Banking & Finance

VIEWPOINT: Think you can move fast? Look at ChinaRestricted Content

September 29, 2008
Jacqueline A.
This month, I am making my 50th trip to China. My first trip was in 1995 to identify a possible Chinese partner for a manufacturing joint venture in Nantong. When the potential partner honored me by serving a coiled snake as one of the main dishes, I thought, "What am I doing here?" But that's what change is all about-delving into the unfamiliar. Four years later, we had found a trusted partner, signed a joint venture agreement, located the proper...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Looking back in history to understand this messRestricted Content

September 29, 2008
Paul Coan
Where is the stock market headed next? It may help to look where it has been. My clients may have grown tired of hearing how the bull market of the 1990s mirrored the Roaring Twenties-maybe because they knew what came after the Roaring Twenties? You remember the history books and your parents talking about the Great Depression. The more articles you read concerning the recent market turmoil, the more this phrase appears: "Worst (fill in blank) since the Great Depression."...
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VC firm raises $116M for second fund after knocking first one out of parkRestricted Content

September 29, 2008
Peter Schnitzler

Thanks to hefty 35-percent gross returns on its $60 million first fund, locally based Centerfield Capital Partners LP has raised nearly twice as much for its second. This month, the venture capital firm closed on $116 million from a variety of investors. As before, Centerfield's 50 limited partners include major Hoosier institutions. But this time, numerous big banks, insurance companies and pension funds from outside state lines were also investors.


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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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  1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

  2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

  3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

  4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

  5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.

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