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Economic Development Policy

New West Daily Roundup for Oct. 25, 2016

Today in New West news: Bozeman City Commission reserves “final call” on Black-Olive project, new transit center opens in Boise, architect Charles Hummel passes away at 91, and feeding Colorado’s future water needs.

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New West Daily Roundup for Feb. 24, 2016

Downtown Denver

Today in New West news: Denver plans for 2016; Wyoming DEQ defends self-bonding deal with Arch Coal, and new Salt Lake City library slated to open Saturday.

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New West Daily Roundup for Feb. 4, 2016


Today in New West news: Montana Business Navigator heads to Bozeman, capturing wildlife via motion-sensor camera in Idaho, and Utah’s DAQ set to research “air toxics” in West Valley City.

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New West Daily Roundup for Oct. 29, 2015

downtown Boise

Today in the New West: Idaho’s lieutenant governor on searching for a new Director of Commerce, Aurora’s Gaylord Rockies Hotel gets an influx of development money, and a Ramaco coal mine planned for Sheridan, Wyoming is stuck in court.

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Montanans Overwhelmingly Support Tester’s Forest Bill, Poll Shows

The Forest Jobs and Recreation Act, landmark legislation introduced last month by Montana Sen. Jon Tester, enjoys strong support from Montanans in nearly all walks of life, according to a new statewide poll. The poll, conducted in late July by Boulder, Colorado-based Harstad Strategic Research (HSR), found that 7 in 10 Montanans support the new bill, which focuses on job creation, forest management, clean water protections, and issues relating to wilderness and the economy.

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Revisiting an August Speech on Banks: Failure Teaches the Right Lessons

Tomorrow in Chicago, Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank president Gary Stern will give an updated version of his speech called "Repercussions from the Financial Shock" in which he argued that banks should be allowed to fail, so managers will learn the harsh lessons only failure can teach. The text of the new speech at the Council of Institutional Investors won't be made available. Perhaps the subject matter is too close to a critique of the daily money matters rocking the financial world and the world economy. Not that anything should be read into his decision. Stern is a private Fed president. He speaks less than most others, said Minneapolis Fed spokeswoman Patti Lorenzen, and it's fairly standard for him to keep the text of his speeches to himself. The upshot is that unless you're planning to attend the meeting in Chicago tomorrow, you'll miss the words of this influential and smart guy. That's why I thought it would be a good idea to point you to this story I wrote about Stern's earlier version of this same speech, given in Three Forks in mid-August. In light of recent events, I might re-write the headline as follows: Fed Reserve Branch Head Says Let Banks Fail.

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Come One, Come All (Capitalists and Others)… to Invest in Missoula

One of the leaders of a Flathead-area capital investor group has renewed a push to build an angel investment network in Missoula with an all-day seminar at the Doubletree Hotel on Sept. 25 geared toward possible investors and led by long-time capital investor Bill Payne. A seminar may seem like a funny way to get rich people to come forward as potential backers of potential businesses, but that's the trick with building an angel network, said Liz Marchi. Other partners in Marchi's effort include the Governor's Office of Economic Development and umpteen local economic development groups, including Montana Community Development Corp. Most of the groups, excluding MCDC, have little or no actual experience in fostering real startup companies and spurring them to grow.

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Fed President: Hard Knocks Help, Recovery Will Be Slow

The Federal Reserve Bank should allow banks to fail -- to teach managers the right tough lessons -- said Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank president Gary Stern in Three Forks this afternoon. He also suggested the U.S. economy today was similar in many ways to that of 1990 and 1991, although he noted a few significant differences.

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Nonprofit Offers a Chance to Invest Locally

A Missoula-based nonprofit bank offers investors a double return: your retirement account can help grow businesses in your community. The nonprofit bank is the Montana Community Development Corp. It loans money and offers consulting and other services to startups and established businesses. The nonprofit's central account is the 4-year-old, $8 million Montana Fund. Director Rosalie Cates has a goal for the fund of $15 million.

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Oil Price Off the Rails

The convergence of record high gas prices ($3.60 a gallon average across the U.S.), a presidential campaign, obscenely high earnings reports from Big Oil, and the prospect of $4 gas during the summer driving season has led to some rampant silliness, including the proposed “gas-tax holiday” being backed by candidates Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Congress plans to get into the act, pledging to bring forth legislation to offer low-income Americans relief from high prices at the pump – legislation that President Bush will almost certainly veto. The price surge is also leading to an alarming question: has the oil industry jumped the rails of basic economic laws? According to economics, soaring prices would, in normal times, lead to increased output of oil, reduced demand and a subsequent reduction (or at least a flattening) in prices. But prices haven’t followed suit. In other energy news: Colorado Wildlife Commission weighs in on oil and gas production; Xcel plans to shutter coal plants opposed by consumer-protection agency; and Colorado will study the economic effects of new oil and gas regulations on the industry.

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