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Carter pinch hits with plethora of items

November 16th, 2010


Not a way to whip up business

Mississippi’s business and civic leaders want to sell the Magnolia State as a great place to do business, to raise a family, to educate children. So excuse them for the revulsion they must feel at the cell phone video that aired on CNN, YouTube and everywhere else the other day.
Viewing a belt-wielding adult lashing a bent over youngster inside Jackson’s Murrah High School gym had to draw a range of reactions – horrible, terrible, disgusting, pick one. It’s equally as hard to shake the sound reverberations that come with a belt striking skin time and again. That popping sound, like a firearm going off, gave testament to the pain the adult inflicted on the child.
The leaders knew in that instant that with each strike, the image enhancement they’ve managed for Mississippi suffered some. How do you sell the state as an economic development destination when it is portrayed from Boston to Bakersfield as a condoner of violence against children and an employer of bullies.
As for countering this sort of thing, let’s start with the Murrah basketball coach, school officials and the daily newspaper putting the euphemisms back where they belong, back where they can’t do any harm.
When Aunt Tillie dies you can say she “passed away” That harms no one and still reflects the finality of her departure.
When you pull out a 5-pound weightlifting belt and start wailing on a child, you aren’t “paddling” the child. Nor are you administering “corporal punishment.” You’re whipping the child. You’re abusing the child.
Fact is, you’re assaulting the child.
Business must make it its business to emphasize that message to school officials across the state.

Cadence may return to writing home loans

Mississippi homebuyers could have another mortgage option this spring. The $1.7 billion Cadence Bank departed the mortgage market as the home lending crisis worsened. But with its planned acquisition by Houston banking investment group Community Bancorp, Cadence is mulling a revival of its mortgage business. “Yes, we hope to return to that,” said Donna Rupp, Cadence spokeswoman. ” It’s under consideration. ”
The more immediate business ahead for the Starkville regional bank and its board of directors is a Dec. 9 meeting of shareholders who will decide whether to take the Community Bancorp deal. Shareholders stand to make $2.50 a share – but that’s the end of the upside. After that, Cadence goes private and shareholders are out of the picture.
One shareholder, RSD Capital, an investment management firm registered in Delaware since 1998, is suing with a claim the deal’s terms are all sugar and spice and all things nice for Cadence executives and the board at the expense of shareholders.
The suit, filed in the New York Supreme Court by attorney Richard Brualdi, points an accusatory finger at Cadence’s board, charging that the directors concealed details in a proxy statement to public shareholders in order to complete “a transaction which protects and advances the interests of Cadence’s management team who are using this opportunity to benefit themselves.”
Of Cadence’s11.9 million shares, bank executives and directors who make up the “insider” investors own 10.59 percent.
Brualdi hasn’t returned several MBJ phone calls seeking to clarify some of the elements of the suit. So we’ll have to go on scratching our heads and wondering about the claim that top Cadence executives get big, big bonuses once the bank is free of TARP debt and a federal regulatory consent order to raise capital reserves. The merger deal does give Cadence Chairman & CEO Lewis Mallory Jr., and three other key executives payments of three times their annual salaries and a year’s worth of health insurance premiums – but Community Bancorp would have to fire them in the first year after the merger. And keeping the executive team intact and the rank-and-file on the payroll is a big reason Cadence says it made the deal in the first place.

Hello Columbus: Renasant set to open on Main Street

Renasant Bank is telling the Great Recession “you’re not the boss of me.”
In fact, the recession hasn’t called many shots at all in the Tupelo boardroom of Renasant.
The $4.2 billion banking company is ignoring the banking sector slowdown as it completes an acquisition and branch tri-fecta for the year. Renasant, which has 75 banking, lending and insurance offices, took over a failed bank in north Georgia in the summer, opened a branch in New Albany in May and later opened a new branch in a Birmingham suburb. Wednesday it officially opens its new Columbus branch downtown at 905 Main St. They’ll cut the ribbon at 8:30 in the morning with lots of hoopla.
“We see the Golden Triangle as a solid banking market with tremendous growth potential,” says Scott Cochran, Renasant Mississippi Division president.
The Triangle is indeed a coveted market. When Trustmark announced its ill-fated acquisition of Cadence Bank, it noted the prosperity to be gained in the economically resurgent region and Cadence’s long relationships with businesses and individual account holders there. We all know that the story had a less-than-happy ending for Trustmark, as Cadence jilted the Jackson-based regional for a subsequent offer from a Houston banking investment group.
– Ted Carter, Mississippi Business Journal

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