Lane Report Archives

Displaying 1 through 40 of 156  
Health Care Law Reform Brings Attention to Form 1099-MISC
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Every January, many Americans find a series of statements in their mailbox from banks and brokerages labeled "Form 1099." These statements are known to the Internal Revenue Service as "information returns." Besides the Form 1099-DIV (for dividends) and Form 1099-INT (for interest) which are widely familiar, the IRS also publishes a variety of other forms in...
McCormick Place Gets Reprieve from Losing Conventions, but Much Work Remains
Friday, October 1, 2010
New work rules and pricing plans at McCormick Place will make Chicago a more competitive convention destination. The General Assembly's sweeping reform measure, which took effect on Aug. 1, will cut labor costs by reducing crew sizes and overtime pay, give exhibitors the right to set up their own booths and allow shows to select less expensive, outside...
Let Joe Ferguson Fix City's Minority Business Program
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
The late Harold Washington, the "people's mayor," was voted into office in 1983 after cobbling together a coalition of African-Americans and Hispanics yearning for the civil rights they had been denied, white liberals fed up with racially polarizing politics and labor unions incensed over mounting job losses. Mr. Washington's policies of inclusion gave...
Dividend Growth Still Rules
Monday, August 2, 2010
As of this writing the Dow Jones Industrials average is 27% below its October 8, 2007 close of 14,093 and about 8% below its April 19, 2010 close of 11,204. The yield on the Dow stands at 2.7%. It used to be that a dividend yield below 3% signaled an oncoming bear market. The yield has not been that high since the fourth quarter of 1990, almost twenty...
Illinois Politicians' Refusal to Take on Pension Reform Jeopardizes Recovery
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Pension crises in Chicago, in Illinois and in cities and states throughout the nation threaten the retirement security of public employees, investors' confidence in public securities and, ultimately, the economic recovery on which businesses, consumers, homeowners and workers are counting. Illinois' General Assembly deserves all the heat it's feeling....
Privacy, the Cost of Innovation?
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
With the backlash against Facebook for privacy breaches, consumers, lawmakers and the media have made it clear that personal information is the hot new commodity that cannot be sold for free membership to social networking sites. The numerous news articles on Facebook's breach of its users' privacy have left Facebook backpedaling to address the seemingly...
Inspector General Has Potential to Crack City's Code of Silence
Saturday, May 1, 2010
The city of Chicago's employees, shielded from retaliation by the city's whistle-blower ordinance, are under orders to report suspected misconduct by their fellow workers. Yet, too often, they don't. A recent survey commissioned by the Office of Compliance, created to oversee the city's court-ordered efforts to keep politics out of hiring, revealed that...
Illinois' Fiscal Crisis Demands Reform of Income Tax System
Monday, March 1, 2010
No issue in Illinois' photo-finish primary election separated the Democratic candidates for governor from the Republicans more than the possibility of a state income tax hike. While Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and Comptroller Dan Hynes argued for higher income taxes, every Republican contender vowed to plug the state's massive budget deficit, somewhere north...
Tax Incentives for Donations Assisting Haiti Earthquake Victims
Monday, February 1, 2010
By now, most of us have seen the horrific images broadcasted over the television and internet portraying the absolute devastation which has been brought upon the tiny island nation of Haiti as a result of the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that hit the southern portion country on January 12, 2010. The earthquake has been reported as the most powerful to hit...
Is an Ultra-conservative Asset Mix Really the Answer to a "Fat-Tailed" World?
Friday, January 1, 2010
In response to recent market volatility culminating with 2008's stock market debacle, many of Wall Street's top financial services firms are re-thinking the foundational mathematics upon which their risk models are based. This shift comes from the recognition that some of our most basic assumptions regarding market behavior and risk may somehow be flawed....
Even Blagojevich Deserves Fair Trial on Fair Charges
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
In three separate appeals, former Enron chief Jeffrey Skilling, deposed Sun-Times boss Conrad Black and former Alaska legislator Bruce Weyhrauch, all white-collar convicts, persuaded the U.S. Supreme Court to review the constitutionality of a federal statute that calls it fraud to "deprive another of the intangible right to honest services." A ruling in...
NFL's Hail Mary in Antitrust Case Stands to Bruise Fans
Sunday, November 1, 2009
After the National Football League teams' marketing affiliate awarded Reebok International Inc. the exclusive right to distribute headwear displaying the teams' names and logos, Buffalo Grove-based American Needle Inc. cried foul. The company, which had designed and manufactured NFL-sanctioned apparel for a generation, soon will make its antitrust case...
