Van Lines

with Joe Vanden Plas


Wisconsin competitiveness

There is one thing I especially like about the Wisconsin Competitiveness Fund, the new capital formation plan devised by former city of Madison economic development director Tim Cooley, and a cast of several. Although not meant as a slap to coastal investors who've done their best to ignore us, it takes a long overdue "grow-your-own" approach toward capital formation. It's about time.

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Standard & Poor’s issues the latest wake-up call

As the fallout from downgrading America’s credit rating unfolds, it’s pretty clear the deal made to raise the debt ceiling amounts to nothing more than a down payment on the debt. It was the first time our sacrosanct Triple-A credit rating has been downgraded (to AA+), which means U.S. Treasury bonds are no longer considered among the safest investments in the world, the U.S. government will pay higher interest to borrow, and various consumer loans (think homes and autos) will be impacted, too.

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Debt-ceiling debacle: A pox on all their houses

So Congress and the Obama administration have finally reached a tentative deal to raise the debt ceiling. Maybe, sort of. I suppose they expect the American public, including the business community, to be grateful for ending this manufactured crisis, but given the economic harm they caused by causing this needless panic, they might not want to hold their collective breath.

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Diversity Plus

The age of diversity is far from over, but even some of its evangelists note that during the Great Recession, it took a back seat to survival. Long frustrated in its attempts to move beyond incremental progress in meeting diversity goals, corporate America, and soon companies of all sizes, will not only view "inclusion" as a way to drive business performance in a way diversity never could, but as a more effective way to finally make workforce diversity reflect the growing diversity of American society. Companies like JP Morgan Chase, Chevron, and Medtronics have begun to implement inclusion as a business strategy.

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Craftily brewing up an investment storm

“Beer is an affordable luxury.” Truer words were never uttered, and they were spoken recently by Carl Nolen, the former president and CEO of the Madison-based Capital Brewery.

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