2007-11

Article Title Issue

A foot in the door

After 32 years in Tar Heel banking, Bob James had reached the pinnacle. The CEO of Charlotte-based First Charter Corp. was elected in June to a one-year term as chairman of the North Carolina Bankers Association. But by the time that term ends, he probably won’t even have the top job at his own bank.
2007-11

Aggressive target marketing

Business leaders have long sought to learn lessons from war. In the '80s, for instance, the parallels between commerce and conflict were nakedly obvious, as corporate raiders - an untold number of whom had copies of Sun Tzu's The Art of War somewhere in their offices - launched hostile takeovers that were as ruthlessly executed as Sherman's march through the South.
2007-11

Culture shock

I couldn’t tell you the name of the road, but you can buy just about anything there — bootleg DVDs, marigold garlands, time with a prostitute, milk freshly squeezed from the teat of a buffalo. Navigating it demands vigilance, patience and courage.
2007-11

Fool's gold

It began as a rich man's folly — a French Renaissance chateau in North Carolina’s hillbilly highlands. George Vanderbilt, grandson of steamship and railroad magnate Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt, nearly exhausted his share of the family fortune by buying 125,000 acres and building the 250-room mansion.
2007-11

Incentives might pay off for GOP

Legislators returned to Raleigh talking tough. Democratic leaders fumed about Gov. Mike Easley's veto of incentives for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., vowing an override. Some Republicans, suddenly finding the slippery slope of incentives to their dislike, spoke of gathering enough votes to sustain the veto. But as often happens in the state capital, bluster turned into murmur.
2007-11

Raising taxes has a sobering effect

Philip J. Cook, professor of public policy and economics at Duke University, argues that higher alcohol excise taxes are effective and underused tools that can cut abuse while permitting moderate alcohol consumption. His new book, Paying the Tab: The Costs and Benefits of Alcohol Control, was published in August.
2007-11

Tastes change

In an office atop Wachovia Corp. headquarters in downtown Charlotte, the phone rang. G. Kennedy Thompson, who runs the nation's fourth-largest bank, answered.
2007-11