Selling Your Home: New Tax Developments for 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Most of us don't sell our homes more than once every few years. And, as it turns out, by the time you do sell your home, you may find that the tax laws relating to such sales have changed substantially from when you bought the home. While Congress hasn't done a major revision of the tax laws relating to home sales recently, there has been a recent change...
Higher Standards: Illinois Lowers Bar on Harassment Suits
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Dramatically expanding the reach of the Illinois Human Rights Act, the Illinois Supreme Court has held that an employer is legally responsible for a supervisory employee's sexual harassment of a worker over whom the supervisor has no authority. Some employers may think the court overreached in holding them accountable for harassment by supervisors who can't...
Lessons to Be Learned from Canada's Banks
Monday, August 3, 2009
Last fall it appeared as if the entire financial sector was imploding. Many of the icons of American finance either failed or had to be thrown a government lifeline just to keep from failing. The names all are familiar to us: Citigroup, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual, National City Corp., American International Group, Merrill Lynch,...
Stinginess Could Cost Non-profit Hospitals Millions in Tax Relief
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Non-profit hospitals across Illinois shuddered when the state's Department of Revenue rescinded the property tax exemption of Provena Covenant Medical Center in Downstate Champaign for failing to provide enough free care to the poor. The revenue department noted that Provena Covenant gave free care to only 196 of the 110,000 patients it admitted in 2002 and...
Estate Planning For Intellectual Property
Monday, June 1, 2009
When planning your estate, you will probably give serious thought and consideration as to how you want your home, cars, jewelry, money and other valuable personal property transferred after your death. You may work closely with an attorney to draft sophisticated estate planning documents to ensure that your exact wishes will be carried out. However,...
Blago Indictment Should Spur Reform in City Government
Friday, May 1, 2009
The reform commission recently launched by Gov. Pat Quinn has recommended sweeping legislative action to prevent future state officials from indulging in the corrupt practices with which former Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been charged. If Alderman Joe Moore (49th) gets his way, the Chicago City Council also will take a serious stand against political...
City Council Must Protect Chicago's Architectural Legacy
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Developer Albert Hanna and real estate agent Carol Mrowka, two of Chicago's most vocal property rights advocates, have won their fight on constitutional grounds to invalidate the city's 41-year-old landmark ordinance. But their victory should ultimately serve the cause of preservation. The two argued that the ordinance's criteria for safeguarding a...
What's Next for Socially Responsible Investing?
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Starting with the Quakers and other religious groups such as Wesley's Methodists in the 1700s, Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) initially provided a way for investors to express their religious views. Today, SRI provides investors the opportunity to select investments for their portfolios that advance a wide range of environmental, social justice,...
Pension Reform a Step Toward Helping State Regain Public's Trust
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Revelations about public corruption, government waste, official malfeasance and ballooning budget deficits have plunged Illinois into a crippling crisis of confidence. To slash bureaucratic costs while warding off wrongdoing, state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias is championing the merger of the investment duties of boards that manage retirement, survivor and...
Tax Planning Under the New President
Thursday, January 1, 2009
With President-Elect Barrack Obama strolling into the New Year along the beaches of Hawaii, one has to wonder: will our own personal "tax picture" look as heavenly in 2009 and beyond? Mr. Obama campaigned on "change" and specific tax reforms. Additionally, several new tax laws have been enacted this year, the most recent one signed by President Bush on...
Mayor Daley's War on Climate Change Worth the Fight
Monday, December 1, 2008
Mayor Richard M. Daley, the greenest of America's mayors, bested his peers once again when he recently unveiled a "Climate Action Plan," the first of its kind in the nation, to cut Chicago's greenhouse gases to 75% of 1990 levels between now and 2020. The challenge is daunting: If fossil-fuel use and carbon dioxide emissions aren't significantly curbed,...
A Closer Look at Socially Responsible Investing?
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Over the last year the Dow has declined about 40% with 25% of its drop occurring in October. Daily headlines have outlined concerns about how various companies were doing business and those concerns have created uncertainty in the marketplace. Investors are increasingly asking if they can trust the information they are receiving about companies and as a...
System of Electing Judges in Illinois Too Broke to Fix
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Illinois' embattled Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his nemesis, House Speaker Michael Madigan, continue to earn voters' wrath for stymieing the legislative process. Now that newly seated American Bar Assn. President H. Thomas Wells Jr. has turned his attention to "big money and fiery rhetoric" in state judicial elections, some Illinois judges are soon likely to...
L3Cs Hold Key to Solving State's Social Woes
Monday, September 1, 2008
While the State of Illinois' government is paralyzed by conflict and the City of Chicago faces a staggering $420-million budget shortfall, Illinois' infrastructure, education, pensions and health care are sadly neglected. But the social problems that challenge the state's ability to compete and sabotage its people's dreams can often find solutions outside...
