2014 Lane Reports

Keep Ex-Im Bank alive--and keep Illinois biz thriving
Monday, December 1, 2014
The decision by Republican leaders in the U.S. House to reauthorize the federal Export-Import Bank's charter only until June, leaving the institution in limbo until another vote is taken, spells big trouble for Illinois exporters, large and small. Since 1934 the bank has created and sustained U.S. jobs and reduced trade deficits by financing and insuring...
What's the Big Deal About Big Data?
Monday, November 3, 2014
Have you ever searched for an item on the Internet and found advertisements for that same type of product on websites that you visit later? Have you purchased a product from the grocery store and then received coupons from other companies with competitive products? Practically every major retailer is engaging in Big Data. Big Data is most often defined as...
Illinois has 1,431 townships. It's time to get rid of all of them.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Illinois' 1848 Constitution gave voters in each county the right to organize townships for the “management of the fiscal concerns of the county.” The framers' decision for our then-30-year-old, largely agrarian state was a no-brainer: As the most local of local governments, townships would be directly accountable to residents of unincorporated...
It's 'The People's Pier,' but Navy Pier Isn't Run That Way
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Navy Pier, Chicago's No. 1 tourist attraction, has a storied history. Over its 100-year life, it's been a commercial shipping destination, a Navy training center, a University of Illinois campus, a convention site and, most recently, a lakefront entertainment complex. But today not all of Navy Pier's stories are being told. Three years ago, the...
Are Your Portfolio Holdings In Conflict With Your Mission?
Friday, August 1, 2014
Mission-aligned or values-based investment strategies that yield attractive social as well as financial returns have been gradually gaining ground in the foundation and non-profit communities in recent years. These organizations seek to invest their assets affirmatively, supporting their missions by aligning their investment holdings with their mission...
Illinois Court Decision Helps Keep 'Public' in Public Records
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
When Illinois' county-based prosecutors, charged with the twin responsibilities of protecting the public and defending the rights of victims, join forces to push back against government transparency, someone needs to cry foul and a higher authority needs to set them straight. That's exactly what happened last month in the case of Nelson v. Kendall County,...
Illinois' Green Energy Law Needs a Rewrite
Monday, June 2, 2014
Gov. Pat Quinn has proudly proclaimed that Illinois is the first in the nation in renewable energy use and, while the state has unquestionably earned its bragging rights, policymakers need to do more to ensure that our clean energy sector remains strong. First, the good news: According to a report by the Environmental Law and Policy Center and other...
Our Mid-Term Election-Year Market Outlook
Thursday, May 1, 2014
The stock market was very strong in 2013 with the S&P 500 index finishing at 1,848, up 32%. This was the best annual gain for the index since 1997. All of the ten sectors in the index generated positive returns. After such a strong year, our outlook is more benign yet still positive for the balance of this year. As of this writing, the S&P 500 is...
Beware the Perils of Blurred Lines Between For-profits and Nonprofits
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
As the Wall Street Journal reported this week,¹ investor demand for socially responsible business practices is stronger than ever. (For more information about socially responsible investing, please visit www.AdvocacyInvesting.com.) This notable evolution is motivating more profitable enterprises to establish a nonprofit arm through which they conduct...
Withdrawing Illinois' Coal Subsidies is a Moral Imperative
Monday, March 3, 2014
If Illinois' “King Coal” is deposed as many predict, his subjects should herald the peaceful revolution. The economics of the state's coal economy have remained virtually unchanged since Francis Peabody founded Peabody Daniels & Co., now Peabody Energy Corp., at age 24 in 1883 and became fabulously wealthy buying coal from established mines...
The Quest to Build a Sustainable and Equitable Economy through Values-based Investing
Monday, February 3, 2014
The growing influence of sustainable and responsible investing continues to cultivate a more just and equitable economy. Its efforts have fostered progressive changes in corporate behavior, helping to improve executive pay practices, increase board diversity and transparency on political contributions, enhance labor and human rights conditions, and address...
Let's Champion Tax Accountability Over Mere Tax Disclosure
Thursday, January 2, 2014
After the Illinois Senate narrowly approved a well-intentioned, but misguided, bill in 2012 to compel publicly traded companies headquartered in Illinois or selling products here to report their state income tax liability to the Secretary of State — who would then post that information online — the measure went on to die in the House. If...

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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