Monday, December 12, 2011
Calling All Vegetarians (and Vegans)!
######## surrounding the article denotes it is a “press release”
and was not written by Leasing News nor information verified, but from the source noted. When an article is signed by the writer, it is considered a “by line.” It reflects the opinion and research of the writer. It is considered “bias” as it is the writer’s viewpoint.
Global Leasing Toolkit Now Available
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a part of the World Bank Group, has released the Global Leasing Toolkit in an effort to spur lease financing, especially in areas that can utilize commercial and industrial growth.
The Global Leasing Toolkit is designed to assist investment and advisory clients of IFC, consisting of banks, companies and individuals throughout the world in establishing and operating a leasing company. It was co-authored by:
Robert Teichman, CLP
The actual set consists of two books and a cd rom (in a pocket inside one of the books). The cd rom includes all the text and photos of the two books, plus sample documents and other materials. It is interactive and web-enabled. The Toolkit is intended for the use of IFC's regional officers worldwide, listed in the in the Introduction (1).
The Global Leasing Toolkit consists of several Sections, including: Establishing a Leasing Company; Funding a Leasing Company and Funding a Lease Transaction; Lease Production, including Marketing and Pricing; Lease Processing, including credit, documentation, insurance and lease servicing; Leasing Company Operations, including accounting with an emphasis on management accounting, and IT.
In addition there are 4 "Focused Toolkits," including:
The Global Leasing Toolkit makes extensive use of examples and case studies, all based on actual transactions, gained from the experience of the co-authors, as well as IFC's 35 years of experience in leasing advisory work and investing throughout the world. Included is a collection of international sample documents plus an extensive international glossary of leasing terms.
If you are an IFC investment or advisory client and want to obtain a copy of the Global Leasing Toolkit, or if you would like additional information about the Toolkit or learn more about IFC’s activities in leasing globally, please contact IFC at the dedicated web page - (http://www.ifc.org/ifcext/globalfm.nsf/Content/Global+Leasing+Toolkit), where you can also download a copy of the introduction.
In addition please feel free to contact either of the co-authors directly, as some of the World Bank (and IFC) publications are available to the public. They can usually be found on Amazon. com, but at this date the Toolkit is not for sale, but available to IFC's regional officers worldwide. Again, for questions, please contact:
Robert Teichman, CLP
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Ascentium Capital Copying First Sierra?
Thomas J. Depping Looking Out Upon Houston, Texas, circa 2000
Steve Schachtel is the third person to bring his company over to Ascentium Capital, Kingwood, Texas (located in northeast Houston), started by Thomas J. “Tom “Depping, who is best known for his company First Sierra/Sierra Cities---He started with a $1 million investment (1), sold to American Express Leasing, March, 2001, who then sold the company in November, 2004, to Key Equipment Finance (division of KeyCorp) among problems with RW Professional Leases reportedly in the First Sierra portfolio (see story that follows.)
Depping brought in many small companies to Sierra Cities to become First Sierra, hoping their success would contribute to his company with a central funding source and operation.
“General Interlease Corporation (GIC) 6/96
Many of those who joined, eventually left, some were asked to leave like Mark McQuitty and Jim Raeder, who pled guilty in Operation Lease Fleece. (3) The late Charlie Lester, who brought his company over, wrote about it September 27, 2000
Many of the key people at Ascentium are from First Sierra/Sierra Cities. First was Chase Leasing, who brought their health sales division over, followed by Richard Baccaro of American Equipment Finance, each had perhaps eight follow them, although the exact number was not published. The latest is Steve Schachtel of three year old U. $. Funding, Woodland Park, New Jersey, now named senior vice-president, per the press release about the announcement, reporting to Richard Baccaro, who is executive vice-president of sales and marketing for Ascentium Capital. (There is a complaint against American Equipment Finance, which also earlier this year, an attempt made to settle the matter. (4)
The number of staff brought with U $. Funding was not announced. Well-known to lease brokers and lessors, Schachtel was president of Lakeland Bank Equipment Division, hit hard by lease writes offs: "The bank previously said high diesel fuel costs hurt independent truckers and equipment lease originators, including one that owed $46 million related to 1,400 leases."
