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Pensions Or Paintings? The Detroit Institute Of Arts From Bankruptcy To Grand Bargain, Maureen B. Collins Jan 2016

Pensions Or Paintings? The Detroit Institute Of Arts From Bankruptcy To Grand Bargain, Maureen B. Collins

Maureen B. Collins

This article examines the issues faced by the City of Detroit and the Detroit Institute of Arts when Detroit filed for municipal bankruptcy. Creditors called for the sale of the highly esteemed DIA art collection to pay outstanding municipal pension obligations. The DIA and the Michigan Attorney General viewed the collection not as an asset, but as a charitable public trust. Simply put, the City faced the question of what mattered most – pensions or paintings? Along the way, the parties and courts struggled with valuation of the art collection, a history of judicial decisions and lawmaking regarding charitable trusts …


Pensions Or Paintings? The Detroit Institute Of Arts From Bankruptcy To Grand Bargain, Maureen B. Collins Jan 2016

Pensions Or Paintings? The Detroit Institute Of Arts From Bankruptcy To Grand Bargain, Maureen B. Collins

University of Miami Business Law Review

This article examines the issues faced by the City of Detroit and the Detroit Institute of Arts when Detroit filed for municipal bankruptcy. Creditors called for the sale of the highly esteemed DIA art collection to pay outstanding municipal pension obligations. The DIA and the Michigan Attorney General viewed the collection not as an asset, but as a charitable public trust. Simply put, the City faced the question of what mattered most – pensions or paintings? Along the way, the parties and courts struggled with valuation of the art collection, a history of judicial decisions and lawmaking regarding charitable trusts …


From Chrysler And General Motors To Detroit, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2015

From Chrysler And General Motors To Detroit, David A. Skeel Jr.

All Faculty Scholarship

In the past five years, three of the most remarkable bankruptcy cases in American history have come out of Detroit: the bankruptcies of Chrysler and General Motors in 2009, and of Detroit itself in 2012. The principal objective of this Article is simply to show that the Grand Bargain at the heart of the Detroit bankruptcy is the direct offspring of the bankruptcy sale transactions that were used to restructure Chrysler and GM. The proponents of Detroit’s “Grand Bargain” never would have dreamed up the transaction were it not for the federal government-engineered carmaker bankruptcies. The Article’s second objective, based …