Economy

Busy year, but no record: A Wellpoint deal leads list for second year in row, but 2005 lacks blockbusterRestricted Content

January 23, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
For the second year in a row, a giant Wellpoint deal led the pack. As much money was involved in Wellpoint's $6.7 billion acquisition of WellChoice Inc. as in the rest of the list combined. It was a huge deal by most any company's standard-except Wellpoint's. The year before, Wellpoint's $22.7 billion merger with Anthem Inc. led all deals and then some. Thanks to that single mega-deal, 2004's $31 billion list total shattered all previous local merger and acquisition records....
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EYE ON THE PIE: Let's revisit the State of the StateRestricted Content

January 23, 2006
Morton Marcus
Quite appropriately, Gov. Mitch Daniels did not make any claims about "a revitalized Indiana economy" in his recent State of the State speech. He stuck to the theme that we are on track to turning the economy around rather than proclaiming any victory. This restraint was well-warranted. Indiana ranked 45th among the 50 states in its rate of employment growth for the past year (November-to-November figures). The nation added jobs at a 1.5-percent rate. Our 0.3-percent increase beat out only...
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Local money managers beat the Street in '05: But not by much; huge returns a distant memoryRestricted Content

January 23, 2006
Matthew Kish
Put your money in value stocks. No, put it in a mix of value and growth stocks. No, go with value stocks and a peppering of mutual funds, just to be safe. Gather Indianapolis' most prominent money managers in a room, and the advice would go something like that. Yet while the city's highest-profile wealth handlers take wildly different approaches to investing, they agree on one point: The market posted a disappointing performance in 2005. "It was a difficult year...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Americans' spending binge is ultimately unsustainableRestricted Content

January 23, 2006
Patrick Barkey
Americans don't save much these days. Twenty years ago, our 9-percent rate of savings was troubling and somewhat embarrassing, compared with the double-digit savings rates of other industrialized economies. But that rate seems sky-high compared with today. If savings rates remain as low as they've been the last few months, we may have to rename them. Dis-saving rates? It's an odd-sounding word, if it even is one. But what else do you call a negative savings rate? According to the...
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VIEWPOINT: Our schools let talent go to wasteRestricted Content

January 23, 2006
Ginny Burney
We have two kinds of schools: those that encourage each child to be all he/she can be and those that focus on being efficient institutions for groups of children. The first kind of school finds ways to help each child who struggles, meets each child's educational needs, and finds ways to provide each child with the context to achieve as much as he/she can at the most appropriate pace. The second kind of school is focused on making sure as...
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Biz-incentive plan may be beefed up: Legislators seek to strengthen EDGE program by doubling retention tax credit to $10 millionRestricted Content

January 16, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
Indiana's showcase business incentive program is about to go through another tweaking. At the request of the Indiana Economic Development Corp., legislators are considering changing the EDGE tax credit program to give it more teeth to retain existing jobs. Since 1994, Indiana has used the Economic Development for a Growing Economy, or EDGE credit, to spur private-sector job growth. The program allows budding companies to abate state payroll taxes for new employees. Over the last 12 years, Indiana has authorized...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: The new economic reality: It's all about the work forceRestricted Content

January 16, 2006
Patrick Barkey
Since these words usually find their way out onto the Internet, I thought I'd work in the following phrase to get the hit counters for the new year off to a good start: Evolution vs. intelligent design. Ah, that should do it. I can hear the sounds of computer mouse clicks already. And, believe it or not, there's an economic angle to that debate. Not literally, of course. Economics is pretty important, but I will concede that the creation of...
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Banking players on rise: Despite flood of mergers, area competition heats upRestricted Content

January 16, 2006
Matthew Kish
Big-ticket bank mergers grabbed plenty of headlines in the past two years. Just don't let the splashy news stories fool you. The number of players in the Indianapolis banking market is expanding, even amid consolidation in the industry nationwide. Over the past 10 years, the number of banks taking deposits in the metropolitan area has grown from 41 to 56, according to annual data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Analysts attribute much of the growth to smaller banks and...
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From FFA to DNA: Businesses view convention as more than a gathering of corn growersRestricted Content

January 16, 2006
Matthew Kish
Don't call it the Future Farmers of America. That went out of style with pastel suits and parachute pants. The organization is now known as the FFA. And it's no longer just a gathering of crop jockeys. The change in moniker partly illustrates why business leaders are so excited for the first of at least seven annual conventions the organization will stage in the Circle City starting in late October. "FFA is a premier, if not the premier, youth organization...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: We want to spur economy, but what's the best way?Restricted Content

