Economy

Bailout helping PNC take over NatCityRestricted Content

November 3, 2008
Cory Schouten
After a 17-year run in Indianapolis, National City's trademark green signs are set to be replaced with the blue of Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial. The $5.6 billion deal raises questions about the government's growing involvement in banking.
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Lending, deposits increase at credit unions despite subpar economyRestricted Content

November 3, 2008
Cory Schouten
While many banks were getting drunk on loose lending in the last few years, most credit unions stuck to conservative lending and other plain-vanilla banking practices.
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After record election revenues, TV ad income may hit 10-year lowRestricted Content

November 3, 2008
Anthony Schoettle
With the economic swoon and no political ad campaigns in 2009, TV ad revenue could hit a 10-year low next year.
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Market plunge makes investments in good firms a bargainRestricted Content

November 3, 2008
Ken Skarbeck
The stock market rout that began in September and picked up steam in October has taken some quality companies to prices that are the cheapest they have been in decades.
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Local startup offers 'virtual' resume managementRestricted Content

November 3, 2008
In September, Jeff Bockelman launched CareerScribe LLC, a local Web forum where users can "virtually" manage their resumes.
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Hospitals suffer from spiking bond interest rates, investment lossesRestricted Content

November 3, 2008
J.K. Wall
Indianapolis-area hospitals have suffered a double whammy of spiking interest rates on their bonds and heavy losses in their investment portfolios and are trying to save cash any way they can.
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City prepares to compete for mega-conventions, risks losing small eventsRestricted Content

October 27, 2008
Anthony Schoettle

Over the years, the city has made a name for itself by hosting a handful of large conventions and a bevy of small and midsize gatherings.  But as companies and other organizations tighten their belts, the number of conventions held nationwide is expected to shrink in the months ahead.

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BEHIND THE NEWS: Plunge takes bloom off investing stars-at least for nowRestricted Content

October 27, 2008
Greg Andrews
You think the recent stock-market gyrations have been g u t - w r e n c h i n g ? Imagine if you're responsible not just for your own money, but for millions of dollars others have entrusted to you. That's the reality for Indiana's professional money managers, who collectively oversee billions of dollars. In good times, top-performing managers of mutual funds and individual accounts are treated like heroes, heralded with features in Barron's or appearances on CNBC....
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Benefits to buying or leasing in a troubled economyRestricted Content

October 27, 2008
Keith R.
As real estate professionals well know, a troubled economy is making it harder to negotiate and close deals. However, buying or leasing real estate in a troubled economy also provides great opportunities for buyers and tenants. Real estate brokers often talk about it being a buyer's and renter's market and focus on selection and price; however, there are several other benefits when buying or leasing commercial real estate in a troubled economy. These additional benefits include tax abatements or credits...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: What Halloween can teach us about economicsRestricted Content

October 27, 2008
Mike Hicks
The week of Halloween at the Hicks household is also the week we learn about taxes. It is a natural combination-they are both kind of scary and involve giving up something you've worked for to someone else. Having three kids of different ages and interests is especially instructive. My fourth-grader is all about the experience of trick or treating with friends. She is likely to savor every minute chatting, holding hands and skipping along. She is not trying to maximize...
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Pacers cut costs, boost marketing to break even within three yearsRestricted Content

October 27, 2008
Anthony Schoettle

The Indiana Pacers are ratcheting up sales and marketing initiatives while cutting costs elsewhere in an effort to simultaneously ride out the economic storm and boost attendance. The team has little hope of being profitable this year-or even breaking even, said Pacers President Jim Morris, but he added that within three years the franchise's financial status should be much improved.


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No perfect fit for Main Street: Small-business owners fall on both sides of political lineRestricted Content

October 27, 2008
Whitney Lee
Joe the Plumber has been getting plenty of attention in recent weeks, but what about Kimberly the Merchant or John the Manufacturer? For all the talk about whether this year's presidential candidates favor Wall Street or Main Street, there's little discussion of the fact that neither Democrat Barack Obama nor Republican John McCain may be perfect for all small-business owners. Indianapolis manufacturing firm owner John Raine is backing McCain because of his stance on taxes and labor unions. Local shop...
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Flat passenger counts not seen as threat to paying debt on midfield terminalRestricted Content

October 27, 2008
Chris O\'malley

The big debt payments on the $1.1 billion midfield terminal at Indianapolis International Airport start coming due in January--just as a recession hits and the battered airline industry cuts capacity. Despite the likely prospect of fewer passengers than projected in the next year or two, airport managers say they don't anticipate problems shouldering the roughly $40 million a year in debt burden over the next 30 years for the new facility.


