Recent content from Lee Schafer
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.
Some employers in the region have still been knocked back by the IRS letters landing in their mailboxes.
Provided the deal with Arby's closes early next year as planned, McGuire persevered in a grimly determined proxy fight only to agree to a buyout premium of all of 3 percent once his nominees were elected.
Sure, it's just the retirement of a commercial airplane, but there never was anything ordinary about the 747.
Some books and financial advisors make it seem that saving for retirement is pretty simple. The implicit idea is that, if people still live on the financial edge after many years of working, there must be something wrong with them. That's not the case.
So really how smart — and harmless — is one of these things?
The sale of a majority stake in the Minneapolis software firm Jamf that was announced last month marked another milestone for investment firm Summit Partners,…
The decisions about how capital gets deployed also help explain why so many industries, such as restaurants and groceries, are cyclical.
Some awfully entertaining reading can usually be found in the background of the merger section of the securities filings that companies prepare for shareholders when…
How the Gophers head football coach define culture? "Connection ... It's connecting people."
Champions for tax reform in Washington want to help the middle class so much that they have proposed a big income tax cut for the biggest U.S. corporations. Really. And they think it's going to work, too.
Lots of people see the good that can come of spending money at a shop owned and staffed by people from the neighborhood. A financial…
Minneapolis residents found out this month that seven of their City Council candidates and two people who are running for mayor can imagine a city…
It's a cautionary tale, if proven in court, about how quick profits can easily tempt unsophisticated people to break the law.
Company towns got their bad reputation when the big employers veer from not just bossing people around to taking advantage of them.
Compared with Iowa and Wisconsin, in Minnesota we enjoy higher household incomes and are more likely to have a job, have college degrees and be covered by health insurance.
Entrepreneur Chip Pearson has been trying to get the word out that our region’s startup technology sector is a lot bigger — and has created…
Some local employers can't imagine how Target gets attention for starting people at $11 per hour. It's far too late in this tight labor market for $11 an hour to be news.
Complaining about competing against Amazon for workers would make Best Buy and Target look like whiners. But it's clearly an issue.
Fred Martin, the founder and lead portfolio manager for Disciplined Growth Investors of Minneapolis, is also the founder and host of an event he hopes will recur annually called Objective Measure.
Keeping the customers coming back seems pretty fundamental, but in traditional retailing it's easy to get distracted by the store.
When a standard changed, what was already a sizable financial hole turned into a crater.
The Twin Cities doesn't have to get Amazon.com's second headquarters and its potential of 50,000 jobs to get a big win out of the new headquarters sweepstakes.
Most of what I learned in economics for a degree granted more than 30 years ago has long ago leached away, but I remembered enough…
Savings achieved by joining forces might make this deal a winner for H.B. Fuller Co.
People would be happier, and not to mention a lot easier to work for, if they really grasped that it's far too easy to give themselves credit for good fortune.
There's an old line about a lottery that is well worth repeating: It's not a form of legalized gambling, it's a form of legalized swindling.
Somebody on that board did a lot of hard work trying to fix the bank's problems.
It turns out that it's not elitist or corporatist to believe that businesses will do better if they find a way to include everybody. It's common sense.
Susan Langer's start-up is called Live. Give. Save., but this is business, not philanthropy.
Traditional, even old-fashioned, precisely describes Minneapolis money manager Compass Capital Management. Yet it is also growing.
A commentary by two savvy economists shows something new and important to say about the financial crisis even 10 years later.
What the people of Wisconsin need is a cost-benefit analysis to answer questions. What they got was Foxconn's economic impact study.
Clay Collins' transition from co-founder and CEO to chairman of the board of the fast-growing Minneapolis company Leadpages could not have been managed any better.
Connecticut's individual income tax collections have slid, recently coming in far below what had been forecast and lower than had been collected last year.
The latest healthcare and health insurance reform proposal collapsed in Washington this week, about when the Minneapolis health benefits company Gravie Inc. announced its latest…
It turned out to be a bad idea to look for research papers that explain why big companies routinely pay their top executives well into…
A decision about the master plan is still a long way off, but at least we know one thing now: Opponents are willing to talk nonsense about it.
Another one of life's dreams ended, that of closing a career by writing a terrific management book.
With Minneapolis charging ahead with a $15 per hour minimum wage last week, Minneapolis restaurant owners are already well down the road to figuring out a new model for the table service segment of the local industry.
One of the biggest projects to bring broadband to rural areas of Minnesota has reached a crossroads.
What's really missing from the conversation about a higher city-mandated minimum wage, one mayoral hopeful said, is a clear understanding of who it is that will be paying more.
The online retailer's ambitions should be no surprise to its competitors, including Target.
There’s a kind of investment available in the market called a renewable, unsecured subordinated note. When the pros talk about them it sounds like “Russians,”…
The right approach for management is not to completely give up on trusting employees. Instead it's to trust and verify.
Prices for houses are generally back to where they were during the housing bubble that preceded the financial crisis a decade ago. What’s worse, flipping…
Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder and chief executive of Facebook, is fabulously wealthy and successful, but also not quite educated.
The district judge in Minneapolis who ruled that Kim Lund was owed $45.2 million by Lunds & Byerlys for her share of this well-known grocery…
General Mills sales haven't been growing, and one big reason is slipping sales in the U.S. yogurt business.
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