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VOL. 36 | NO. 25 | Friday, June 22, 2012

Standing up to the big boys

Smaller banks fight for share of Midstate market

It makes perfect sense: If you want to grow your business, you need to be where your customers are. Banking is no different, which might explain why so many banks that have been operating in nearby communities are moving into the Nashville market.

Relationships key to small bank success

When Andy and Charlie Nelson were looking for a small business loan to help finance their new company, Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery, they were turned down by large national banks, including SunTrust and Bank of America.

Banks target payday loan customers

A common assumption is that users of non-bank financial services – payday loan or check cashing businesses – are primarily low-income or are among the unbanked or underbanked. But after conducting a survey of its existing customers, Regions Bank found there was a demand for such products by people from all income levels.

Technology challenges bank traditions

With cutting-edge technology local banks have recently introduced, time-crunched customers have the opportunity to make deposits 24/7 by using their smartphones.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Wind: Northeast at 8.1 mph
Humidity: 88%


Meals on Wheels Lunch and Learn. Meals on Wheels needs volunteers. FiftyForward RSVP is holding a lunch and learn session, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., for potential volunteers find out more about pick-up and delivery, as well as delivery areas. This session will be held at the Café of Second Presbyterian Church, 3511 Belmont Blvd. RSVP: 794-3423, cstedman@fiftyforward.org.

more events »

Happy days here again for financial planners

Investors remain cautious, but the job market seems to be picking up in financial services, especially in areas that cater to affluent individual investors, government data and industry observers suggest.


Good times for Midstate sellers, builders as May sales jump

As if it were yesterday, Realtor Jim Terrell remembers when competing home buyers made multiple offers for the same house, and it wasn’t unusual for a home to be sold the day it went on the market.


A time to renovate, a time to tear down

The sales of the week focus on two trends that evolved during the boom years in Nashville real estate from 1992 through 2006. Once feared extinct, the practices of major renovation and restoration of upscale, historic homes and the demolition of unattractive, small dysfunctional homes in the affluent neighborhoods are once again flourishing. The sequestered contractors are now coming out of their walk-in closets.


Morin named COO of Ingram Content

Shawn Morin, who joined Ingram Content Group Inc. in 2009 and has served as the chief information officer since that time, has been named the company’s new Chief Operating Officer.


Referrals can help improve ratios

Sales is a tough job. Having the courage and drive to pick up that phone every day and face potential rejection requires a thick skin and level of dedication unmatched by most.


Greek election fails to soothe global stress

Big Fat Greek Vote: On Sunday, the Greeks hit the polls to decide whether to remain in the euro or not. I wish it were that simple. The winner, Antonis Samaras, prefers that Greece remain in the euro, but wants to renegotiate bailout terms. That stance proved more appealing and pragmatic for the Greeks, who hate accountability but love the euro.


Who are the 10 most important people in my business life?

Recently I read something that prompted a very simple but important question: Who are the 10 most important people in my business life? Do you know who they are in your life? It’s a simple question, but I realized I didn’t know the answer.


Sex, fiction and non-fiction liven up ethics class

(Editor’s Note: Judge Vic is on vacation this week. Enjoy a 2007 column from the archives.)


Never heard of Kohlrabi? Try it

Don’t judge a vegetable by its color, shape, size or just general weirdness! I’m talking about Kohlrabi.


First lady tells church group to work for change

NASHVILLE (AP) - First lady Michelle Obama brought an audience of 10,000 African Methodist Episcopal Church members to their feet as she exhorted them to get involved in the issues that affect their lives.

Metro Nashville government turns 50

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County is turning 50.

Belmont developing program in motion pictures

NASHVILLE (AP) — They already make music in Nashville. Now, Belmont University will be promoting another art form: motion pictures.


MTSU, Turkish university to become partners

MURFREESBORO (AP) — Middle Tennessee State University is making final arrangements for an academic and cultural exchange with Meliksah University in Turkey.


Knoxville attorney to head justice group

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Knoxville attorney has been elected president of the Tennessee Association for Justice.


High court upholds Obama health law by 5-4 vote

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld virtually all of President Barack Obama's historic health care overhaul, including the hotly debated core requirement that nearly every American have health insurance.

High court ruling vindicates Obama on health care

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama cast the Supreme Court's election-year vindication of his sweeping federal health care law as a victory for the American people. His Republican rival Mitt Romney vowed to repeal it on his first day in office if he wins the November election.

Romney: Supreme Court ruling on health law wrong

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Mitt Romney is promising that he will repeal the federal health care law the Supreme Court just upheld.

A look at the ruling upholding Obamacare


US health care reform efforts through history

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court's decision to uphold President Barack Obama's health care law follows a century of debate over what role the government should play in helping people in the United States afford medical care. A look at the issue through the years:

Haslam says Tenn. on track if health care upheld

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee is prepared to implement requirements under the federal health care overhaul in the event the Supreme Court upholds the law championed by President Barack Obama, despite serious resistance among Republican lawmakers to lay the groundwork for the program.


Hospital stocks jump after health care ruling

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hospital stocks rose sharply Thursday after the Supreme Court guaranteed them millions more paying customers by upholding the core of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

US 30-year mortgage rate stays at record 3.66 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The average U.S. rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage stayed this week at the lowest level on record. Cheap mortgages have helped drive a modest housing recovery and could give the broader economy a jolt at a time when the job market is weak.

US unemployment aid applications fall to 386,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell last week, but the level of applications remains too high to signal a pickup in hiring.

US economy grew at modest 1.9 percent rate

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy expanded at a 1.9 percent annual rate in the first three months of the year, a weak pace that few economists see changing much this year.

Health care, bank stocks lead stock market lower

NEW YORK (AP) — Health care stocks tumbled Thursday after the Supreme Court upheld most of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, falling along with major banks as Wall Street worried about the European debt crisis and the sluggish U.S. economy.

Natural gas prices drop 3 percent

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of natural gas dropped more than 3 percent Thursday following reports of an unexpectedly large increase in U.S. supplies.

European leaders seek roadmap for future growth

BRUSSELS (AP) — Economic growth was the mantra Thursday as European leaders gathered to sign off on measures to boost it around the continent. Yet expectations of a breakthrough on the explosive issue of pooling government debt seem to have fallen by the wayside.

Government watchdog: Reverse mortgages confuse elderly

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government's consumer finance watchdog says the growing market for reverse mortgages is getting confusing, and that could cost some seniors extra cash or even their homes.

New York Times starts Chinese site; microblogs go offline

BEIJING (AP) — The New York Times started a Chinese-language website Thursday that generated so much interest in China two of its microblog accounts drew thousands of followers and then were apparently taken offline for several hours.

News Corp announces plans to split

NEW YORK (AP) — Calling it the next logical step in a near six-decade evolution, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. said Thursday that it plans to split into two separate publicly traded companies.

Fears, hopes grow for Sony under new president

TOKYO (AP) — The record 9,000 shareholders that packed Sony's annual meeting was no cause for celebration. After four years of losses and a halving of the share price, some angry investors doubt even a new CEO can pull the entertainment and electronics giant out of its slump.


Compromises lead to tentative highway bill deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — Compromises on sticky environmental and safety issues enabled House and Senate negotiators to reach agreement Wednesday on a two-year bill to overhaul federal highway and transit programs.


State attorneys doing more free legal work

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee court officials report state attorneys are doing more free legal work this year.


State beginning site certification program

NASHVILLE (AP) - The state is beginning a site certification program to aid investment and expansion.


Contracts to buy US homes rise, match 2-year high

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans signed more contracts to buy previously occupied homes in May, matching the fastest pace in two years. The increase suggests consumers are gaining confidence in the housing market and a modest recovery will continue.

US durable goods rose 1.1 percent in May

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factories received more orders for long-lasting manufactured goods in May, rebounding after two weak months. But the trend in orders has slowed this year, adding to worries that the U.S. economy has weakened.

Stocks close higher on stronger US housing, factory data

A rare double shot of good news about the U.S. economy sent stocks strongly higher Wednesday. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 92 points despite lingering fear about Europe's debt turmoil.

