Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I guess it wasn't grand enough

An interesting scoop from Nathan Bomey and Mark Stryker in the Detroit Free Press this morning:  "[C]ity officials quietly formulated a proposal in late 2011 to sell the city-owned Detroit Institute of Arts to nonprofit foundations for $550 million to create cash flow for the city, fund museum operations and transfer ownership so the art could never be sold to pay city debt.  The plan — according to records obtained by the Free Press and never publicly revealed — bears a striking resemblance to this year’s grand bargain designed to protect the DI."

Here's my question.  The collection is worth somewhere between $2.7 and $8.5 billion.  What makes $816 million the "right" number rather than $550 million?  Why not $943 million?  Or $286 million?  Or $1.35 billion (half the low end estimate)?  Where did the "grand bargain" number (816) come from?