Economy & Innovation | St. Louis Public Radio

Economy & Innovation

Long reign of the 'King of Beers' is about to end

Nov 12, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 12, 2008 - It's coming down to the finish line. Anheuser-Busch said Wednesday that a majority of its shares were voted in favor of the company's purchase by Belgian brewer InBev, setting the stage for completion by year-end.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 10, 2008 - Plenty of politicians and urban planners have had their say about how to better connect the St. Louis riverfront, Arch grounds and downtown St. Louis. It's been a long-running and quite controversial dialogue -- one continued by a panel of design experts and other stakeholders Friday at Washington University (more on that later).

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 6, 2008 - Clayton-based Enterprise Bank and Trust, with $2.2 billion in total assets, is one of the largest local commercial lenders in the St. Louis area, helping to fund such high-profile deals as the $35 million 14th Street Mall redevelopment project and the $40 million mixed-use Cupples Station apartments and retail space near Busch Stadium, among many others.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 6, 2008 - Despite a shaky economy, executives of Belgian brewer InBev say they remain unshaken in their belief that the acquisition of Anheuser-Busch will proceed on schedule and be completed by year-end.

InBev CEO Carlos Brito told analysts Thursday his company is "well prepared and equipped for the challenging economic environment."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 28, 2008- A few mornings a week, between 5:30 and 6, the soft ring of a cell phone pulls Robin S. Davis out of sleep. It sits on the night stand beside her bed.

Davis tries to compose herself, pushing the sleepiness out of her voice.

Betting on 14th Street's rebirth

Oct 27, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 27, 2008 - The stark white walls and gaping sockets of her new storefront shop on 14th Street and St. Louis Avenue don't bother Ebony Wilson, who already sees the racks of glamorous women's clothes, shoes and handbags she plans to sell there starting in April.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 27, 2008 - Late on a Wednesday morning, Andrew Long wakes to a quiet home.

Everyone's gone. Tammy Long, his wife, left for work hours ago, driving his daughter, Nikki, 16, and her son, Tim, 15, to school on the way. Lucky, the three legged dog, and Ellie Mae, the pregnant Doberman, wait for his attention. The cats skulk about.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 27, 2008 - Kiffin Butz hit snooze again.

The February cold outside wasn't anything to open her eyes for, but news from the day before was. Even in waking, Butz was ecstatic.

As an assistant buyer at Macy's, she'd just gotten a promotion. That day, she IM'ed her boyfriend, who worked in the I.T. department. She called her mom in Belleville, and the two met for dinner. Butz treated.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 24, 2008 - Things will get worse before they get better. That was the consensus of experts gathered at a forum on the economic crisis Friday. But, they said, St. Louis and Missouri will likely feel a less severe impact than places like California and Florida.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 22, 2008 - Wachovia said Wednesday that it lost nearly $24 billion during the third quarter, producing results well below Wall Street's already lowered expectations.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 21, 2008 - The Republican and Democratic candidates for Missouri treasurer are both well-spoken, personable men in their early 30s with young families and a shared ambition -- to win what promises to be a challenging job during the troubling economic times ahead.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 20, 2008 - We have met, at long last, the Everyman of the supply-side school of economics. He’s the rugged American individualist that generations of right-wing theorists have sought to free from the burdens of union dues, medical coverage, workmen’s compensation insurance, pension benefits and OSHA health and safety regulations.

Don't worry about another Great Depression

Oct 18, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 18, 2008 - Washington's intervention in the recent financial meltdown will probably make money for taxpayers, was "elegantly designed" and is in no way a prelude to a second Great Depression, a panel of financial experts said Friday at Washington University.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 16, 2008 - If you're searching for a bright spot amid the recent series of economic shocks -- nest eggs cracked, jobs lost, budgets busted, energy costs at painful levels -- proponents of Proposition C on the Nov. 4 ballot think they have an answer.

Prop 1 sales tax for children's services passes

Oct 14, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 14, 2008 - Updated late on Nov 4 -With 93 percent of the vote in, Proposition 1, a quarter-cent sales tax increase to fund mental health and substance abuse programs for children, was winning with a healthy 61 percent of the vote. Nobody could be more jubilant than Kate Tansey, campaign manager for Putting Kids First and clinical director of Catholic Family Services, who praised St. Louis Countians' concern for children. 

Prop M, a half-cent sales tax for Metro, failing

Oct 14, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 14, 2008 - Metro, the St. Louis area's public transit system, went to St. Louis County voters and asked for a half-cent sales tax to fund the agency's operations and expand them. With 93 percent of the vote counted, it looked like county voters weren't buying. Prop M was failing: Almost 52 percent of the voters opposed the tax, while 48 percent voted for it. The tax's prospects had widely been considered shaky.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 13, 2008 - In a deteriorating economy, there's good news and bad news for investors in St. Louis bank stocks.