Lakeland..."(10/08) Let's go its Equipment Leasing Division President Stephen Schachtel by "mutual agreement, "as per the SEC filing. Chief Executive Officer Tom Shara said the replacement of Schachtel with the division's number two man, Robert Ingram, is part of a plan to downsize the leasing business. "We want to go to a local leasing platform. We don't want to do a national lease book of business," said the former TD Banknorth executive who took over as CEO in April after former President & CEO Roger Bosma retired. Heavy losses in truck leasing reported, particularly by one major lessee.) http://www.leasingnews.org/list_alpha_new.htm#lake
Ascentium Capital is backed by Vulcan Capital, the private investment group of Paul G. Allen, and a group of investors led by LKCM Capital Group, LLC (“LKCM”), the alternative investment vehicle for Luther King Capital Management.
(1) Tom Depping Biography (www.mainstreetbank.com)
(2)Sierra Cities Special Report
(3) All 23 are going to jail
(4) Bulletin Board Complaint, American Equipment Finance http://www.leasingnews.org/Conscious-Top%20Stories/BBC_AEF.htm
Barry Drayer May Be out on Parole
The New York Times reported on June 21, 2002:
"Forty federal agents raided the small headquarters of a company that leases medical equipment and arrested its top officers on June 21 for what prosecutors described as nationwide bank frauds that could total $200 million.
"Just 10 days of investigation into a small part of the company's dealings found $6.5 million of fraud, prosecutors said in United States District Court in Central Islip, where three suspects were arraigned. A fourth was arraigned in Boston.
"Prosecutors said that the company, the RW Professional Leasing Corporation, concocted elaborate schemes using up to 100 rented mailboxes as far away as California to send phony checks, sham invoices, bogus leases and other false documents to banks in various states. Based on those documents, the banks lent RW millions of dollars to buy equipment and lease it out, prosecutors said
"The schemes included multiple loans from different banks for the same medical equipment and loans for equipment that was never bought or leased, prosecutors said."
First Sierra was probably the largest credit, but at the time, the company was now owned by American Express Business Finance.
All the officers were personally found guilty, several sent to jail, including the president Barry Drayer, who appears has served his time, as he made an appeal June 21, 2011 in the form of “forma pauperis” (A) July 6, 2011 was an inmate earning 12 cents an hour, having $100, and appears separated or divorce (no dependents), and is required current restitution estimated at $15 million (b) and motion was approved (c)
This lead to an amendment to sentencing November 19, 2010, list amounts he owes to be paid at 10% of his gross monthly income, 60 days after the release from prison (shall not seek employment involving brokering financial deals for doctors), list banks owed money, and to serve his time at the federal camp in Devens, Massachusetts to be near his family. (D). ( Galleon hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam was sentenced on October 13, 2011 for 11 years at Devens Prison.)
It should be noted the $20 million case brought by American Express Business Finance Corporation as successor to Sierracities.com Inc. August 19, 2002 was discontinued due to the FBI case against Barry Drayer and others as well as RW Professional, Inc. (E)
He was 62 when arrested June 21, 2002 and may be 72 years, getting time served while in trial.
(D) Amended final judgment
(E) American Express Stipulation of Discontinuance
Story about RW Professional, Inc.
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John Caulfield, President, Forum Financial Services, saw that we had raised only $525. He challenged readers to donate $50 or more, and when it reached $1,000 in new contributions, he would double it by donating $1,000.
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“Business Plans for 2012”
Actually, this should have been finalized by management last month, perhaps even earlier, depending on the size of your company. Then when the time is right, either before or the lull, but before leaving for a long vacation. Perhaps like a football team, the various coaches have their own departments and communication, and report to the head coach who works with the owners of the company if budgets are to be changed.
The question of how much input the staff has had in the final plan is a very important question. Each area of the company from credit to sales must have a goal for next year from faster turnaround to fewer turn downs from unacceptable credits. So goals must reflect the advances necessary to move the company forward beyond just the incentive to make more money!
It should not be the “same old, same old,” as times have changed; automation is here, new selling techniques, processing, accounting, and to realize the internet has changed our industry, too, not just the post office.
This may sound strange but I think you should have everyone sign the business plan to make sure they understand it and are comfortable with it. If not “why”? --- which may require you to change some of your assumptions or require a change of personnel. Then I would set some company monthly goals to review, as the year moves on, being prepared to critically look at your progress and make the necessary changes. If you fail to make the goals everyone will know why. If you make your goals everyone will know why and success is the name of the game.
To set a proper goal for any department requires something that is a stretch, but not unattainable, after considering the input from that area. On many occasions, in my career, edicts from afar (upper management) were passed down that made me wonder if they were on the same planet because there was no input from the trenches and it appeared that they began with the answer (what profit level they wanted) and decided how much volume it took and how to do it with fewer people or a very tight budget. The GE way is to cut the department, until it is again working well, then cut it again, until it is again working well, and then perhaps one more time or merge it with another department. That might work for GE because they are so large, but the old American Way is not just to work harder, but smarter---often a cliché that goes in one ear and out the other. More people need to take Six Sigma Quality and Credit training.
The three parts to creating a business plan and then compensation programs must start with a discussion about markets and capabilities within those markets with regards to the state of the economy and those markets own predictions of business next year. A review of those industries trade publications would give you some clues. Next a candid review of your success rate with-in those markets. Don’t listen to the hype, look at the numbers. Perhaps chose one or two additional markets to explore, but be careful not to venture to far from the markets that have been your bread and butter. Next always consult the staff about how they can improve the back office operation and incorporate it into you plan.
Sales goals and compensation for completed business must reflect margin, term, and credit quality. The best compensation plan does not change every year, but if it must change to get better it needs to be sold to the sales staff, not dropped on them. Changes need to have a purpose. If there is a better margin in some areas than increase the compensation in that area and decrease compensation in those areas. Some markets look good because volume appears to be steady but the transactions may be small and are gumming up the works for larger more profitable transactions.
One good goal for the sales staff is an increase in their average size transaction without a loss in margin. Perhaps you should look at the physical work flow to determine if the distance between job assignments adds or subtracts from the time to move a transaction through the system.
Business plans are an excellent time to review where you are headed. I know this is another cliché, like not only work harder, work smarter---but it is just as true---“If you don’t know where you are going, that is where you will wind up.”
Mr. Terry Winders, CLP, has been a teacher, consultant, expert witness for the leasing industry for thirty-five years and can be reached at email@example.com or 502-649-0448
He invites your questions and queries.
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Career Crossroad—“Pursue a degree?”
Question: Should I pursue a degree to advance in my career?
Answer: It’s Survival of the Fittest out there …. In short – Absolutely – give yourself an advantage when competing with other Candidates.
HOWEVER do NOT forgo your current role or pursue education in lieu of employment.
One of the first things I would do is start studying the Certified Leasing Professional handbook. It is on sale now for 25% off.* You then can ask for a tutor or mentor and get ready to take the test to become a CLP. It will mean a lot to you, and to your employer and others in the leasing field.
I also believe in continuing education, even if you don't get a degree. Although a degree does mean a lot to a potential employer, as well as for your own education. You can take evening or online classes. The years go by anyway … and pursuing or completing your education can only benefit you. Of course there is a cost involved, but taking one class at a time should not be too much of a hardship. You may be able to apply for a student loan, however most loans are for full time students (you can attend evening classes full time – though you might wind up burning the candle at both ends).
If you are with a larger organization they often offer education reimbursement – keeping in mind if you leave before a certain time frame you will have to pay the company back. So if you are looking to advance with your current employer, this is a good option – speak to HR.
