Missouri Minute: Bullard balks at recession talk; SLU sets fundraising record

Good morning, MBA readers,

Despite all the talk about an inverted yield curve, it may still be too early to panic about the economy, according to the St. Louis Fed chief. Plus, Sprint and T-Mobile’s merger now faces new opposition from several Democratic candidates for president, who called for the Federal Communications Commission to collect public feedback on the deal. Meanwhile, a Kansas City Chiefs player has launched his own beverage line. To start your week right, scroll down for the top business news from across Missouri.

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Senators call for public comment period on Sprint/T-Mobile merger
Democratic senators Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand, all of whom are currently running for president, have asked the Federal Communications Commission to seek public comment before it approves the proposed merger of Sprint and T-Mobile. (The Verge)

Investor shrinks its stake in Cerner
Activist investor Starboard Value has unloaded about 3.1% of its stake in Cerner, according to a regulatory filing last week. As of June 30, Starboard owns 3 million shares, equal to a 0.92% stake in North Kansas City-based Cerner, compared to 3.1 million shares, a 1.2% stake, it had earlier. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Sinquefield gift pushes SLU fundraising to record $119 million
Saint Louis University raised a record $119.4 million in gifts in the fiscal year ended June 30, topping $98.7 million raised a year earlier. A chunk of the fiscal 2019 total is due to a $50 million gift from billionaire and political patron Rex Sinquefield and his wife Jeanne Sinquefield. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Barry-Wehmiller company makes two acquisitions
Paper Converting Machine, part of Clayton-based Barry-Wehmiller Group, has acquired two companies that manufacture digital printing technology and packaging equipment: RDP Marathon of Quebec, Canada, and Florida-based IPT Digital. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Second Dillard’s, new hotel planned for Columbia Mall
Dillard’s plans to open a new store in the space that used to be Sears and spend about $200,000 on renovations. Another developer plans to open a Tru by Hilton nearby in summer or fall 2020. (Columbia Missourian)

KCUR acquires William Jewell radio station
Kansas City-based KCUR 89.3 will purchase KWJC 91.9 FM from William Jewell College in Liberty. The deal allows KCUR to introduce 24-hour classical music programming to the Kanas City area. (KCUR)

Ex-St. Louis economic chief gets probation, fine in Stenger scandal
Sheila Sweeney, former CEO of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, has been sentenced to three years of probation and a $20,000 fine for her role in ex-St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger’s pay-to-play scheme. (St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri county to consider new CAFO rule, challenging state law
Hickory County commissioners plan to consider a proposed ordinance that would restrict large-scale livestock operations in the area, challenging a new state law that will ban counties from enacting restrictions more stringent than the state rules effective Aug. 28. (Springfield News-Leader)

Hello, my name is

Dynamic Logistix
The 4-year-old logistics provider is the fastest-growing company in Missouri or its neighboring suburbs, according to Inc. magazine’s annual ranking of the nation’s 5,000 fastest-growing companies. Dynamic Logistix was No. 82 on the Inc. list, making it the only area company to crack the top 100. The firm’s revenue for 2018 was $54.4 million, an increase of more than 3,800% since the company’s 2015 founding.

Say that again

“I think some of this downdraft might be a little overdone. … The market’s way up this year. The fundamentals of the U.S. economy are pretty good.”

That’s James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. In an interview with Fox Business late last week, Bullard said there’s little need for panic despite recent economic red flags and a massive dip in the stock market. Bullard noted that the inverted yield curve for U.S. Treasury notes, a first since 2007, would “have to be sustained over a period of time” before it can be accurately interpreted as a sign of another economic recession. He also said the 800-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average is to be expected given a “global slowdown.”

Go figure

2.5 to 3%
That’s how much enrollment is expected to drop this year at Missouri State University, upending two decades of consistent enrollment growth, the Springfield News-Leader reports. The university expects to lose up to $5 million in revenue as a result of the drop and made budget adjustments to compensate for the loss. Across the state, the number of high school graduates has decreased and there are fewer nontraditional students. Low unemployment has decreased enrollment at two-year colleges, reducing the number of prospective transfers to a four-year university like MSU.

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Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones has teamed up with KC Soda Co. to launch a line of specialty sodas. The “Stone Cold Jones” sodas went on sale Friday at KC Soda Co., with the first 50 customers receiving autographed bottles of root beer, the Kansas City Business Journal reports. A second production run is being planned for distribution in other Kansas City-area stores and restaurants. Soon, the soda may join quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ cereal, Mahomes Magic Crunch, in competing for space on local supermarket shelves.

It’s been a pleasure doing business with you this morning.


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