Economy & Innovation | St. Louis Public Radio

Economy & Innovation

News about the economy, business, and innovation happening in the St. Louis region.

This post first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 31, 2008 - Although a new TV ad is a warning against rapid-fire stock trading, a few analysts say this might be a money-raising strategy for Wachovia Corp. They suggest it could sell its brokerage business, Wachovia Securities, which acquired A.G. Edwards in October.

Wachovia says it’s keeping the St. Louis-based brokerage; but that hasn’t stopped RBC Capital Markets and Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. from saying a sale would help repair some damage caused by its mortgage-lending.

Commentary: After the flood: Not business as usual

Jul 29, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 29, 2008 - The recent floods in the Midwest demand a new approach by Congress and by local authorities. As recently as 1993, similar floods in this region produced widespread destruction and loss of life. In the wake of that tragedy, many experts, including American Rivers, called for a new course for managing floods. Sadly, few policymakers heeded the warnings.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 28, 2008 - CNN's special report on being Black in America raised a host of issues, but the one that stood out to me most is education.

The achievement gap is not a new problem. Black children continue to under-perform and we continue to be unsure how to remedy the situation. The special raised the question of whether students should receive monetary incentives for good grades.

This post first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 27, 2008 - In "The Accidental Theorist," Paul Krugman describes a fictional economy that produces two items: hot dogs and buns. The Princeton economist and New York Times columnist uses the playful idea as an analogy to dispel the belief that productivity growth in the world economy reduces overall employment and creates an excess supply of products that cannot be consumed.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 25, 2008 - After forcing the retirement of Chief Joe Mokwa, the St. Louis Police Board now faces the important task of selecting his successor.

The board announced Friday that Assistant Police Chief Stephen Pollihan will assume the duties of interim police chief for the 1,342-officer department.

The Great Rivers National Scenic Byway 2008
Courtesy, Alton Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 29, 2008- The Loading Dock Bar and Grill in Grafton, Ill., is all concrete and steel. Utilities hover above, the walls are really garage doors, and the view brings customers from far and near to sit and sip where the Mississippi and Illinois rivers meet.

It's also a symbol of lessons learned.

There's a scammer born every minute

Jul 25, 2008
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The link in this graphic is not live.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 29, 2008 - For American homeowners drowning in mortgage and consumer credit debt, here is a grim warning from law-enforcement agencies: There are sharks in the water.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 23, 2008 -  About 130 years after Forest Park's June 1876 opening, enthusiasts of one of the city's most popular attractions can carry renderings of its jewels in their pockets.

Groups and cultural institutions devoted to making the park shine have collaborated to publish Forest Park, St. Louis (Scala 2007), a small book that features vertical and horizontal fold-out sections on the park's features, such as the Muny, the Science Center and the Zoo. Proceeds from Forest Park go to the Flora Conservancy, a volunteer group that works to maintain the park's arboreal aesthetics.

A-B lifts a glass to better than expected earnings

Jul 23, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 23, 2008 - Anheuser-Busch on Wednesday reported second-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street estimates. Higher profits from domestic and some foreign beer operations offset lower profits from non-beer businesses.

The March-June results are unaffected by the company's agreement on July 14 to be acquired by Belgian brewer InBev. That deal is expected to close by year-end. But until the initial agreement is approved by regulators and shareholders of both companies, Anheuser-Busch's results will reflect its independence.

Ballpark Village is up at bat again

Jul 23, 2008
The Ballpark Village site, looking west 2008
Rachel Heidenry | The Beacon

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 23, 2008 - After years of passed balls, failed bunt attempts, brush-back pitches and soaring fly balls that went foul, an agreement -- or at least an outline of an agreement -- with the St. Louis Cardinals, the city of St. Louis and the Baltimore-based developer Cordish Co. has been announced.