For those entering or soon to enter the work place (e.g. your teens/young adults) I STRONGLY recommend coupling experience along with education e.g. internships or evening / weekend classes. This will give them the competitive advantage they will need
Previous Career Crossroad columns:
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European Bank Stress Tests
The European Banking Authority issued an indict that European banks must raise a total of €114.69 billion to meet its June 2012 9% core Tier 1 ratio requirement. The figure compares to the EBA's October estimate of a capital shortfall of €106.45 billion, largely on a higher shortfall found among banks in Germany.
Several of the companies involved in the exercise soon after responded to the EBA's latest findings, including measures on how they plan to address their respective capital gaps.
Below is a summary of those who face a capital shortfall,and their plans of action where disclosed:
Germany and Austria
In Austria, the EBA said Erste Group Bank AG had a capital shortfall of €743 million. "Erste Group will meet this requirement through retained earnings and selective disposal of noncore assets, but without any government support," the bank said in response.
The shortfall determined for Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich AG was €2.13 billion; the bank issued a statement noting that this amount is €400 million lower than original expectations for the group, as the EBA considered earnings from the first three quarters in its second figure. The group said it will not require state support to reach the new goal. It also highlighted its plans, outlined in October, of how it plans to meet the new capital ratio.
The EBA flagged a capital shortfall of €1.05 billion for Österreichische Volksbanken AG. The lender noted the "slight" increase from €972 million estimated previously, and said measures undertaken by the management to better the capital situation have been successful. "VBAG will continue to implement its restructuring strategy in order to further strengthen the capital ratios in accordance with the legal requirements of the European Commission," the company said. It also said further measures improving capital ratios are being discussed with all stakeholders.
In Germany, Deutsche Bank AG's shortfall came to €3.24 billion, according to the EBA. The bank said it made "significant" progress during the fourth quarter regarding meeting the target and said it is set to reach the EBA benchmark by Dec. 31, while continuing to strengthen its core Tier 1 ratio during 2012.
Commerzbank AG needs a further €5.31 billion, up from €2.94 billion in October, according to the banking authority. In its statement, Commerzbank said the increase was almost totally due to the further escalation of the European state debt crisis. It said the implementation of the measures announced with its third-quarter results could lead to the bank lowering the need for additional capital by up to €2.7 billion. Commerzbank said it also could strengthen its equity capital through the sale of nonstrategic assets, retained earnings and accelerated cost management. The issue of equity capital instruments is also an option, it noted.
The EBA said the shortfall for DZ Bank AG is €353 million; the bank said it will ensure it will meet the required 9% core Tier 1 capital ratio by the end of June 2012, but did not provide specifics on how.
Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale's shortfall is €2.49 billion. The bank, noting that the EBA had placed the figure at €660 million in October, said it is expanding its capital-boosting program launched in spring, which involves a package of measures including further capital conversions, retained earnings and a sale of investments. The lender also maintained that it is not short of capital
WestLB AG requires a further €224 million to meet the EBA requirements. The bank said due to the ongoing restructuring process of WestLB AG, splitting off WestLB AG by June 30, 2012, "no additional measurements/plans in agreement with the national supervisory authorities are necessary."
Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Girozentrale needs a further €1.5 billion, according to the EBA. However, the company said Dec. 7, ahead of the EBA's release, that €1.92 billion of silent contributions from the state of Hesse were not recognized as core Tier 1 capital by the EBA. It said it will convert the silent participations into core Tier 1 capital that does meet the EBA's requirements, meaning that it will require "not a single euro of additional equity capital."
France and Benelux
Turning to Belgium, the EBA said Dexia SA's shortfall stands at €6.31 billion. In a statement, the Franco-Belgian lender noted that this marked an increase of €2.4 billion from the Oct. 27 figure. However, the group said due to its major restructuring plan announced after the Sept. 30 cutoff date and state rescue, it does not have to comply with the recapitalization requirement of the EBA capital buffer exercise and will not remain in the EBA sample.
In France, Groupe BPCE was found to have a capital shortfall of €3.72 billion. It said the increase of about €300 million is mechanically linked to the change in the reference date because risk-weighted assets for BPCE increased slightly between June 30 and Sept. 30. However, the lender did not state how it intends to meet the new target.
