Economy

Defaults also hit business property: Experts expecting bump in commercial loan woesRestricted Content

April 28, 2008
Scott Olson
In the few short months since Gordon Hendry began leading the Property Management Division for the local office of CB Richard Ellis, the firm has become involved in a growing number of commercial loan defaults. Locally, CB Richard Ellis is the courtappointed receiver for Plainfield Crossing, a 92,000-square-foot West Washington Street strip center anchored by Value City, and for Crooked Creek Center, a 52,000-square-foot center at 79th Street and Michigan Road. Hendry expects the local office will be assigned to...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Recession speculation is wrong way to use brainpowerRestricted Content

April 28, 2008
Mike Hicks
With all the media warnings on the state of the U.S. economy, it is hard to get a good idea what a recession is and what it might mean for Hoosiers. The formal definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth. We haven't had even one quarter where real growth dipped below zero, and the weakerthan-usual employment data of the first three months this year won't be enough to pull the economy into a recession. The...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: As business property taxes rise, who really pays the bill?Restricted Content

April 28, 2008
Brian Mann
All Indiana counties revised property tax bills as a result of an outcry by thousands of homeowners who fought back when they saw their 2007 tax reassessments and bills. Assessors had to go back to work and try again. So, they did. The new bills are out, and while it may be good news for homeowners, you can bet commercial property owners aren't turning cartwheels in the parking lot. The average assessment for commercial properties (where you shop, work and...
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Company seeing big growth in family entertainment: Firm supplies parties with oddball acts from acrobats to mimes to ventriloquistsRestricted Content

April 21, 2008
Jennifer Whitson
When Kathy Fitzgerald has a group of 85 day-camp kids to entertain, she needs someone who can hold their attention-easier said than done considering they range in age from 6 to 13, not counting the 12 young adults who work as camp counselors. If an act bombs, the result can be chaos. That's why Fitzgerald, assistant park manager for Broad Ripple Park, has locally based FamilyTime Entertainment Inc. on her speed dial. FamilyTime can deliver a fully produced magic show,...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: There is no better time to think about going globalRestricted Content

April 21, 2008
Michael Snyder
A weak dollar. Lost jobs. Liquidity challenges. These and other perceived barriers tend to unfortunately mute short-term considerations for Indiana businesses thinking about international expansion. The reality? Globalization of U.S. businesses is alive and well, and proceeding at a breakneck pace. In fact, America and the world remain embroiled in likely the greatest commercial transformation since the Industrial Revolution with the full integration of U.S. markets in an open era of innovation and productivity. How does this play out in...
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International students flock to Purdue, IU: State schools are national leaders in attracting foreign-born scholarsRestricted Content

April 21, 2008
Anthony Schoettle
Purdue and Indiana universities have become magnets for international students. Purdue is third in foreign student enrollment among all U.S. private and public colleges and universities. Indiana is No. 15. Another Big Ten school-the University of Illinois-is No. 2. The University of Southern California is the leader, with 7,000 foreign students. Purdue currently has 4,994 foreign students enrolled in graduate and undergraduate programs, while IU has 4,027. This year, overall, there are about 39,102 students enrolled at Purdue's main campus...
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Plans in beaten-down state test HHGregg's strategyRestricted Content

April 21, 2008
Greg Andrews
HHGregg Inc.'s audacious expansion strategy is about to get its biggest test. Since 1999, the Indianapolis-based electronics and appliance retailer has charged into eight new metro areas, adding 78 stores in such markets as Atlanta; Knoxville, Tenn.; Birmingham, Ala.; and Charlotte, N.C. The company doesn't tiptoe in. It starts with multiple stores to justify the cost of building distribution infrastructure and launching an advertising blitz. The strategy has allowed it to swiftly build major market shares everywhere it's gone. Now,...
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IU leader's goal: global integration: CIBER director wants center's work to influence all areas of business educationRestricted Content

April 21, 2008
Scott Olson
Barbara Flynn, a veteran of academia who arrived at Indiana University in 2006, is director of the IU Center for International Business Education and Research. CIBER, founded in 1981, creates business research and study opportunities for IU faculty and students, with the ultimate goal of preparing graduates to compete in today's global economy. The center mostly is funded federally and operates on a $500,000 annual budget. The 55-year-old Flynn has a degree in psychology from Ripon College in Wisconsin and...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: How kids do in high school matters to economyRestricted Content

April 14, 2008
Mike Hicks
Far too often, our worry about the shortterm state of the economy prevents us from focusing on the long term. That's too bad because it is the long term, not the short run, that we have the most ability to influence. The most important issue looming for Indiana and the nation is education. Here is the fate of a representative group of 10 18-year-olds. Four years ago, our 10 Hoosier students entered high school. One could not read. As of...
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Docs dip toes into computerized records: Electronic systems are the future, but high costs slow adoption rateRestricted Content

