Economy

SUSAN WILLIAMS Commentary: Keep Statehouse free of 'March Madness'Restricted Content

March 7, 2005
Susan Williams
Commentary Keep Statehouse free of 'March Madness' "March Madness" is upon us. Downtown will play host to 37 basketball games in 37 days. Visitors from all over the state and the nation will flock to our city and be dazzled by the ambiance and excitement we have refined over many years of hosting major events. Even the most profoundly addicted hoops fans should get their cravings satisfied. As we enjoy the month's activities, we must be mindful not to take...
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Training agency slashes government reliance: Not-for-profit turns to private donations for fundingRestricted Content

March 7, 2005
Andrea Muirragui
Talk about a turnaround. An Indianapolis not-for-profit that once relied on government money to pay for most of its programs has found a way to do what many others wish they could-diversify its revenue stream as public funding dries up. In less than five years, work-force development agency Training Inc. has ended a decades-long dependence on government grants and contracts. "We had to reinvent ourselves in order to survive," said former Director Joyce Duvall, who left this month after more...
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Software firm on the rebound: Move to private status, restructuring help Made2Manage move into profitabilityRestricted Content

March 7, 2005
Scott Olson
Made2Manage Systems Inc. is beginning to make strides, both in profitability and perception, since completing its metamorphosis from a public to private enterprise 18 months ago. The software maker that staged its initial public offering in 1997 posted a peak loss of $4.7 million four years later amid a soft economy. Its health improved the following year in 2002, when losses totaled $690,000. But by then, Made2Manage executives had concluded an investor-led acquisition would be the best elixir to nurse...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Think before demonizing free-trade agreementsRestricted Content

March 7, 2005
Patrick Barkey
E c o n o m i s t s approach the issue of free trade with something resembling religious zeal. Outside of a few high-visibility defectors, such as CNN's Lou Dobbs and columnist Paul Craig Roberts, we've found that the pros of liberalized trade between nations heavily outweigh the cons. That's hardly the case in the general populace. The Indiana Senate's recent approval of a meaningless but symbolic call on Congress for a moratorium on free-trade agreements with other...
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Bye-bye Big Apple, hello Indy: Young entrepreneurs opt to open firms hereRestricted Content

February 28, 2005
Scott Olson
Two Hoosier natives are back home in Indiana to start neighboring businesses on Fort Wayne Avenue, no less. The world travelers-separated in age by just a year-spent significant time in New York City but only met within the past six months. With similar stories to tell about why they chose to return to Indianapolis, and impressed with the city's vibrant downtown that had blossomed while they were away, the two opted to take the plunge together. Both say they're not...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Are traditional pension plans an endangered species?Restricted Content

February 28, 2005
Ann Carr
Defined benefit plans, or pension plans as they are more commonly known, were a core component of the benefits provided by blue chip employers until the 1980s. About 40 percent of all American workers were covered by these plans. Under such plans, employees are guar anteed monthly retirement checks for life based upon their compensation, years of service and other factors. Recently, however, the use of pension plans has dropped dramatically. In 2003, only 20 percent of the work force...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Michigan's job pain is felt throughout the MidwestRestricted Content

February 28, 2005
Patrick Barkey
At the end of last year, the unemployment rate in Michigan was 7.3 percent. That was more than 2 percentage points higher than Indiana's. No state in the country had a higher jobless rate. That's not a big story in the Hoosier State. We have our own economic challenges, after all. But perhaps we should be paying a bit more attention. We're not exactly immune to the forces that are dealing such harsh blows to the Michigan economy right now....
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Studies: Bans don't burn biz: Restrictions in other cities didn't reduce overall sales, but some taverns were hurtRestricted Content

February 21, 2005
Chris O\'malley
"My business was down 15 percent at first," recalled Gina Scott, co-owner of the Lexington pub. Lately, she added, "It's still down a bit. I don't know with the ban it will ever go up to where it was." This ban-in the heart of tobacco country-may offer a glimpse of what's to come for Indianapolis bars and restaurants if proponents of a smoking ban prevail in the City-County Council. The proposed Indianapolis ordinance is one of the most stringent in...
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OneAmerica grows bullish on its future: New leadership hopes to sustain steady growthRestricted Content

