Economy

EYE ON THE PIE: It's not just the economy, stupidRestricted Content

June 30, 2008
Morton Marcus
No doubt, the Daniels administration will trumpet the fact that Indiana was the ninth-fastestgrowing state in the first quarter of this year. That's right; personal income in the Hoosier state grew at an annual rate of 5.1 percent, while the nation advanced 4.6 percent. But, as noted by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, which generates these data, Indiana was among the fastergrowing states because of dramatic increases in the prices of corn and soybeans. North Dakota came in first,...
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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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The daily lunch special? Life sciences information: Law firm, Indiana Health Industry Forum bringing industry players together for monthly presentationsRestricted Content

June 23, 2008
Katie Maurer
The phrase "Let's do lunch" has taken on a new meaning over the past five years in the Indiana life sciences community. Since 2003, a who's who of the biotechnology, medical device, pharmaceutical and other fields have gathered at the downtown law offices of Barnes & Thornburg LLP to meet and eat at the Life Sciences Lunch Series. A collaborative effort of the law firm and the Indiana Health Industry Forum, the monthly event provides a networking and education platform...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Idea may be worth more than a few laughsRestricted Content

June 23, 2008
Morton Marcus
After many years, my good friend the Rev. Bob arrived in Indiana. He's been busy tending his flock at St. Lucifer's in Kansas. After some traditional words of greeting and invocation, the Rev. Bob tore right into me. "How come you never write about positive ideas for helping Indiana get out of its economic doldrums? All you do is elaborate on the well-known truth that the Hoosier economy is a long-term mess." "What would you suggest?" I asked. "Something no...
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Local tree-care firms respond to rash of storms: Forestry specialists and arborists work 14-hour days to keep up with sky-high demand in central IndianaRestricted Content

June 23, 2008
Anthony Schoettle
If there's a silver lining to high winds and torrential rain, it can be found in the bank accounts of companies called upon to clean up the mess. For the dozens of tree cutting, trimming and hauling firms that fill up seven pages in the local Yellow Pages, the storms of late spring came at just the right time. "We didn't get one call for three weeks prior to the storms hitting," said Russell Goodman, owner of locally based All...
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Flagship rises over post-GM town: Incubator has helped preserve automotive talent base, foster diverse businessesRestricted Content

June 16, 2008
Chris O\'malley
ANDERSON - Along Interstate 69, in a new industrial building with side-windows covered in paper to foil prying eyes, Altair Nanotechnologies is perfecting a ceramic oxide battery with three times the power of a conventional lithium battery. Up the road, Comfort Motion Technologies has written software to make a car's power seat jiggle ever so subtly, to keep one's back, butt and thighs comfortable on long drives. And everybody is keeping an eye on Pete Bitar, whose green laser device...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Data can work for both candidatesRestricted Content

June 16, 2008
Morton Marcus
Last night I had a stressful dream. Instead of being the well-integrated personality that I am, in my dream I am twins. One twin is an adviser on economic matters for Gov. Mitch Daniels and the other serves in the same capacity for challenger Jill Long Each twin plows through economic data. He spins statistics that make the favored candidate's arguments look good. The twin for Mitch argues how well Indiana's economy is performing; the twin working for Jill makes...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Sky-high gas prices are revving up the political rhetoricRestricted Content

June 2, 2008
Mike Hicks
From all the noise surrounding gasoline prices, you'd think nobody actually benefited from the high prices. But, of course, some folks do benefit. Let's figure out who they might be. Obviously, consumers don't benefit. The average car owner in the United States pays about $80 more per month with gas at $4 per gallon than he did back when it was $2.25. Not good news, of course, but hardly the end of the world. Folks who provide goods and services...
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INVESTING: Law of supply and demand wreaks havoc on oil pricesRestricted Content

June 2, 2008
Ken Skarbeck
One of the first things a student in Economics 101 learns is the fundamental concept of supply and demand. Who can forget those familiar graphs that show the two crossing curves and the critical point where they intersect-the price of the particular good. Next, we learned the effect of shifts in supply and demand, which lead to either an increase or decrease in price. Visually, those graphs allowed us to see how an increase in demand, without a commensurate increase...
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Selling a sabbatical: Few companies let workers take lengthy vacations, but some make exceptionsRestricted Content

June 2, 2008
Scott Olson
If you were to approach your boss about taking a prolonged leave of absence-say, for seven weeks-would he or she respond with understanding, or amusement? One particular boss, Matt Haab, founder of the south-side financial planning firm Veros Partners, was faced with that very decision. He chose to let wealth management adviser Charles Miller take his family on a lengthy trip to Honduras earlier this year. Miller, 46, joined Veros in 2004 and had been to the Central American country...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: How an economist pays tribute on Memorial DayRestricted Content

