Central issues in Detroit's bankruptcy trial

Sep 2, 2014

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The official name for it is the “plan confirmation hearing.” The commonly used term is “Detroit’s bankruptcy trial.” And it begins today.

Stephen Henderson is the editorial page editor at the Detroit Free Press. He joined Stateside today to talk about what will be decided and the big questions in the trial.

“(The central question) really has to do with the grand bargain,” says Henderson, “which brings into the bankruptcy proceeding more than $700 million from people who have nothing to do with this proceeding.”

State and national foundations, the state of Michigan, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and pensioners have all contributed to this fund that is being used to cushion the blow of the bankruptcy settlement to certain creditors. Some creditors question if the deal is fair. That will be up to Judge Steven Rhodes to decide.

Another question is what it takes to convince Judge Rhodes that the city leaders are ready to implement the plan of adjustment, once emergency manager Kevyn Orr leaves his role.

“You’ve got to prove that you can run things better. The hit that all these people are taking will not be for nothing, and that Detroit will be better off as a result of this,” says Henderson.

* Listen to the interview with Stephen Henderson above.

* Follow @MichiganRadio on Twitter for the continuing coverage of Detroit's bankruptcy.