February 21, 2005
Tom Murphy
OneAmerica Financial Partners Inc. kept busy with a brand change, a record year for retirement services and the arrival of several new leaders in 2004. New President and CEO Dayton Molendorp plans to keep the positive momentum flowing with 34 key projects outlined in the 2005 business plan. But analysts say the Indianapolis company will have to grow in the face of strong competition and a pressing need to keep up with technology. The company formerly known as AUL unveiled...
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Celluloid tax credits?: Incentives for movie makers getting bipartisan supportRestricted Content

February 14, 2005
Anthony Schoettle
House Bill 1639 would put in place a hefty set of tax incentives for companies making movies, television shows, music videos, commercials and corporate videos on Hoosier soil. Though the bill has bipartisan support in the House, a similar measure was spiked last year because of concerns over lost tax revenue. Even the bill's author thinks there could be a fight over the measure in the Senate. Those who think the idea of drawing movie producers to Indiana is far-fetched...
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EYE ON THE PIE Morton Marcus: Time for a tax strategy to boost retailRestricted Content

February 14, 2005
It is time to recognize the role of retail trade in economic development. Too often, we follow the notion that a community grows only because it exports. That which we mine, grow, harvest or manufacture is an acknowledged part of the economic base. It brings in dollars from outside. In some communities, we recognize tourism, medical and other specialized services as part of that export base. Just a few places see retail trade as a means of economic development. Yes,...
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Head of IT firm ensures company primed for growth: She started business to offer customized training but altered her strategy as circumstances changed Strategic decisions "She almost vibrates" Female support

February 14, 2005
Kathy Maeglin
Kathy Carrier's dad was angry when she left a lucrative job at a Fortune 500 company to start her own firm. But four years later, when she won an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, he told his daughter: "Clearly your vision for yourself was greater than the one I had for you." In less than seven years, Carrier, 46, has built her Fort Wayne-based information technology writing and training firm, Briljent LLC, into a business with annual...
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NASCAR fuels C&R growth: Maker of custom racing parts diversifies from open-wheel rootsRestricted Content

February 7, 2005
Anthony Schoettle
Though he's only 45, Chris Paulsen is a grizzled veteran in racing circles. The storied mechanic has already been invited to take part in old-timer events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But industry sources say Paulsen's future is as wide open and promising as that of a schoolboy with a fresh diploma. The innovations that made him a household name in open-wheel have earned a following among NASCAR's elite, and the insightful entrepreneur even talks of starting his own race...
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Special Report: MURKY MISSION: Vague directive dilutes 21st Century Fund's high-tech impactRestricted Content

February 7, 2005
Peter Schnitzler
When directors of Indiana's 21st Century Research and Technology Fund convened in May 2003, they'd already doled out $70 million in state grants over three years to fund h i g h - t e c h innovation a n d w e r e preparing to u n l e a s h another $60 million. But you wouldn't know it after reading minutes from that meeting. They show a rollicking debate broke out over the 21st Century's Fund's...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: GDP figures demonstrate Fed's rate hikes hit markRestricted Content

February 7, 2005
Patrick Barkey
Here's something to try the next time you find yourself mingling with your friends at a party. Strike up a conversation about GDP. You know, GDP. Gross Domestic Product? It's the total output of everything we produce in the economy. Oh, well, never mind. But even if it's generally true that talk of GDP's ups and downs elicits blank stares, some of us devour the news. That's because the speed-up and slowdown of overall economic growth can affect the policies...
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BULLS & BEARS: Despite decade's bad start, market points to upswingRestricted Content

February 7, 2005
Dave Gilreath
The four most dangerous words an investor can mutter are, "It's different this time." You heard the phrase a lot in the late 1990s and it was usually surrounded by words like "new economy" and "paradigm shift." We should all know by now that it's never really different. Boom and bust trajectories pretty much look the same whether they are tulip bulb prices, radio stocks, Internet stocks or Britney Spears' record sales. Using the premise that same-old, sameold will rule,...
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Legal limelight:Restricted Content

January 31, 2005
Chris O\'malley
Counsel from an Indianapolis law firm will argue before the U.S. Supreme Court in April that an annual truck fee charged by the state of Michigan should be struck down. If the high court agrees, trucking firms in Indiana and around the nation could see more than $70 million in fees paid since 1995 refunded. Trucking firms have a lot riding on Scopelitis Garvin Light & Hanson. A ruling upholding the Michigan fee could embolden other states to adopt similar...
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Employers target obesity through wellness programs: Overweight workers contribute to higher health costsRestricted Content