May 26, 2008
Mike Hicks
Memorial Day held great significance for me when a youngster growing up in the 1960s. Like many families, mine had paid a dear price over the preceding century, and memories of those contributions lingered over even those of us too young to really understand. World War I veterans were still spry, and the World War II veterans were in the fullness of their years. To your future columnist, they were all old men. Still, Memorial Day had meaning beyond the...
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Castalia planning green neighborhood: Carmel-based custom homebuilder lining up financing for Mooresville community with 144 eco-friendly homesRestricted Content

May 26, 2008
Scott Olson
In terms of eco-friendliness, few homes in central Indiana boast much more than a high-efficiency furnace or low-flush toilet. But a Carmel-based custom-home builder is so certain the region is ready to embrace the green movement that he is willing to risk investing in a residential community designed to achieve national environmental recognition. Frank Redavide, president of Castalia Homes LLC, is finalizing financing for the project and plans to start construction within 60 days. The 144-lot development, called Villages of...
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Move over 'Super 70'-this one is really big: Department of Transportation hoping for summer launch of study to add truck lanes to 800 miles of I-70Restricted Content

May 26, 2008
Chris O\'malley
Imagine driving the car down an interstate highway devoid of tractor trailers. It could dramatically improve traffic flow and safety, but it would sever supply chains and bring manufacturing to a halt-to say nothing of the state's logistics industry. But how about putting those trucks in their own lanes, separated from cars and light trucks? What seemed merely a fanciful concept for Interstate 70 when highway planners tossed it out about a year ago is gaining momentum. The Indiana Department...
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Construction behemoth Skanska sees potential in Indy: U.S. division of Swedish-based company sets sights on health care, education, pharmaceutical building sectorsRestricted Content

May 26, 2008
Scott Olson
New Jersey-based Skanska USA Building Inc., a division of the $23 billion Swedish construction powerhouse Skanska AB, arrived in Indianapolis in April. Named last year as the top green contractor in the nation by Engineering News-Record magazine, Skanska USA is recognized in particular for its projects in the health care, higher education and pharmaceutical sectors. Its largest project, however, is the $998 million Meadowlands football stadium under construction in New Jersey. Locally, Terry Parrott, 50, is in charge of operations....
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Retail survivor: resale: Consignment, thrift shops doing well despite nation's economic slowdownRestricted Content

May 26, 2008
Jennifer Whitson
As gas prices approach $4 a gallon and economic growth grinds to a standstill, many retail shops are feeling the pain. Consumers who don't have as much disposable income are cutting back on clothing and accessories purchases. The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index dropped to its lowest level in 26 years last month, and several reports find that consumers will likely be spending their so-called economic stimulus payments on bills, not shopping sprees. But one retail category already is...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Industry needs new methods to make it in new economyRestricted Content

May 26, 2008
Don Altemeyer
It's happening: Premium gasoline is breaking the $4 barrier that diesel fuel passed several months ago. While there are other serious issues in this "sour economy," fuel prices are the most obvious sign of the future we face. We can view the problem in several different ways: This is just temporary. Our problems were caused by a bunch of crooks, greedy oil companies and the war in Iraq. Things will get back to normal if we cut back a little...
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Builders relying on medical projects: Amid general slowdown, health care sector busyRestricted Content

May 26, 2008
Tracy Donhardt
There's no shortage of research pointing to the growth in the health care industry. For example, health care expenditures will account for nearly a quarter of the gross domestic product by 2020. Consumers are increasing the number of times they visit the doctor, and the increase is even greater for baby boomers. The number of medical procedures being performed on an outpatient basis rises yearly. And jobs in the industry will grow 20 percent by 2016. To meet those demands,...
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Ring maker remakes industry with big buyout: Herff Jones' purchase of American Achievement to narrow roster of rivals to two; deal may be worth $700MRestricted Content

May 26, 2008
Tracy Donhardt
Herff Jones Inc.'s latest acquisition is a whopper that will remake the competitive dynamics of its niche industry-the sale of high school rings, yearbooks and other products that help mark educational milestones. The Indianapolis-based company this month agreed to buy American Achievement Group Holding Corp., a deal that would reduce the roster of Herff's major competitors from three to two. Herff has $511 million in annual revenue, while American Achievement has $315 million. Terms were not disclosed, but Dow Jones'...
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Dwindling unemployment trust nears crisis point: Fund that once held $1.6 billion may face insolvencyRestricted Content

