The city of Detroit - once a symbol of America's industrial supremacy - has filed for the biggest ever bankruptcy in US history.
The city owes its creditors nearly 20 billion dollars, and it cannot pay, as Washington Correspondent Robert Moore reports.
A number of factors are being blamed for the city's decline. A quarter of a million residents left the city between 2000 and 2010. A population that in the 1950s reached 1.8 million is currently struggling to stay above 700,000.
- The city's debt is estimated to be $18.5 billion
- The city has more than 78,000 abandoned buildings
- The murder rate is at a 40-year high
The Mayor of Detroit said the decision to file for bankruptcy protection was "very difficult", adding, "If it's going to make the citizens better off then this is a new start for us".
Detroit's state-appointed emergency manager has told a press conference that the move to bankruptcy was "tool" to give the city "breathing room".
Governor Rick Snyder has said declaring the US city as bankrupt is an "opportunity to stop 60 years of decline in Detroit." He told a press conference: