Birmingham, Ala., on verge of record-breaking bankruptcy 

WHAT: Alabama’s largest city and county are laying the groundwork for what would be America’s biggest municipal bankruptcy, after three years of trying to work out a Wall Street settlement on more than $3 billion in debt.

WHEN: Two Jefferson County commissioners said there is an 80 percent chance of a vote to file for bankruptcy as soon as a Thursday meeting in Birmingham — unless Wall Street accepts a $1 billion write-down offer.

WHY: The $3 billion debt load was triggered by a massive sewer rehabilitation project tainted by corruption. This bankruptcy would be nearly twice as big as the record $1.7 billion filing by Orange County in 1994.

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Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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