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May09

Restoring the board to its rightful balance

Following Jeremy Stein’s announcement that he would be resigning from the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, both sides of the Senate’s aisle have begun urging President Barack Obama to consider appointing someone with community banking experience to fill his seat. Recent years have seen a shift in the seven-member board to more academic and economics-focused individuals. While these areas of expertise undoubtedly provide value, there is an almost unanimous bipartisan movement to return the board to its community banking roots, according to a recent article by the Wall Street Journal. [More]

Apr12

Top 10 challenges facing community bankers

Today’s regulatory environment continues to be the most pressing issue to community bankers, according to a recent poll conducted by the CB Journal. Other challenges include the interest rate environment, loan growth and more. [More]

Mar26

NY Fed’s research papers on large and complex banks

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has recently released a series of research papers dissecting the criticisms many have of large and complex financial institutions, according to a blog post by the Fed’s Donald Morgan this past Tuesday. This series of eleven papers, which will be summarized by the Fed in the coming weeks, are available through the New York Fed’s Economic Policy Review. [More]

Apr30

The Private Company Outlook: Sageworks, ADP discuss recent trends

Privately held companies continue to have strong fundamental performance in general, but hiring by them remains weak, especially considering how much economic activity has occurred since the recession, Sageworks Chairman Brian Hamilton said Tuesday. “There’s no question the economy is perking along, but [the weak hiring] is one thing we can’t get through,” Hamilton said at The Private Company Outlook meeting in New York. [More]

Jan31

Private residential construction company revenues up

Real residential fixed investment, up 15.3 percent in the fourth quarter, was a bright spot in this week’s initial report on fourth-quarter GDP, which surprised economy watchers by contracting 0.1 percent from the third quarter. And the growth in Americans’ spending on housing was consistent with “mild but meaningful” revenue increases among privately held residential construction companies. [More]

Sep27

Economic data consistent with private-company trends

Thursday’s surprise downward revision to second-quarter GDP and the worst durable goods report since the recession were consistent with some of the trends Sageworks, a financial information company, has been seeing recently. Average annual sales growth for private companies has slowed to around 5.5 percent currently from nearly 11 percent in January and more than 8 percent a year earlier, according to the Sageworks Private Company Indicator. [More]

Sep26

Update on the health of private U.S. companies

When the Census Bureau releases the August report on durable goods manufacturing Thursday, it’s a fair bet that privately held companies will have played a key role in the numbers. After all, private U.S. firms account for 54.5 percent of aggregate non-residential fixed investment. But how are privately held companies faring in general in the current environment? [More]

Aug07

The 'Dog Days' for jobs

Friday’s jobs report for July was neither decidedly sunny nor gloomy, even though stocks on Wall Street rallied to three-month highs. U.S. employers added a net 163,000 jobs in July, topping forecasts, but the unemployment rate and the number of total unemployed were essentially flat to June levels, indicating hiring is still experiencing its own version of the “Dog Days” of summer. “Even though the number of jobs added was more than expected, the unemployment rate at 8.3 percent is still too high,” said Sageworks CEO Brian Hamilton. [More]

Jul09

(Temporary) Help wanted, apparently - SageworksStats on Forbes.com

June unemployment in the U.S. was flat, and nearly a third of jobs added were in the temporary-help services industry, a field that has shown strong growth over the last 12 months, according to data from Sageworks Inc. “During the last 12 months, privately held employment service firms have seen their revenues grow by almost 20 percent annually, which far outpaces the average annual growth of around 10 percent for private companies across all industries,” said Sageworks analyst Libby Bierman. “That sales growth validates what the employment numbers released this morning showed—the economy has recently been adding a lot of temporary jobs, which are positions that employment service firms routinely fill.” [More]

Jul03

The health care ruling's upside for private companies

Thursday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling is reviving impassioned discussions about whether President Obama's health care law will be positive or negative for businesses, especially smaller ones. And while those debates will continue for months or maybe years, one immediate, positive impact on owners of privately held businesses is that they know more about what to expect in the short term, said Brian Hamilton, co-founder and CEO of Sageworks Inc. [More]