BNP Paribas SA was found to have a shortfall of €1.48 billion, while Société Générale SA had a €2.13 billion gap.
Netherlands-based SNS REAAL NV unit SNS Bank NV has a capital shortfall of €159 million, the EBA said. In October, the EBA's preliminary results indicated that the bank met the capital 9% capital requirement. SNS REAAL said the difference arose as the new assessment included unrealized results on interest rate derivatives connected to the sovereign debt exposures. SNS Bank has already taken various measures to improve its capital buffer, concluding a lower Tier 2 exchange offer with net proceeds totaling about €72 million toward the end of November.
Italy, Greece and Cyprus
The EBA said Cyprus' Marfin Popular Bank Public Co. Ltd. would need €1.97 billion to meet the regulator's capital requirements. Noting the EBA's announcement, the Cypriot lender said it would submit a "comprehensive capital enhancement plan" to the Cyprus central bank by Jan. 20, 2012. Meanwhile, the EBA said Bank of Cyprus Public Co. Ltd. would have to boost its capital by €1.56 billion.
Greek banks' shortfall amounted to €30 billion, unchanged from October. But the EBA said individual data for Greek banks was not disclosed, given the capital package for the country itself. The minimum backstop measures provided under the EU/IMF program exceed the EBA exercise, and no new benchmarks have been set for Greek banks, it noted.
Meanwhile, in Italy, UniCredit SpA was shown to have a capital shortfall of €7.97 billion, up from €7.38 billion in October. The Italian lender said the capital shortfall gap widened due to its third-quarter results. Including the restructuring of CASHES and UniCredit's recently announced capital increase, the bank said it would have a capital buffer of €1.7 billion and a core Tier 1 ratio of 9.4% by the EBA's June deadline. Recently, the bank was said to be planning a major relocation of staff to generate €50 million in annual cost savings.
Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA needs to raise €3.27 billion by the EBA's deadline, the regulator said. The bank responded to the EBA, arguing that a core Tier 1 capital ratio of 9% by the end of June 2012 was not "appropriate for banking institutions that carry out lending activities almost exclusively in favor of households, small- and medium-sized enterprises and corporate customers, whose financial risks are essentially associated with exposure to Italian government bonds." The bank called on the EBA's indications to be reviewed as soon as possible and said a different core Tier 1 capital requirement should be set for domestic lenders with a retail focus. The lender added that it had started initiatives aimed at reducing the capital requirement, which include: the extension of advanced internal rating based models for the measurement and management of credit risk leading to a reduction in risk-weighted assets; the implementation of initiatives for the partial disposal real estate properties not used in the business; the value enhancement of product companies, partly through joint ventures with leading industry players; and value creation from other assets, some of which are recognized for accounting purposes but not under prudential standards.
The EBA said Banco Popolare Società Cooperativa needs to bolster its capital by €2.73 billion before the end of June 2012. Banco Popolare responded to the EBA statement by arguing that the "different asset weighting methods used in the various countries make it impossible to compare the financial positions of the various banks based on a single synthetic indicator," namely, the core Tier 1 ratio.
Unione di Banche Italiane SCpA had a capital shortfall of €1.39 billion, according to the EBA. The bank presented arguments similar in fashion to UniCredit and Banca Monte dei Paschi's concerns with the EBA requirements. A capital bolstering could, in the bank's opinion, lead to a pro-cyclical impact on the real economy by inducing a slowdown in lending.
Spain and Portugal
For Portugal, Millennium BCP's capital requirement was pegged at €2.13 billion, the largest of any Portuguese bank. The lender said it would meet the 2012 end-of-June deadline but did not specify the measures it would take to do so. Banco Espírito Santo SA parent company Espírito Santo Financial Group SA, which faces a shortfall of €1.6 billion, made a similar statement.
Banco BPI SA, with a shortfall of €1.39 billion, said it will examine all its options to meet the new capital requirements, including using the €12 billion recapitalization facility available to Portuguese banks. "Banco BPI's board of directors will, in due course, announce the initiatives to be submitted to shareholders," the lender stated.
