Monday, December 20, 2010

Global Commerce

Tennessee and Free Trade Agreements
The United States recently announced a free trade agreement with South Korea, the largest such agreement since the NAFTA. In this issue, we look at the "early returns" on the impact of FTAs on Tennessee's trade. [newsletter]

Friday, December 10, 2010

Chair of Insurance Golf Tournament

An invitation to participate:

The next Richard L. Hendrick Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee Golf Tournament will be held on Tuesday, April 19, 2011, at the Champions Run Golf Course in Rockvale, TN. We usually recruit about 150-160 players and solicit prizes for each. We also solicit hole sponsorships from individuals, agents, and companies.

I invite your participation in the 2011 tournament as a player, hole sponsor, or both. The cost is only $150 for each. As a hole sponsor, your name will be printed on a placard posted at one of the holes on the golf course, where it will be viewed by every golfer. There are also sponsorship opportunities at higher levels detailed in the registration form. Other sponsorships such as a meal, beverage cart, or prize donations are available. Your contribution as a player or hole sponsor also entitles you to free noon and evening meals. Your contribution will benefit the Chair of Insurance, which receives the proceeds after expenses are met.

I hope you will be willing to play in and/or sponsor a hole in the 2011 tournament. You may indicate your commitment to play or sponsor a hole on the registration form and return it with your payment to Dr. Hollman (Chair of Insurance, P.O. Box 165, MTSU, Murfreesboro, TN 37132; khollman@mtsu.edu). We can provide an invoice by e-mail or mail at your request. Your support of collegiate insurance education at MTSU will be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
Jim Cavendish

Jim Cavendish serves as chair of the Insurance Liaison Committee (ILC) of the Tommy T. Martin Chair of Insurance at Middle Tennessee State University. The ILC includes 25 professionals from every facet of the insurance industry in Tennessee who meet quarterly with Dr. Ken Hollman, Holder of the Chair, and university officials. The ILC is an important adjunct to the Chair of Insurance and a key element in defining its future direction. One of the most important tasks of the ILC is planning and executing the Richard L. Hendrick Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee Golf Tournament each year. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Business Plan Development

The Fall Semester Business Communication and Entrepreneurship 4620 Business Plan Development students individually present their business plans to a panel of judges who represent the business community. Pictured are students Steven Estes and Charles Barnett, who where both recognized for their respective plan feasibility and the due diligence support documentation. Students are also judged on their ability to convey the plan contents through an oral presentation and defense of their plan.

Business plan award winner Steven Estes with 
Judge Ronnie Martin, V.P., Mid-South Bank,
Murfreesboro

Business plan award winner Charles Barnett
with judge Gene Osekowsky, director,

Small Business Development Center.

Monday, November 22, 2010

2010 Fall Accounting CPE Day Seminar

Thursday, Dec. 9
8:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Cost: $150
Business and Aerospace Building, State Farm Lecture Hall
Credit: Up to 8 hours CLE
Sessions include:
  • Tennessee Ethics, Mark Crocker, executive director, TN Board of Accountancy
  • General Ethics, James E. Burton, dean, Jones College of Business
MTSU Department of Accounting faculty presentations:
  • GASB Update, G. Robert Smith Jr. (Smitty), chair
  • Legality of Accounting Topics, Sandy Benson, Business Law
  • FASB Update, Paula Thomas
  • Accounting for Gift Cards, Charles Kile
  • Issues in Taxation, Tim Koski
  • Constitutionality of SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley), Lara Daniel, Business Law
  • International Financial Reporting Standards, Jeannie Harrington
G. Robert Smith Jr. (Smitty), Chair, MTSU Department of Accounting 




Monday, November 15, 2010

Like to start a business? Might help to listen to some who have...

Martin Kennedy teaches economics at MTSU. In this column he discusses business news and invites reader input. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the Jennings A. Jones College of Business.

Global Entrepreneurship Week at MTSU

When an interviewer says, "Tell me a bit about yourself," you'd better be ready to launch that 60-to-90-minute commercial.  First, of course, you need to develop that commercial; that's what I tell my students.

Perhaps Douglass Tatum's presentation, The Art of the Elevator Pitch, will give you some insight.  The Associate Professor in the Department of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship and chairholder of the Wright Travel Chair in Entrepreneurship will give his presentation this Friday, Nov. 19, at 10:20 a.m. in room S324 of the Business and Aerospace Building on MTSU's campus.

