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BusINess » Banking

Posts Tagged ‘Banking’

Money talk for teachers

Melanie Woods, investor education coordinator for Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita’s office, explains to educators at Centier Bank's Financial Literacy Fair what resources are available from her office to help teach financial literacy to young people in the classroom. (Photograph provided by Centier Bank.)

Melanie Woods, investor education coordinator for Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita’s office, explains to educators at Centier Bank's Financial Literacy Fair what resources are available from her office to help teach financial literacy to young people in the classroom. (Photograph provided by Centier Bank.)

Health fairs and job fairs are pretty common, but Centier Bank wants to make sure young people know how to manage their money, so the bank hosted its fourth annual Financial Literacy Fair for Educators recently at the Centier Centre.

Presenters included representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Internal Revenue Service, Lake Area United Way, Legacy Foundation, Networks Financial Institute, Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service and Indiana Secretary of State’s Office.

“Teachers work very hard, but they cannot be experts in every subject,” said Dian Reyome, Centier’s Financial Literacy coordinator. “By bringing together a network of resources and support for educators, we make it easier to manage classroom financial literacy lessons. Not only do we share valuable handouts and lessons, but there are lots of reference materials provided free of charge. The day is filled with turn-key programs that are classroom ready.
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Goldman earns $3.3B in 1Q as fraud case looms

People walk to work outside the Goldman Sachs headquarters, center, Monday in New York. Stocks are falling on concerns about the fallout over Goldman Sachs being charged with civil fraud tied to its dealings in bonds backed by sub-prime mortgages. (Photograph by Mark Lennihan/The Associated Press.)

People walk to work outside the Goldman Sachs headquarters, center, Monday in New York. Stocks are falling on concerns about the fallout over Goldman Sachs being charged with civil fraud tied to its dealings in bonds backed by sub-prime mortgages.
(Photograph by Mark Lennihan/The Associated Press.)

Goldman Sachs reaffirmed its leadership among Wall Street banks as it reported its first-quarter profits doubled. But the investment bank’s growing legal problems overshadowed the news.

As Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executives held conference calls with banking industry analysts and reporters Tuesday, the questions focused more on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s civil fraud charges against the company rather than its $3.3 billion earnings.

And the company came under scrutiny abroad. Britain’s financial regulator said it had begun an investigation into Goldman Sachs International, the bank’s London-based operations. The announcement from the Financial Services Authority follows pressure from Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who over the weekend accused Goldman of “moral bankruptcy” for planning to pay big employee bonuses despite the investigation.
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Celebrating a century

Peggy Parker, left, an American Savings FSB customer for more than 30 years, talks with teller Mary Ann Vlasich at the bank's Munster location. American Savings is celebrating 100 years of business in Northwest Indiana. (Photograph by Tony V. Martin/The Times.)

Peggy Parker, left, an American Savings FSB customer for more than 30 years, talks with teller Mary Ann Vlasich at the bank's Munster location. American Savings is celebrating 100 years of business in Northwest Indiana. (Photograph by Tony V. Martin/The Times.)

For 100 years, American Savings FSB has kept the traditions on which it was founded.

The Munster-based bank began as a partnership between members of the Polish community in Hammond led by St. Casimir Church priest, the Rev. John Kasprzykowski. On March 29, 1910, the group of Polish immigrants met in the basement of St. Casimir School to form The First Polish Building Loan and Savings Association.

“This goes back to the original concept of a building and loan. They wanted to safeguard their savings and lend that money to others to build or buy homes,” said Michael Mellon, a third-generation president of American Savings. “They saw the need for people to get affordable housing.”
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Mortgage rates still below 5 percent

Mortgage rates held below the 5 percent threshold for the third straight week as the Federal Reserve prepares to end a program that has kept rates at or near record lows.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage edged up to 4.96 percent this week from 4.95 percent a week earlier, the mortgage finance company Freddie Mac said Thursday.

Rates dropped to a record low of 4.71 percent in December and have hovered around 5 percent since, kept down by the Fed’s $1.25 trillion program to buy up mortgage securities issued by Freddie Mac and sibling company Fannie Mae.
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Biz Buzz, Winter 2010

>> MUNSTER

Video offerings multiply on nwitimes.tv

The Times Media Co. added more offerings to its online video channel, with daily weather forecasts joining weekly video features and regular news video offerings at nwitimes.tv and nwi.com. Each morning, a forecast focusing on Northwest Indiana is available for readers, a convenient click away. The other regular weekly feature on nwitimes.tv, the Shore Weekender, continues to grow in popularity as Joe Durk and Julia Perla run down the weekend entertainment highlights in a breezy video available on the site every Thursday.

