Money

The retirement question: Part II

This is part two of a three-part series in which we ask a group of the region’s leading financial advisors to address retirement-related questions. Barbara Layton First Vice President JANNEY MONTGOMERY SCOTT LLC Americans are taking better care of themselves and living longer, so you have a better shot at a longer, healthier retirement than …

The retirement question: Part II Read More »

Gauging the Second Term

For months last year, as the campaign for the White House shifted into high gear, opponents of President Obama tried to paint his first-term administration as hostile to the development of domestic fossil fuels, including the vast natural gas resources contained in the Marcellus and Utica shales, as well as other unconventional shale plays across …

Gauging the Second Term Read More »

The Retirement Question

In this issue and the following two, we ask a group of the region’s leading financial advisors to address three different retirement-related questions. Robert Fragasso Fragasso Financial Advisors Retirement readiness is both a lifestyle and a financial decision. First, determine if you are ready to retire. Do you love what you do? Are you working …

The Retirement Question Read More »

A Christmas Miracle

John Dionise knows Santa would be jealous. Rather than flying a sleigh all over the place this Christmas season, trying by sight to find each and every home where a gift is to be delivered, the drivers who work for Dionise out of a Sewickley station for FedEx Ground—the growing, Moon Township-based division of FedEx …

A Christmas Miracle Read More »

The Marcellus Shale Dilemma

A blistering July—the hottest on record—vaporized heat records in thousands of communities across the country. A historic and prolonged drought settled across a vast swath of the southern and central United States, devastating corn crops and threatening to send the cost of everything that depends on it—from baby food to burgers to the ethanol we …

The Marcellus Shale Dilemma Read More »

The Future of the Marcellus Shale

After eight years of unprecedented expansion, the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania is now weighed down by its own success, analysts say. Struggling with a market that is being flooded with more natural gas than it can bear, the industry is optimistically predicting that new markets in transportation, home heating, chemical manufacturing and other industries …

The Future of the Marcellus Shale Read More »

Quantum Couple

He grew up in Manhattan; she, in Patna, India. Both were taken with the way physics accounts for the world around them. After completing undergraduate studies at Harvard and the Indian Technology Institute, respectively, they met as first-year physics doctoral students at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Upon arrival she found herself the sole …

Quantum Couple Read More »

An Industrial Renaissance

When the reserves of Marcellus Shale gas in the tri-state area proved vast—84 trillion cubic feet by one estimate—it was no surprise when the region became the epicenter of a thriving new industry. What may have been unexpected was the extent to which the Marcellus boom would invigorate the economy generally. The availability of cheap, …

An Industrial Renaissance Read More »

The Problem of Price

From the moment the rush began to develop the vast untapped resources of gas trapped in the Marcellus Shale, economists and industry analysts warned that the massive explosion of cash that was pouring into the state—and in many cases right back out of it—would ebb and flow. There would be times of expansion, when drillers …

The Problem of Price Read More »

Financial Focus

2011 was a year of historically low interest rates, wide stock-price fluctuations and concerns about a faltering U.S. recovery and the European debt crisis. And the Standard & Poor’s 500 ended 2011 just four one-hundredths of a point from where it began. But in this year’s first quarter, the S&P posted a 12 percent gain …

Financial Focus Read More »

Show Me the Money

It was hailed as a game changer. Almost immediately after the first Marcellus Shale natural gas well was spudded in a rocky hilltop in Washington County, unleashing for the first time a vast cache of domestically produced energy, the discovery was hailed as the harbinger of a revolution in energy production that would pump upwards …

Show Me the Money Read More »

Faces of the Marcellus Shale

In the past several years, ancient organic matter trapped more than a mile beneath the surface of the earth has changed life in Greater Pittsburgh. The vast deposits of natural gas deep in rock are known collectively as the Marcellus Shale. The Marcellus has softened the Great Recession and brought a cash infusion to previously …

Faces of the Marcellus Shale Read More »

The Genius of Pitt

Kevin Guskiewicz has been called a genius for discovering the link between on-field head hits to football players and damage to their brains; findings that once put him at odds with the mighty National Football League. But here’s the thing about the Latrobe native, who recently won a 2011 MacArthur Fellowship, commonly called a “genius” …

The Genius of Pitt Read More »

The Utica Shale

A century and a half ago, a desperate, down-on-his-luck former railroad man named Edwin Drake wandered into a remote hollow in northwestern Pennsylvania and stuck a drill a few dozen yards down into the rocky soil. After a few false starts, Drake and his men struck a cache of crude oil that, while small by …

The Utica Shale Read More »

Labor Management

Against a backdrop of high national unemployment and concern about U.S. dependence on foreign energy, Richard Trumka, former president of the United Mine Workers and current president of the AFL-CIO, and Nicholas DeIuliis, president of Consol Energy, met in the second of a series of labor-management discussions sponsored by the Community College of Allegheny County. …

Labor Management Read More »

The New Retirement

After 17 years as editorial assistant at the weekly Valley Mirror newspaper in Munhall, Marilyn Schiavoni’s boss informed her last year that he planned to retire and sell the newspaper. Marilyn was 62, and the prospect worried her. Would the new owner let her keep her job? If yes, would she get along with the …

The New Retirement Read More »

Blockbuster!

There were no hidden tape recorders, car chases or safe houses involved, but you can almost hear the theme music from “Mission Impossible” when Gary Saulson, PNC’s director of corporate real estate, describes the steps he took to veil PNC’s purchase of almost a block of downtown Pittsburgh. The transactions along Wood Street between Fifth …

Blockbuster! Read More »

Breakthrough

On a hot afternoon in late summer 2010, a man in his 30s drove an all-terrain vehicle on an unpaved path. He was doing nearly 40 miles per hour on rough terrain. And though he was strong—a construction worker by trade—his ATV hit a bump for which he wasn’t prepared. He drove off the road. …

Breakthrough Read More »

A Natural-Gas Ponzi Scheme?

It was, on the surface, a devastating indictment: a report in The New York Times, the nation’s leading newspaper, alleging that the natural gas industry—an eclectic and fiercely competitive collection of players that included in its ranks everyone from cowboy drillers to staid overseas nationals like StatOil Hydro—may have joined together in a secret cabal …

A Natural-Gas Ponzi Scheme? Read More »

Middle East Connection

For 18 years, the Columbia, Md.-based engineering and construction firm Allen & Shariff grew quickly in the mid-Atlantic area, opening its Pittsburgh office in 2000, and looking to expand internationally. It had enough success with projects in the United Arab Emirates that it opened an international office in 2008. But it couldn’t break into another …

Middle East Connection Read More »

A Toxic Topic

There is no doubt about it. The Marcellus Shale is radioactive, in every sense of the word. In the literal sense of the word, geologists and drillers have long known that each shale deposit has its own radioactive signature. In fact, they have often measured that radiation—from uranium, thorium, radium 226 and radium 228—and used …

A Toxic Topic Read More »

A Touch of Gray

A thick report called “Boomers in the ’Burgh” arrived the other day, proposing that the city pitch AARP candidates on retiring here. The newest twist on the most-livable-city theme rang a bell. Back in the day, I wrote copy for a local inventions marketing firm, detailing the vast potential for improbable new ideas at $25 …

A Touch of Gray Read More »

Top