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Beacon archives | Link does not work

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 22, 2008 - When all else fails and foreclosure looms, bankruptcy attorneys say give them a chance

Which is worse: Foreclosure or bankruptcy?

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 21, 2008 - What if we were to go to the grocery store only to find it closed? What if we were to find all the grocery stores closed - no workers and no food?

Societal breakdown would come pretty quickly. Envision hungry people forming roving bands to break into houses to get canned food - maybe, even dog food.

Analysis: Don't rebuild on the floodplain

Jul 21, 2008
Photo by Robert Criss

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 21, 2008 - According to George Bernard Shaw, "We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future."

How can we apply this wisdom to the flooding challenges in St. Louis area? The Great Flood of 1993 - deemed the most destructive flood in recorded history - caused nearly $16 billion in damage. Yet, the St. Louis area is in the forefront of floodplain development, with half of it occurring on floodplains that were under water in 1993.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 21, 2008 - When Anheuser-Busch and the Teamsters union discussed a contract renewal in 2003, negotiations went smoothly. They started talking in August, reached a tentative agreement in October and signed a deal in early December -- three months before the old contract expired.

Negotiators will return to the bargaining table next month. But 2008 may not be the same as 2003, when a union leader called the contract "a Cadillac plan" and the union membership overwhelmingly supported it.

kennelwood dog boarding
Provided by Kennelwood | St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 18, 2008 - Winston the Boxer lives a pretty good life. He has his own room. He only drinks chilled Dasani water. "He won't eat until the food is warmed ahead of time," says Gregg Miller of Oak Grove, Mo. "He's such a demanding little thing."

But like many pet owners around the country, Miller says, "Nothing is too good for my dog."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 17, 2008 -  To many elementary school students, the crackle of pushing a shiny fresh pencil on clean paper can blunt the negative back-to-school feelings associated with September.

According to KidSmart St. Louis, a group that runs a free school-supply store, 80,000 children in the region cannot afford school supplies annually. To ensure that September 2008 has enough excitement to temper the anxiety for students from all socioeconomic backgrounds, Family Support Network -- a nonprofit group that works to combat child abuse and provides support to at-risk families -- is conducting a supply drive that starts July 21 and ends Aug. 31.

Clydesdale gets washed down at brewery
Tom Nagel | St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 16, 2008- Seeking to provide a smooth transition, InBev will offer retention bonuses to approximately 360 “key employees” of Anheuser-Busch as the Belgian company acquires the St. Louis company.

The employees’ titles weren’t identified in a document filed by both companies Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Retention bonuses for top executives are common in mergers and acquisitions.

Rich Thyer (left) gets help from instructor Larry Sisson at Ranken Technical College on Finney Avenue in St. Louis
Provided by Rich Thyer | Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 16, 2008 - Chad Risenhoover has some simple advice for the 2,400 autoworkers facing layoffs at Chrysler's sprawling assembly plants in Fenton: "Life isn't over; the sun will still rise tomorrow.

"Sure, you may have to sell some of your toys; sure, you may have to downsize. But there is life after Chrysler, after Ford, even after Chevy."

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Photo from Lambert International Airport

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 15, 2008 - "Conservative" renovations are underway at Lambert-St. Louis International Airports. The nearly $17 million in upgrades is a step down from a concept plan that had a price tag of about $105 million. Officials hope the improvements will still make the airport more customer friendly while staying on top of turbulent economic times.

'We get to stay in our home'

Jul 15, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 15, 2008 - Housing counselor Eric Madkins was on the phone with one of his foreclosure success stories: a 26-year-old homeowner from Jennings who found help at the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis after her husband was laid off last Christmas.

The mother of three described how her family's near-miss with foreclosure had affected her children.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 15, 2008- I was standing in the checkout line leafing through a book on modern architecture I intended to purchase. A woman standing next to me, noticing my book, said she hated modern architecture and thought it ugly. Though I should have praised her interest in the subject at all, I directed her, in a somewhat condescending tone of voice, to a book I had flipped through moments before with the name of The Architecture of Happiness by the essayist Alain de Botton. Its cover, depicting a very modern "machine for living in" and an 18th century bucolic cottage, promised another diatribe against modern architecture. So I put it back on the shelf. Lucky for me, my wife gave it to me as a present.