That's just one of many presentations during this week's Global Entrepreneurship Week at MTSU.  The presentations, coordinated by the Department of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship, bring together the College of Mass Communication, the Department of Recording Industry, and the MTSU School of Music.  For information on presentation times and content, see the schedule here or call 615-898-2902.

Entrepreneurship is important and interesting.  It is a primary driver of the economy. Read here about the role entrepreuneurs played in the development and growth of New York City. Here's the money paragraph:
Between 1977 and 2007, the American counties with the smallest firms enjoyed employment growth of 150 percent; employment growth in the counties with the biggest firms was one-third of that.... Similarly, as an area’s share of employment in recently formed companies rose, employment growth rose as well. In both cases, the impact on payroll growth was almost the same as the impact on employment growth. Entrepreneurial cities are successful cities. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Week's Business Roundup

Martin Kennedy
Martin Kennedy teaches economics at MTSU. In this column he discusses business news and invites reader input. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the Jennings A. Jones College of Business.

The Deficit Commission

Here's a pretty good rundown of the basics from the LA Times on the outline of the commission's proposals:

1. Enact tough discretionary spending caps.
2. Tax reform: reduce rates, simplify, and broaden the tax base.
3. Address reforms to the health care system to reduce spending.
4. Cut farm subsidies, and adjust civilian and military retirement costs (pensions).
5. Raise the retirement age to improve Social Security system solvency.

You can see why a commission was appointed. This is the stuff that costs elected officials votes. Better from their perspective to have to make an up-or-down vote and later argue to angry constituencies that they too opposed cutting this or that but had no opportunity to amend what the commission put forth.

On tax reform, the approach is sound. Taxes lead to inefficiencies; they distort behavior. Better to have a broader and lower tax than a higher, narrower tax base. So the commission recommends lower rates and scrapping various deductions like the mortgage interest deduction.

Social Security? We indexed benefits to inflation (1960s), but we never indexed the retirement age to the increases in life expectancy. Sounds reasonable.

There's a recommended tax hike of 15 cents per gallon on gasoline. Arguably that tax could enhance efficiency (anytime negative externalities or spillovers are present, a tax can improve efficiency). Here's a powerful argument for a gas tax hike from Greg Mankiw, who served as the Chair of the President's Council of Economic Advisors under George W. Bush.

Do What You Are Doing

In economics, we assume that people strive to maximize utility. Plausible and intuitive, of course, but we leave it to psychologists to study the nature of utility. Here's a pretty interesting study that suggests we'd be better off if we just paid attention to what we're doing rather than letting our minds wander. Is this new or just forgotten? As I read this — focus on what you're doing — I thought of the centuries-old Jesuit admonition: "age quod agis"—“Do what you’re doing!”

Even when what you are doing isn't pleasant? Or in a pleasant environment? Seems so, according to the Jesuits.

What Do Academic Types Write When Recommending Job Candidates from Their Departments?

Depends on whether the job candidate is a man or woman, according to this study. Interesting, no doubt. I wonder what you'd find if you controlled for the gender of the letter writer. Are female letter writers more likely to describe female candidates as "nurturing" or "warm?" What about the position applied for? "Nurturing" and "warm" might be better suited to impress people in some disciplines... words like "bold" and "aggressive" more appropriate for others.

Markets Are Interesting

Here's a case where a small piece of cardboard sold for over $260,000. The picture on the card was the thing—some old baseball player—but a good story. I have an Ernie Banks (Mr. Chicago) baseball card lying around somewhere.

Then there's the case of the Lingerie Football League. Someone thinks there's a market in Oklahoma City, but the mayor won't allow it.

From Bangledash

MTSU economist Dr. Richard Hannah will be in Bangledash for MTSU's Yunus Program for two weeks in December. I look forward to hearing from him and keeping you up to date on Richard's wonderings (and his wanderings).

Tennessee Housing Market 3rd Quarter

Tennessee's economy improved somewhat, as employment gains pushed the unemployment rate down to 9.6% from 10.3% in the 2nd quarter. Unemployment remains high: 16th highest among the states.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Global Entrepreneurship Week Nov. 15-21

The Department of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship and Wright Travel Chair in Entrepreneurship in the Jennings A. Jones College of Business in conjunction with the College of Mass Communication, Department of Recording Industry, and the MTSU School of Music will celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week from November 15 – 19, 2010.


[schedule] 


MTSU Global Entrepreneurship Week has a number of outstanding events planned for the week. On the fin├íle day, Nov. 19, nationally syndicated columnist Deroy Murdock will speak on Obama vs. Free Enterprise. Murdock's columns appear in the New York Post, Boston Herald, Washington Times, National Review, Orange County Register, and many other newspapers and magazines in the U.S. and abroad. His political commentary has aired on ABC's Nightline, NBC Nightly News, CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, PBS, other television news channels, and numerous radio outlets. 


Also speaking at Friday’s event will be Sheilah Griggs, vice president of Point 3 Media and executive director of Ladies Who Launch. Griggs has a diverse real-world background in public relations, media relations, and marketing. Leading the Nashville chapter of Ladies Who Launch, Sheilah gives her heart to inspire entrepreneurship and creativity as a lifestyle. While Sheilah is a sought-after motivational speaker, the Point 3 office is consistently the backdrop for workshops providing essential resources for women to take their project to the next level. 


Other events include local and national speakers as well as a viewing of the film Ten9Eight, which will be shown in the Keathley University Center. Ten9Eight is a thought-provoking film that tells the inspirational stories of several inner-city teens (of differing races, religions, and ethnicities), from Harlem to Compton and all points in between, as they compete in an annual business plan competition run by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). 


Details 
Events will be held in the Business and Aerospace Building and Keathley University Center. The public is invited to attend. Off-campus visitors may obtain a campus map and parking pass at the Linebaugh Public Library, 2nd Floor Reference Department, 105 W. Vine Street, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. For further information call the BCEN Department at 615.898.2902. 

Translation Services Offered for Fed Statements

Column by Martin Kennedy

All this talk of Quantitative Easing (aka QE2 or monetizing the debt) is a bit perplexing.  Planet Money (NPR) breaks it down superbly.  (Click on the Fed's statement line by line to get the translation). 

Meanwhile, the unemployment numbers came out today - still 9.6%.  The private sector added about 159,000 net new jobs.  So why didn't the unemployment rate fall?  Well, we need a monthly net gain of roughly 100,000 jobs just to maintain the unemployment rate due to increases in population.  The labor force includes all those working or looking for work.  Then there is the labor force participation rate.  Changes in the labor force participation rate have an impact on the rate of unemployment.  If someone enters the labor force by starting to look for a job after, say, being engaged in home production (perhaps being a full-time caregiver), then the unemployment rate goes up.  Here's a good, short explanation of the labor force participation rate: "Labor Force Participation Rate Drops To 25 Year Low, At 64.5%."  Note that it is low by historical standards.  Many people leave the labor force in a difficult job market.  They go back to school, a training program, focus on home production, or just give up because they are discouraged. 

Finally, a bit of microeconomics, or as an early professor of mine called it, "the non-fiction side of economics."  Price discrimination is when firms charge different consumers different prices.  We see this all the time.  Consider airlines that charge business flyers more than leisure flyers or early-bird specials at restaurants and matinee prices at the theatre.  Sometimes night clubs have "ladies' nights" where female consumers are not charged a cover.  Car dealers routinely sell their product at different prices to different customers. (Don't tell a salesman you're looking for a red car).  

Here is a particularly interesting example of price discrimination from J-Walk Blog.  It will take you 15 seconds to see it but a bit longer to explain it.  In the cases listed, it is easy to see that different customers have different demands.  To the extent that a supplier can segment the market and identify different types of consumers, he can charge different prices to different people for the same good or service.  Capital One, in this case, is quoting different lending rates.  The question here is whether users of different Internet browsers have different demands.  My guess is it's plausible.



Martin Kennedy teaches economics at MTSU. In this column he will discuss business news. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the Jones College. He invites reader input. 

COMMENTS: Click on time stamp below.

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Culture Fest 2010

Are you interested in learning more about your neighbors and fellow classmates?  Come to Culture Fest 2010, hosted by Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE).  Culture Fest will be held on Thursday, November 18th from 6-9PM in the Tom H. Jackson Building on MTSU’s campus. 

The purpose of this free event is to raise awareness and acceptance of people of all cultures and bring everyone together for a night of performances, speakers, fellowship, and a taste of the great things other cultures have to offer.

There will be booths and speakers representing various cultures.  Entertainment will be provided by a Brazilian dance group and MTSU students performing the Salsa.

To delight the palette, three local restaurants will provide samples of regional cuisine.  Carmen’s Taqueria, Samurai’s Cuisine, and Pad Thai are official sponsors of Culture Fest 2010. Each person attending will have the opportunity to win door prizes.

Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) is a network of MTSU students and business leaders working together for a better world through the positive power of business.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

You Can't Always Get What You Want ... but You Can Move Around and Improve Your Situation


by Martin Kennedy
"The whole business thing is predicated a lot on the tax laws.... It's why we rehearse in Canada and not in the U.S.  A lot of our astute moves have been basically keeping up with tax laws, where to go, where not to put it. Whether to sit on it or not. We left England because we'd be paying 98 cents on the dollar. We left and they lost out. No taxes at all."  
— New Yorker, Nov. 1, 2010, p. 104
That's not a CEO but just Keith Richards of Rolling Stones fame.  People and firms respond to incentives.  The editors of Site Selection Magazine have decided that Tennessee ranks second in the nation in terms of business climate.  As reported in the Daily News Journal (Murfreesboro, TN):
In compiling the rankings, site selectors were asked to rank the most important factors in making decisions about investment. They cited workforce development, state and local tax policy and transportation infrastructure as their top three factors.
Martin Kennedy


Martin Kennedy teaches economics at MTSU. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the Jones College. 

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[ Email Martin ]

Monday, November 1, 2010

Column: How Can We Help?

by Martin Kennedy

I'd argue that the general understanding of economic concepts has improved over time. Policymakers are better informed regarding fundamental economic concepts. (Various policies that are condemned by most economists persist due to rent-seeking behavior — some policies benefit an organization or industry even as they reduce overall efficiency.)

Economists do sophisticated research, but what simple concepts — if better understood — would improve policy formation?  A better understanding of deadweight loss is one place to start.  I like the following from Economist Tyler Cowen (George Mason University).

Imagine that you want to go to New York on a trip.  You value the trip at $50, and a bus ticket costs $40.  Do you take the trip? 
A. Yes.  The value ($50) of the trip exceeds the cost of the ticket ($40), so you travel to New York.

How much consumer surplus (net value) do you get from the trip? 
A. $10=$50-$40. 
The government taxes bus tickets, which raises the price of a bus ticket to $60.  Do you take the trip? 
A. No. The value of the trip is now less than the price of the ticket. 
What happened to the $10 consumer surplus you used to get when there was no tax? 
A. It's gone since no trip takes place. 
Did the government get any tax revenue from you? 
A. No.  
Key Idea: Consumers lose, but the government does not gain, from trips that are not taken.
  
Conclusion: Deadweight loss is the value of the trips (trades) which do not happen because of the tax.

Martin Kennedy

Martin Kennedy teaches economics at MTSU. In this column he will discuss business news. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the Jones College. He invites reader input. 

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Wright Travel Chair in Entrepreneurship

Doug Tatum, Chairholder 
Doug Tatum, associate professor (Business Communication and Entrepreneurship), is serving as holder of the Wright Travel Chair in Entrepreneurship.


From the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal, Tatum
... is a recognized expert on the capital markets and entrepreneurial growth businesses. He has testified before Congress concerning financing issues faced by growing companies and tax policy.
The author of “No Man’s Land: What to Do When Your Company Is Too Big to Be Small and Too Small to Be BigTatum was Chairman and CEO of Tatum LLC for more than 17 years, growing the company to the largest executive services consulting firm in the United States with more than 1,000 employees and professionals in 30 offices. He later served on the firm’s board and as chairman emeritus until the company merged with Spherion Corporation in early 2010. 

Tatum can be reached at dtatum@mtsu.edu or 615-898-2785.

Column: MTSU Grad, Entrepreneur Patrick Honeycutt

by Martin Kennedy

Patrick Honeycutt
Construction sector doing lousy? Not for this MTSU grad. He has a job with a Nashville-based construction company and is pursuing an intriging business idea on the side. I had the great pleasure of sitting down with Patrick Honeycutt yesterday. He is a recent MTSU grad. He majored in Construction Management with a Business Administration minor and enjoyed a great career on the gridiron for the Blue Raiders. He told me about his opportunity to work out with the Denver Broncos, with whom he got a free-agent contract. I got the inside story on rockstar rookie Tim Tebow. Apparently he really is a great guy.

Honeycutt got hired just two months ago by Capitol Homes, a Nashville-based home builder that is making the successful transition to home renovations. I never taught Honeycutt while he studied here in the 'Boro, but he let me know that Dr. Katie Kemp (Management and Marketing) was his favorite professor here. As for his business concept, I was impressed. He has identified an interesting niche and thought through many of the details. His business plan is impressive, and he is learning a great deal as he tries to put this together. People like Honeycutt are great ambassadors for MTSU. The president of the company has a good employee and is likewise impressed with his entrepreneurial effort. That word gets around and helps MTSU grads out there in the labor market and the ones who enter it every year.

Martin Kennedy


Martin Kennedy teaches economics at MTSU. In this column he will discuss business news and interview Jones College faculty experts on particular topics. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the Jones College. He invites reader input. 

Comment form not showing up? Go here and scroll to bottom.
[ Email Martin ]

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Introducing a New Column

Today we are introducing a new column by Martin Kennedy, who teaches economics at MTSU. He will be discussing business news and interviewing Jones College faculty experts on particular topics. Views expressed will not necessarily be those of the Jones College. We invite reader input. 

Residential Lending Reform

"The reform of residential lending is going to result in a massive overhaul of the government-supported entities."  That's Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) as reported by the Nashville Post during a symposium in Nashville.  Those government-supported entitites are Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.  Such entitites were created by the U.S. Congress.  The idea behind such government-supported enterprises was to facilitate the flow of credit — to make housing more affordable.

Freddie and Fannie buy mortgages.  They hold some and bundle and sell the rest — Mortgage Backed Securities.  How do they make money?  Buyers of these securities pay a fee in order to get the GSEs to assume the credit risk; Freddie and Fannie agree to pay the principal and interest on the underlying loan even if the actual borrower fails to pay.  Though Freddie and Fannie are not backed explicitly by the government — they are private corporations — there is what is called an implicit guarantee.  Buyers of their securities believe that the Federal government would not allow them to fail — a good assumption, it turns out, as the Federal Government had to bail them out in September 2008.  Bundling mortgages is a form of diversification but still limited to one sector in this case — housing. 

Ironically, the development of this system made it more difficult for many marginal homeowners to work things out with their bank.  Their bank had sold their mortgage long ago.  The solution?    

Corker again:  "We've got to figure out a way to pragmatically move more of the market to the private sector."

That may be.  Historically we have pursued policies to make housing more affordable, and now policymakers are scrambling to prop up home prices, in other words to make housing less affordable. 

A look north might provide insight.  Housing prices in Canada are above pre-crash levels.  In the past decade, subprime mortgages accounted for just 5% of home loans originated in Canada, while in the U.S. they represented 20%.  There is no tax deduction for mortgage interest payments, and buyers typically put 20% down.  Canadian policy doesn't encourage speculation.  

Home ownership might be a noble social policy goal, but in the end housing prices will be driven by the fundamentals of supply and demand.  Failure to recognize and respect that won't get us any closer to nobility.

Martin Kennedy 

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

TN Jobless Numbers Don't Tell Whole Story

From the Tennessean (Oct. 22): For the second quarter, the state's unemployment rate actually was 17.9 percent when "underutilized" and "discouraged" workers are included, said MTSU economist David Penn, who tracks unemployment trends. [ full story ]

Thursday, October 21, 2010

MTSU Homecoming Activities

Please visit the Jones College of Business homecoming tent this Saturday, Oct. 23, from noon to 2 p.m. (located near the Naked Eye Observatory in Walnut Grove behind Cope Administration Building).


Lunch will be available at $6 for adults and $4 for children under 12. Giveaways include this Jones College mini megaphone. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Expectations for Nashville Area

Presentation by David Penn to Independence Trust, Franklin, TN [ pdf ]

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Economic Stress Declines Slightly

From the Tennessean: "After witnessing some expansion earlier this year, we've hit a soft spot," economist David Penn said at MTSU's recent Economic Outlook Conference. "The patient is recovering — but not up and exercising yet." [ full story ]

Monday, October 4, 2010

State Braces for Long Recovery, Economist Says

From the Murfreesboro Post: "The Tennessee economy lost so many jobs over the last three years it will take four or five years to recovery, said David Penn, director of the Business and Economic Research Center at MTSU." [ full story ]

TN May Suffer from Congress' Tax Cut Inaction

From the Tennessean: "Not extending the tax cuts for the middle class would be a serious blow for the recovery of the state's economy," said David Penn. "This would occur at a time when the local economy needs to grow, not cut, spending."

[ full story ]

Friday, October 1, 2010

Tennessee's Business: Green Issue


A look at:
  • Green Jobs
  • Green Businesses
  • Energy Efficiency Loans
  • Green Investment
  • Renewable Energy
  • Green Legislation

Monday, September 27, 2010

Natural Gas, the Economy, and the Environment

2010 Economic Outlook Conference
by Thomas Skains
Piedmont Natural Gas CEO
[ ppt ]

Nashville Economy Confronts 'Soft Spot'

From the Tennessean: Not very many jobs are being created, local consumers are more worried about the economy than they were in June, and the housing sector remains weak, according to Middle Tennessee State University researchers who unveiled an extensive look at the local economy at a business summit on Friday. "After witnessing some expansion earlier this year, we've hit a soft spot,'' MTSU economist David Penn told a crowded banquet hall gathered for the business school's annual Economic Outlook Conference.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Global Commerce

[ http://www.mtsu.edu/~berc/globalcommerce.html ] 

Can Tennessee Double Its Exports in 5 Years?
Steven Livingston writes: "The problem with reporting export figures for this quarter is monotony. Everything grew, and by a lot. It was the best 2nd quarter in the state's history."
[ more ]

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Help Your Business Grow Online

From Daily News Journal: Google, MTSU to offer workshop "Help Your Business Grow Online": Sept. 28, 4-7 p.m., and Sept. 29, from 9 a.m. to noon at Scarritt Bennett Center, Laskey C, 1008 19th Ave. S., Nashville.
[full story]

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Senate Confirms 4 TVA Board Members

From Chattanooga Times Free Press: "A year after their nomination by President Barack Obama, four new members of the Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors were finally confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Thursday. By unanimous consent, the Senate ratified the appointment of three Democrats — [retired] Middle Tennessee State University Economics Professor Barbara Haskew of Chattanooga, Georgia Tech Professor Marilyn Brown of Atlanta and Oak Ridge attorney Neil McBride — and Republican William Sansom, the Knoxville businessman who previously served as TVA chairman." 
[ full article ]

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Nashville Rotary Club Presentation

Monday, Sept. 20: BERC Director David Penn will provide a midstate/regional economic update at the Nashville Rotary Club Meeting at the Wildhorse Saloon, 120 Second Avenue North (for information: 615-781-2700).

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Obama's Plan to Spur Business Investments May Not Help Small Companies, Job Seekers

From Nashville Business Journal: David Penn expects the tax benefit to function somewhat like "Cash for Clunkers" and the homebuyer tax credit—pushing forward some purchases that would have happened over the next three to four years. That creates the potential for amped-up sales in the short term, followed by a hangover. But he thinks it's a risk worth taking to get the economy moving. But he also questioned the program's lure, saying that what businesses need now is more sales—not necessarily more investment. He said the recession has left many businesses with excess capacity, and there's no incentive to add capacity when you can't use what you already have.

Job Seekers Stay Closer to Home

From Nashville Business Journal: "If you're a homeowner and you need to sell a house to move closer to your job, it's going to be more difficult now than it was just a few months ago," said Dr. David Penn, director of Middle Tennessee State University's Business and Economic Research Center. [full story]

New Auto Parts Plant in Maury County May Create 385 Jobs


From the Tennessean: The company's new Maury County plant is the third auto-related direct investment in Middle Tennessee by a Japanese company this summer, said Steven Livingston, a political science professor and senior research associate at Middle Tennessee State University's Business and Economic Research Center. Japan is Tennessee's largest foreign direct investor.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Economic Outlook Conference

Conference Registration
The annual MTSU Economic Outlook Conference will be Friday, Sept. 24, at Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Murfreesboro, TN. Cost is $50. [brochure]
Schedule:
  • 8:15 a.m. - Registration
  • 9:00 - Thomas Skains, Piedmont Natural Gas President/CEO: Energy Issues and the Economy
  • 10:30 - David Penn, Midstate Economic Outlook
  • 12:00 - Donald Ratajczak, Luncheon Address/Forecast

Fall 2010 Department Fair


Dr. Wayne Rollins and Dr. Patrick Geho are shown here hosting the Business Communication and Entrepreneurship booth at the Fall 2010 department fair.