March 18th, 2009
09:15 PM ET

Evening Buzz: On the Road to Rescue in Detroit

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

Tonight, Anderson and Team 360 are in Detroit, our next stop on the Road to Rescue. All this week, we’re reporting on how Americans are coping with the economic crisis and finding ways to pull through it. On Day 3 of our special coverage, we’ll be broadcasting live from JB Bamboozles Pub & Grill in Warren, just outside Detroit.

Detroit was once the country’s 4th largest city, but has plunged seven places to 11th. Its population has fallen below a million.

Detroit has been absorbing hard knocks for decades. The near collapse of the automotive industry has been a driving factor. Detroit has long been shorthand for the Big Three U.S. car makers. In its heyday, it took on the nicknames Motor City and Motown. The recession is hitting all of Michigan hard; the state has had one of the highest unemployment rates for years. Locals know that tough times can always get worse. But the corollary is that they can also present opportunities.

Tonight, you’ll meet two local artists with big plans for transforming their corner of Detroit. Mitch Cope and Gina Reichert are determined to remake a gritty neighborhood on the city’s northside into a mecca for artists. Houses are dirt cheap; artists need a place to make art. Can these two facts produce a renaissance in one corner of Detroit?

We’ll also show you a thriving pocket of General Motors. It’s actually halfway around the world, in Shanghai, where sales are booming. In China, GM has been making an annual profit of around a billion dollars – money that’s kept the company out of bankruptcy for the last three years.

Just as we have for the past two nights, we’ll be taking questions from our live audience. Innovation consultant and author of “The Medici Effect” Frans Johansson is back with us tonight with advice for finding opportunities within these hard times.

Tom Foreman will have another report on the winners and losers of the recession – a round-up of which companies are thriving and which are reeling. It’s information that may help you plan your next steps.

There’s plenty of breaking news to cover tonight as well.

The AIG bonus fallout is getting even uglier. During a grilling on Capitol Hill today, the failed insurance company’s CEO, Edward Liddy, said his company has heard America’s outrage “loudly and clearly.” He told lawmakers that some executives have already started returning some of the money.

But the real bombshell was Liddy’s testimony that the Fed knew about the bonuses ahead of time – and agreed to them! It’s been a day of fast-moving developments on this story. Late this afternoon, Senate Banking committee Chairman Christopher Dodd told CNN’s Dana Bash and Wolf Blitzer that he was responsible for slipping the bonus loophole into the stimulus package that permitted AIG and other companies to pay bonuses.

Why is that a big bombshell? Just yesterday, Dodd denied to CNN that he had anything to do with putting that loophole in there.

Needless to say, we’ll be digging much deeper into all of this tonight on 360.

We’ll also have the latest developments in the Natasha Richardson story. Her family has yet to release a public statement. The award-winning actress was seriously injured in a skiing accident two days ago in Canada. She reportedly was moved last night to New York’s Lenox Hill Hospital. Her mother, sister and other family members have been seen entering and leaving the building, though the hospital hasn’t confirmed Richardson is a patient. The 45-year-old wife of actor Liam Neeson fell during a ski lesson on a beginner’s slope. Richardson and her family are in our thoughts.

See you at 10 p.m. eastern.

Filed under: Cate Vojdik • The Buzz
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