The Wall Street Journal Law Blog is reporting that Jefferson County, Alabama is poised to declare bankruptcy. The WSJ says it would be America's largest ever municipal bankruptcy (Jefferson County includes Birmingham), though I seem to recall that Orange County, California (Anaheim) went bankrupt in the 1990s after Merrill Lynch persuaded it to invest in securities that were about as risky as showing up at a PETA convention with a bucket of fried chicken.
Bankruptcy isn't so WTF. Even a large municipal bankruptcy isn't so WTF. What's WTF is the county's debt, and its source: 3.2 billion dollars owed on the county sewer system.
Presumably they've paid some of the debt. What does a mid-sized city get for pumping 3.2 billion plus into a sewer system? Gold pipes? Ivory toilet seats? Can one safely drink the water at Birmingham's sewage treatment plants? The Gambino Brothers Waste Disposal and Construction Company seal of approval?
If we have any readers in Birmingham, please comment. We want to know: Are you happy with your sewage system?