M&I sign appears atop skyscraper

September 29, 2008
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M&I Bank signThe first of four M&I Bank signs has finally taken its place atop the former First Indiana Plaza. Workers were installing one of the signs in August when their scaffolding gave way, leaving three men dangling next to the 31-story tower. Boarded-up windows remain as evidence of the lunch-hour incident. The other sides will get signs in the coming weeks. What do you think?
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  • better than the fifth third sign, or the Flagstar sign
  • what's the story on the lunch-hour drama?!
  • woopteedoo, let's all go out to eat and talk about this.
  • I think it would be cooler if they had a whole buch of LED's or Fiber Optic Strands in it that changed colors every 30 seconds - plus it would be more efficient.
  • what lunch hour incident?
  • The lunch hour incident was the scaffolding giving away in August.
  • Thanks JonT ... yep, that's what I was talking about.
  • Is M&I putting their name on all 4 sides? I had heard in the past that when First Indiana had its name taken down that nobody else would be able to use all 4 sides, as newer regulations on the buildings didn't allow all 4 sides to be used. (??)
  • Wait until next week, they may need to change the sign again.
  • Any truth to the rumor that M & I (or First Indiana at the time) was compensated because of the obstructed view on the side facing south because of Lucas Oil Stadium?
  • Wasn't that already there?
  • Why put the name of the bank on a sign. Given the state of the financial services industry, chances are it will be JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup or Bank of America soon. Looks like they may be the only three standing when this mess is over.

    When do I get any money to help me pay the 30 year fixed rate mortgage I signed in 2005? Stupid people making stupid decisions are at the bottom of this whole banking mess.

    Bring back 20% down mortgages, and prove your income. nough of the gimmick lending practices that stupid people fall for, and end up in foreclosure because they can't afford a home in the first place.

    Nowhere in our Constitution does it say anything about the right to own a home.
  • This is some good news that Cory is delivering. better than the two reports of the National City story.
  • IndyPorter, this isn't so much about stupid people desperate to fulfill the American dream of owning a home. It is more about a greedy and unscrupulous financial industry, preying on those peoples' dreams. Mortgages aren't the only source of woe for the banks.... other loans and credit card debt are biting them hard too. My mother was one of those people you are referring to.... an honest, HARD working woman, stupid by no means, who was convinced by a lender that she could easily afford the home she had never before had the chance to own. Mortgages can be a a very tricky topic to fully grasp.... The BANKS are at the bottom of this whole BANKING mess, not the people........

    What I want to know, is when the government is going to pay off my car loan and my student loans and my credit card bills, so I, too, can get into a healthier financial situation? Hell, lets just erase everyone's debt so we can all start over with perfect credit scores. It's all about second chances, right?
  • Okay, I think everyone is to blame. The banks are to blame for preying on the stupid and taking too big of risks on those that were deemed risky. The banks are also at fault for using ARMs and other loans that are not good for the consumer who doesn't do their research or is willing to take a big risk.
    But people are also to blame for taking something that they knew they couldn't afford to begin with... and just because someone tells you, You can afford it, doesn't mean you take it... we all have to take personal responsibility and make that decision. The same applies to the credit cards. People need to quit trying to blame someone else for their problems and start taking some responsibility.

    Anyway, the main point of this thread was about the sign. It looks fine... just another bank sign on a building. Nothing fancy, just the standard.
  • Stop calling these people stupid, you dolt.... being uniformed and being stupid are two different things. The mess is NOT the fault of the people falling into foreclosure, it is 100%, absolutely, totally, without a shadow of a doubt the fault of the greedy financial institutions. I as a taxpayer should not be liable for the debt they have accrued any more than they are responsible for mine.

    Anyway, the main point of this thread is rather dull and segued nicely into a discussion on the proposed bail-out plan.
  • The biggest problem was not the predatory banks or the ill-informed consumer, but the housing bubble that made the system work. Banks could afford to write questionable mortgages because home prices were appreciating at exceptional percentages. Homeowners could afford to reach, because they were going to have subsantal equity in two to three years just from the rising prices. It wasn't until the bubble burst and housing prices stopped their rapped acceleration that the system collapsed.