January 9, 2006
Patrick Barkey
If you want to get an idea just how hot the topic of economic development is in Indiana these days, take a stroll over to the Department of Insurance's Web page. Instead of finding notices of regulatory proceedings or a lineby-line listing of the insurance code, you'll get a spirited, enthusiastic rundown of all of the reasons Indiana is a great state in which to locate your insurance company. If you happen to own one, that is. That's a little...
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BULLS & BEARS: With or without recession, next few years look goodRestricted Content

January 9, 2006
Dave Gilreath
In recent days, the yield curve inverted as the 10-year Treasury note yield dropped below the two-year Treasury yield by 100th of 1 percent. This miniscule inversion caused a freakout on Wall Street and sent stocks into a swoon. Here's why: The Fed has tightened rates eight times in the last three decades, according to Merrill Lynch economist David Rosenberg, and five times it resulted in an inverted yield curve. Within one year of each of those five inversions, the...
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Indianapolis and neighbors need one vision, one voice:Restricted Content

January 2, 2006
Roland Dorson
Cincinnati USA. Charlotte USA. Indianapolis - Marion County - Indiana. Who is throwing the right welcome mat out to the world? In the first two examples, those regions have said to the entire planet: "We are open for business. Come talented people-bring your companies and organizations to our area; bring your families to our schools; live, work and play in our thriving community." Our region," they say, "located at this juncture of latitude and longitude in the USA, wants you...
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Education, work force key hurdles to new economy:Restricted Content

January 2, 2006
Mark Miles
Having recently returned to Indiana after a 15-year absence, I see a region filled with both challenges and opportunities. The Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, the organization I've returned to serve as president and CEO, is focused on long-term economic prosperity for our region. To this end, our people are our most valuable resource. Unfortunately, central Indiana faces a significant challenge in making our human capital match our goal of a knowledgebased, 21st-century economy. Indiana ranks 46th in the educational attainment...
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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: Short legislative session may be eventful, for a changeRestricted Content

January 2, 2006
Ed Feigenbaum
We've all become lulled into assuming that the so-called "short" session of the Indiana General Assembly in the even-numbered years is the political equivalent of the practice of medicine: First, do no harm. In election years, lawmakers are reluctant to do much beyond that which they must do to protect public health, safety and treasury. The short session originated as a vehicle for handling emergencies arising between the odd-numbered-year budget sessions, and many legislators-particularly those seeking re-election-didn't see much cause...
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In the new year, building on the successes of 2005:Restricted Content

January 2, 2006
Bart Peterson
This past year was one of the most active and successful in our city's history. We pushed through legislation to fund an expansion of the Indiana Convention Center and build a new multi-purpose stadium, both of which will be tremendous boons to our region's economy, pumping in more than $2.25 billion in investment and creating more than 4,200 permanent jobs over the next 10 years. In addition, through the leadership of the governor and legislature, a one-of-a-kind regional funding solution...
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2006: Making Indianapolis a family affair:Restricted Content

January 2, 2006
Isaac Randolph
What's the most pressing issue facing Indianapolis now and in the future? Depending on a pundit's passion, answers can range from maintaining a professional sports team to supporting the cultural and arts community, from improving the quality of public schools and parks to making affordable housing available, from low taxes to a state-of-the art public mass transit system. Yet each of these areas, while they may reflect an interest group's unwavering and at times irrational fixation, taken at face value...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS Patrick Barkey: Multiplying economic gains isn't easy as it may soundRestricted Content

December 26, 2005
It's an old, but primal, oath that doctors are supposed to take before they set out into the world of medicine: "Do no harm" to the patients they serve. Perhaps a few of us in the economics profession should do the same. Because some of our ideas-or more accurately, characterizations of our ideas-may be doing more harm than good. Of course, it's great to see ideas that come out of your own specialized area of expertise find their way into...
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NOTIONS: This holiday season, 'It's jobs, stupid'Restricted Content

December 26, 2005
Bruce Hetrick
Bruce Hetrick is off for the holidays. But in the hope that you'll shop the after-Christmas sales locally, helping to spur job retention and growth in central Indiana, he offers the following column, which originally appeared on Oct. 27, 2003. Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat Please put a penny in the old man's hat If you haven't got a penny, a ha' penny will do, If you haven't got a ha' penny, then God bless you In...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Changing state's tax system would be tough to pull offRestricted Content

December 19, 2005
Patrick Barkey
When it comes to matters of tax policy, inertia reigns supreme. The federal government still collects the proceeds of an excise tax on telephones that was borne as a temporary measure to help finance the Spanish-American War. The tolls on the Indiana Toll Road have not changed in almost 20 years. And the granddaddy of them all, the property tax, has existed in one form or another since the Middle Ages. So when the mayors of Indiana cities and towns...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Security depends on flexibility, not stabilityRestricted Content

