Detroit could run out of cash by December

How do those stirring Chrysler commercials go - "Imported from Detroit?"

I wonder what they'll change it to when Detroit goes under?


With Detroit Mayor Dave Bing preparing to explain the city's fiscal crisis tonight in a rare televised address, Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown says the situation is even worse than anyone has let on.

Bing is expected to discuss a confidential Ernst & Young report obtained by the Detroit Free Press that suggests Detroit could run out of cash by April without steep cuts to staff and public services.

That's a grim prognosis, but according to Brown, the city actually could be unable to make payroll "as early as December."

"I know the report says April, but there are certain risk assumptions that when you take those into consideration, worst case scenario you could run out (of cash) in December," Brown said this morning on WJR-AM 760.

In his speech tonight, Bing is expected to propose privatizing the city's public bus system and lighting departments, both of which have have been failing residents but reportedly cost them $100 million a year in subsidies.

Brown supports that long-term plan, but he is hoping the mayor will couple it with a short-term strategy to lay off up to 2,300 city workers if unions fail to agree to long-discussed concessions.

If Bing doesn't, City Council will.

Dave Bing was a real magician with the ball when he played for the Pistons back in the 1970's. But it looks like he's going to have to call on all of his skills to pull Detroit out of this mess.

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