August 15, 2013 |
Asher Raphael , "chief strategy officer" at Chester-based Power Home Remodeling Group , says it's time to expand into another new city. Hire a couple hundred people. Send them out to bang on a lot more doors. Sell more windows. Power has opened in Atlanta, Boston, and Chicago, and on Long Island in the three years since then- Gov. Ed Rendell authorized a $300,000 grant to ease the company's move into a state business-tax-break zone in Chester. At that site in a former electric utility building, Power now employs more than 200, and claims $40 million in yearly local sales, at about $10,000 a customer.
July 30, 2013 |
Now that Detroit has filed for bankruptcy, will other financially challenged big cities follow Motown to U.S. Bankruptcy Court to escape some of what they owe? Maybe, but Philadelphia is unlikely to be one of them. Michigan officials wanted their biggest city to go bankrupt. They expect this will enable the city to trim what it has to pay investors who own city bonds, retired police who collect city pensions, and other creditors. "Michigan's antipathy for bondholders is startling," said Matt Fabian, managing director of Massachusetts-based Municipal Market Advisors.
July 30, 2013 |
DETROIT - A bus rumbled over a potholed street and stopped at a bar just past the old Tiger Stadium. A line of people waited for it on the sidewalk outside the bar. The bus offered 52 seats and a ride to the game. The patrons in line smiled. Today, this fleet of buses would ferry fans to another sellout a mile and a half down the road at Comerica Park. In a city that filed for bankruptcy less than two weeks ago, the first-place Detroit Tigers are a source of pride. The Tigers would sweep the series against the Phillies.
July 28, 2013 |
Is Detroit's bankruptcy an omen or an anomaly? Will other American cities, such as Philadelphia, eventually go down the same dark financial road? Or is the Motor City's financial crisis an isolated event? Detroit's story is a cautionary tale. The city's economy soared with the advent of the automobile a century ago, making companies such as Ford and General Motors the Apple and Google of their day. The population ballooned, rising to nearly two million after World War II. A city that big requires lots of government services, including schools, police, fire, sanitation, and social services.
July 26, 2013 |
DETROIT - As the once-proud city of Detroit humbles itself in bankruptcy court, its financial future may hinge on this key question: Is the city obliged to its past? Or can Detroit renege on its promises to thousands of retirees for the sake of its present city services? The legal question at the heart of Detroit's bankruptcy filing has never definitively been answered by the nation's highest courts. But it could become increasingly important as cities from coast to coast are grappling with shortfalls in pension funds that left unchecked could force cutbacks to police, firefighters and other city services.
July 26, 2013
ALTHOUGH a municipality filing for bankruptcy protection is rare, you still ought to be paying attention to what happens to bondholders in the case of Detroit. The city's Chapter 9 filing likely will set some precedents, including how investors and/or their investment advisers view municipal bonds, also known as munis. "I think that the potential risks to the municipal-bond market are serious," said David D. Tawil, co-founder and portfolio manager for Maglan Capital, a New York investment firm that specializes in distressed assets.
July 25, 2013
KICKING the can down the road - delaying action on the hard problem - is one time-honored political strategy. Why do something today when you can wait until you are safely re-elected, or even longer? The bankruptcy of Detroit is proof of the flaw in that strategy. And the lesson we can learn from Detroit, says Jennifer Bradley, of the Brookings Institution, is that "any place that thinks it can kick the can down the road will find the road can drop off abruptly. " Certainly not all of Detroit's problems were of its own making.
July 25, 2013 |
ST. LOUIS - The Phillies will watch former San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson in a workout tomorrow in Los Angeles as they continue an attempt to upgrade a bullpen that entered yesterday ranked at the bottom of the National League in most major relief-pitching categories. Wilson was the closer on the 2010 Giants team that defeated the Phillies in the NLCS before beating the Rangers in the World Series. He has not pitched since April 2012, when he underwent Tommy John surgery to repair a torn UCL in his right elbow.
July 23, 2013 |
DETROIT - It wasn't easy making Detroit the largest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy protection, but it was the right decision, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said yesterday as he, the city's mayor and its emergency manager made the television talk show rounds. Snyder, a Republican, gave his blessing to emergency manager Kevyn Orr's decision to file for bankruptcy for Detroit on Thursday. "We looked through every other viable option," Snyder said on CBS' "Face the Nation. " "The debt question needs to be addressed.
July 23, 2013 |
DETROIT - The battle over the future of Detroit is set to begin this week in federal court, where government leaders will square off against retirees in a colossal debate over what the city owes to a prior generation of residents as it tries to rebuild for the next. Soon after Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr and Gov. Rick Snyder approved a bankruptcy filing Thursday, groups representing the 20,000 retirees reliant on city pensions successfully petitioned a county court to effectively freeze the bankruptcy process.