January 31, 2005
Della Pacheco
Companies enjoy seeing an increase in their bottom line as a reflection of positive growth. They don't, however, like to see growth in employee "bottoms," as evidenced by a national obesity epidemic that is becoming a public health crisis and is cutting into corporate profits through increased health care costs. A study by the not-for-profit, nonpartisan Trust for America's Health reported that nearly 119 million American adults-65 percent-are overweight or obese. The group warns that obesity may soon overtake tobacco...
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VIEWPOINT: Lack of basic skills hurts competitivenessRestricted Content

January 31, 2005
Kevin Brinegar / Special to IBJ
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? There is a businesseducation slant to the age-old argument. The business community contends that the state's colleges and universities are not producing enough graduates to meet their needs. Highereducation advocates, on the other hand, say the qualified graduates are in place, but a lack of jobs within Indiana sends them packing to other states. We'll leave that argument for another day. There is another major workplacepreparedness issue, however, that is rightfully drawing...
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Area deals reach new pinnacle: Anthem's $22.7 billion purchase of Wellpoint heads busy year for acquisitionsRestricted Content

January 24, 2005
Peter Schnitzler
In 2004, Indianapolis had plenty of both, crushing all previous local merger-andacquisition records. IBJ tracks business deals larger than $5 million involving area companies in which financial terms are available. Last year, there were 56 of them, worth a grand total of $31 billion. Anthem Inc.'s massive $22.7 billion acquisition of Wellpoint Health Networks Inc. led the pack. Before 2004, $17 billion was the most M&A activity Indianapolis had ever seen in a single year. All by itself, Anthem's deal...
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Terminal move might spur land rush: Midfield project to free choice real estateRestricted Content

January 24, 2005
Chris O\'malley
Overshadowed by the $974 million midfield terminal project is a potential economic development bonanza: the reuse of the existing terminal and surrounding land at Indianapolis International Airport. More than 120 acres along Interstate 465 that today hold parked cars might someday house hotels, shipping operations or even a light-rail station after the midfield terminal opens in about three years. Another 54 acres representing the terminal and its immediate surroundings will be available for aviation uses from air freight to corporate...
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Indiana IPOs break out of recent slump: Kite Realty, Republic Airways, Adesa among 5 state firms to test public watersRestricted Content

January 24, 2005
Scott Olson
Hoosier-based companies registered five initial public offerings last year, a robust number considering not a single Indiana business went public in 2003. The uptick could signal the state's economy, as well as the nation's, is on the mend. Nationally, 233 companies raised $43 billion collectively to go public on the major U.S. stock exchanges in 2004, a 195-percent increase in the number of IPOs over 2003. And the performance could be even stronger this year, said Richard Peterson, a market...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Understanding factors in public-sector job growthRestricted Content

January 24, 2005
Patrick Barkey
There is nothing like a war and a recession to increase the size of government payrolls. Yet the hiring behavior of the public sector in the last four years has been unusual, when compared with previous recessions. The data tell us much of the growth in recent years has come from state and local governments. But they do not tell us why. There has been much stronger job growth in the public sector than in the private sector in the...
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NOTIONS:Restricted Content

January 24, 2005
Bruce Hetrick
The other night, former presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton appeared on my TV. They said the tsunami had been devastating. They said people need help. They asked me to send money. "No one can change what happened," Bush said. "But we can all Slow tsunami wreaks havoc in Indiana change what happens next," Clinton said. I went to lunch with my editor. After the waiter announced the specials, he pointed to a tent card on the table. It...
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TOM HARTON Commentary: City's improvement doesn't sink inRestricted Content

January 17, 2005
Dr. Pierre Tran, a former neuroscience researcher at Eli Lilly and Co., was lured from Indianapolis to a suburb of San Francisco recently by a small biotech firm and its ability to develop new drugs more quickly than pharmaceutical giants like Lilly. The region's diversity and "food culture" also played a role, Tran told the San Francisco Business Times in a story about where the Bay Area finds all the brainpower it needs to fuel its tech culture. Tran went...
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