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, Dec. 15

Posted by: Adam Belz under Business trends, Economics Updated: December 15, 2014 - 9:52 AM

Blockbuster from WaPo on decline of the middle class – Washington Post
Oil veterans know the feel of a bust, and they’re getting ready – Bloomberg
Minnesota farmers notice rail service starting to improve – StarTribune
Chicago loses ADM tech center to Cincinnati suburb – Crain’s Chicago
Nice update on the Minnesota economy from our editorial board – StarTribune
The true cost of cheap egg rolls at the “Grand China Buffet” – Boston Globe
General Mills adds new cereal to take on trends – StarTribune
Sorkin: News outlets who post Sony’s leaked emails are “treasonous” – NY Times
Equality and efficiency: Not always in opposition, but not in harmony either – Dani Rodrik

Opening Belz, Dec. 12

Posted by: Adam Belz under Business trends Updated: December 12, 2014 - 11:54 AM

Story of the day: The vanishing American male worker – NY Times
New Nicollet Mall redesign unveiled – StarTribune
A windy, but worthwhile discussion of the Sony email leaks – Buzzfeed
The centrality of images to the Internet, and their future – Om Malik
In Latin America, growth trumps climate change – NY Times
Millennials watch a lot less regular TV than Boomers – Media Post
Mexico faces familiar worries about the peso – Economist
Oil billionaire Harold Hamm has lost half his fortune – Bloomberg
This row at Korean Air with the chairman’s daughter is fascinating – Reuters
Interesting QA with Dean Baquet, editor of the NYT – WWD

Minneapolis Fed president Kocherlakota to step down in 2016

Posted by: Adam Belz under Business trends, Economics Updated: December 13, 2014 - 3:35 AM

In a surprise move, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis announced Friday that he will not seek a second term as leader of the bank.

Narayana Kocherlakota, who took over the bank in 2009 “so that I could be of service to my country in an economic emergency,” said he told the board of directors that he will step down when his term ends in February 2016. I wrote a story for print about this that was edited and is available here.

“I have been honored to play a role in shaping the response to that dire situation,” he said in a statement. “While challenges lie ahead for the Federal Reserve System, the state of crisis has passed, and I have decided not to continue my service into a new term.”

Kocherlakota has made a name for himself as one of the most dovish members of the monetary policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee. Once considered a hawk, he reevaluated the data over his first few years as president of the Minneapolis Fed, and emerged in the past three years as a strong voice for continued economic stimulus.

He also has been an advocate for the Fed to articulate its aims and its strategies more explicitly.

Before his appointment as president, Kocherlakota served as a member of the Minneapolis Fed’s Research staff, as well as a Research consultant for the Bank. His prior experience also includes professorships at the University of Minnesota, where he was chair of the Economics Department, and at Stanford University.

“My service as president has been the most rewarding period of my professional career,” Kocherlakota added. “The people at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, and the people of the Federal Reserve System more generally, are fantastic contributors to their country. I have been humbled on a daily basis by their knowledge, their talent and their dedication. It has been an enormous honor for me to serve the public with them, and I am deeply thankful to the Minneapolis Fed’s board of directors for giving me the opportunity to do so. I look forward to continuing to work with my Fed colleagues and the board of directors during the remainder of my time as president.”

In a statement, Randy Hogan, chairman of the Minneapolis Fed’s board of directors and CEO of Pentair, expressed his appreciation for Kocherlakota’s service. “The board of directors thanks Narayana for his outstanding leadership and for his many contributions to the Bank and to the Federal Reserve System. Among those contributions, his focus on improving communication between the Bank and its constituents is a key legacy of his tenure and will serve as a guide for years to come. We look forward to working with him throughout the remainder of his term, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

Per capita income dropped noticeably in rural Minnesota in 2013

Posted by: Adam Belz under Business trends, Economics Updated: December 12, 2014 - 12:32 PM

The mostly green map shows per capita income growth over the past four years, annualized. The other map, with the red counties along the western and southern swathes of Minnesota, shows per capita income growth in 2013. It was negative in many of those counties.

Opening Belz, Dec. 2

Posted by: Adam Belz under Business trends Updated: December 2, 2014 - 11:32 AM

Dreary 2015 earnings guidance from Deere no reason for real concern – Crains
Train hauling mostly sugar derails west of Brainerd – StarTribune
Snow, mud, making mess of Wisconsin’s grain harvest – Journal Sentinel
It was the coldest November in 30 years in Grand Forks – Herald
Dodgy home appraisals are making a comeback – WSJ
MSP Airport wants to build on-premise hotel – StarTribune
Register business editor Lynn Hicks says farewell to Biz Buzz – Des Moines Register
Nye’s Polonaise Room, one of the best bars in Mpls, to close – MSP Biz Journals
Population growth for 20-34 yr olds augurs well for apartments, housing – Calculated Risk
Closer look at the municipal/demographic structure of Jerusalem – London Review of Books

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