Today’s News and Commentary — December 25

Published December 25th, 2013 -  - 12.25.132


As Detroit struggles to meet its obligations to fund retiree health funds and public sector pensions, the city is poised to enter a settlement with two banks that may see the banks recover around 75 cents on the dollar.  As the New York Times explains, this recovery—far higher than that expected for Detroit’s other creditors—stems from the nature of Detroit’s obligation to the banks.  Specifically, Detroit owes the banks money under a swap agreement, and collection of debts owing under swap agreements during a bankruptcy case isn’t stayed by the Bankruptcy Code.

Eight months after the collapse of Bangladesh’s Rana Plaza factory left more than 1,100 dead, retailers and labor groups are joining with the Bangladesh government to create a $40M fund to help those hurt by the tragedy.  The New York Times is reporting that the families of those who lost their lives are expected to receive around $25,000 each; per capita income in Bangladesh is about $1,900/year.

The Washington Post offers a poignant profile of a cashier hired to work at one of DC’s new Wal-Mart locations, and the opportunities afforded by a regular paycheck and the chance at career advancement.  Wal-Mart has already promoted 20 of the retailer’s 600 new DC employees to supervisory positions.

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