UPDATEAn Ingham County judge said Thursday’s historic Detroit bankruptcy filing violates the Michigan Constitution and state law, and must be withdrawn. Attorney General Bill Schuette plans on appealing Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina’s Friday rulings and seeks consideration from the Michigan Court of Appeals.


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Detroit creditors have begun eying the city’s estimated $1 billion worth of art (including those from Bruegel, Caravaggio, Rembrandt and van Gogh) housed at the Detroit Institute of Art. Although it’s unclear if the city will decide to auction off these rare pieces (as there are many implications),  it may be considered as part of its financial plan.

A relic of its former glory, Detroit is now home to 80,000 abandoned buildings, and riddled with crime. Forty percent of the city’s streetlights do not work, and with a jobless rate of 18%, more than twice the national average, the fact that the derelict city recently filed for bankruptcy only completes its rags to riches (back to rags) story.

Though it’s hard to imagine an entire city going bankrupt, there are a many other bankruptcies in U.S. history that were just as famous in their day. To see the 10 most infamous bankruptcies, click the begin button.

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