Take It From The Banks, Not The Workers And Community
The same banks who destroyed the City of Detroit’s tax base with their racist, predatory loans resulting in approximately 150,000 foreclosures in the past 5 years, now get first lien on city tax dollars for debt service payments. Public Act 4, the Emergency Manager Act guarantees these banks “payment in full of the scheduled debt service requirements on all bonds, notes and municipal securities.”
The recent Ernst & Young report on the City’s finances notes that for the current fiscal year the City will pay $226.3 million dollars to the banks for debt service out of the general fund, and an additional $399.3 million dollars in debt service from the water, transportation and parking departments. Casino tax dollars already go to a trustee to be paid directly to the banks. And according to Fitch Rating Services, if an Emergency Manager is appointed for Detroit, the banks can declare a default on “swap payments” meaning the City of Detroit will immediately have to pay the banks an additional $400 million on top of the $600 million already being paid.
In contrast to the hundreds of millions of dollars in debt service payments the City already pays to the banks, most of which is in the form of interest (profits), Mayor Bing’s proposal to lay off 1000 city workers, which would devastate city services that have already been cut to the bone, would only save the City from $14 to $19 million.
Why should the same banks who destroyed the tax base of our city, who drove over 200,000 people out of the city through their criminal, fraudulent foreclosures and evictions, get first lien on the city’s tax dollars? These banks owe the city billions in reparations for the destruction they have caused. In Massachusetts, the attorney general is suing all the major banks to recoup the billions they stole from the people through their illegal foreclosures. Instead of Governor Snyder imposing an emergency manager over the city of Detroit to guarantee the banks their debt service payments, Attorney Governor Snyder and General Schuette as well as the city’s legal department should go after the banks to repay the billions stolen from the people in Michigan, the hardest hit state in the country.
While we go after the banks to recover the billions they have stolen from the people of Detroit and all of Michigan, Mayor Bing and City Council should declare a moratorium or halt on all debt service payments to the banks. The banks are no better than drug dealers who have their property forfeited while they are prosecuted for their crimes.
In the 1930’s during the depression, Mayor Frank Murphy of Detroit first formulated the demand for a Moratorium on Debt Service payments when he led the National Conference of Mayors. Let’s show the way again by saying NO to the Emergency Financial Manager and to the banksters the law is intended to serve. We can fight back! No lay-offs. No cuts in city services. Moratorium on debt service to the banks. Go after the banksters to recover the funds they stole from the people.
Contact: Moratorium Now! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions & Utility Shut-offs
Call 313- 671-3715 www.moratorium-mi.org
MEETINGS EVERY MONDAY, 7:00 PM,
5920 Second Avenue, Detroit, MI 48202 (at Antoinette, just north of Wayne State University)
Dec. 28, 2011