From WisBusiness.com …
— With savings rates in negative territory, the economy teetering on recession and “unprecedented” access to credit, experts say the need for personal financial literacy is greater than ever before.
“What we need to do now is catch up to the changes in our financial system, which has been evolving rapidly,” said David Mancl, who was recently appointed by President Bush to a two-year term on a national advisory council on financial literacy.
“If you look at the Internet, you can now literally type in your Social Security number and be trading on the New York Stock Exchange in five minutes,” said Mancl, an Appleton native.
To catch up, many schools and some workplaces are offering programs so students and employees can be better informed about credit, 401(k) investments and other money issues, added Mancl, who holds an MBA from UW-Madison and is director of the state Department of Financial Institutions’ Office of Financial Literacy.
“We know that regulation and licensing can only go so far in protecting consumers,” he said. “We need to be proactive and do more in the way of education so people don’t get in financial trouble.”
Mancl said Wisconsin got the president’s attention because the state has been “ahead of the curve” with initiatives such as a statewide campaign called Money Smart Week and creating teacher training courses dealing with personal financial literacy.”
See story later at WisBusiness.com:
— Gov. Jim Doyle will unveil the state Tourism Department’s new brand on March 4 at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Lake Geneva at the 2008 Governor’s Conference on Tourism.
Officials said the new brand – which has been months in the making – will serve as the basis for all of Wisconsin’s marketing communications and key messaging from state agencies including the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Commerce and other departments.
The conference is expected to draw more than 1,000 representatives from Wisconsin’s travel and hospitality industry. Tourism is Wisconsin’s third-largest industry – after agriculture and manufacturing – and generated nearly $13 billion in traveler spending in 2006.
— Wauwatosa Holdings Inc., the parent company of Wauwatosa Savings Bank, reported this week that its net income declined substantially in the fourth quarter and for the full year of 2007.
The company’s fourth-quarter net income shrunk to $307,000, or 1 cent per share, from $2.3 million, or 7 cents per share, in the same period a year ago, as the company incurred an eight-fold increase in its provisions to cover bad loans, according to a filing with the the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission.
See story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2008/2/21/#credit-crunch-takes-toll-on-wauwatosa-savings-bank
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School Specialty revenues hit high: Firm projects healthy income growth for year… School Specialty reported fiscal 2008 third-quarter revenue of $134.8 million, a 4.7 percent gain from the same 2007 quarter and an all-time high for the period. The company Thursday also reported a net income loss of $20.3 million or loss per share from continuing operations of 95 cents, reflecting the seasonally low period for educational product sales and increased selling, general and administrative expense compared to the previous year. Revenue for the nine-month fiscal 2008 period rose 4.2 percent to a record $914.3 million, the company said.
Making a splash: New MMSD operator Veolia giving $1.5 million to UWM’s Great Lakes WATER Research Institute… Veolia Water SA of France, one of the world’s biggest water-technology companies, spends $50 million a year to develop ways to clean wastewater in a world beset by water shortages. And starting soon, it plans to be spending a share of its research-and-development budget in Milwaukee. The company, a newcomer to the city, will give a $1.5 million research grant to the Great Lakes WATER Research Institute, an arm of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, company officials said. The North American division of the Paris company entered the city in December, when it won a $400 million, multi-year contract…
Cranberry grower lawsuit prompts new bill to protect farmers: Now that a lawsuit against a Sawyer County cranberry producer filed by the state’s justice department may finally be over, a central Wisconsin lawmaker is trying to pass a bill to make sure such a scenario doesn’t happen again. State Rep. Mary Williams of Medford is authoring a measure that would prohibit the Department of Justice from bringing an action to enjoin a public nuisance if the alleged activity is not in violation of a statute, rule, permit or ordinance. According to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau, who defended William Zawistowski for allegedly polluting area waterways by discharging phosphorous into an area lake, the bill would also requires a court to award the defendant for their costs and expenses–if the court determines that the defendant’s activity was not a public nuisance.
Bill worries state wineries: Law would restrict direct sales to stores… State legislation that would create new restrictions on how wineries sell their vintages has again been introduced, and Wisconsin winery owners are again worried about the effects it might have on their businesses. The bill, SB 485, requires larger wineries, which produce over 25,000 gallons annually, to sell their wines to wholesale distributors, which then sell the wines to restaurants, taverns, liquor stores and other retailers. Wineries that produce less than 25,000 gallons annually may instead form cooperatives, which would then act as wholesalers to sell the wines to retailers.
WISBUSINESS FEATURED COLUMNISTS
– GREGG HOFFMANN: Contributor, WisBusiness.com
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– Wi-Fi in Appleton feasible, report says
– First for county: Recyclable billboards
– AT&T service restoration taking days
ECONOMY (back to top)
– School Specialty reports wider 3Q loss
– China’s costs rising
MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Greenheck recalls gas-fired furnaces
– Bucyrus chief Sullivan elected chairman of United Way
LABOR (back to top)
– Landscaper certification loses traction
– Project would link parolees to work
– Early morning fire guts Kenosha restaurant, drives 18 from their homes
INVESTING (back to top)
– There’s plenty of capital, investor says
– M&I unit invests in small-business banking firm
REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Realtors see cause for optimism in local property values
– Revised 2007 Milk Production Report Confirms Near-Record
– Fertilizer, seeding costs increasing
– Organic producers struggle to keep pace with rising demand
– Doyle apologizes to motorists stranded on highway
– Local retailers unfazed by fears of looming national recession
REGULATION (back to top)
– Bill preserves Do Not Call list
– Advocates: Wisconsin will have smokefree workplaces
– DNR adds 3 area creeks to impaired waters list
– County may back off sprawl limits
TOURISM (back to top)
– New EcoPark director: Moving forward, fundraising key
– Water Utility must tread a bit longer
– Waukesha still pursuing town land for two wells
– Madison’s Alliant hits coal-plant blockade
HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Affinity earns top care honor
– Mental-health advocates seek better coverage
– Free income tax assistance offered at college’s Green Bay location
– Wauwatosa Savings Bank profit plunges
MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– ThedaCare CEO takes new job
– Conference in Green Bay to focus on entrepreneurs
– Bradley Center may sell naming rights
– Jacque Georgia: Drop in home sale prices affects appraisals
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