Lee Schafer | Star Tribune
Columnist | Business

Lee Schafer came to the Star Tribune after 15 years as a corporate officer, consultant and investment banker in the Twin Cities. He has been a columnist for Twin Cities Business magazine and was senior editor for Corporate Report Minnesota.

Schafer: Social trends portend dire future for brick and mortar

There's so much bad news about retail that it's becoming ho-hum. But few of the articles even hint at a cyclical slump to explain what we're seeing. It's now clear it's not cyclical.

Schafer: Employee ownership could be answer to exit of baby boomer owners

The deal-making crowd is understandably excited about the fees to be earned in helping baby boomers sell their businesses on their way into retirement. None…

Schafer: Ownership is more than owning shares — just ask Buffalo Wild Wings

The campaign over board seats and control of Buffalo Wild Wings is a good illustration.

Schafer: Ten K Solar's downfall reflects industry trends

One obvious conclusion — management must have run this company into the ground — doesn't seem at all fair.

Schafer: Polaris is thinking aggressively with Indian brand

Polaris Industries has made a big effort this year in a sport so obscure that even ESPN doesn’t televise it, sponsoring a team in the…

Schafer: How to make better decisions every day

The wisdom presented at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School came from Kathleen Vohs.

Schafer: When robots do the work, is it time for a guaranteed income?

Last of an occasional series on the future of work. An experiment is underway in northern California to see what happens if every month people…

Schafer: Sloppiness brings down a champion of integrity

Getting taken to a golf tournament might be no big deal in a lot of industries, but founder Jeff Slocum always said his firm would be above that sort of thing.

Schafer: Brenton's fruitless quest for an engineer indicative of the tight workforce in robotics

Here's a company designing and building automation equipment to replace human labor with the big problem of not being able to hire enough human labor.

Schafer: Divesting should be about economics, not popularity or size

As a decision by Portland, Ore., shows, once support builds for getting rid of investments based on what someone thinks of the underlying business, it's not all that easy to decide where the line gets drawn.