Bankrupt Cities

Economist Calls Potential Detroit Bailout a Bad Idea

It would subsidize irresponsibility while leaving creditors and taxpayers on the hook


The man who headed the 2009 Obama administration's bailout of the U.S. auto industry says the federal government should step in with taxpayer money and give Detroit a boost.

On July 19, Steven Rattner wrote a column in the New York Times calling for U.S. taxpayers to bail out Detroit.

But a respected economist and former senior vice president at Detroit-founded Comerica Bank says in the bluntest of terms that it would be a big mistake and even if a bailout came to pass, Rattner is the wrong man to lead it.

"Rattner's nothing but a paid hack," said David Littmann, who retired from Comerica and now is senior economist at the Mackinac Center, a free-market think tank in Michigan.