Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Sky is Falling or Opportunity Knocks

Down and Out in Bloomfield Hills
As Detroit wobbles, even its toniest suburbs feel ripples from the woes of GM and Ford.

April 1, 2006; Page A1

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. -- Foreclosures are up and charitable giving is down. A local country club has a waiting list -- for members who want to quit. The market for expensive homes is so slow that Michael Robbins, a divorce attorney here, says one of his clients is still living with his ex -- three months after the divorce was final.

With the Michigan economy battered by the ailing auto industry, the ripples are being felt across the state -- even here in one of the nation's wealthiest communities. At a time when there's a growing gap between the rich and the poor, Bloomfield Hills offers a clear reminder that the wealthy often can't escape from the severe problems of a local economy. And that, in turn, is putting pressure on a wider swath of less-wealthy residents who depend on the rich for business.

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