Economy

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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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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Orchestrating moves: Firm that specializes in relocating businesses conducting transition of its ownRestricted Content

September 22, 2008
Scott Olson
Moving coordinating company Relocation Strategies Inc. is used to dealing with companies in transition. Now the firm is undergoing one of its own-albeit of a different sort. Relocation Strategies founder David Bayse is relinquishing ownership to partner Melissa Lamb Brown in a purchase agreement set to be completed within the next four years. She already owns a majority of the business and will acquire the rest in stages. In the meantime, Bayse, 57, will continue to guide Brown, 39, who...
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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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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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Commentary: Rethinking my presidential pickRestricted Content

September 22, 2008
Mickey Maurer
Help me, John. I'm falling off the wagon. I like you. I read your autobiography, "Faith of My Fathers." You are a maverick, like they say, and a patriot. My old boss, Mitch Daniels, made you his early choice. I agree with most of your pronouncements on taxes and the economy, and applaud your willingness to face up to the energy crisis and our dependence on foreign oil. I tentatively decided to cast my vote for you in November. But...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: State buildings to go green thanks to executive orderRestricted Content

September 15, 2008
Jason Shelley
Green construction projects in Indiana are becoming more the norm than the exception. More office buildings, schools and universities and even residences are being designed and constructed to improve environmental efficiency. And now, new and renovated state buildings will be a whole lot greener, too. Gov. Mitch Daniels signed an executive order this summer establishing the Energy Efficient State Building Initiative, mandating that all new state buildings be designed, constructed and operated for maximum energy efficiency. This is significant for...
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Eco groups divided over gasification: New power plant has many critics, but some say it's a necessary stepRestricted Content

September 15, 2008
Chris O\'malley
One might think a technology promising greener electric generation would please most environmentalists. Duke Energy Corp.'s 630-megawatt coal-gasification plant, scheduled to go online in Edwardsport in 2012, is expected to emit less sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulates than the smaller, 1940s-era plant it replaces-while generating 10 times as much electricity. However, more than a dozen Indiana and national advocacy groups are decrying the $2.3 billion plant being footed mostly by ratepayers, claiming it will raise emissions of greenhouse gas...
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EYE ON THE PIE: What really drives Hoosier economy?Restricted Content

September 15, 2008
Morton Marcus
I enjoy the propaganda of government agencies pleading the causes of special interests. This is the opening sentence of our state profile prepared by the U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy: "Small businesses are the heart of Indiana's economy." Frequently, we hear that farming is the beating heart of our economy. Others claim the thumping sound we hear is that of manufacturing. Teachers tell us the economy is only as steady as its educational footing. Steel has a claim...
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Commentary: Can we Bank on Indianapolis?Restricted Content

September 15, 2008
Tawn Parent
Whoa. Those figures, based on national averages from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., don't paint a pretty picture. People without bank accounts tend to keep cash at home or in their pockets, which increases the likelihood of crime. They create a market in which predatory lenders can thrive. They fail to reach their full potential, and so do the cities where they live. We have a problem. Now what can we do about it? We could take a cue from...
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Cautious streak helps Duke weather tumultuous timesRestricted Content

September 15, 2008
Greg Andrews
Duke Realty Corp. has stayed largely out of the headlines this year, which in an economy like this is a pretty good sign. Another Indianapolis developer, Lauth Property Group, has shed more than half its 450-person work force, and Premier Properties Inc.- perhaps the city's most daring developer-lurched into bankruptcy court. Meanwhile, Duke, which specializes in suburban office and industrial development, keeps on chugging. To be sure, the company isn't immune to broader economic slowdown. In April, it laid off...
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NOTIONS: A pregnant GOP primer on civil liberties: Who decides?Restricted Content

September 8, 2008
Bruce Hetrick
Years ago, I wrote an article about Sheila Suess Kennedy, an Indianapolis author who'd written a book called "What's a Nice Republican Girl Like Me Doing in the ACLU?" I didn't know Sheila. I didn't know much about the American Civil Liberties Union, either. So I stopped by her office (she directed the organization's Indiana chapter back then) for an education. Sheila, now a faculty member at the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI, explained to...
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Limp economy could slow increase in attorneys' feesRestricted Content

