Two of the Inland Northwest’s best-known economists are shifting responsibilities, with Eastern Washington University professor Grant Forsyth becoming chief economist at Avista Corp. and Randy Barcus, who has held that position for many years, retiring.
Avista’s chief economists provide economic forecasts in the company’s three-state service territory for electric and natural gas usage, the Spokane utility said in a news release.
Forsyth has taught economics at EWU for more than a decade. He also serves on the Washington Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors and the Spokane Mayor’s Council on Economic Policy and Forecasting.
Barcus, who provides frequent commentary on economic conditions in the region, will retire in July after 33 years at Avista. He plans to continue teaching economics at the college level, the news release said.
Broadband developer files for bankruptcy
NEW YORK – LightSquared Inc., which hoped to create an independent wireless broadband network in the U.S., filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday.
Regulators blocked its plan this winter because of concerns that its transmissions would interfere with GPS navigation.
LightSquared hasn’t given up. Chief Financial Officer Marc Montagner said in a statement that the bankruptcy filing is intended to gain the company “breathing room” while it continues to work through its regulatory issues.
It has said that it has invested more than $4 billion in the network. LightSquared listed assets and liabilities of more than $1 billion each in the filing Monday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.
The company, which is based in Reston, Va., is owned by Harbinger Capital Partners, a private-equity firm that made billions betting against subprime mortgages ahead of the collapse of the housing market.
Groupon reports upsurge in first-quarter revenue
NEW YORK – Online deals company Groupon is reporting a smaller net loss and sharply higher revenue for the first quarter, helped by increased demand from a growing customer base.
Groupon Inc. said Monday that its net loss was $11.7 million, or 2 cents per share, in the January-March period.
The company had posted a loss of $146.5 million, or 48 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2011, when it was still privately held.
Excluding special items, Groupon earned 2 cents per share in the latest quarter.
Revenue grew 89 percent to $559.3 million from $295.5 million a year earlier.
Analysts, on average, had expected a loss of 4 cents per share on revenue of $496.1 million, according to a poll by FactSet.
Chicago-based Groupon went public in November.