Facebook slides as underwriters issue ratings

NEW YORK (AP) — The Wall Street analysts who know Facebook best are giving the company's stock a mixed review. Think: like, not love.

Oil up on US economy; heat wave lifts natural gas

Upbeat U.S. economic news boosted the price of oil Wednesday, while scorching temperatures lifted natural gas to its highest level in more than five months.

Exxon's CEO: Climate, energy fears overblown

NEW YORK (AP) — ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson says fears about climate change, drilling, and energy dependence are overblown.

Car prices fall as inventories return to normal

DETROIT (AP) — New vehicle prices have dropped $500 on average in the past year, mainly because Japanese automakers have restocked dealers after car shortages in 2011, according to the Kelley Blue Book auto pricing service.

Barclays to pay $450M in rate-manipulation case

Barclays PLC and its subsidiaries will pay about $453 million to settle charges that they tried to manipulate interest rates that can affect how much people pay for loans to attend college or buy a house.

EU's changing faces raise doubts for future

BRUSSELS (AP) — Often these days, the first order of business at European Union summits isn't the continent's dreadful financial crisis.

European court upholds most of Microsoft fine

BRUSSELS (AP) — A European court on Wednesday upheld most of a massive fine levied against Microsoft by the European Commission's competition watchdog, closing a case against the software giant that began in 1998.

Monsanto 3Q profit soars, maintains year view

NEW YORK (AP) — Monsanto says its fiscal third-quarter net income soared 35 percent as its seeds and traits business benefited from a mild winter that drove farmers to plant crops earlier and in large numbers.


FDA approves first new weight loss pill in decade

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration has approved Arena Pharmaceutical's anti-obesity pill Belviq, the first new prescription drug for long-term weight loss to enter the U.S. market in over a decade.

AP sources: Tentative deal on student loans, roads

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional leaders have reached tentative deals that would prevent a doubling of student loan interest rates and revamp the nation's transportation programs, congressional officials said Wednesday. If completed, the compromises would resolve two vexing issues on which lawmakers face weekend deadlines for action.

House rejects bid to slash rural airline subsidies

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has turned back an attempt by a tea party-backed GOP conservative to slash taxpayer subsidies for air service to isolated smaller cities and towns that can cost hundreds of dollars a ticket.


Grand Ole Opry adding shows in July, August

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Grand Ole Opry has added four weeks of Wednesday night shows in Nashville July 18-Aug.8.


Tennessee scores up in all but 1 of 24 student tests

NASHVILLE (AP) - Proficiency levels are up in all but one of 24 of the latest assessment tests of elementary and middle students.

High Court approves new rules for judges

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee Supreme Court has adopted new ethics rules for state judges.


Nissan chief wary despite quick disaster recovery

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — Nissan Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said Tuesday the automaker needs to conserve cash despite its quick recovery from a year of disasters as the global economic outlook is highly uncertain.


Consumer confidence slipped in June

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans can't seem to shake their uneasy feeling about the economy.

OECD: High-income Americans should pay more taxes

WASHINGTON (AP) — An international group of economists is recommending that the United States adopt policies that would make higher-income Americans pay more in taxes to help boost the U.S. economy.

Home prices rise in nearly all major US cities

WASHINGTON (AP) — Home prices rose in nearly all major U.S. cities in April from March, further evidence of a housing market that is slowly improving even while the job market slumps.

Homebuilders lead stocks to higher close

NEW YORK (AP) — Homebuilders led stocks up on Tuesday, helping major indexes recoup some losses from the day before. Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. surged after the media conglomerate said it may split into two companies.

US gasoline prices cheapest since January

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of gasoline has dropped to a five-month low, giving drivers some relief ahead of the July 4 holiday.

News Corp. considers split in 2, stock jumps

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Under pressure to limit contagion from the British phone-hacking scandal, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. said Tuesday that it is considering splitting into two publicly traded companies.