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For funding, developers may need to think outside box: Amid tight credit markets, getting a project built often takes alternative financing sources, creative approachesRestricted Content

October 27, 2008
Scott Olson
Although the spigot of bank financing has slowed to a trickle, money to fund commercial development projects remains available from alternative sources. Just ask David Amick, executive director of Premier Capital Corp., a local lender that uses federal funds to help finance expansions. "We've got money to lend," he said. "I've got that [message] hung on the door." The fragile credit markets have nearly diminished the ability of companies to borrow. But lenders such as Amick insist the money is...
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INVESTING: Investors' margin calls accelerated selling spreeRestricted Content

October 20, 2008
Ken Skarbeck
After a tumultuous and historic couple of weeks, culminating Oct. 10-when stocks dropped 800 points as the market opened-investors stood on the edge of the abyss and stopped selling. Market participants arrived at the conclusion that, over that coming weekend, financial chiefs around the world would do whatever it took to rescue the financial system. And they did, by formulating measures to be undertaken by finance leaders across the globe that are unprecedented and wideranging, from supporting the commercial paper...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Economic crisis explained, at lastRestricted Content

October 20, 2008
Morton Marcus
I was uncomfortably challenged when Faye of the Forest landed on my deck a few days ago wanting to know what all these economic goings-on meant. "I'm responsible for teaching the elves," she said, "and I don't know what to tell them." "I don't know what to tell you," I said. "But here's what seems to me has happened." "Some people," I said, "are unable to make the payments on their mortgages. These mortgages are not held by the banks...
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Gubernatorial candidates Daniels, Thompson see economic development differentlyRestricted Content

October 20, 2008
Peter Schnitzler
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jill Long Thompson promises to buoy Indiana's slumping rural counties with a three-tiered incentive plan. Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels has a different vision for stoking the state economy. He wants to build on Indiana's strengths--such as world-class research at universities--to innovate and create jobs.
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Lenders foreclose on at least 20 properties in mortgage schemeRestricted Content

October 20, 2008
Cory Schouten

Charter Homes recruited and paid buyers to take out inflated mortgages on dozens of central Indiana homes it built, promising to manage the properties as rentals and make payments for the owners, current and former Charter business partners say.


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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Starting from scratch best hope for health care systemRestricted Content

October 20, 2008
Leroy B.
A person's DNA may someday determine how doctors diagnose illness and prescribe affordable treatment. That same genetic makeup also might help doctors determine whether a person suffering from cancer might be predisposed to respond or not respond to chemotherapy or another type of innovative or experimental treatment. That future picture of health care delivery, however, is missing a key piece. It doesn't address what those advancements might mean for health insurance and other related questions about medical coverage. Our current...
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Former rocker rolling along in pizza business: Puccini's founder has 13 locations and countingRestricted Content

October 20, 2008
Sam Stall
For much of his adult life, Don Main was a rocker rather than a restaurateur. But fate-along with a pressing need to find a more profitable line of work-drove him to seek his fortune in a kitchen rather than onstage. Main, president and co-owner of Puccini's Smiling Teeth, began his peculiar career change back in 1990, after a decadeand-a-half stint as a professional-but not very well-paid-musician. At age 36, the bassist and lead vocalist for the band The Late Show...
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Entrepreneurs say businesses must act quickly to survive recessionRestricted Content

October 20, 2008
Peter Schnitzler
Indiana's most seasoned entrepreneurs aren't standing idly by as the nation slides into what many economists believe will be the deepest recession since the early 1980s.
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Commentary: We're all in danger of motion sicknessRestricted Content

October 20, 2008
Mickey Maurer
(Author's note: I submitted this column Oct. 14, with full knowledge that the world may have come to an end by the time it is published.) It's swing time. Candidates for office, state and federal, are swinging and slinging mud at one another. In a last-ditch effort to scare voters, Sarah Palin accused Barack Obama of hanging out with Bill Ayers, co-founder of the Weathermen, a militant group of the 1970s. In reality, by the time Ayers met Obama, his...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: We shouldn't let market mayhem obscure progressRestricted Content

October 20, 2008
Mike Hicks
Amid all this joyless market watching, this much is clear: The financial markets and the economy are going to get worse before they get better. But market watching is never a healthy sport, especially since it tends to make us lose track of the real economy at times like these. Over the past couple of weeks, the real economy has shown a bit of resilience. And here in Indiana, really great news has been lost in the wake of the...
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More small businesses allowed to jump in pools: Law lets employers join together for cheaper ratesRestricted Content

October 13, 2008
Scott Olson
Small businesses in Indiana stung by rising health care costs now can band together to broker better deals from insurance providers. The rule from the Indiana Department of Insurance took effect in late August and is the final piece of a 2007 health care expansion state lawmakers financed with a 44-cent increase in the cigarette tax. The pooling program is open to businesses with two to 50 employees and is meant to give them strength in numbers so, in essence,...
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Bumpy road ahead for truck-driving schools?: Slowing freight and federal standards could hurt prospects and raise costsRestricted Content

October 13, 2008
Chris O\'malley
With a driver shortage as bad as the freight industry says, one might think operating a truck-driving school would be a license to print money. But proposed federal rules to toughen training standards and, lately, a fishtailing economy could bring a shakeout among schools. There are even rumblings that a few big carriers that contract with driving schools are poised to eliminate tuition reimbursement as they sweat out the economic downturn. "We're going to start losing schools," predicted John Priest,...
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