Why Detroit Went Bankrupt In One GIF

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This straightforward GIF simplifies the long, but not-as-complicated-as-you-think story of Detroit's recent bankruptcy and counters the idea that it was always inevitable. It comes from this impressively thorough, absolutely must read story on Detroit's bankruptcy from the Detroit Free Press. Leave here and go there to read it.

I also want to point out a great bit of journalistic forthrightness on the part of the reporters Nathan Bomey and John Gallagher who, at one point, call out their own paper's editorial board for pressing the Detroit City Council into pushing for a complex financial deal that was probably the biggest contribution to the bankruptcy.

The Free Press editorial page in February 2005 also applied pressure, calling the reluctant council members “heads-in-the-sand” politicians who “have become a threat to the stability of the community.” The editorial described the transaction as a “sound deal” that was “akin to refinancing a mortgage.”


I'm sure they weren't the only ones calling for this back in 2005. Anyways. Go read it.

Graphic: Kofi Myler/Detroit Free Press, reused with permission