Economy

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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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: We may be in a recession, but don't expect calamityRestricted Content

October 13, 2008
Mike Hicks
It will be some months before we know for sure, but I would wager today that the United States is in a recession. Our unemployment rate is at right about the 50-year average, productivity is up, and living standards never have been higher. Even so, the economy likely has been pushed into recession because uncertainty about credit will dramatically slow hiring and production the next few months. Demand for goods also will be affected. This is financial-market mayhem spreading to...
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EYE ON THE PIE: No numbers equal bad decisionsRestricted Content

October 13, 2008
Morton Marcus
"Geez Morton, lighten up," was one of the e-mails that came in this week. I find it difficult to do that while our state and national economies are under such stress. Another correspondent wanted an answer to that persistent question, "Are we better off than we were a year ago? Four years ago?" Here is a small part of that answer: At this writing, there are 5.5 million more jobs in the country than four years ago, an increase averaging...
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Recession takes its toll on charitiesRestricted Content

October 13, 2008
Kathleen McLaughlin

Area not-for-profits are beginning to feel the sting of the year-old credit crunch, which has escalated into a full-blown financial crisis that's battered investors and likely pushed the nation into recession.


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Nervous banks cut off some borrowers, tighten reins on othersRestricted Content

October 6, 2008
Cory Schouten

Local companies that rely on credit have seen their borrowing power shrink and in some cases disappear as a deep freeze in the nation's credit markets drives fears of a broad economic slowdown. A handful of businesses, including a Greenwood security firm and an Indianapolis contractor, already have shut down after credit dried up, and others are on the ropes as troubled banks seek to limit their loan exposure.


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BEHIND THE NEWS: Firms with debt in check starting to reap rewardsRestricted Content

October 6, 2008
Greg Andrews
Managing the balance sheet. The very phrase is s l e e p - i n d u c i n g . But in times like these, doing it well is what separates the winners from the losers. In the winners' column is Simon Property Group Inc., which finds itself on the offensive as competitors, including Chicago-based General Growth Properties Inc., lean back on their heels. In the losers' column is Emmis Communications Corp., which is saddled with more...
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INVESTING: Advocates did bad job selling rescue packageRestricted Content

October 6, 2008
Ken Skarbeck
The word bailout is being used more than the folks at Merriam-Webster ever could have imagined. Yet, bailout is the wrong term to characterize the rescue plan the Federal Reserve and the Treasury presented to Congress. Our leaders have done a poor job explaining why. At present, the U.S. financial system is in cardiac arrest, and this plan is the defibrillator designed to jolt the system back to life. The crux of the problem is that banks and other financial...
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EDITORIAL: Signs of hope as many retreat: Some shrug off economic fearsRestricted Content

October 6, 2008
Signs of hope as many retreat Some shrug off economic fears The front page of this week's IBJ tells of companies that are in dire straits-or out of business-after banks, jittery about a financial collapse, called their loans or canceled their credit line. Stories like these put a local face on the economic crisis that has gripped the American psyche in the last two weeks unlike anything since the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Anyone who didn't realize credit's vital role...
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Turmoil thrashes regional banks: As economy weakens, big local players fight to keep capital, customers' confidenceRestricted Content

October 6, 2008
Cory Schouten
A rush of government-aided acquisitions has bestowed a too-big-to-fail halo over the likes of JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup. But what about the formidable regional banks that operate more than half the bank branches in the Indianapolis area? How stable are banks like National City, Huntington, Fifth Third, Key, M&I and Regions? Their shares have endured a rough ride on Wall Street, but there's little evidence the ups and downs reflect the true health of the institutions....
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Avoid a royalty mess by reviewing your patent licenseRestricted Content

