The message from Kenneth Buckfire, the city’s lead financial adviser, is clear: The City of Detroit is out of money, it has been for quite a while, and it isn’t able to give creditors what they would get in a normal restructuring.
“I think Detroit is totally unique. It doesn’t set a precedent for anybody else. You are talking about a city which has been hammered by two incredibly major trends … the loss of its manufacturing base and decades of mismanagement,” said Buckfire, co-president of Miller Buckfire, a New York investment banking firm. “Maybe you could have survived one of those. You cannot survive both.”