European officials release grand vision for euro

BRUSSELS (AP) — Top European officials have called for countries that use the euro to grant a supranational authority the power to demand changes to their national budgets, as part of a grand vision to save the currency and strengthen the union.

Moody's cuts debt ratings of 28 Spanish banks

Spain's battered banks have taken another hit, this time in the form of a sweeping downgrade by Moody's.

Coca-Cola to invest additional $3B in India

NEW YORK (AP) — The Coca-Cola Co. plans to invest an additional $3 billion in India through 2020 as it looks to capitalize on the growing market.


Federal court upholds EPA's global warming rules

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the first-ever regulations aimed at reducing the gases blamed for global warming.


Campaign money case could propel more deregulation

WASHINGTON (AP) — Corporations and labor unions have been emboldened this election season to spend unlimited sums of cash. The Supreme Court is telling them to go full speed ahead.


Arriola resigns as Davidson County Clerk

NASHVILLE (AP) - Davidson County Clerk John Arriola has resigned amid a probe of questionable financial practices.


Brentwood-based CareHere wins contract for employee clinic

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The state has signed a contract with a Tennessee firm to operate a new health care clinic for state employees and has leased a building in Helena to house the clinic.


Critics blast Tennessee's 'no holding-hands bill'

NASHVILLE (AP) — Spurred by a classroom demonstration involving a sex toy, Tennessee recently enacted a pro-abstinence sex education law that is among the strictest in the nation.


Tennessee schools work toward healthier lunches

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — School cafeteria workers from all over Tennessee are learning how to make healthier entrees for students when they return for classes in the fall.


High court rejects part of Arizona immigration law

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court threw out key provisions of Arizona's crackdown on illegal immigrants Monday but said a much-debated portion could go forward — that police must check the status of people stopped for various reasons who might appear to be in the U.S. illegally.

Obama offers mixed verdict on immigration ruling

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pressing his immigration agenda, President Barack Obama said he is pleased the Supreme Court struck down key parts of Arizona's immigration law Monday but voiced concern about what the high court left intact.

Reid: Court ruling paves path to racial profiling

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate's top Democrat says the Supreme Court's decision on Arizona's immigration law opens the way to racial profiling by police.

State corporate campaign spending limits rejected

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday turned away a plea to revisit its 2-year-old campaign finance decision in the Citizens United case and instead struck down a Montana law limiting corporate campaign spending.

Court: No automatic life without parole for kids

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Monday that it is unconstitutional for state laws to require juveniles convicted of murder to be sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.

High court won't take up San Diego cross dispute

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court won't get involved in a fight over whether a 29-foot war memorial cross can remain on public land overlooking the Pacific Ocean in San Diego.

Court: Can EPA regulate mud from logging roads?

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is getting down in the mud.

Health care ruling expected on Thursday

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court will issue its last opinions on Thursday, with its decision on President Barack Obama's health care overhaul expected to come down that day.

US health care reform efforts through history

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court's upcoming ruling on President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law comes after a century of debate over what role the government should play in helping people in the United States afford medical care. A look at the issue through the years:


US new-home sales rose at fastest pace in 2 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans bought new homes in May at the fastest pace in more than two years. The increase suggests a modest recovery is continuing in the U.S. housing market, despite weaker job growth.

Weary investors sell stocks as Spain seeks help

NEW YORK (AP) — Europe's latest efforts to quell its financial crisis left investors exasperated Monday, causing steep losses in stock markets on both sides of the Atlantic.

Oil falls on lingering concerns about Europe

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil declined Monday as Spain's banking crisis added to concerns about the troubled European economy.

Central bank group: Crisis fixes still needed

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Governments, banks and households struggling with too much debt are dragging down the world's economy and more needs to be done to make the banking system safer, a global organization of central banks warned Sunday.

Sony, Panasonic tying up in advanced TV displays

TOKYO (AP) — Long-time Japanese rivals Sony Corp. and Panasonic Corp. are working together to develop next-generation TV panels called OLEDs in a reversal of decades of rivalry as they try to catch up with South Korea's Samsung Electronics.