Get Ready for the New Form 990
Friday, August 1, 2008
If you are an officer or director of a tax-exempt organization, or are involved in running one, get ready. The new Form 990 is coming, and it will be here sooner than you may realize. Form 990 is the annual return which tax-exempt, not-for-profit organizations file annually to report their revenue, expenses, assets, and liabilities and describe their...
U of C Misguided in its Refusal to Divest from Sudan
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Clinging to a simplistic, Vietnam-era policy, the University of Chicago's board of trustees is refusing to divest from companies doing business with the criminal government of Sudan. The board, stubbornly contending that divestment would stifle debate and freedom of inquiry, is dead wrong. By some estimates, more than 400,000 people have died from violence...
Can You Keep a Secret? Discover the Value of Trade Secrets
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Coca-Cola brought a federal lawsuit in 2006 against a former employee for trying to sell trade secrets to PepsiCo. The convictions of the two individuals that received an 8 year and 5 year sentence for trade secret theft were affirmed on appeal this month. According to surveys conducted for the ASIS International and Pricewaterhouse-Coopers, U.S. businesses...
Back Constitutional Convention to Reclaim State Government
Thursday, May 1, 2008
The Democratic presidential candidates are one-upping each other in their promises to bring "change" to Washington. But the debate shouldn't stop there. Illinois' government is badly broken, and the power to mend it is within reach of the state's discontented voters. The Illinois House, reflecting widespread disdain for Gov. Rod Blagojevich's...
Balancing the Rights of Users, Owners of Intellectual Property
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Federal judges in New York and Washington, D.C., will soon decide just how far intellectual property owners' rights stretch. A judicial misstep could threaten innovation both in Chicago's emerging tech sector and at its flagging media businesses. This month, New York Federal District Judge Robert Patterson has schedulewd for tiral a shaky case filed by...
Tax Refunds Anyone? An Executive Summary of the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008
Saturday, March 1, 2008
With real estate prices falling and the economy pulling back, Congress wisely decided to pass legislation estimated to return $152 billion to individual and business taxpayers in the form of rebates and other tax incentives. With over 130 million Americans expected to benefit, please read on to see if you might qualify. TAX REBATES Sound familiar? They...
Court Should Side with Victim of 401(k) Mishandling
Friday, February 1, 2008
James LaRue's nest egg is at risk not only because his retirement plan's administrator was apparently careless, but also because two courts strained the plain meaning of the federal law protecting plan participants to bar him from asserting a claim for restitution. Along with tens of millions of private-sector employees, Mr. LaRue made regular...
High Court Securities Case a Threat to Shaky Capital Markets
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Stoneridge v. Scientific-Atlanta is the most explosive securities case to hit the U.S. Supreme Court in the last 10 years. The appeal will test the reach of federal securities laws and force the sharply divided court to decide whether corporate shareholders can sue lawyers, accountants, banks and vendors that dealt with companies alleged to have committed...
Putting Sub-prime Lending in Perspective
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Without a doubt, the major financial story since this past summer has been the meltdown in the sub-prime lending market and the subsequent drop-off in housing sales and the impact on home builders and related industries. Standard & Poor's and Moody's fed the fears of a broader market sell-off by dropping the ratings of approximately $17 billion of...
U.S. Firms Ignore the Environment at Their Own Risk
Thursday, November 1, 2007
The evidence is mounting that environmentally responsible companies are more profitable and deliver better investment returns. Yet most U.S. companies have been slow to adopt responsible environmental practices, yielding ground to Europe and Japan, where investor demand, competitive pressure and regulatory mandates have spurred companies to improve...
Policy Change Would Gut the Rights of Shareholders
Monday, October 1, 2007
For no good reason, the Securities and Exchange Commission is mulling over a misguided change in regulatory policy that would hobble shareholders' right to file non-binding proposals on corporate governance, social and environmental issues with the companies they own. Commissioner Paul Atkins is leading the charge against shareholders' advisory resolutions...
Chief Justice's Case Exposes Hidden Gap in Illinois Law
Saturday, September 1, 2007
For the first time in the nation's history, a federal lawsuit has been filed to challenge the fairness of a personal legal action brought by a judge who controls his state's court system. The judge happens to be Illinois' highest judicial officer, and his dogged quest for vindication and recompense raises bigger questions than whether his grievance has...
Displaying 1 through 40 of 156  

Announcing Marc J. Lane's 35th Book:

The Mission-Driven Venture: Business Solutions to the World's Most Vexing Social Problems

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