Thursday, April 30, 2009

I only ask questions

I only pose this question. Today the President had this to say about the filing for bankruptcy by Chrysler:

"This is not a sign of weakness but rather one more step on a clearly chartered path to Chrysler's revival."

If such a statement is even marginally true for Chrysler, what would an actual bankruptcy for the City of Pittsburgh mean. How about this quote from the Prez saying that Chrysler will emerge "stronger and more competitive"

City finances not on the top of the news except for some election exhortations? True enough, but compare the debt situation here to a city that actually has filed for bankruptcy: City of Vallejo, CA. No, Act 47 does not count even as bankruptcy-lite as some describe it. Bankruptcy is bankruptcy. .

Put another way, what would be the state of the city today if it actually went through a bankruptcy in 1993 when it literally did all but run out of money to keep the lights on.


Speaking of the city. Random newsoid on the mayoral race. This isn't really news in itself, but I find it curious that a Youngstown TV station chose to run a summary AP blurb on the mayoral race here in the city: Pittsburgh mayor has heavy financial advantage in primary. It also has a curious line in it that describes Pat D. as, and this is a quote: "a 41-year-old first-time council member once perceived to be a Ravenstahl ally".

huh? a one time Ravenstahl ally? I missed that somewhere along the line. Not sure that is the main tag line a challenger wants to have out there.


Blogger n'at said...

I've had thoughts on what you speak of both waking and dreaming. I see Pittsburgh's situation as no better than *insert bygone corporation here* in their time. If the city eliminates their pension obligations, then there's nothing to talk about, right?

However, the buck has to stop somewhere. Just because companies are allowed to reneg on a social contract with their retirees, do not mean governments should do so. Local government has to learn to right themselves, the state cant afford to bail out countless muni's, and neither can the federal government.

And speaking of Youngstown: I caught the young mayor of Youngstown fielding calls on C-Span during the U.S. Conference of Mayors in D.C. He's bright, eager and earnest.

I wonder if there's such a thing as a Mayor Exchange Program?

Friday, May 01, 2009 9:01:00 AM  
Blogger Mike Madison said...

If a large, well-managed Italian city wants to buy Pittsburgh, then I think that we -- and the local Bankruptcy Court -- should be all ears.

Friday, May 01, 2009 9:21:00 AM  
Anonymous MH said...

Last I heard, the large, well-managed Italian cities spend quite of bit of effort trying to minimize what they have to contribute to the portion of Italy that is basically unmanaged.

Friday, May 01, 2009 9:42:00 AM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

maybe Billings, MT could do a reverse merger with us to become a major metropolitan area.

but on If the city eliminates their pension obligations, then there's nothing to talk about, right?.... or if the city eliminates its bond debt, which is all insured anyway so that no bold holder is going to take a hit. I just have to believe the bond insurers have written off some of that debt already.

Friday, May 01, 2009 10:25:00 AM  
Anonymous MH said...

Somebody better write-off something. Pittsburgh doesn't have much more capacity to generate taxes without driving-off people who have the money to pay taxes.

As for the bond insurance, aren't those payments are likely to come from the feds, at least indirectly?

Friday, May 01, 2009 10:43:00 AM  

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