Municipalities After the Bankruptcy

Today at the New York Times, a startling and heartbreaking portrait of a county torn apart by debt and a bankruptcy filing that’s left them with barely any money to provide even basic services for the people…

This is life today in Jefferson County — Bankrupt, U.S.A. For all the talk in Washington about taxes and deficits, here is a place where government finances, and government itself, have simply broken down. The county, which includes the city of Birmingham, is drowning under $4 billion in debt, the legacy of a big sewer project and corrupt financial dealings that sent 17 people to prison.

The story of Jefferson County, AL is fairly well-known to people who work with muni bonds or public finance, those who are not aware of how this all went down should make this read a priority.

Source:

When a County Runs Off a Cliff (NYT)

 

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