    Blame the economic factors that led to the bubble. But then, that's a bit like arguing about the chicken or the egg... It's easier to just to blame the predatory banks or the ill-informed consumers.
  • Yes, easy to blame predatory bank and ill-informed consumer - here's why -

    Let's start with the banks... hey, I have a mortgage for you, you'll have really low payments right now, but in a couple years they may go up a little or they may go up a lot... I don't really know, but you can get the house now, and worry about that later. And it's not really a loan that will benefit you, but it will help me give you the mortgage now... and I could potentially make a lot of money on it... however, if I had any good sense, I would know that in a few years you won't be able to make the payments anyway and put my bank in trouble... hmm, let's go ahead and get this set up. Predatory and risky.

    Now the consumer... Hey, I can get this massive house now even though my credit is in the gutter (because I don't pay my bills on time anyway)... and I don't have to put any money down. I could do some research on this and maybe realize that it's not a good deal, or maybe I could do some personal budgeting and realize I really can't afford it after all... but they're telling me I can have it now and worry about it later.. sign me up! Stupid in this case is when you know the truth and choose not to recognize it. And consumers are very informed in this era, with TV, the Internet, and not-for-profit resources (that do not require the Internet). Consumers who are still ill-informed are the ones who choose to be ill-informed. And when someone chooses not to do the research or budgeting on a purchase as large as a house (the largest single purchase you'll make in your life), I call that stupid. The purchase of a house should not be treated like an impulse purchase. I may be cold and heartless, but it's reality. The resources are all around, they just have to be used.

    So, yes, both sides are at fault in my opinion, and it's 50/50 on who should take the blame. But I do like Levi's argument. I think that inflated housing prices do come into play on this issue... but with a purchase as large as a house... it was risky to bet that the market would continue to rise as fast as it was forever. And that leads me back to that responsibility issue... if you're going to gamble, be prepared to lose at some point, and just hope you've won enough to cover that loss for the long term. By the way, that applies to the banks just as much as the consumer... so, I'm not for a bailout either. I didn't mean to sound like I was for a bailout... I just wanted to point out that it's not just the banks at fault.
  • Here's Another Thought.... NEWSFLASH for you : Not everyone who faced/faces foreclosure had terrible credit. Are you THAT naive or are you just prone to hasty generalizations? Also, do you not think that sometimes people are just the victims of unfortunate circumstance?
  • Whatever,
    NEWSFLASH for you... the ones that didn't have bad credit are the ones who over-extended themselves and made bad decisions just to get a bigger home (personal budgeting isn't hard). And yes, some people are victims of unfortunate circumstances... but, when it becomes as many as it has become now, I'm going to guess that the majority of people didn't foreclose because of unfortunate circumstances... and I would consider unfortunate circumstances as a spouse dies, a high unforeseen medical bill, etc; my ARM rose and now I can't pay my mortgage isn't in my eyes an unfortunate circumstance.... so, I'm going to guess it was because of the lack of planning (again, back to that budgeting thing). These may be generalizations... but, let's call it like it is and not avoid the reality.

    Finally, are you THAT naive to think that everyone is just a poor consumer that didn't have any idea of what was going on and no resources to find out... or THAT naive to think that people weren't trying to over-extend to get that McMansion or super-sized SUV. Since you're attacking me, you're probably one of those people.
  • Simply put, the sign is UGLY! But then, the building itself is no masterpiece. I have heard though from a friend in Milwaukee (their headquarters) that M&I is a good bank and a good place to work. We'll see.
  • Final thought, here's a newsflash for you: some married couples do take out loans that rely on both incomes, and then one loses a job and can't replace the income; some single people lose healthcare benefits unexpectedly (and then have to pay through the nose for individual insurance policies). Either event completely outside the prudent person's control can changes their financial equation entirely. They may be unable to sell quickly enough under the present overhang of REO on the market.

