Hour by Iain Gately

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Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, Beeching cuts, blue-collar work, British Empire, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, car-free, Clapham omnibus, cognitive dissonance, congestion charging, connected car, DARPA: Urban Challenge, Dean Kamen, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, don't be evil, Elon Musk, extreme commuting, Google bus, Henri Poincaré, Hyperloop, Jeff Bezos, low skilled workers, postnationalism / post nation state, Ralph Waldo Emerson, remote working, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, telepresence, Tesla Model S, urban planning, éminence grise

However, once a certain number had moved into a neigh-bourhood, assisted perhaps by unscrupulous blockbusters, the whites fled to the suburbs, the city lost tax revenue and so on in a vicious circle. Moreover, new highways built to facilitate com-muting had broken the unity of the city. Over 2,800 buildings in the old core were removed to make room for the Edsel Ford Expressway, and the road became a barrier between previously interdependent districts. Indeed, problems created in the heyday of auto-commuting are still with us: in July 2013 Detroit filed for bankruptcy. By that point the city’s population had declined from a peak of 1,850,000 in 1950 to 701,000, and it had insufficient tax revenues to meet its liabilities. Both employers and workers had used their automobility to move elsewhere. From the driver’s point of view, the principal problem created by burgeoning car ownership in mid twentieth-century America was congestion. Although the average commuter had a head-turning vehicle that gave him or her more horsepower than most Texan ranchers, for many the thrill of ownership was diminished by the often static nature of the experience.


pages: 370 words: 102,823

Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth by Michael Jacobs, Mariana Mazzucato

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3D printing, balance sheet recession, banking crisis, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, business climate, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collaborative economy, complexity theory, conceptual framework, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Detroit bankruptcy, double entry bookkeeping, Elon Musk, energy security, eurozone crisis, factory automation, facts on the ground, fiat currency, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, forward guidance, full employment, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, Internet of things, investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, Martin Wolf, Mont Pelerin Society, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, new economy, non-tariff barriers, paradox of thrift, price stability, private sector deleveraging, quantitative easing, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, the built environment, The Great Moderation, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, very high income


pages: 566 words: 155,428

pages: 1,104 words: 302,176

The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World) by Robert J. Gordon

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3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, Apple II, barriers to entry, big-box store, blue-collar work, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, deindustrialization, Detroit bankruptcy, discovery of penicillin, Donner party, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, feminist movement, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, high net worth, housing crisis, immigration reform, impulse control, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflight wifi, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of air conditioning, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, Loma Prieta earthquake, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, Mason jar, McMansion, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, occupational segregation, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, payday loans, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, rent control, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Coase, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, yield management