Meanwhile, The Times’ news staff will continue to provide video supplements to its print and online coverage, including on-location reports and daily news updates.
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Joe Morrow

(Photograph by Jessica A. Woolf.)

(Photograph by Jessica A. Woolf.)

Joseph Morrow began considering a political career while in an eighth grade civics class in his hometown of Huntington, Indiana. The idea of being elected to the U.S. Congress continued to appeal to him as he served in the United States Air Force, earned his business degree at Indiana University and while attending the IU School of Law in the late 1950’s.

“My plans was to move to a small county seat, practice law and run for Congress,” the 79-year old Morrow recalls.

“Then I began realizing that that wasn’t the way to conduct a lifestyle. To give back to the community, you have to be successful in some other endeavor.”

And he has been successful in two professions—the law and banking. Following his law school graduation in 1958, Morrow moved to Northwest Indiana and became law clerk to a judge in the Northern District Court of Indiana. In late 1959, he established his own law practice in Hammond.

“We did general counsel work for NIPSCO and the South Shore Railroad, basically utility and regulatory law,” he says.
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David Bochnowski

As chairman and CEO of Northwest Indiana Bancorp and Peoples Bank, David A. Bochnowski carries on the lessons taught by his grandfather and father and their legacy of customer service and giving back.

“Our philosophy is to treat customers with respect as individuals, build rapport with our customers and reinvest in the Northwest Indiana communities where our customers and employees work and live,” says Bochnowski, a third-generation banker, husband, father of four and a Munster resident.

“Fair and honest dealings are critical to the success of any enterprise, but especially critical in banking,” he says. “These are not just words. They’re a way of life.”

And being a banker means being in public service, Bochnowski says. His involvement in local, state and national issues is extensive.

A community activist, Bochnowski serves as treasurer for the Munster Community Hospital and on the board of the Community Health Care System. He is former chairman and current board member of the Legacy Foundation of Lake County; a director of the Northwest Indiana Quality of Life Council; a trustee of the Purdue University Technology Center and a trustee of Calumet College of St. Joseph.
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Business leaders expect limited growth

Don Nelson, first vice president of investments at Merrill Lynch in Merrillville, talks about the economy during The Times quarterly Board of Economists meeting. (Photograph by John Luke/The Times.)

Don Nelson, first vice president of investments at Merrill Lynch in Merrillville, talks about the economy during The Times quarterly Board of Economists meeting.
(Photograph by John Luke/The Times.)

Business executives in Northwest Indiana battled an economy on the verge of collapse and are now seeing the seeds of economic growth.

But that doesn’t mean the road to recovery will be smooth.

Credit concerns abound and national unemployment remains near a 30-year high, but the stock market has shown signs of life, and crude steel production is stronger now than it was a year ago.
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Centier, Krieg DeVault honored as top places to work

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce announced that 70 Hoosier companies, including Centier Bank and Krieg DeVault LLP, have been designated a “Best Place to Work in Indiana.”

The program honors the top companies in the state, as determined through employer reports and comprehensive employee surveys. This is the fifth year for the Best Places to Work in Indiana program.

“Those 70 companies are among the state’s first-rate employers who take pride in creating an environment that allows workers to feel respected and be productive,” Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar said in a news release. “They also recognize how this then helps the company be successful and reach its goals.”
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‘08 subprime lending down but not out

A sign is posted on a foreclosed home on Harrison Street in Crown Point in April 2009. (Photograph John J. Watkins/The Times.)

A sign is posted on a foreclosed home on Harrison Street in Crown Point in April 2009. (Photograph John J. Watkins/The Times.)

As mortgage lenders and financial institutions collapsed around the nation in 2008, a number continued to do brisk subprime lending business in Northwest Indiana, a Times computer analysis of federal home loan data shows.

Data for 2008 show that subprime, or high-priced, lending fell at a slower clip in Lake and Porter counties than the rest of the nation—even after the practice was maligned for helping to spark the economic recession.

The Times’ analysis found:

Total subprime dollars loaned in the region fell 53 percent to $243.3 million in 2008 from a year earlier. Meanwhile, such lending fell 67 percent nationwide to $102.9 billion.
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