What are the forces moving the Minnesota economy? Adam Belz tries to identify the trends and show the connections between Minnesota and the larger U.S. and global economies. You can connect with him on Twitter: @adambelz

Opening Belz, April 17

Posted by: Adam Belz under Business trends Updated: April 17, 2015 - 11:43 AM

Iron Range families steel themselves for hard times – StarTribune
Brownback signs welfare restrictions bill in Kansas – KC Star
Bird flu outbreak could last several years in Minnesota – StarTribune
Pope “considering” a visit to Cuba – Catholic Herald
Lawmakers reach deal on fast track trade bill – Politico
Emerald ash borer could cost Iowa $2.5bn – Des Moines Register
Ecolab to buy Travelers tower in STP, move HQ there – StarTribune
New “.sucks” domain could be headache for businesses – Plain Dealer
Loss of 800 MN construction jobs dulls hopes for rebound – Finance & Commerce
St. Louis Marathon winner found to have cheated – Post-Dispatch

Opening Belz, Feb. 11

Posted by: Adam Belz under Business trends Updated: February 11, 2015 - 8:54 AM

Farmland prices are softening in Minnesota – StarTribune
Mayor: Detroit on track for first balanced budget in 13 years – Reuters
Minnesota says cigarette smuggling is a growing problem – StarTribune
St. Louis wrestles with a dome versus an outdoor football stadium – Post-Dispatch
Midwestern wages are flat as the Midwestern landscape – Dick Longworth
Regulators worry low oil prices will lead to corner-cutting in Bakken – Fargo Forum
Colorado coal production slips to 20-year low – Denver Post
Neighborhood group OKs 30-story tower at Nye’s location – StarTribune
Ohio governor warns state colleges to cut the fat, or he will – Columbus Dispatch
U.S. inventive energy shifted from medicine to computers in the 1990s – Atlantic
Syrian monuments men seek to protect antiquities as looters descend – WSJ
American politicians have it really easy with journalists – ABC News Australia
By the way, Australia has a child care cost problem too – Bloomberg

U.S. Bank taps "Dynamic Dozen" -- an internal millennial think tank

Posted by: Adam Belz under Business trends Updated: February 6, 2015 - 3:29 PM

I'm a little late to this, but U.S. Bank has formed its 2015 “Dynamic Dozen,” a group of millennials chosen by the company’s senior leaders to give their perspectives on how to make U.S. Bank more attractive to their age group.

The company has been doing this since 2009. The Dynamic Dozen has influenced the bank’s mobile banking road map and various career development programs. Members of the Dynamic Dozen have also participated in focus groups to help the bank better understand its benefits enrollment process and how to better engage the millennial generation as both employees and customers. The group has also provided feedback on intranet prototypes; shared insights on campus card opportunities; generated ideas to help college graduates with financial best practices; and much more.

Here's the list. I linked to the LinkedIn profiles of the ones in the Twin Cities that I could find:

- Sara Anderson – Risk Management and Compliance – Minneapolis
- Megan Balkowitsch – Wealth Management and Securities Services – Minneapolis
- Zaccheaus “Zack” Burton – Corporate Audit Services – Milwaukee
- Elizabeth “Liz” Carraro­ – Omnichannel – Minneapolis
- Nikki Carter – Technology and Operations Services – Richfield, Minn.
- Arielle Goldberg – Strategy and Corporate Affairs – Cincinnati
Scott Hagemeyer – Risk Management and Compliance – Minneapolis
- Duong “Dee” Hoang – Human Resources – Richfield, Minn.
- Eric Kirchner – Payment Services – Minneapolis
- Kevin Murphy – Wholesale Banking – New York
- James Narr – Legal – Minneapolis
- Robin Papper – Commercial Real Estate – Boston
- Miranda Peary – Community Banking – Littleton, Colo.

Opening Belz, Feb. 3

Posted by: Adam Belz under Business trends Updated: February 3, 2015 - 10:27 AM

Strong month for Midwest manufacturers – StarTribune
Steelworkers at oil refineries hunker down for long strike – Houston Chronicle
Illinois Gov. Rauner pivots on medical pot, grants licenses – Chicago Tribune
Apartments fuel construction boom in Milwaukee – Journal Sentinel
Floating armories in the Gulf of Oman, a solution to piracy – WSJ
This year’s Super Bowl ads went heavy on the sentimentality – TIME
Google prepares to get into ride-hailing, face down Uber – Bloomberg
Radio Shack ponders a shutdown, talking with Amazon, Sprint – Bloomberg
Shakeup in Samsung’s mobile division – WSJ
Very cool light painting of dinosaurs, other creatures – WIRED
Dry winter in Minnesota “affects bottom lines” – Brainerd Dispatch

Opening Belz, Jan. 30

Posted by: Adam Belz under Business trends Updated: January 30, 2015 - 12:26 PM

U.S. GDP growth slows to 2.6 percent in 4th quarter – WSJ
In Hoyt Lakes, Mesabi Nugget to shut down for 6-8 weeks – Duluth News Tribune
Falling oil prices gut North Dakota revenue forecast – StarTribune
Best Buy shifts from Super Bowl ads to digital marketing – StarTribune
iThrone: What Apple has accomplished is truly remarkable – Economist
Polaris recalls new Slingshot 3-wheeler – StarTribune
Medicare payments surge for stents in arms and legs – NY Times
Shakeup at 89.3 The Current as mid-day host canned – StarTribune
“Nigeria has basically squandered away its oil bonanza” – Financial Times
Is Sweden an overrated country, economically? – Marginal Revolution

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