In the case of Spain, Banco Santander SA was identified as requiring a further €15.3 billion to meet the EBA requirements, the highest of any lender within the test. The banking giant said this compared to the €14.97 billion figure published Oct. 26. Santander said that to address the new requirements, it is maintaining the measures announced at its third-quarter results presentation. The lender also said it is aiming to reach a core capital ratio of 10% in accordance with the new requirements of the EBA as of June 30, 2012.
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA's shortfall stands at €6.33 billion, according to the EBA. The bank noted that it has already adopted measures to address the capital buffer required by the EBA, including the exchange offer of preferred shares for mandatory convertibles announced Nov. 22. "In addition, BBVA will meet the requirements established by the EBA through a combination of organic capital generation and other measures of balance-sheet management." The bank also stressed that it will not turn to public funds.
The shortfall for La Caixa was calculated at €630 million. The lender said it is able to meet this comfortably by the EBA's deadline through organic capital generation. In addition, it said it has other means at its disposal for boosting its solvency that were not taken into account by the EBA. Those include bonds necessarily convertible into CaixaBank shares (€1.5 billion).
Banco Financiero y de Ahorros SA and its new unit Bankia were identified as having a €1.33 billion capital shortfall, while Banco Popular Español SA had a shortfall of €2.58 billion.
DNB ASA unit DNB Bank ASA needs €1.52 billion to meet the EBA's requirements. The Norwegian bank said that during the fourth quarter it raised its common equity Tier 1 capital ratio to 9% from the EBA-calculated 7.82% by redistributing available internal funds.
The EBA said Slovenia's Nova Ljubljanska Banka dd would need to bolster its capital by €320 million. The Slovenian lender responded by saying that it would fill the gap with a proposed €400 million capital increase.
Kamran Asaf contributed to this report.
Top Stories---December 6--December 8
Here are the top ten sorties opened by readers:
(1) First Sound Bank Investor Pleads to Keep Bank Open
(2) Leasing 102 by Mr. Terry Winders, CLP
(3) CPA firm Moss Adams sued for
(4) Schwartz Now at Metropolitan Detention Center, Brooklyn
(5) New Hires--Promotions
(6) Channel Partners Last Funded Deals
(7) New Feature added---SparkPeople
(8) Caulfield Challenges Readers--Will match Donations
(Tie) (9) Find Part-Time Jobs Near You
(Tie) (9) LeadFerret---completely free data on businesses
(10) Non-bank financing increases options for small business
Braintree, Massachusetts-- Adopt-a-Dog
Black Labrador Retriever
“This sweet little guy was saved minutes before being euthanized. The poor fella was picked up as a stray and wound up in a high kill facility. Lucky for him, he is now in a wonderful foster home where he loves playing with their children and other dogs. Buzzi is very smart and has already learned how to sit on command by the 10 year old in the home. He sleeps in his crate at night, but is whining by 6:30 or 7 to get out and do his business. His favorite place is on his foster mom's lap. Buzzi is estimated to be around 8-10 weeks old as of 10/25. He is a happy, friendly, cuddly pup looking for his forever home. He is neutered and up to date on age appropriate vaccines, and current on flea/tick and heartworm preventative. His adoption fee is $450. If you're looking for a great family companion, please fill out our online adoption application by going to: “http://www.rescueangels.org/pages/AdoptionApplication.html
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Washington state Banks have Profitable Year
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SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer
Calling All Vegetarians (and Vegans)!
Backup rallies Cardinals past 49ers 21-19
Bears let Broncos escape with OT victory
Oakland Raiders slip in AFC West standings after 46-16 loss to Green Bay Packers
Hey nonny no!
The Raiders have to go---
Part-time status proposed for California Legislature
Abalones cling to life as recovery plan forms
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This Day in History
1712- The South Carolina colony passed a "Sunday Law" requiring "all...persons whatsoever" to attend church each Sunday, to refrain from skilled labor, and to do no traveling by horse or wagon beyond the necessary. Infractions of this law were met with a 10_shilling fine and/or a two_hour lock_up in the village stocks
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