DC Trawler

Detroit is now selling off zoo animals to pay its debts

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It’s a good thing Obama saved Detroit — just ask him — or just imagine how much worse they’d have it!

Detroit Free Press:

A healthy, breeding female giraffe from the Detroit Zoo could fetch $80,000 on the open market. Detroit’s half of the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel was valued a few years ago at $65 million. A prototype of the 1963 Ford XD Cobra owned by the Detroit Historical Museum carries an estimated price of $1 million.

Belle Isle? Maybe several hundred million dollars. Maybe more.

If everything is indeed on the table when it comes to turning Detroit’s assets into dollars, then the possibilities are nearly endless, bewildering and sometimes bizarre.

Detroit is teetering on the brink of the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history. The city’s emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, and his team have said they want to evaluate everything owned by the city as they begin negotiations with creditors in the face of $15 billion to $17 billion in debt and future pension obligations.

Damn you, George W. Bush!

This is a good excuse to point you to Matt Labash’s amazing 2008 story on Detroit: “The City Where the Sirens Never Sleep.” Labash may be* an awful human being, but he’s a hell of a writer. He gives you a ground-level view of the incalculable damage just a few decades of misrule have done to a once-great city. It’s one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve ever read.

How much are they paying people to move into a house in Detroit these days, anyway? Maybe I could use the extra cash to buy a giraffe.

(Hat tip: Reason.com)


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Jim Treacher