Banking & Finance

ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Ignorance, not greed, soured soup at Lehman BrothersRestricted Content

September 22, 2008
Mike Hicks
The collapse of Lehman Brothers and the widespread stock sell-off it engendered is a bit scary. It shows those of us on Main Street that more than a year after the subprime mess became daily news, significant and sophisticated financiers still grapple with the effect on their firms. They are now far less significant and sophisticated than they once believed. I'm still uncertain as to how this will end. The U.S. and world economies will emerge stronger, more vibrant and...
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City Securities' strategy: Stay true to your roots: State's oldest investment bank avoided Wall St. woesRestricted Content

September 22, 2008
Peter Schnitzler
In recent days, as some of Wall Street's most storied institutions teetered, the mood at Indiana's largest and oldest investment firm was almost serene. City Securities Corp. managers tracked news tickers and consulted CEO Mike Bosway, who was on vacation in Ireland, via his BlackBerry. But their biggest concern wasn't the financial underpinnings of their own company. It was tumbling stock prices, which depressed the value of the portfolios of their 15,000 clients. Bosway saw no need to rush home...
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Tough economy touching all industries, but some are hurting more than othersRestricted Content

September 22, 2008
Anthony Schoettle, Cory Schouten

Stock markets are falling, jobs are disappearing, and the outlook for the economy seems grim. Banks, real estate developers, retailers and manufacturers are taking the worst hits, but all types of businesses in central Indiana are hurting. From health care to technology, education to philanthropy, every industry is trying to take the setbacks in stride.


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Experts: Building boom not over: Big projects wind down, but new ones fill pipelineRestricted Content

September 8, 2008
Scott Olson
The completion of $2 billion in city construction projects has left a gaping hole in contractor job schedules-as wide as when the roof opens at Lucas Oil Stadium. Even so, industry leaders remain optimistic about staying busy despite the combination of a tepid economy and the end of a local boom that stretched the limits of the labor pool. The $1.1 billion airport midfield terminal project, the $715 million stadium and $150 million Central Library expansion helped to create so...
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VIEWPOINT: Advancing manufacturing is key to futureRestricted Content

September 1, 2008
Joseph Hornett
We've all heard it: Our economy is creeping to a crawl. Skyhigh oil prices, a weak housing market and the struggling U.S. dollar are discouraging consumers and business owners alike. Fears about our nation's fiscal health are shaking broader confidence in the banking industry, the system of global trade, and even our public image abroad. In the face of such adversity, it's helpful to remember that Americans have faced daunting challenges in the past. In tougher times, such as the...
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Banker ready to make Salin a force in state's largest cityRestricted Content

August 25, 2008
Greg Andrews
Alvin "Kit" Stolen is back atop an Indianapolisbased bank, albeit one many locals have never heard of. But Salin Bank & Trust Co. has big plans to get noticed-and get customers-here. After establishing strong market positions in south-central and northern Indiana, it finally has its sights on the center of the state. For now, Salin has just one Indianapolis-area branch, its headquarters near Keystone at the Crossing. But plans are in motion for two Hamilton County locations. And while bank...
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Developer pegs Plainfield for spec office building: Local real estate brokers question potential demandRestricted Content

August 18, 2008
Scott Olson
Now a developer is banking on a new roadway and airport terminal to attract office tenants, although some brokers familiar with the area aren't sold on the idea. The local office of Chicago-based Verus Partners LLC finished purchasing 200 acres along the east side of the Reagan Parkway and plans to build a 60,000-square-foot, two-story speculative office building. Verus' mixed-use office and industrial park is called GreenParke at Airwest and could be ready for occupancy by next summer. Infrastructure work...
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Murky motive adds intrigue to Old National loan saga

August 18, 2008
Greg Andrews
In the buttoned-down world of banking, it doesn't get much stranger than this: An Indianapolis loan officer with a strong reputation is suddenly dismissed after his employer charges he falsified lending documents. The bank says the fraud exposes it to potential losses approaching $20 million. And here's the kicker: The employer hasn't accused the banker of committing the wrongdoing for personal gain.
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Murky motive adds intrigue to Old National loan sagaRestricted Content

August 18, 2008
Greg Andrews
In the buttoneddown world of banking, it doesn't get much stranger than this: An Indianapolis loan officer with a strong reputation is suddenly dismissed after his employer charges he falsified lending documents. The bank says the fraud exposes it to potential losses approaching $20 million. And here's the kicker: The employer hasn't accused the banker of committing the wrongdoing for personal gain. There are no allegations, for instance, of setting up fictitious borrowers to scoop up bank cash on his...
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Developer pegs Plainfield for spec office building: Local real estate brokers question potential demandRestricted Content

