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Fitch joins Chicago credit downgrade parade
Crain's Chicago Business
Fitch Ratings has lowered its credit grade on Chicago by one notch but is keeping the city above junk bond status. The company reduced its rating to BBB+ from A-, citing "uncertainty regarding the city's liquidity," or cash position, after a recent downgrade to junk bond status by Moody's Investors Service. That downgrade triggers defaults under several loan agreements. The new rating is three levels above junk bond status, which for Fitch begins at BB+.
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Related story: Chicago Public Schools debt also is downgraded to junk status (Chicago Tribune)


Next-level LinkedIn strategies
CFA Chicago
The highly professional context of the LinkedIn platform presents those at every stage of their career with unprecedented opportunities for developing a strong personal brand, researching target companies, and connecting with the right people. How you represent yourself in your LinkedIn profile, communicate your value to your LinkedIn network, and apply information gleaned from the LinkedIn site will drive your real world outcomes.
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Managing talent and compensation in the new era
CFA Chicago
Jim Ware, CFA, and Michael Falk, CFA, of Focus Consulting Group will present on their new white paper, "Investment Challenges: Remaining Relevant through Compelling Value." FCG has combined its insights from the past few impactful industry years into a new report that highlights industry challenges and strategic responses.
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They're raising the price of the free lunch with Tad Rivelle
CFA Chicago
Tad Rivelle will present, "Hey! They’re Raising the Price of the Free Lunch!" at the Distinguished Speaker Series in May. Tad Rivelle is Chief Investment Officer, Fixed Income, overseeing some $130 billion in fixed income assets, including over $80 billion of mutual fund assets under the TCW and MetWest Funds brand.
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The top 5 accounting mistakes analysts make
CFA Institute's Enterprising Investor
Prior to entering graduate school almost 20 years ago, I had an important phone conversation with an analyst at the Dreyfus Founders Funds, Chuck Reed. That brief phone conversation changed my focus in graduate school — and hence my life. One of the questions I asked Chuck was, "What skills should I acquire that most analysts overlook?" He answered unequivocally, saying, "Most analysts do not understand accounting." Shocking as it may seem, I still believe Reed's two-decade old admonishment to me remains true.
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Weighing higher taxes against the pension deficit
Crain's Chicago Business
The Illinois Supreme Court's ruling forbidding changes to pension benefits sure didn't make the job of balancing the state's budget any easier. Gov. Bruce Rauner had proposed reducing state employee retirement payments to partly close a nearly $6.2 billion deficit in fiscal 2016. But there also are big pots of money to tap, if the governor and legislators can overcome their distaste for raising taxes.
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'Data scientist' is fastest growing Chicago job search
Chicago Tribune
As the unemployment rate falls, the labor market tightens and employers find themselves in a war for talent among increasingly choosy employees, just what kind of jobs are people seeking? In Chicago, searches for "data scientist" positions grew fastest last year, up 82 percent from the year before, followed by "human resources director," "market research," "network engineer" and "occupational therapist," according to a recent study.
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5 challenges that give a CFO heartburn
By Pamela Wasley
Much is expected of today's chief financial officer. Tough business problems like liquidity and cash flow, finding and retaining good talent or even how to approach selling a company can induce heartburn in the most senior and tenured CFOs. However, their experiences can help other C-level executives prepare and plan for these situations, even when the issues don't exist yet. Understanding the issues from a CFO's point of view can help their counterparts — the CEO and business owners — spot trouble even before it begins.
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Oreos maker to decide between Chicago, Mexico for new investment
Chicago Sun-Times
Mondelez International, the maker of Oreos and Chips Ahoy cookies, will start talks with its labor unions to decide whether a bakery on Chicago's South Side or a plant in Mexico gets a major upgrade. At stake is a $130 million investment to install four new state-of-the-art manufacturing lines that would make Nabisco cookies and crackers, Mondelez spokeswoman Laurie Guzzinati said.
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A $394 million Obamacare tax for Illinois
The Associated Press via Crain's Chicago Business
There's more than a touch of absurdity in the way an industry fee in President Barack Obama's health care law is being passed along to state taxpayers. The Health Insurance Providers Fee was aimed at insurance companies. The thinking went: Because insurers would gain a windfall of customers, they ought to help pay for the expansion of coverage. Insurers say they have raised prices for individuals and small businesses to cover the new tax. As it turns out, they are raising their prices to state Medicaid programs, too.
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Investment units looking better to global banks
Pensions & Investments
Global banking groups are reinforcing their focus on money management, with a number of recent high-profile announcements set to bring further competition to the world of investment management. For example, Deutsche Bank AG co-CEOs Jurgen Fitschen and Anshu Jain recently presented their "Strategy 2020." In it, they outlined six key decisions for the Frankfurt-based bank, including accelerating growth in Deutsche Asset and Wealth Management, which reached 1.16 trillion euros in assets under management as of March 31.
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Goldman Sachs is concerned its trade secrets walked out the door
Bloomberg Business
The New York Federal Reserve's lead supervisor of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has quit for a job advising other financial firms, triggering concerns within the Wall Street bank that some of its business secrets might not stay so secret. After learning that the examiner, Lance Auer, was joining the financial services practice of PwC, Goldman Sachs asked the firm whether he faced any restrictions on working for other banks.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Next-level LinkedIn strategies (CFA Chicago)
Moody's blues: A closer look at Chicago's dire fiscal future (Chicago Tribune)
Managing talent and compensation in the new era (CFA Chicago)
JD Gershbein's absolutes of LinkedIn (The Wisdom Zone)
Trading in your financial adviser for a robo-adviser? (Bankrate)

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CFA Society Chicago NewsBrief

Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Natalie Rodriguez, Senior Editor, 469.420.2635  
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