(NBC News) A federal judge ruled Tuesday the city of Detroit is eligible to shed billions of dollars in debt as part of the largest public bankruptcy ever in the United States.
Judge Steven Rhodes said Detroit, once the nation's fourth largest city, is broke and is eligible to reorganize under federal bankruptcy law.
Rhodes said the city met every test of insolvency, including failing to pay its debts and being unable to provide a minimum level of basic services to its residents.
Labor unions, retirees and pension funds are likely to bear the brunt of pending austerity measures.
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