December 12, 2005
Morton Marcus
In one word, what do we want? I suggest that word is security, physical and financial security. We want to live without fear for our lives or our livelihoods. The atrocities of 9/11 made Americans more fearful about their physical security than they had been since the early days of World War II. Our economic condition feels insecure as jobs drift to other nations, as health care costs soar, and as both public and private pension plans are threatened. To...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Economy is doing great, but what about next year?Restricted Content

December 12, 2005
Patrick Barkey
Here's a question the visually oriented news media face all the time-what does a strong economy look like? Belching smokestacks and humming assembly lines are the clichés of yesteryear, now that we've entered an era when knowledge and services account for more output than do physical goods. But somehow the picture of an office worker tapping on a keyboard or a group of executives huddled around a conference table doesn't quite convey the vitality and power of the world's largest...
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Landlords may face big holes: If groceries close, centers would sufferRestricted Content

December 5, 2005
Tammy Lieber
Marsh Supermarkets Inc. serves as an anchor tenant for dozens of central Indiana shopping centers. So if the company or a buyer ends up closing stores, centers across the region could be left with gaping holes. Not only can large vacant spaces in shopping centers make them look blighted. They also reduce customer counts at smaller retailers that feed off grocery store traffic, retail experts say. "People go to the grocery store once or twice or three times in a...
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Pass the sushi, boss; it's time to celebrate: Corporate holiday events are less common, more funRestricted Content

December 5, 2005
Candace Beaty
Surveys may point to a decrease in corporate parties this holiday season, but party planners say those who attend them are likely to have more fun. The trend is shifting away from stuffy, business-focused affairs. More parties are including live music and other entertainment, said Joe Husar, co-owner of Kahn's Katering and meeting venue Montage at Allison Pointe. Still, this year could mark the first decrease in corporate holiday events since 2001, according to a national survey. Eighty-seven percent of...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Farming on decline, but ag still offers opportunityRestricted Content

December 5, 2005
Patrick Barkey
Drive less than 20 minutes from almost any crossroads in Indiana and you'll come across a feature of the Midwest landscape we take for granted: farmland. The vast open space in abundance between our state's urban areas remains dominated by the industry that once employed more people than any other: agriculture. And while the sights of barns, cropland and animals grazing in pastures are familiar to us all, we should remember that looks can be deceiving. Plenty of changes are...
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BULLS & BEARS: Slowing inflation may mean good news ahead for stocksRestricted Content

November 28, 2005
Dave Gilreath
Despite natural disasters, war and oil shocks, the U.S. economy has had a good year, with the gross domestic product posting growth of 3.8 percent. Corporate profits will grow this year at a doubledigit rate. And yet the U.S. stock market, as measured by the Dow Jones industrials, has done next to nothing. Here's one big reason: fear of inflation. It's slowed the economic sprint and caused investors to reach for their worry beads. We all know Alan Greenspan has...
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  1. If I were a developer I would be looking at the Fountain Square and Fletcher Place neighborhoods instead of Broad Ripple. I would avoid the dysfunctional BRVA with all of their headaches. It's like deciding between a Blackberry or an iPhone 5s smartphone. BR is greatly in need of updates. It has become stale and outdated. Whereas Fountain Square, Fletcher Place and Mass Ave have become the "new" Broad Ripples. Every time I see people on the strip in BR on the weekend I want to ask them, "How is it you are not familiar with Fountain Square or Mass Ave? You have choices and you choose BR?" Long vacant storefronts like the old Scholar's Inn Bake House and ZA, both on prominent corners, hurt the village's image. Many business on the strip could use updated facades. Cigarette butt covered sidewalks and graffiti covered walls don't help either. The whole strip just looks like it needs to be power washed. I know there is more to the BRV than the 700-1100 blocks of Broad Ripple Ave, but that is what people see when they think of BR. It will always be a nice place live, but is quickly becoming a not-so-nice place to visit.

  2. I sure hope so and would gladly join a law suit against them. They flat out rob people and their little punk scam artist telephone losers actually enjoy it. I would love to run into one of them some day!!

  3. Biggest scam ever!! Took 307 out of my bank ac count. Never received a single call! They prey on new small business and flat out rob them! Do not sign up with these thieves. I filed a complaint with the ftc. I suggest doing the same ic they robbed you too.

  4. Woohoo! We're #200!!! Absolutely disgusting. Bring on the congestion. Indianapolis NEEDS it.

  5. So Westfield invested about $30M in developing Grand Park and attendance to date is good enough that local hotel can't meet the demand. Carmel invested $180M in the Palladium - which generates zero hotel demand for its casino acts. Which Mayor made the better decision?

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