Detroit: motors, money and the municipality

Michael Roberts Blog

Last week, the mayor of Detroit, America’s 18th largest city and the home of the flagship of Main Street America, the US auto industry, filed for bankruptcy with debts hitting $18-20bn.  On the same week, the behemoths of Wall Street, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan etc announced profits nearly back to their pre-crisis levels.  Those two bits of news just about sum up the winners and losers out of this crisis.

The aim of government policy nearly everywhere has been the restoration of the profitability of the capitalist sector, particularly its large companies, at the expense of the wages and conditions of working people, including their public services, pensions and welfare benefits.  In the financial crash, governments and the central banks reacted quickly with huge bailouts for greedy, corrupt and failing banks and in the case of the US launched the use of public money in billions to save the auto…

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