April 14, 2008
J.K. Wall
Ask Cathy Molchan the cost of installing the electronic medical record system in a doctor's office she administers, and she gives a clear, quantified answer: $80,000. Ask her whether the system saves the practice any money, and her answer is less concrete. "It can definitely save money because of the time savings," said Molchan, practice administrator for Dr. Leo Bonaventura, an infertility specialist at Clarian North Medical Center. "You can actually be focused more on what you need to do,...
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NASCAR ponders following IRL's lead with ethanol: Green marketing a major motivator for race seriesRestricted Content

April 7, 2008
Anthony Schoettle
The Indy Racing League was the first North American race series to use an alternative fuel to power its cars. Now it appears NASCAR might follow suit-news that has the attention of race fans and sponsors alike. "We're looking at eight or nine different alternative fuels," said Andrew Giangola, NASCAR director of business communication. "Ethanol is one of the alternatives we're looking at." NASCAR has put no timetable on adopting an alternative fuel. Because the league switched from leaded, petroleum-based...
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VIEWPOINT: 'Buy local' should be rallying cryRestricted Content

April 7, 2008
Brian Sullivan
In recent months, our governor and mayors across the state proudly have announced business developments and out-of-state companies' plans to expand or relocate in Indiana. They've worked overtime to earn these economic boosts, and they're to be congrat ulated for helping bolster the state and local economy. But we're ignoring a simple strategy that could yield many more high-paying jobs: Buy local. Here's the irony: Pursuing this strategy doesn't have to cost a dime. No recruiting trips to China, no...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Sales tax increase helps cut government spendingRestricted Content

April 7, 2008
Mike Hicks
Indiana's sales taxes rose a penny this week, to 7 percent. The increase was a necessary remedy to our property tax mess. But it's worth laying out its impact on our economy. Sales tax is paid by Hoosier residents, visitors and businesses alike. By my estimates, Indiana households will pay $640 million in additional sales taxes, businesses $500 million more, and out-of-state visitors an extra $160 million. The two effects economists might worry about with a tax hike are changes...
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Developer pulls back on growth to survive precarious economyRestricted Content

March 31, 2008
Cory Schouten
The CEO of locally based Lauth Group Inc. says most people he knows in the business, even the steely types who always project optimism, are privately nervous about the economic morass that began with a collapse in subprime mortgages.
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BEHIND THE NEWS: 2 tech firms planning IPOs get curveball from marketsRestricted Content

March 31, 2008
Greg Andrews
Aprimo Inc. and ExactTarget Inc. haven't had to weather the recent stock-market turmoil. Not directly, at least. But the two Indianapolis software companies-which filed plans for IPOs last fall, when markets were comparatively serene-surely would have made their public debuts by now if conditions had remained favorable. Lately, they've been anything but. The tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite is off 12 percent in the year. And the volatility of the Dow Jones industrial average is enough to make anyone queasy. One day,...
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VIEWPOINT: Get on board with transit, or miss the busRestricted Content

March 31, 2008
Dennis Dye
The Crossroads of America is at a crossroads-a transportation crossroads. And the direction we choose will affect our area's competitiveness and economy for decades. It's imperative that we embrace mass transit. Mass transit matters because it correlates to a key concern for companies planning to move or expand: access to a qualified work force. In choosing a community, companies assess obvious factors such as site acquisition costs and taxation, but even those typically take a back seat to work-force access....
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Talk of corporate greed falls flat with this economistRestricted Content

March 31, 2008
Mike Hicks
It is an election year again, and talk of corporate greed, that stalwart in the lexicon of electioneering, once again fills the airwaves. An economics columnist usually wouldn't write about matters of sin. But attacks on greed always seem to have a policy message attached, and that is a big problem for all of us. Formally, corporations cannot be greedy. Corporations, not being human, cannot feel the weight of sin and so do not exhibit greed any more than they...
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Legislators tackle range of business-related measures:Restricted Content

March 24, 2008
Property tax reform took center stage during the just-completed session of the Indiana General Assembly. But lawmakers also grappled with a host of other measures with business implications. A roundup appears below. ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT One of the session's most divisive issues-whether to penalize companies that hire illegal immigrants-died during the waning hours. Under the legislation, introduced by Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel, companies could have had their business licenses suspended, or revoked after three instances. The Senate and House passed...
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Local bankers surprised by Bear bailout: Observers hope firm's sudden sale signals peak of financial turmoilRestricted Content

March 24, 2008
Cory Schouten
The local president of Milwaukee-based M&I Bank, Reagan Rick, got the shocking news while waiting for a plane at Boston Logan International Airport. It came in a text message from Robert Warrington, the former CEO of First Indiana Bank, the Indianapolis bank M&I acquired last year for $529 million. Warrington told him 85-year-old New York-based investment bank Bear Stearns Cos. had been sold to JP Morgan Chase Co.-with backing from the Federal Reserve-for a mere $2 per share. "The degree...
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Foreclosures keep 'em busy: Bankruptcy attorneys, credit counselors seeing surge in clientsRestricted Content