    Under those circumstances, even prudent people can get hung out, and it's more common than you think.
  • thundermutt,
    The things you just listed, I would agree are unfortunate circumstances, bad luck and can't be predicted. I did say that in my post above as what I would consider unfortunate circumstances (it's in there).

    My point is, that the number of foreclosures has mounted so high that it can't all be unfortunate circumstances. And I'm sure it's more common than I think, but even so... a bunch of unfortunate circumstances didn't create the situation... did unfortunate circumstances just start happening in society? Banks being predatory and risky, and consumers trying to over-extend and be greedy (larger than needed houses and giant SUVs) is what created it. The mix of those two is what has created this situaton... it was not just one or the other, it was both. Take one piece or the other away, and the problem more than likely wouldn't have gotten this bad. Just my opinion.
  • SInce I seem to be the one who really got the topic of the bailout going on this blog, I feel compelled to chime in again.

    I see comments about a spouse losing a job, about a home's value declining, etc. As well, there are comments about being overextended, ill-informed, etc.

    I'd like to add this. When we bought our last home, we were pre-approved for a mortgage of $750K. Absolutely ridiculous. But I knew that we could really afford a home in the $400K price range. I only wanted to count on one of our incomes, not both. I knew that I wanted immediate equity, so a no money down loan was not one that I would consider. I knew that I did not want to be a slave to my mortgage. Call me an informed consumer.

    We went with a 20 year fixed mortgage. Lenders were trying to steer us into ARMs, 30 year fixed, interest only, no money down, and a realtor was trying to steer us into homes above $500K.

    Bottom line is this:
    PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY needs to take over at some time. I could have had a $750K interest only, no money dow mortgage. But, I didn't believe what people were telling me. I put together a budget for my family. I took ACCOUNTABILITY for my actions.

    I could not sleep at night if I had done anything other than this.

    Our society has lost all sense of personal accountability. It's all about what can society and the government do for me. And I for one, am fed up with it!!!
  • Amen IndyPorter!

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  1. Kent's done a good job of putting together some good guests, intelligence and irreverence without the inane chatter of the other two shows. JMV is unlistenable, mostly because he doesn't do his homework and depends on non-sports stuff to keep HIM interested. Query and Shultz is a bit better, but lack of prep in their show certainly is evident. Sterling obviously workes harder than the other shows. We shall see if there is any way for a third signal with very little successful recent history to make it. I always say you have to give a show two years to grow into what it will become...

  2. Lafayette Square, Washington Square should be turned into office parks with office buildings, conversion, no access to the public at all. They should not be shopping malls and should be under tight security and used for professional offices instead of havens for crime. Their only useage is to do this or tear them down and replace them with high rise office parks with secured parking lots so that the crime in the areas is not allowed in. These are prime properties, but must be reused for other uses, professional office conversions with no loitering and no shopping makes sense, otherwise they have become hangouts long ago for gangs, groups of people who have no intent of spending money, and are only there for trouble and possibly crime, shoplifting, etc. I worked summers at SuperX Drugs in Lafayette Square in the 1970s and even then the shrinkage from shoplifting was 10-15 percent. No sense having shopping malls in these areas, they earn no revenue, attract crime, and are a blight on the city. All malls that are not of use should be repurposed or torn down by the city, condemned. One possibility would be to repourpose them as inside college campuses or as community centers, but then again, if the community is high crime, why bother.

  3. Straight No Chaser

  4. Seems the biggest use of TIF is for pet projects that improve Quality Of Life, allegedly, but they ignore other QOL issues that are of a more important and urgent nature. Keep it transparent and try not to get in ready, fire, Aim! mode. You do realize that business the Mayor said might be interested is probably going to want TIF too?

  5. Gary, I'm in complete agreement. The private entity should be required to pay IPL, and, if City parking meters are involved, the parking meter company. I was just pointing out how the poorly-structured parking meter deal affected the car share deal.

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