Stockton’s bankruptcy judge barred Wall Street’s hired experts from the coming bankruptcy trial.
These were the gurus who would have testified that Stockton is not really insolvent; it can stil tighten its belt; it can raise taxes; it can scrape up the money to pay Wall Street 100 cents on the dollar; it should not be allowed to declare bankruptcy.
I read their reports. They were the quintessense of hackspertise: clever — not without some merit — but totally biased. It’s almost as if you could follow the strings of these puppets up to their Wall Street puppeteers as they typed their “analysis.” Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! This is expert analysis!
“I’m persuaded that neither of the reports will be helpful,” said U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein. He added, “This is the kind of thing I’ve seen for 25 years on the bench.”
Translation: Keep your malarkey. I’ll make up my own mind based on the facts and figures.
The city can’t ask for more than that. I’m convinced the only way the case could go against the city is its decision to leave employee pensions untouched. Even that will probably not disqualify the city, which stands on the threshhold of a financial restructuring that will ratify its tough reforms for years to come.