September 8, 2008
Greg Andrews
Attorney pay at top-tier firms is like compensation for executives of public companies. Amid hand-wringing, the numbers keep going up and up. The reasons are understandable. Law firm managers feel pressure to raise compensation to attract and retain the best attorneys-and to keep up with what other firms are doling out. The people running those competing firms feel the same pressures, accelerating the upward spiral. Hence, top attorneys in Indianapolis in the most complex practice areas now have hourly rates...
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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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Re-entry key in city's plot to fight crime: Mayor makes push, hires director to help more ex-convicts find workRestricted Content

September 1, 2008
Scott Olson
Makeba Averitte spent more than seven years incarcerated in Indiana, Kentucky and Oklahoma prisons paying for the robbery he committed as a young man with few prospects. Since his release in 2004, the 32-year-old has obtained a driver's license and insurance on his automobile, not to mention a bit more wisdom. But what eludes him most-even more so now as a convicted felon-is a steady, goodpaying job. Tired of temporary work, he enrolled in Second Chance at the United Northeast...
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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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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: China, higher education and our economic futureRestricted Content

September 1, 2008
Mark Miles
In mid-September, I'll be traveling to China's Liaoning province as part of a delegation led by Indiana State University, hosted by Liaoning University. We'll arrive in the country too late for the Olympics, but we'll be there to talk about another form of global competition-economic development. It's appropriate that the two universities are co-hosting a conference on economic development issues, given the importance of human capital in our economy. It's especially appropriate for China, where higher education has become a...
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Wet spring, slow economy slice into area golf businessRestricted Content

August 25, 2008
Anthony Schoettle
On a typical Saturday at Smock Golf Course on the city's south side, visitors are treated to a symphony of thwacks, pings and the occasional plunk. In good or bad economic times, it seems, people in Indiana and across the country have always played golf. But these days, the sound of that symphony has waned. Nationwide, the number of rounds of golf played through the first half of this year is down 2 percent from last year. In Central Indiana, the situation is worse.
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Why the resurgence of railroads will help drive stateRestricted Content

August 18, 2008
Mike Hicks
I have two friends who are train fanatics of the worst kind. These guys aren't just dazzled by the sight of a large train; they furtively seek them out. One friend has made it his life's ambition to ride every rail line in Great Britain. The other scours eBay for rail schedules from the 19th century. Both of these wonderful men have exceptionally tolerant wives. I am a bit concerned my 4-year-old is turning into one of these creatures. He...
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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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EYE ON THE PIE: Will people pay more for better care?Restricted Content

August 18, 2008
Morton Marcus
It was dark and I was feeling anxious about getting this column out on time. Then there was a tap at the sliding door to the deck. It was an apparition, a ghost, a figure all in white out of a 19th-century novel. But the tap was real. I opened the door and recognized her. "Nellie," I said, "what are you doing out here at this hour?" Yes, it was Nellie, the Nervous Nurse, who lives close by. "My frog...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: An open letter to the commercial lending communityRestricted Content

August 18, 2008
Brian Mann
Dear lenders: Perhaps you have seen the recent headlines that declared suburban Indianapolis among the best places in the country to live and raise a family. Perhaps you've also taken note that there are a lot of things happening in our communities. Big projects abound in the Indi anapolis area, including Lucas Oil Stadium and the Midfield Terminal at Indianapolis International Airport. People are so excited about the new stadium they lined up for hours trying to get a tour...
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Strip centers feeling sting of housing market slump: Developers cutting back on new retail projectsRestricted Content

August 18, 2008
Scott Olson
Those ubiquitous retail strip centers are beginning to wither under a housing slump that has cast a dark cloud over much of the U.S economy. Heavily dependent on new-home construction, strip-center developments have been hurt by tough residential real estate conditions that have spread into the commercial arena and dampened retail activity. Nationally, the volume of strip-center investment transactions is down 77 percent from a year ago, according to a June commercial report from the Chicago-based National Association of Realtors....
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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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