August 18, 2008
Scott Olson
Now a developer is banking on a new roadway and airport terminal to attract office tenants, although some brokers familiar with the area aren't sold on the idea. The local office of Chicago-based Verus Partners LLC finished purchasing 200 acres along the east side of the Reagan Parkway and plans to build a 60,000-square-foot, two-story speculative office building. Verus' mixed-use office and industrial park is called GreenParke at Airwest and could be ready for occupancy by next summer. Infrastructure work...
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Stadium scores Colts 30-percent sponsorship increase: Entertainment in 14 themed areas starts four hours before kick-off; strategy gains notice from other NFL teamsRestricted Content

August 11, 2008
Anthony Schoettle
The Indianapolis Colts will score almost $18 million annually through their new stadium's title sponsorship and deals with 14 founding sponsors, each of which has its own themed area of the stadium's interior. Including sponsor agreements for two massive video boards at each end of the stadium, a narrower video board circling the upper reaches of the lower bowl, and other in-stadium deals, the Colts should bring in $20 million, 30 percent more than in the RCA Dome, according to...
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SURF THIS: Finding a stray $500-a hint of what Mint can do

August 4, 2008
Jim Cota
I received an email the other day offering some suggestions to save about $500 a year through a variety of basically painless financial moves. Most consisted of suggestions like "move this account, which is making next to nothing, to this bank where they'll pay you 4 percent." The email also recommended that I build an emergency fund, provided a list of all my account balances (everything from banking to credit cards to investments), pointed out the top purchases of the...
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BEHIND THE NEWS: News from the front lines: More tough times aheadRestricted Content

August 4, 2008
Greg Andrews
The past 12 months have been hard to take, with all the gloom-anddoom headlines about the weak housing market, subprime credit crisis and softening economy. We're all ready for some good news. Unfortunately, I can't provide it here. That's because executives on the front lines of Indiana business-those most tuned in to the twists and turns of the state's economy-aren't ready to call a turnaround yet. In second-quarter conference calls with analysts, the executives are trumpeting their firms' ability to...
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SPORTS: NASCAR: Good for the city, not so fun to watchRestricted Content

July 28, 2008
Bill Benner
Depending upon when IBJ lands in your hands, the 15th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard will be either coming to or going from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. So let's talk racin'. Let me begin by saying how pleased I am that Tony George took that giant leap in 1994 and welcomed NASCAR to the hallowed openwheel grounds of IMS. By most accounts, the Brickyard 400 instantly became the second-most-coveted prize on the NASCAR circuit and it has remained in that...
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Going mobile: Local executive carves niche as national expert on fast-growing banking-industry technology trendRestricted Content

July 28, 2008
Scott Olson
Move over home computer, the more nimble mobile phone and competing handheld devices have taken the helm as the hippest ways to conduct banking business online. What's more, an Indianapolis banking executive is at the forefront of the mobile-banking information movement and is promoting the benefits on a blog he created that is attracting scores of new viewers each month from around the world. Brandon McGee, 34, may keep bankers' hours at the downtown office of the Columbus, Ohio-based Huntington...
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Bank-run scenes create concerns: IndyMac situation unlikely in Indiana, but customers should check out stability of their banks, experts warnRestricted Content

July 28, 2008
Cory Schouten
It was a scary scene, reminiscent of the Great Depression: Customers lined up outside California's IndyMac Bank branches to withdraw deposits after a bank run led to the bank's failure. The images have driven some central Indiana customers-businesses and individuals-to take a more critical look at the strength of their banks and the safety of their deposits. Even as financial stocks rallied in mid-July, the risk remains for more bank failures. Dismal earnings reports and massive write-downs continued in recent...
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INVESTING: Why Anheuser-Busch bid resonates in IndianapolisRestricted Content

June 30, 2008
Ken Skarbeck
One of our sister Midwestern cities is locked in a fight for its corporate identity. A n h e u s e r- B u s c h , maker and distributor of Budweiser brand beers-and the corporate icon of St. Louis-is engaged in a $46.3 billion takeover battle for its survival as a U.S.-based company. The would-be acquirer is Belgium-based InBev, the second-largest brewer by volume in the world. London-based SABMiller, who in 2002 bought Miller Brewing in Milwaukee,...
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Commentary: Wishing Nat City a speedy recoveryRestricted Content

June 30, 2008
Mickey Maurer
On June 19, The New York Times business section led with an article titled, "Regional Banks are Rocked." The accompanying graphic indicated that National City Bank lost 86 percent of its market value since the beginning of this year. No wonder. The news has not been good. On June 10, Peter Raskind, chairman and CEO of National City, acknowledged publicly that on Feb. 5, the bank had been placed under a memorandum of understanding by the comptroller of the currency....
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Networks help practices extend their reach:Restricted Content

June 30, 2008
Scott Olson
Outside of Indiana, the local law firm of Bose McKinney & Evans LLP has a nominal presence in Washington, D.C., and Raleigh, N.C. Yet, the midsize practice with roughly 130 lawyers in Indianapolis is handling an immigration issue for a fellow firm in India and is encouraged about prospects in Argentina, Colombia and Puerto Rico. Global gigs typically are reserved for larger rivals with an international scope. But scores of firms that want to expand their reach, without the risk...
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Conseco wins $29M judgment in latest round of legal warRestricted Content

