Herschel Post, 17 December 1981
There was a time when New York was a model to which other cities aspired. In more recent years, it has shared in the malaise that has struck most of the big cities of the central and eastern United States, and outsiders have come to look at it with a mixture of fascination and discomfort. The near-bankruptcy of the largest self-governing city in the industrialised world was certainly a circus worth watching, and, as many other American cities soon discovered, it could not be watched disinterestedly. The aversion of investors for bonds and notes issued by New York City soon spread to debt instruments issued by other city and state governments. It became all too obvious that this was not a circus, but a disease and that it was contagious.