'I didn't really know you could sell a lake. Is there a lake market?'
When Reading, Pennsylvania fell on hard times a few years back, city officials sold off a lake. They raised property taxes and refinanced their debt. But it wasn't enough: The city couldn't get its budget deficit under control.
So, halfway through his second term, the mayor decided he couldn't deal with the problem. He threw in the towel and basically asked the state of Pennsylvania to declare Reading a financial disaster area.
On today's Planet Money, we visit Reading to find out what happened next.
For more: Read the state's recovery plan for Reading.
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