Poll: Half doubt next president will alter economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — When it comes to the economy, half of Americans in a new poll say it won't matter much whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney wins — even though the presidential candidates have staked their chances on which one would be better at fixing the economic mess.


County appeals judge's ruling on mosque approval

MURFREESBORO (AP) - Rutherford County officials on Thursday filed notice that they are appealing a judge's ruling that voided the approval for a local mosque's construction.

Boating enforcement stepping up this weekend

NASHVILLE (AP) — State boating officers will saturate high traffic areas through Sunday as part of a national safety initiative.

Feds charge Texan with bomb threat to Tennessee mosque

MURFREESBORO (AP) — Federal prosecutors filed charges Thursday accusing a Texas man of making a bomb threat timed to the 10th anniversary of 9/11 against a mosque being built in Tennessee.


2012 National Folk Festival in Nashville cancelled

NASHVILLE (AP) - The National Folk Festival will take a hiatus in 2012 after financial problems stemming from funding shortfalls at the 2011 event in Nashville.

Regents accused of mistreating Tennessee State

NASHVILLE (AP) — A lawsuit against the Tennessee Board of Regents claims the agency is trying to destroy Tennessee State University by unfairly treating the school.


US stocks bounce back; big banks move higher

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market bounced back Friday, a day after suffering its second-worst loss this year. Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and other big lenders posted solid gains even though many of them had their credit ratings cut the day before.

European stimulus pushes oil higher

NEW YORK (AP) — Europe's latest attempt to revive its economy drove the price of oil 2 percent higher Friday, reversing a sharp, two-day drop.

Internet group picks little-known executive as CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — A businessman with experience in building consensus will be the next CEO of the Internet agency in charge of contentious policies surrounding Internet addresses.

Moody's sees big banks' risks of 'outsized losses'

NEW YORK (AP) — Moody's Investors Service has lowered the credit ratings on some of the world's biggest banks, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, reflecting concern over their exposure to the violent swings in global financial markets.

European leaders push for $163 bln in measures

ROME (AP) — The leaders of France, Germany, Italy and Spain have agreed to push for a €130 billion ($163 billion) growth package at a key European Union summit next week.

IKEA to invest $1.9B in India to open 25 stores

MUMBAI, India (AP) — Swedish retailer IKEA plans to invest Euro 1.5 billion ($1.9 billion) to set up shop in India despite its lingering concerns about the country's supply chain regulations, the company said Friday.

Schilling: Company crash cost me baseball fortune

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling said Friday that the collapse of his 38 Studios video game company has probably cost him his entire baseball fortune, and he placed part of the blame on Rhode Island officials, including Gov. Lincoln Chafee.

A battle for Internet freedom as UN meeting nears

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secret negotiations involving dozens of countries preparing for a United Nations summit on international telecommunications could lead to changes in a global treaty that would diminish the Internet's role in economic growth and restrict the free flow of information.

Weak US job market weighing on broader economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — The sluggish job market is weighing on the U.S. economy three years after the Great Recession ended. And the signs suggest hiring may not strengthen any time soon.

What's up with Google's plan to split its stock

NEW YORK (AP) — Google's shareholders are expected to approve on Thursday the company's plan to issue a new class of stock. Google's co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt are pushing for the move to ensure that they maintain long-term control of the company.

Court throws out FCC penalties for cursing, nudity

WASHINGTON (AP) — Broadcasters anticipating a major constitutional ruling on the government's authority to regulate what can be shown and said on the airwaves instead won only the smallest of Supreme Court victories Thursday.

Rate on 30-year mortgage falls to record 3.66 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The average U.S. rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage fell this week to a record low for the seventh time in eight weeks. Cheap mortgages have helped drive a modest recovery in the weak housing market this year.


Bipartisan effort leads to Senate OK of farm bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Thursday completed a five-year, half-trillion-dollar farm bill that cuts farm subsidies and land conservation spending by about $2 billion a year but largely protects sugar growers and some 46 million food stamp beneficiaries.

Boehner says no gloating if health law struck down

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner is telling rank and file Republicans not to gloat if the Supreme Court rules the health care law unconstitutional.

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