For months now I’ve been shouting Greg Gutfeld’s sentiments on paying Detroit’s creditors and pensioners — “Sell the damn art!”
Next month the city’s emergency city manager, Kevyn Orr, will present yet another plan on digging Detriot out of its financial hole. Despite liberal elitists calls to protect the art — one of Detroit’s largest assets — from the auctioning block, the calls to “sell the damn art” continue. From an op-ed in today’s Detroit News:
Detroit is unique among major cities in having funded directly huge portions of its signature art museum’s existence, including its building, operations and many of its works.
The precise value of the collection isn’t known, but the auction house Christie’s appraised 2,800 city-purchased pieces – just five percent of the collection – at more than $800 million.
In other words, contained within the walls of 5200 Woodward Ave. are billions of dollars in assets that can be used to repay the city’s debts, both to pensioners and to bondholders, many of whom are retirees themselves.
Officials from the city, state, DIA and private foundations instead have offered a plan that would spin off the institute into an independent non-profit trust, in exchange for some $815 million in funding from state taxpayers and private interests.
Those proceeds would be earmarked solely for the General Retirement System and Police and Fire Retirement System pension plans.
This would turn bankruptcy law on its head, using an asset sale to pay off only one class of unsecured debt.