Recent content from Lee Schafer
The Trump administration insists wages are increasing. Many economists seem pretty sure that if so, the growth rate rounds to zero.
The single best explanation for why we had a terrifying financial crisis 10 years ago goes back to how easy it seems to be to…
The idea is that co-op members are well-equipped to look out for themselves, but Crow Wings is putting that to the test.
Focusing on workplace safety can pay off by lowering costs.
Housing costs more than it used to for most of us, and our incomes haven't kept up.
Part of the fun of going every year to the Minnesota State Fair is seeing what’s new — and this year that included Federal Reserve…
They don't suggest it's a lot easier to build a successful technology company in a college town more than an hour's drive from downtown Minneapolis and half a world away from Silicon Valley. They just doubt it's any harder.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren hopes to see a new legal charter adopted by big American businesses. The Massachusetts Democrat’s idea being to kill the notion that…
After talking to Gene Munster, it's clear he's remaining as professional as possible when sharing his thoughts on a potential transaction that was disclosed in the wackiest possible way.
If public officials don't take the time to really get it, odds seem high that the problem of not enough lower-cost housing gets worse in the Twin Cities.
Home buyers have long known about this trade-off between cheaper houses and longer commutes, sometimes called the drive-until-you-qualify strategy. Buying cheaply enough to get approved for a mortgage loan means looking in neighborhoods that are probably much farther out from the city center. But commuting with a car isn't cheap.
The Minnesota Council of Health Plans hasn't taken a position on a new policy initiative out of Washington because its members apparently can't all agree.
If you're in favor of economic growth, welcoming immigrants is one good way to get that.
The Stearns Bank equipment finance operation in Albany, Minn., has a much bigger front desk than anyone could expect.It only takes one person to greet…
Another column in an occasional series on the future of housing. Realtor Kathy Samson knew exactly how a parcel of 6.3 acres in the northwest…
That just isn't Supervalu's fault. It was, however, Supervalu's problem. The company never quite met the challenge.
Top executives are doing just fine, thanks to corporate tax cuts.
The current economic expansion is about a year away from setting a record as the longest in American history.
Maybe it shouldn't have been surprising that the world's leading e-commerce company plans to distribute paper catalogs and is going after new customers with direct mail.
For those determined to figure out what to buy without any help, good luck.
Co-branding with a bench player in an NBA backwater obviously isn't what anyone at Adidas had in mind when locking up the endorsement rights to Rose back in 2012 — a contract that has been regularly reported as worth about $190 million.
If the question is how to make more affordable housing units available, a Minneapolis Fed official's answer is not that complicated.
Thanks to an escalating trade dispute between the United States and China, Minnesota-grown soybeans are about to get a lot more expensive for Chinese buyers.
Third in an occasional series on the future of housing. Here’s an old real estate joke you maybe haven’t heard before: Know how to create…
While it's obvious the Mayo Clinic is a health care provider, it's not at all obvious that this is the best way to describe it.
The CEO changed but the business plan didn't at one of the largest health providers in the Twin Cities.
The story of ASV illustrates some of the trends that have made Minnesota’s list of public companies much smaller than it once was. Before the…
"In a weird way, it's not that complicated" to explain why those lots in Minneapolis are fairly valued at pretty much zero, said Chris Wilson, senior director of real estate development for the Minneapolis-based nonprofit Project for Pride in Living.
Just outside the construction fence for the Major League Soccer stadium project in St. Paul is Big Top Liquors, a retailer that has been there…
First of an occasional series on the future of housing. Entrepreneur Chris Smith just moved a company called Kipsu into new office space in…
Take a closer look at the project now called the A-Mill Artist Lofts, and you can see this isn't the kind of work that novices should take on.
The machines embraced by mainstream customers rarely seem to be cool, ground-up inventions.
It always pays to be at least a little skeptical of talk of a new normal, but John Williams' talk was still well worth taking in.
It was surprising to learn this week that the Mosaic Co. has elected to relocate its corporate headquarters to Florida, though the surprise was in…
Medtronic clearly wanted to show how serious its executives are about creating "shareholder value." That only invited more questions.
There has been a boomlet of financial technology startups since the Great Recession, with fintech firms making a home in the Twin Cities.
The recruiting challenge is what came out of feedback Amazon gave officials as part of calls to most of the also-rans in the race to become a second headquarters town.