October 6, 2008
Lynn C.
The U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision in Quanta Computer v. LG Electronics left LG stuck in "a royalty mess" that should inspire local businesses to review their patent licenses. More specifically, the decision raises important questions about the extent to which-and the cir cumstances under which-patent owners can collect royalties from more than one party in the distribution chain. Although the case arose out of the IT industry, its lessons could significantly impact Indiana life sciences companies. Collecting downstream In...
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Greenwood company hits it out of the park: Big League Tours tripled its revenue this yearRestricted Content

October 6, 2008
Anthony Schoettle
While most Major League Baseball fans are focused on this year's playoffs, local entrepreneur Glenn Dunlap is already thinking about next year. Dunlap formed Greenwood-based Big League Tours in 2006, offering group trips to big-league baseball games and other related attractions. One such trip took swings through games at Fenway Park in Boston, Yankee Stadium in New York, and the baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. Other trips hit fabled ballparks in Chicago, St. Louis, Milwaukee and San Francisco....
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SPORTS: Some stop paying, start playing when money's tightRestricted Content

September 29, 2008
Bill Benner
Goodness knows, I'm not an economist. One look at my checking account would confirm that. So as my wife and I gather in front of the evening news and try to digest the ups and downs of the stock market along with our dinner, we, like most Americans, can only hope and trust (?) that our wiser (?) government and financial leaders will find a way out of the morass. We're luckier than many. Our children are raised and college...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: How 9/11 attacks helped set stage for financial crisisRestricted Content

September 29, 2008
Mike Hicks
After just two tumultuous weeks of financial crisis, the blame casting already has begun in earnest. A little deeper analysis might be warranted before jumping to conclusions. I am going to indulge in the combination of my two careers-one military and one scholarly-to focus on one issue. The Sept. 11, 2001, attacks focused limited Al Qaeda resources on the U.S. economy and the command-and-control systems of our military. The latter attack failed miserably (due both to the robustness of our...
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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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  1. By Mr. Lee's own admission, he basically ran pro-bono ads on the billboard. Paying advertisers didn't want ads on a controversial, ugly billboard that turned off customers. At least one of Mr. Lee's free advertisers dropped out early because they found that Mr. Lee's advertising was having negative impact. So Mr. Lee is disingenous to say the city now owes him for lost revenue. Mr. Lee quickly realized his monstrosity had a dim future and is trying to get the city to bail him out. And that's why the billboard came down so quickly.

  2. Merchants Square is back. The small strip center to the south of 116th is 100% leased, McAlister’s is doing well in the outlot building. The former O’Charleys is leased but is going through permitting with the State and the town of Carmel. Mac Grill is closing all of their Indy locations (not just Merchants) and this will allow for a new restaurant concept to backfill both of their locations. As for the north side of 116th a new dinner movie theater and brewery is under construction to fill most of the vacancy left by Hobby Lobby and Old Navy.

  3. Yes it does have an ethics commission which enforce the law which prohibits 12 specific items. google it

  4. Thanks for reading and replying. If you want to see the differentiation for research, speaking and consulting, check out the spreadsheet I linked to at the bottom of the post; it is broken out exactly that way. I can only include so much detail in a blog post before it becomes something other than a blog post.

  5. 1. There is no allegation of corruption, Marty, to imply otherwise if false. 2. Is the "State Rule" a law? I suspect not. 3. Is Mr. Woodruff obligated via an employment agreement (contractual obligation) to not work with the engineering firm? 4. In many states a right to earn a living will trump non-competes and other contractual obligations, does Mr. Woodruff's personal right to earn a living trump any contractual obligations that might or might not be out there. 5. Lawyers in state government routinely go work for law firms they were formally working with in their regulatory actions. You can see a steady stream to firms like B&D from state government. It would be interesting for IBJ to do a review of current lawyers and find out how their past decisions affected the law firms clients. Since there is a buffer between regulated company and the regulator working for a law firm technically is not in violation of ethics but you have to wonder if decisions were made in favor of certain firms and quid pro quo jobs resulted. Start with the DOI in this review. Very interesting.

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