[CAF Note: The official creation of the cover story for the hit on pension funds has begun.]

By Mary Williams Walsh

Until mid-June, there was one ray of hope in Detroit’s gathering storm: For all the city’s problems, its pension fund was in pretty good shape. If the city went under, its thousands of retired clerks, police officers, bus drivers and other workers would still be safe.

Then came bad news. Seemingly out of nowhere, a $3.5 billion hole appeared in Detroit’s pension system, courtesy of calculations by a firm hired by the city’s emergency manager.

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