(WisBusiness) WED News Summary — 8 Oct. 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— The Dow Jones fell more than 300 points shortly after this morning’s opening bell before abruptly rebounding. It was up more than 100 points shortly before 9 a.m.

The volatility came after the Federal Reserve cut a key interest rate by a half-point.

See more below in TOP STORIES

— A new report from Citizen Action of Wisconsin estimates that $1.5 billion of health care insurance premiums paid in the state doesn’t go toward medical care.

The report also indicates the percentage of premiums not used directly for medical care is higher for individual plans rather than group insurance plans. Citizen Action director Robert Kraig, the report’s co-author, said it would change the debate about health care reform and cautioned against proposals designed to increase individual participation on the health insurance market.

“The individual market is a great deal more wasteful,” Kraig said.

According to the report, about 25 percent of dollars on the individual market go toward other purposes, compared to just 11 percent from group plan premiums.

*See the press release:


*Read the report:


— The economic crisis currently swamping the country will probably slow down venture capitalists and the companies they back in the next year or two, John Neis, managing partner of Madison-based Venture Investors said Tuesday.

But Neis, whose firm has more than $200 million under management, said the impact of the meltdown on Wall Street shouldn’t have an immediate effect.

His company, which also has an office in Ann Arbor, MI, invests primarily in Midwest health care and technology start-ups.

“I think this will have an impact… especially if this downturn is prolonged,” he said. “Things move in long-term cycles in the venture industry and the events of a few weeks aren’t going to determine it one way or another.

See more from Neis in a new WisBusiness interview later today.



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Press Releases
· AG Van Hollen: 33 states reach landmark $62 million settlement with Eli Lilly
· Alliant Energy: Mid-Continent Railway Museum awarded $10,000 flood recovery grant from the Alliant Energy Foundation
· Citizen Action of Wisconsin: New report reveals increasing cut insurance industry is taking from Wisconsin health insurance premiums
· Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection: Candy found on Wisconsin grocery shelves may be melamine-tainted
· Office of the Commissioner of Insurance: September 2008 administrative actions
· UW-Madison: UW E-Business Consortium celebrates 10 years of serving Wisconsin companies
· UW-Madison: UW students and alumni to connect at career networking event

For these and more releases visit http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Content=82


Fed orders emergency rate cut to 1.5 percent: The Federal Reserve cut a key interest rate by half a percentage point today to steady an economy teetering on the kind of financial collapse that America suffered in 1929. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues ratcheted down their key rate by 0.5 percentage point to 1.5 percent. The action revives the central bank’s rate-cutting campaign which had been halted in June out of concerns that those low rates would worsen inflation. Since then, however, economic and financial conditions have dangerously deteriorated, forcing the Fed to reverse course. The fact that the Fed felt it couldn’t wait until its regularly scheduled meeting on Oct. 28-29 underscored the urgency of the situation.

– Fed Joins Global Rate Cut, Eases by Half Point

– Stocks Wobble After Global Rate Cut

Fed to buy large amounts of short-term debt: The Federal Reserve announced Tuesday a radical plan to buy massive amounts of short-term debt in a dramatic effort to break through a credit clog that is imperiling the U.S. economy. A day after financial markets around the world had one of their worst performances in years, the U.S central bank, known as the Fed, invoked 1930s Depression-era emergency powers to begin buying commercial paper — short-term funding that many companies rely on to pay their workers and buy supplies.

RexCon to move headquarters, plant to Burlington: RexCon LLC is moving its manufacturing plant and corporate headquarters to a 26-acre site in the Burlington Manufacturing & Office Park in 2009. The long-time Milwaukee company with 70 employees will construct a 112,500-square-foot factory and headquarters building in Burlington, which is about 40 miles south of its current home at 7044 N. Teutonia Ave., Milwaukee.

Wisconsin to share in $62M Zyprexa settlement: The state of Wisconsin will share in a $62 million settlement from drug maker Eli Lilly and Co. from allegations that the company marketed the antipsychotic Zyprexa for unapproved uses in violation of state consumer protection laws.

Manitowoc Company’s purchase of Enodis moves forward: Purchase of British catering equipment manufacturer Enodis by the Manitowoc Company has received antitrust clearance from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, clearing the way for completing the deal.


GREGG HOFFMANN: Contributor, WisBusiness.com

TOM STILL: President, Wisconsin Technology Council

JENNIFER SERENO: Senior manager, Wood Communications Group

STEVE JAGLER: Executive editor, Small Business Times

TOM BURZINSKI: IT executive and consultant

TECHNOLOGY (back to top)
– BlackBerry Storm has touch screen you can feel

– National Graphics offers 3-D technology to the masses

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Economic issues examined from all sides at round table

– Business Beat: Yo-yo economy comes home to roost

– More than 62,000 in Wisconsin still eligible for stimulus checks

– Government contracts help businesses in unstable economy

– Northwest Wisconsin receives state economic development funds

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Kimberly-Clark wins environmental award

– C-K’s Milwaukee office wins work for Mohawk Industries

LABOR (back to top)
– Late-night shifts tough to fill at times, employers say

– Retirees forced back to work

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Two Rivers: The Cottage off to a strong start

INVESTING (back to top)
– Associated sets call on earnings

– After another stock market plunge, experts ask when will rebound kick in

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Brett Favre’s house for sale for $475K

– Plan Commission rejects giving council final say with Near East building plans

– Sweetwater owner drops riverfront development pitch

– Group’s housing aid on the rise

– Stone House Development escapes worst of housing crisis

– Housing study delay frustrates advocates

– Project would add 90 senior apartments on Milwaukee’s northwest side

– Lakefront high-rise gets Common Council OK

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Republic CEO: Midwest can be stronger airline

RETAIL (back to top)
– Oshkosh: Shopko TIF request approved, with some reservations

– Dorsch breaks ground for 2 new showrooms

– Hooters closes with plans to nest on east side

– Milwaukee: Marcus still has plans for downtown movie theater, president says

REGULATION (back to top)
– Cleaning company files lien against Milwaukee Mile

TOURISM (back to top)
– 36 Hours in Milwaukee

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Grants offered for energy projects

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Laird garnered research grants, recognition for Marshfield Clinic

– Guardian, Prime Financial credit unions to merge

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Dr. Hallett to lead ThedaCare Physicians

– Ex-NFL player is new director at Pettit Center

– Waukesha group names new executive director

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Richard Ryman column: Area stores get ready for their openings

Media Partners
Small Business Times
Madison Magazine

National Business Roundups ( back to top)
–YAHOO FINANCE: http://finance.yahoo.com/
–CNBC BUSINESS NEWS: http://www.cnbc.com
–ABC BUSINESS NEWS: http://abcnews.go.com/sections/business/
–GOOGLE NEWS: http://news.google.com/news/en/us/business.html

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