Boycott in St. Louis? Not so much

Jul 14, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 14, 2008 - Nationally, internet web sites are filled with comments from beer drinkers who say they are switching brands because of the impending buyout.

One, posted by a writer with the screen name "IMCULTEC" on an America On Line site Monday morning, said: "Guess I'll make my own brewskis now. . . don't like foreigners taking over the reins of the Clydesdales. Doesn't feel right. Buy AMERICAN!! At least what's left, that is. Damn this Guberment!"

Can a Clydesdale pull his weight in a global economy?

Jul 14, 2008
Clydesdale-pulled beer wagons went throughout the East Coast to promote approval of the repeal of Prohibition. 1933  300 pixels
From Anheuser-Busch Inc.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 14, 2008 - The Clydesdale hitch first paraded down Pestalozzi Street the day Congress set up the apparatus to repeal Prohibition.

Can you name the date?

Does Anheuser-Busch deserve your loyalty?

Jul 14, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 14, 2008 - Loyalty is what many St. Louisans feel - or at least have felt - towards hometown king Anheuser-Busch. No wonder some of us feel burned now that August Busch IV and the rest of the board favor selling to InBev.

Perhaps we should be more careful in the future to distinguish between loyalty as a genuine virtue and loyalty as a marketing device. Yet who can blame us for confusing the two? Blurring that line - getting us emotionally committed to a product - is what modern marketing is all about. And Anheuser-Busch is among the best marketers around.

Analysis: Winners and losers in the big beer deal

Jul 14, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 14, 2008 - Now that Anheuser-Busch and InBev say they are friends, let’s look at potential winners and losers - both short-term and long-term - based on the Belgian brewer’s new offer for Anheuser-Busch at $70-a-share in cash.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 13, 2008 - InBev raised its offer and Anheuser-Busch raised a flag of truce, agreeing to a $70-a-share buyout. 

Shortly after 11 p.m., Anheuser-Busch announced it had agreed to terms with InBev.

AB across from i-55. 2008. 300 pixels wide
Donna Korando | St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 13, 2008 - There was one strategy, and perhaps only one strategy, that could have kept St. Louis’ Anheuser-Busch King of the Brewing Mountain, immune from its now seemingly inevitable and imminent takeover by InBev of Belgium.

And that one thing, believes William Finnie, is the company having been more aggressive – and much sooner – in the international marketplace.

Air of inevitability hangs over AB deal

Jul 11, 2008
bevo fox looking at AB clocktower. 2008. 300 pixels
Tom Nagel | St. Louis Beacon archive

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 11, 2008 - Budweiser may hold onto its title as the "King of Beers," but the local entrepreneur who soon could become St. Louis' King of Brewers said today the foreign takeover of Anheuser-Busch shouldn't mean "doom and gloom" for the region.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 8, 2008 - She is a 34-year-old married mother of two who is whittling away at $20,000 of debt – a saga she shares on her Web site www.paidtwice.com.

Jaimie of somewhere in Northeastern Indiana asked that we limit her identification – not because she is embarrassed to share her financial woes but because she wants to feel secure on the Internet. More than 1,500 people visit her site daily to read about her attempts to pay off the credit card debt and college student loans she and her husband accumulated after graduation.

The mortgage crisis is really a savings crisis

Jul 8, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 8, 2008 - While it can be argued that all levels of the lending industry played some part in the sub-prime mortgage collapse, economist William Emmons of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis adds another factor: household financial behavior.

Emmons believes thesub-prime mortgage meltdown was a long time coming and is linked to the downward trend in both U.S. personal and national saving.

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