May 19, 2008
Peter Schnitzler
Indiana's Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund is running out of money-fast. It opened this decade with $16.6 billion in assets. By the end of last year, it had dwindled to $302 million. And last month, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development said the balance was just $80 million. Though DWD in early May received $300 million in taxes collected from employers, the infusion is only a shortterm fix. By year's end, the fund is expected to be short on cash again....
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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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Steak n Shake hopes discounts whet appetites: Yet some fear promotions may hurt the brandRestricted Content

May 19, 2008
Chip Cutter
In an effort to reverse declining sales at its restaurants, The Steak n Shake Co. plans to roll out a number of new promotions and discounts this summer. During a conference call with analysts May 14, interim President Jeffrey Blade said the Indianapolis-based chain plans to introduce deals such as 99-cent children's milkshakes and discounted burgers and sandwiches to lure customers back into its stores. The company also is testing $1 kids' meals, a discounted milkshake "happy hour" from 2...
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EDITORIAL: Pricey fuel isn't all bad: Pain at pump creates opportunityRestricted Content

May 19, 2008
Pricey fuel isn't all bad Pain at pump creates opportunity The high cost of fuel hurts everyone, from commuters to business owners to not-for-profits whose volunteer drivers deliver meals to shut-ins. Our whole economy suffers. But there's a silver lining to gas for $4 a gallon: opportunity. If the price of fuel isn't coming down, and that seems to be the prevailing wisdom, the only thing to do is adapt. It's in adapting that there's opportunity to be found and...
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Land banking: Banks grab top sites for branches, often years before they buildRestricted Content

May 19, 2008
Cory Schouten
Many of central Indiana's banks are filling their own safe-deposit boxes, but they're not stuffing them with jewelry, legal documents or blackmail material. They're banking parcels of land. The sites often are in fast-growing suburbs or redevelopment areas that hold potential for new brickand-mortar bank branches, sometimes several years down the road. Competition can be fierce for the prime sites, and other financial institutions aren't the only nemesis for banks: Walgreens and CVS also are fighting over the best ground,...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Why the arguments against free trade don't hold waterRestricted Content

May 12, 2008
Mike Hicks
Americans are in a tough spot when it comes to negotiating free trade agreements. With the exception of a small Scandinavian country and a couple of European principalities, everyone we trade with has lower wages, weaker environmental standards, and less personal liberty. So it is easy to argue that we shouldn't trade with a country until it becomes like us. This is the siren song of economic catastrophe. Here's why. First, countries don't trade with each other; people do. The...
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  1. The Walgreens did not get a lot of traffic. It was not located on the corner of the intersection, and not really visible from Emerson. Meanwhile the CVS there is huge and right on the corner. I am guessing a lot of people drove by a million times and never knew the Walgreens was there. Although, with the new Walmart market going in, that area could really see a lot of increase in traffic soon.

  2. You folks don't have a clue. There is a legal way to enter this country and to get aid. This left unchecked could run us to ruin quickly. I also heard that 'supporters' were getting major $$ to take them in? Who's monitoring this and guess who pays the bill? I support charitable organizations... but this is NOT the way to do it!

  3. Apparently at some time before alcohol has been served at the fair. The problem is that beer or wine used to be a common drink for people before soft drinks and was not thought to be that unusual. Since many folks now only drink to see how much they can drink or what kind of condition they can end up in it becomes more problematic. Go to Europe and its no big deal just as if you had sodas of milk to drink everyday. Its using common sense that is lacking now days.

  4. To address the epic failure of attracting race fans to both the Indy 500 and Brickyard 400 would take too much of my time to write. Bottom line Boles is clueless and obviously totally out of touch with the real paying fan base. I see nothing but death spin coming for the Brickyard, just like Indy. Get somebody in a place of power that understands what race fans want.

  5. I am a race fan through & through. It doesn't matter if it's Indy cars or Nascar. I love a great race. I go to several other tracks each year and you can see the entire track. I know Indy has tradition, but fans want to see the entire race. I sit in the Penthouse, am almost 60 years old, and would like to see a better TV screen in turn 1 so you can see the entire race. Then I think Indy needs to install an escalator so us old folks can make it up to the Penthouse and down again if we want more options to purchase food and drinks. Just a race fans opinion. Lights won't make the race any better, but you might be able to see the TV better at night. Turn 1's screen needs replaced with a better and bigger screen.

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