The bad news is that most of these stocks have declined for the 12 months that ended Oct. 10. The good news is that they have done better -- or, rather, less worse -- than the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index (down 42 percent) and the S&P Banking Index of larger banks (down 59 percent).

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 12, 2008 - A ubiquitous term in the news about financial crisis is "credit default swap." The subtle mysteries of the mechanism seem to confound commentators and the general public alike. Apparently, they remain a mystery even to some of the practitioners, particularly senior decision-makers at several affected companies. To delve into their meaning and effect, it is helpful to understand them as a substitute for a variety of the age-old institution of insurance.

Editor's weekly: Confronting our fears

Oct 10, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 10, 2008 - We all know that even the most unexpected crises – from 9/11 to last spring’s flood – usually follow a somewhat predictable path. Disaster strikes. Experts analyze the causes and consequences. Leaders take predictable sides and argue over remedies. Through intervention or time, the crisis passes.

Not this time. What scares me most about the current economic crisis is that everything and everyone seem off script.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 10, 2008 - Four weeks ago, analyst Jack Russo told clients to sell their shares of Anheuser-Busch, which were then trading at $66.05. He looked like a genius; the stock remains below Russo's cut-off point.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 10, 2008 - The Missouri Department of Transportation announced last week that crews will finish work on the first half of the reconstruction of Interstate 64/Highway 40 -- a section from Interstate 170 west to Spoede Road -- before the Dec. 31 deadline. When that happens, MoDOT will close Highway 40 from I-170 to Kingshighway to begin work on the eastern end of the project

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 6, 2008 - If Wall Street's woes are hitting "Main Street," you couldn't tell it at the Missouri Botanical Garden's Best of Missouri Market over the weekend.

The Market showcases artisans and food vendors from Missouri and nearby Illinois communities who sell crafts, home furnishings, jewelry, garden ornamentals, food and other items. Vendor participation is by invitation only.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 1, 2008 - While experts speculate about how Wall Street's woes will trickle down to mythical "Main Street," Nora Stern frets about its possible impact on something a lot closer to home: the Missouri Botanical Garden's Best of Missouri Market.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 30, 2008 - A darkening economic climate is making the path to InBev's purchase of Anheuser-Busch a bit more interesting than the companies had hoped.

Financial turmoil in the United States, a bond-rating firm's downgrade and a multibillion dollar infusion for one of InBev's lenders have tossed unwelcome headliness in the way of a deal that the companies and analysts still say will completed by year-end.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 29, 2008 - Monday's deal between Wachovia Corp. and Citigroup may provide temporary relief but could also cause uncertainty for Wachovia's St. Louis-based brokerage business.

The relief comes from Citigroup's willingness to buy the albatross of bad mortgages -- as well as the coveted retail banking business -- from Wachovia, essentially leaving the brokerage and asset management units as the "new" Wachovia.

The case for short selling

Sep 26, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 26, 2008 - From famous CEOs like John Mack of Morgan Stanley to infamous CEOs like Kenneth Lay of Enron, short-sellers have been blamed for major flops in companies' stocks.

Critics of short selling -- the betting that stocks will fall -- have called these investors anything from anti-American to financial terrorists to vultures. The critics are often CEOs whose stocks are being battered, but many experts say responsible short-selling is not only a time-honored financial tactic but also a necessary one.

Danforth Plant Science Center is still growing after a decade

Sep 26, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 26, 2008 - This Sunday, Sept. 28, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center celebrated its 10th birthday with tours, games, science demonstrations, music and, of course, cake. Opening the greenhouses to the community, the center's employees invited everyone to explore the center and see the progress made toward achieving its mission -- to improve the human condition through plant science.

Commentary: Financial bailout: Words of caution

Sep 26, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 26, 2008 - At this stage it is imprudent to speculate on the intricate details that the government’s bailout plan will include. There are, however, several broader issues to consider as the plan takes shape.

First, the rescue plan should not be used as an opportunity to extend the role of government in other areas of the economy.

Part 3 of 3 - This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 26, 2008 - The collapse of some of the nation's oldest financial institutions started on Main Street America with hundreds and thousands of homeowners such as 56-year-old Maureen McKenzie of Kirkwood who in May lost to foreclosure the small ranch house that had been in her family since it was built after World War II. How could this happen? The answer is ... complicated. The Beacon will unravel the story of how Maureen McKenzie of Kirkwood, Mo., lost her 900 square feet of the American Dream.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 25, 2008 - David Wolk spends his days on Cherokee Street with severed doll heads, pink-haired alligators and a messy desk.

The owner and founder of the almost 1-year-old, Cranky Yellow Publishing, Wolk started his business as much to indulge his creative fancies as to promote the work of unusual artists, musicians and writers. Wolk organized this summer's Crammed Organisms Plush show, featuring hundreds of funky stuff animals.

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