WBEZ | Brian Battle http://www.wbez.org/tags/brian-battle Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Morning Shift: Fifty years after the 1963 school boycott, where are we on reform? http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-10-22/morning-shift-fifty-years-after-1963-school-boycott <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/courtesy of 63 boycott.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We take a look back at the 1963 Chicago school boycotts and hear about the event&#39;s lasting legacy. And, WBEZ&#39;s Tony Arnold previews the fall veto session. (Photo: Flickr/Shutter Stutter)</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-remembering-the-1963-chicago-school/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-remembering-the-1963-chicago-school.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-remembering-the-1963-chicago-school" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Fifty years after the 1963 school boycott, where are we on reform?" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Tue, 22 Oct 2013 08:37:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-10-22/morning-shift-fifty-years-after-1963-school-boycott Economists take economy's pulse and peer ahead to rest of year http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/economists-take-economys-pulse-and-peer-ahead-rest-year-100719 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS384_ten%20dollars_getty.JPG" style="height: 209px; width: 300px; float: left;" title="(Getty/File)" /></div><p>We&rsquo;re halfway through 2012, which means it&rsquo;s that time of year when economists and investors like to take stock of the overall health of the economy.</p><p>We may be three years out of an economic recession, but the U.S. economy continues to struggle. That was echoed last Friday when the latest jobs report revealed weak hiring in June and an unchanged unemployment rate of 8.2 percent.</p><p>Last month, Mesirow Financial&rsquo;s chief economist, Diane Swonk, gave a <a href="http://www.mesirowfinancial.com/economics/swonk/themes/themes_0612.pdf">cautious assessment</a> of what could be in store for the rest of 2012 and the beginning of 2013:</p><p>&ldquo;Any way we cut the data, the outlook is subdued at best; at worst, we are risking yet another recession.&rdquo;</p><p>Monday on the 102nd <em>Afternoon Shift</em>, we review what the first six months of 2012 have meant for the regional, national and global economies with <a href="http://www.performancetrustuniversity.com/our-faculty/brian-battle">Brian Battle</a>, director of trading at Performance Trust Capital Partners, and Mesirow Financial&rsquo;s deputy chief economist <a href="http://www.mesirowfinancial.com/economics/laurenti/default.jsp">Adolfo Laurenti</a>. We&rsquo;ll also get their insight on what&rsquo;s ahead for consumers, the Eurozone, and the impact presidential politics could play on it all.&nbsp; Weigh in with your thoughts just after 2:00 p.m. by calling 312-923-9239.</p></p> Mon, 09 Jul 2012 11:37:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/economists-take-economys-pulse-and-peer-ahead-rest-year-100719 Illinois bond sale will test investor appetite http://www.wbez.org/story/bonds/illinois-bond-sale-will-test-investor-appetite <p><p>The State of Illinois will find out this week how willing investors are to buy the state&rsquo;s bonds, which are rated the lowest in the country by Moody&rsquo;s. The state plans to sell $3.7 billion worth of bonds as early as tomorrow to make this year&rsquo;s pension payment. &nbsp;<br /><br />Brian Battle is a director with the Chicago-based investment advisory firm Performance Trust Capital Partners. He says this move to pay current obligations with borrowing is just a short-term fix that does nothing to solve the state's longer-term pension problem. &nbsp;<br /><br />&quot;It&rsquo;s taking one credit card and paying off a different one,&quot; Battle says. &quot;You owe the money to the pension plan? Oh, now abracadabra, you owe the money to the bond holders. That is known as a budget gimmick. This is not known as a typical way to manage your pension liabilities.&quot; &nbsp;<br /><br />Battle says because the state&rsquo;s bonds are rated so poorly, Illinois will likely have to pay investors the highest interest rate of any state. <br /><br />And the sale won&rsquo;t do anything to fill the state&rsquo;s pension shortfall from prior years. That totals about $86 billion.<br /><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 22 Feb 2011 21:57:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/bonds/illinois-bond-sale-will-test-investor-appetite Talk of Illinois tax hike gives hope to bond investors http://www.wbez.org/story/ashley-gross/talk-illinois-tax-hike-gives-hope-bond-investors <p><p>A possible income-tax hike in Illinois may have some taxpayers grumbling, but bond investors say it&rsquo;s a good step. <br /><br />California is in terrible financial shape, but the bond-rating agency Moody&rsquo;s says we are even worse. It rates Illinois bonds the lowest in the country. <br /><br />But bond experts say a move to raise the income tax could help stave off another downgrade. Brian Battle works for the Chicago bond-trading company Performance Trust Capital Partners. He says a tax hike gives bondholders more hope that Illinois won&rsquo;t default on its debt. &nbsp;<br /><br />&quot;This is the first positive news we&rsquo;ve had since last summer about Illinois being proactive about doing something to plug this budget gap that we have and now we need to see what they&rsquo;re going to do about it long-term,&quot; Battle says.<br /><br />Battle says bond investors want reassurance that the state can pay its debts many years from now. So he says the market won&rsquo;t really get interested in Illinois bonds until state leaders start cutting the budget in addition to raising revenue.</p></p> Sat, 08 Jan 2011 06:01:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/ashley-gross/talk-illinois-tax-hike-gives-hope-bond-investors