Doubters' misunderstanding seems to be a big part of the head-scratching reaction.
It's galling to have to admit they were almost certainly right.
At first it seemed that Medtronic Chairman and CEO Omar Ishrak planned to deliver a superficial introduction to Medtronic, as if maybe no one in…
Kashkari spent much of last year as a sometimes lonely voice at the Fed opposing the idea that short-term interest rates should go up. While he's not exactly on board now with boosting them, a lot has changed since his last no vote. That was only last December.
An April blizzard turned into just another bad PR moment for private-equity managers, who can't even seem to come up with a good word to describe themselves.
If operational excellence is a big part of the Polaris story, it really needs to stop recalling its products for potential safety problems.
So what's the users' privacy worth? It's priceless.
UCare executives had to cut costs to survive. But there are lessons to be learned here about how they went about it.
You may have to forgive some of us for our enthusiasm at the launch of Ceridian HCM Holding as a public company. It's a compelling growth story right now.
Opponents of PolyMet Mining's plan to mine for copper, nickel and other metals in northeastern Minnesota keep hoping that the economics of the project collapse…
Whether talking about 3-D printed houses or smart toilets is a shrewd way to win votes remains to be seen.
It may look like the state of Minnesota acted just like the state’s best-run companies by holding someone accountable for the mess made of a…
Alden Global Capital has for years treated one of the biggest media companies in the country like a big ATM. Someday, it will run out of money.
Target Chief Operating Officer John Mulligan says he gets asked “all the time” why the company keeps investing in its stores. It’s a new digital…
After Patterson Cos. announced that an ERP problem — among other factors — led to a disappointing quarter, its stock ended the day about 24 percent cheaper.
The best explanation for the billion-dollar surplus guess has to be that Republicans had really wanted to take a victory lap.
For those of us who have had no choice but a do-it-yourself retirement program, there just isn't a sure path to a worry-free future.
Minnesota's lawsuit and the settlement arose out of the traditional strengths of an enduringly excellent company.
General Mills is paying what seems like a lot of money — about 25 times cash earnings — for the Blue Buffalo pet food maker.…
It was a bad PR day for the city of Minneapolis last week when its chief resilience officer left after only seven months and without…
The law is fine, one Twin Cities attorney says. It's getting the law applied that's so challenging for workers.
Schafer: Minneapolis mutual fund manager Disciplined Growth Investors aims to attract clients directly
Some pithy, funny or sometimes odd statements about investing that appear on the sides of transit buses and billboards in the Twin Cities can be…
Let’s hope the St. Paul Public Schools’ contract negotiations with its teachers’ union aren’t the start of a new and more chaotic era in labor…
The agreement with the Federal Reserve keeping a lid on the size of the Wells Fargo balance sheet is a big deal.
Lourenco Goncalves, who put on a not-to-be-missed show for a roomful of Iron Rangers last week in Eveleth, is a miner with a track record of delivering.
There's nothing riskier when deciding what to do with your savings than concluding "this time it's really different" in the market.
U.S. Bank just booked a $608 million expense to settle with regulators over compliance failures.
The worst possible outcome in the competition for Amazon.com's second headquarters has already come to pass for the Twin Cities.
Neel Kashkari of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis visited Cargill, and much of what the Fed really does was discussed.
His company is still just a startup, yet Visible City has been analyzing multiple layers of data to do things like help a client find the single best site for a new apartment building. That seems pretty practical.
It's also seen as a sign of a healthy culture of entrepreneurship to have lots of busy co-working places nearby.
Brands can be easily tarnished when workers are injured or systematically exploited.
The college students career counselor Emily Reinert sees at Augsburg University in Minneapolis won’t hear much from her about passion. Instead they will hear more…
The assumption in my household all year was that the Republican tax cut bill was meant to really benefit people richer than we are,…
It’s hard to guess who critics thought got the profits when nonprofit Medica transferred capital to its for-profit health insurance subsidiary. No one does, of…
To state the obvious, no one can really "invest" in bitcoin. Just speculate.
Aetna Inc. CEO Mark Bertolini will collect about half-a-billion dollars when and if Aetna’s sale to CVS Health closes, according to the Wall Street Journal.…
Of the two competitors, the one to bet on is the one that doesn't need to operate a big network of brick-and-mortar stores.
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