Detroit filed bankruptcy on July 25 ,2013, making it the largest American city to take such a course of action. The implications of this bankruptcy are that investors and retirees will receive only 17% of their previous funds.

The American public was completely surprised as Governor
Rick Snyder approved this course of action. Many citizens believe this ordeal will happen to other cities, too! To them, it seems as though Detroit’s bankruptcy was a random event.

Despite the fact that the American public was in total shock, those who understand the facts can quickly conclude the cause of bankruptcy. Detroit has accumulated numerous problems and few solutions, ultimately leading to their downfall.


Here are some key indicators of the event:

Population that fell 25% this decade alone.
Police response time (52 minutes versus 11 minute national average)
Unemployment (18.6% versus 7.6% national average)
Superfund Sites (70 in Detroit alone versus 24 state average)
Violent crime (2,137.4 versus 369 state average)

As the key indicators are examined, we can determine that the bankruptcy was predictable.



-Picture of Protesters on slide 2

-Information on bankrupcy and quotes

-Graph of the population for Detroit and Michigan

-Statistic on the decline in population of Detroit

-Statistics on response times and quotes on Detroit

-Unemployment Statistics

-Superfund Sites Statistics

-Violent Crime Statistics

-Police Response Time Statistic

-Park and streetlight statistic

Comments (6)

  1. Max


    For purveyors of IMT, even these seemingly radical events should not come as a shock. The scary thing however, is that the symptoms and initial conditions that resulted in Detroit’s bankruptcy are slowly but surely manifesting themselves in the economy of the entire United States. Excessive debt and increased unemployment may very well lead to disaster. We undoubtedly need more dominant logic.

  2. Daiquiri Ryan


    I think one very large factor in Detroit’s downfall that was briefly mentioned above is the crippling effect that suburbanization had on the city. I recently watched a documentary about the extreme amount of people who packed up and left Detroit (every major american city for that matter) to move outwards in the suburbs. Soon after the flight of people, the downtown business districts did too. With the arrival of the industrial assembly line, factories moved to the outskirts of town as well to allow for longer, less high rising buildings. The city then became rampant with crime and poverty since the main movers and shakers of the local economy had vanished. The decline and ultimate bankruptcy of Detroit was extremely predictable.

  3. John


    It is apparent that people were very blind when viewing Detroit’s financial situation. There was plenty of dominant information that would make it very possible to see the predictable outcome. I believe if a “Type A” person had used the IMT process, Detroit’s bankruptcy would not have been a “random” event. A few important dominant information points: Population was falling by 25% in the past decade, crime rate has increasingly rose, the state crime rate is way above the state average, and unemployment was at 18%. These points clearly show how there was information to predict the future outcome of Detroit.

  4. Vahid


    The article throws a surprising (at first sight) fact into reader’s eyes: filed bankruptcy of a huge city, Detroit, which seems to be a sudden occurrence. However looking back into the data that has been around financial and social situations make it quite predictable. The population fall, high crime and unemployment and bunch of other “dominant information” had made this event predictable. Those initial conditions would be coming to form the bankruptcy in this city. Having the IMT perspective, now it is evident that if the people in charge would have been familiar with this concept, they could easily predict and hopefully do something about it. I think this article supports the concept of IMT usage in everyday life very well.

  5. Isaac Martinez


    Although the semester just began several days ago, and I’ve only attended two classes, I have noticed a shift in the way I evaluate particular day to day outcomes. However, I did not need IMT to (pseudo) predict that it was only a matter of time before a city of this caliber (Detroit) was going to suffer this fate. I try to keep keep up on current events, so I’ve read several articles relating to this catastrophic event.

    At one point the Roman Empire blanketed this planet with their “influence” (even though “influence” is not supposed to exist) “control” and innovation; one of the greatest and most powerful governments in the history of mankind. Yet this civilization crumbled like a cookie. Why and how? Not to compare Detroit to the likeness of the Roman Empire; but at one point in American history, Detroit was at the pinnacle of automotive manufacturing. The three biggest American automobile companies stationed in Detroit, sold their products on a global scale. If it could happen to the Romans, why could this not happen to a city like Detroit? I am aware Detroit will not disappear from the face of the earth (not yet anyway) such as the Roman Empire did; I mean it’s just bankruptcy. Could this be a precursor of things to come for one of our once greatest and proudest cities? Only dominant information can reveal the outcome.

  6. Saransh Prasad


    When given the entire set of initial conditions there is only one way the outcome may occur therefore given the indicators it was not a surprise when Detroit declared bankruptcy. The indicators were all there to see and anyone with even a slight understanding of the principles of IMT would have seen it coming. It was no rocket science to deduct this inevitable situation given that some of the key indicators like unemployment, cases of violent crimes, police response times were way over the national and state average.

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