Michigan governor mulls naming emergency financial manager for Detroit

Article by Anita Panait, on February 19, 2013

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is currently mulling whether to name an emergency financial manager for the city of Detroit, which is on the verge of bankruptcy, restructuring experts and Michigan politicians told Reuters. Snyder has disclosed that he already has a "short list" of potential persons for the post.  According to spokeswoman Sara Wurfel, Snyder is still awaiting a report from a team of advisers to decide whether Detroit really needs an emergency manager, adding that the governor is already "talking to and looking for prospective qualified candidates."

Being an emergency financial manager would be a very tough and demanding assignment. It may likely entail making decisions that could lead to further cuts in jobs and services in Detroit, a declining city now known for its high crime rate, abandoned buildings and many unlit streets.

Should the emergency financial manager succeed in turning around the city of Detroit, he would be propelled as a star in the world of restructuring, especially that not a few financially distressed cities in the United States might want to avail of such service.

Steve Miller, a known turnaround specialist with strong Michigan connection who has worked for Ford Motor Co and Chrysler Group LLC, and parts maker Delphi Automotive Plc, remarked to Reuters that when there is not enough money to go around, somebody will be disappointed, noting that the disappointment will be aimed at the person who took the job.

Miller said that the emergency financial manager should have a sound business background as well as a sense of public service to do the job for little or no pay.  Miller currently serves as non-executive chairman of insurer American International Group, which was rescued by the federal government.

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