Starting on Tuesday, December 17 at 9:00 a.m., there will be a trial in US Bankruptcy Court before Judge Steven Rhodes.  The issue will be whether 20% of Detroit income tax money and other assets will be pledged to Barclays bank.

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder have cut a corrupt, $350 million backroom deal.  It would give $250 million to two banks, Bank of America (a client of Orr’s law firm Jones Day) and UBS, to pay off their predatory interest rate “swaps.”  Now they want the bankruptcy court’s approval.  This is a crucial moment for our city.

This is yet another example of Detroit being swindled by Wall Street loan sharks and their financial weapons of municipal mass destruction.  Ironically, it would merely ‘kick the can down the road’ of previous fraudulent Wall Street ‘interest rate swap’ scams.  Now that Judge Rhodes has bent over backwards for them by accepting the bankruptcy filing and ruling that constitutionally-protected pensions can be stolen in bankruptcy, the giant Wall Street banks and their corporate lawyers are moving in for the kill.

“The Court must acknowledge some substantial truth in the factual basis for the objectors’ claim that this case was not filed in good faith.”

Judge Rhodes’ December 5, 2013 Opinion (Page 135)

In Judge Rhodes’ vicious, shameful and biased December 5 opinion approving Jones Day and Snyder’s bankruptcy filing against Detroit, he offered a very selective and partial summary of Detroiters’ objections to their pillaging and dictatorial abuse.

In the face of what he admits is “deception” and inappropriate “concealment” of public information about government actions, Judge Rhodes carefully states: “The Court finds, however, that in some particulars, the record does support the objectors’ view of the reality that led to this bankruptcy filing.” (P. 131) “The Court must acknowledge some substantial truth in the factual basis for the objectors’ claim that this case was not filed in good faith.” (P. 135)

Nevertheless, Judge Rhodes found that Snyder and Orr used good faith, in spite of their “deception” and “concealment.”  No wonder they think they can get him to approve their rotten deal with Barclays, Bank of America and UBS!

Detroiters know what corrupt Wall Street and kindred corporate special interests are doing to our city.  Detroit has been plunged into a state of emergency.  We exist under a siege of financial dispossession, massive unemployment,  elimination of basic welfare supports, and suspension of democratic rights — all fostered by the bankers, the multinational corporations, the far right, and the U.S. ruling class.

We know who did this.  Michigan Governor Snyder and Wall Street have joined to strip the people of their homes, their pensions and their democratic rights as citizens.  In imposing the illegal and unconstitutional Emergency Manager, they have preempted the leadership of the duly elected representatives of the people, leaving the citizens without Constitutional or democratic safeguards.

These same powers are accelerating the robbery of the City’s assets through privatization and other unethical financial and banking schemes.   The model of dispossession being fashioned here in Detroit began in the third world with structural adjustment, and is being imported to communities of working class and poor people throughout the United States.  The African American communities in Michigan have been particularly targeted.

We are living in a state of emergency.

The full Declaration of State of Emergency can be found at:

More information can be found at:

Judge Rhodes’ December 5 opinion can be found at:

His ‘composite narrative’ of Detroiters’ objections, misappropriating our actual voices, claims and rights to be heard, is at Pages 127-135.

A detailed discussion of Judge Rhodes’ misappropriation, deception and concealment can be found at:

Bank of America, UBS and other Wall Street firms must immediately terminate the toxic interests rate swaps that will cost the city as much as $350 million in penalties, without any further payment.  Additionally, the banks should return any and all funds that they have received illegally. 


Judge Steven W. Rhodes
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
Southern Division
211 W. Fort St., Suite 1800
Detroit, Michigan 48226
Courtroom 1825