June 23, 2008
J.K. Wall
Conseco Inc. has won another round in court against former Merchants National Bank CEO James D. Massey this month, ringing up a $29 million judgment against him in a court in Illinois. But Massey shows no sign of throwing in the towel in the years-long litigation over millions he borrowed to buy Conseco stock. Massey was a director of Conseco from 1994 to 2000.
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Director pay rising with demands on corporate boards: Some members manage to serve multiple Indiana public companies; median compensation exceeds $59,000Restricted Content

June 23, 2008
Peter Schnitzler
Joe Ruffolo learned a great deal over 35 years as an executive at PepsiCo., Squibb Corp., Reynolds Aluminum and North American Van Lines. Now running his own investment banking company, Fort Wayne-based Ruffolo Benson LLC, Ruffolo also holds seats on a halfdozen company boards. Executive compensation experts say that's too much on one plate. Ruffolo is one of a handful of Hoosiers who serve as independent board directors of more than one Indiana-based public company. Experts say it's an increasingly...
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More manufacturing? Maybe Butler did it: University's accelerator helps plants boost businessRestricted Content

June 16, 2008
Scott Olson
Ten years ago, Bob McAfee bought SaniServ, an 80-year-old Mooresville institution that pioneered the making of softserve ice cream machines for restaurants. Despite the manufacturer's longevity, a handful of competitors-one of them much larger and two roughly the same size-had cut into market share, causing SaniServ's annual revenue to stall at about $10 million. Determined to improve upon the figure, but unsure how to go about it, McAfee turned to the Butler Business Accelerator. The 2-year-old consultancy on the Butler...
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Steak n Shake roadblock sends dissident on detourRestricted Content

June 9, 2008
Greg Andrews
Since he began scooping up shares of The Steak n Shake Co. last year, dissident investor Sardar Biglari has been forthright about his intentions. Perhaps to a fault. The Texan's investor group in January laid out its strategy in a 10-page letter. First, it would push to elect two of its representatives to the nine-member board at the annual meeting. Then, it would ask shareholders to call a special meeting, where he hoped they would replace the majority of the...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: One man's trash is a gold mine for privacy violationsRestricted Content

May 19, 2008
Joan Antokol
National pharmacy chains such as CVS and Walgreens are not the only ones to experience "dumpster-diving" by investigative reporters. These drugstores were merely the first to be featured in media reports about customers' personal information being disposed of without being destroyed first, a violation of state and federal privacy laws. Diving in Local reporters have since rummaged through the trash of mortgage brokers, title insurance companies, fitness centers, banks, law firms, hospitals and government organizations. While searching through the trash,...
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Symphony Bank results keep hitting sour notes: CEO hopes to succeed by taking bank 'to the people'Restricted Content

May 19, 2008
Cory Schouten
Symphony Bank's palatial branch along East 96th Street-outfitted with a copper roof, towering domed ceiling and heated parking lot-was designed to telegraph wealth and stability. But instead, the $5 million Taj Mahal became the most prominent symbol of the bank's excesses and one reason the startup has lost money every year since its founding in June 2005. The bank, which has no other branches, has torn through two management teams and piled up annual losses of $2 million or more...
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  1. Uh, sorry Johnnie, but you are incorrect. Despite the assertions by yourself and various defenders and captains, sports attendance is NOT off significantly at most sporting events in the US. Variances in attendance has been in the range of single digits, both + & - for years now. MLB has had most of its best overall attendance nubers in the last decade, and that trend has been consistent for most major sporting events. The number one issue cited by most fans when asked about attendance is the overall cost of attending. The presence of HD and big screen televisions in home doesn't even register, as a factor for not attending an event. VALUE in the product is the key, and apparently is something lacking in the current ICS. What other explanation is there when with what is routinely touted as the "best" racing on the planet, fans are staying away in DROVES. A "close" title battle into the last event at Fontana, with the "cars and stars" of the ICS, and who showed up? MAYBE 8K. Sorry, but HD TV isn't to blame for that kind of fan apathy.

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  3. If she was worth the $ the public outcry over direct tv dropping them would have kept them on their dishes as we have seen with other companies. I too quit watching channel 13 after she showed up since I left channel 8 because of her all show rather than production results. When Randy on 8 corrected her she had a big head and incorrectly challenged his correction for pronunciation of a city. Other antics while she matures was too much for me with her very inaccurate forecasts. All the forecasters were predicting rain until Thursday except Chris. They predicted sunny on Thursday but instead of rain until Thursday upon which the sun would finally make it out in full glory Chris was right on the money just as I too predicted looking at the radar on weather.gov. One thing I love about Angela is the fear you can see in her every time it thunders in the winter. It far exceeds the entertainment value of her body language (high heel noise drags, depression, etc) when her forecasts are so incorrect. Her hair stands on end, you have to see it!!!

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