Economy

Want-ad battle brewing: Newspapers feel threatened by state's deal with MonsterRestricted Content

February 13, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
A four-year, $2.8 million deal between the DWD and McLean, Va.-based Monster Government Solutions to develop and maintain an online job search and recruitment system is coming under heavy fire, with newspaper operators saying a system funded by their own tax dollars will harm their business. DWD officials said the deal is designed to lower unemployment and boost Indiana's economy. "We think this deal is going to result in a brain gain, keeping people employed and keeping our college graduates...
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Roll the cameras: State cranks up efforts to court film industry under new task forceRestricted Content

February 13, 2006
Scott Olson
North Carolina offers a 15-percent tax credit to filmmakers to help offset production costs. The credit recently helped sway a national retailer to shoot an in-store commercial there instead of in Indiana. While the $600,000 production hardly compares to a multimillion-dollar motion picture, losing it was a big deal for local companies that didn't get the work. Holli Hanley of Grand Illusion Lighting Inc. in Zionsville, which rents lighting equipment to production companies, lamented the loss. "Everyone in the entire...
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BRIAN WILLIAMS Commentary: Health care is hurting Indiana's economyRestricted Content

February 13, 2006
Nearly 875,000 Hoosiers lack health insurance, including 165,350 children. Lack of health insurance takes a devastating toll on Hoosiers and the state's economic health, and the effect of the uninsured will only get worse as their numbers grow. As companies confront rising health care costs, the obvious solution is dropping or scaling back health-insurance benefits. As a result, the number of uninsured increases, resulting in a premium cost shift to the insured and increased cost for government-provided health care. Over...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS:Restricted Content

February 6, 2006
Patrick Barkey
You can tell that economists as a group don't have a marketing bone in their bodies. How else can you explain the incomprehensible name we've given the measure of economic activity we watch more closely than any other? Gross domestic product. If I were a comedian, I could probably do a sketch on what images those words conjure up. But I'm an economist, so there's little chance of that. Instead, like the rest of my brood, I am diving into...
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VIEWPOINT: Our schools let talent go to wasteRestricted Content

January 30, 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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Busy year, but no record: A Wellpoint deal leads list for second year in row, but 2005 lacks blockbusterRestricted Content

January 30, 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 30, 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 30, 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 30, 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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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....
More

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...
More

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...
More

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...
More

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...
More

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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