Philadelphia: City on The Skids

City on The Skids

Philadelphia has long held a special place in American affections as a cradle of liberty. Now the nation's fifth largest metropolis (pop. 1.5 million) seems about to win a new reputation -- as the first major U.S. city to go to the verge of fiscal collapse since Boston hit the skids in 1980. Plagued with rising needs, a shriveled treasury, dubious credit and ineffectual leaders, Philadelphia last week was sliding toward budgetary disaster. What may have been its last hope, a big new loan guarantee from the Swiss Bank Corp. fizzled at midweek, prompting two Wall Street credit-rating agencies to lower...

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