CITIES: Fighting the Unthinkable

It seemed an occasion for celebration. The TV lights and cameras were all assembled one night last week in a crowded 40th-floor suite in Manhattan's Waldorf Towers. Reporters scrambled for position as New York's stocky Governor Hugh Carey and New York City's diminutive Mayor Abraham Beame marched in and took seats at a small antique table and announced their triumph. After days of negotiation, said Carey, the two had finally worked out a new method to raise the $2 billion that New York City must have to stave off bankruptcy through November.

"We...

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