March 24, 2008
Scott Olson
Many consumer bankruptcies typically can be traced to a divorce, job loss or medical issue. Now another perpetrator-subprime mortgages-is entering the fray. The fallout from the housing crisis, coupled with a weakening economy, is contributing to a rise in bankruptcy filings nationwide. They spiked more than 30 percent in January compared with the same time last year, according to the Virginia-based American Bankruptcy Institute. With more than 1 million subprime mortgages due to reset this year, ABI Executive Director Samuel...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: New tax break makes Indiana more attractive than everRestricted Content

March 17, 2008
Cedric D\'hue
Rapid growth in the high-tech fields of biotechnology and life science has made Indiana a shining example of how promoting emerging industries can transform an agricultural and manufacturingbased economy into a national leader in innovation. It has done so by creating an environment in which knowledge-based businesses can thrive. Building on this success, Indiana continues to position itself as a leader in emerging technologies. A new tax law that took effect this year will present another major step toward this...
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Tech innovator tries entrepreneurship again: iGoDigital software already used by major retailersRestricted Content

March 17, 2008
Peter Schnitzler
Eric Tobias, the IT architect behind Carmel-based online battery supplier Technuity Inc., now is energizing another startup, Indianapolis-based iGoDigital, a fast-growing player in "recommendation" software for retailers. Tobias, 31, was chief technology officer of Technuity, which distributes batteries, carrying cases and electronics accessories. He left the company, once known as Batteries.com, after it was acquired in November by Hauppauge, N.Y.-based Audiovox Corp. for $16.5 million, plus the repayment of $4 million in debt. The deal added $30 million to Audiovox's...
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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: Lawmakers left lots of touchy issues for waning daysRestricted Content

March 17, 2008
Ed Feigenbaum
As we prepared this column at midweek, there still was no certainty about a property tax relief and reform package resulting from the regular session, set to adjourn sine die March 14. While some lawmakers were proclaiming no hope of enacting a package before time expired in the regular session, others were seeing movement toward a plan that was structured largely along the lines of the original package offered by Gov. Mitch Daniels. Democrats altered strategy as the scheduled adjournment...
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RETURN ON TECHNOLOGY: Just when you thought airport lines couldn't get any longerRestricted Content

March 17, 2008
Tim Altom
This isn't a column about business technology per se, but I couldn't resist the temptation to write about a half-dozen states thumbing their noses at the federal government and potentially backing up travel this spring at airports all over the country, including some of the world's busiest, all over a piece of plastic. After the tragedy of 9/11, one of the 9/11 Commission's recommendations was to create a hard-to-fake identity card for Americans. In 2005, Congress passed a huge defense...
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INVESTING: Process of deleveraging creating lots of carnageRestricted Content

March 10, 2008
Ken Skarbeck
The deleveraging of America continues with unpleasant consequences for consumers and investors who are overextended. One problem with a mass deleveraging is that the repeated selling of an asset to repay a debt burden leads to further declines in the price of that asset. That, in turn, forces others to sell, as the lower asset values no longer support their debt obligations. It's otherwise known as a vicious circle. The Federal Reserve, the U.S. Treasury and Congress are scrambling to...
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  1. I never thought I'd see the day when a Republican Mayor would lead the charge in attempting to raise every tax we have to pay. Now it's income taxes and property taxes that Ballard wants to increase. And to pay for a pre-K program? Many studies have shown that pre-K offer no long-term educational benefits whatsoever. And Ballard is pitching it as a way of fighting crime? Who is he kidding? It's about government provided day care. It's a shame that we elected a Republican who has turned out to be a huge big spending, big taxing, big borrowing liberal Democrat.

  2. Why do we blame the unions? They did not create the 11 different school districts that are the root of the problem.

  3. I was just watching an AOW race from cleveland in 1997...in addition to the 65K for the race, there were more people in boats watching that race from the lake than were IndyCar fans watching the 2014 IndyCar season finale in the Fontana grandstands. Just sayin...That's some resurgence modern IndyCar has going. Almost profitable, nobody in the grandstands and TV ratings dropping 61% at some tracks in the series. Business model..."CRAZY" as said by a NASCAR track general manager. Yup, this thing is purring like a cat! Sponsors...send them your cash, pronto!!! LOL, not a chance.

  4. I'm sure Indiana is paradise for the wealthy and affluent, but what about the rest of us? Over the last 40 years, conservatives and the business elite have run this country (and state)into the ground. The pendulum will swing back as more moderate voters get tired of Reaganomics and regressive social policies. Add to that the wave of minority voters coming up in the next 10 to 15 years and things will get better. unfortunately we have to suffer through 10 more years of gerrymandered districts and dispropionate representation.

  5. Funny thing....rich people telling poor people how bad the other rich people are wanting to cut benefits/school etc and that they should vote for those rich people that just did it. Just saying..............

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