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Monday, June 16, 2008

Phil Mickelson, golfer, born San Diego, CA, June 16, 1970.


Gretchen Gabriel has third boy!!!
    Classified Ads---Asset Management
        Over 500 eMail: Tim Russert
OCC: only 9 Memoranda of Understanding 2007
National City Corp.
    FIFO/SILO/Voodoo Leasing by C. Menkin
        Beige Report: “Weak April, May”
Tygris Commercial Finance Closes Funding
    Classified Ads---Help Wanted
        Top Stories --June 9--June 13
    Summer Special: 20% off Help Wanted Ads
Leasing 102 by Mr. Terry Winders, CLP
“Targeting Your Marketing Effort”
    Alta Group Conference Technology Platforms
        Verizon Credit Inc. Goes Live w/IDS
    International Address Formats
Key, "It was not just leases..."
    KeyCorp strategy spurs confidence
        News Briefs---
You May have Missed---
    Sports Briefs---
        "Gimme that Wine"
    Calendar Events
Snapple Real Facts
    Today's Top Event in History
        This Day in American History
    Baseball Poem
    Daily Puzzle
        NPR Sunday Puzzle
Weather, USA or specific area
News on Line---Internet Newspapers
Derby, Kansas

######## surrounding the article denotes it is a “press release”


Gretchen Gabriel has third boy!!!

Leasing News is proud to announce that our web graphic artist
Gretchen Gabriel gave birth last week.

Scott Finley Gabriel, born Thursday, June 12, 10:26am,
8 lbs, 10 ozs., 21 inches, Good Samaritan Hospital, San Jose, California



Classified Ads---Asset Management

Massachusetts, MA
Started in credit and collections 30 years ago with a private agency. My skills are negotiating with Attorney's, Insurance Companies & Large & small companies. | Resume
New York, NY
10+ years in equipment leasing/secured lending. Skilled in management & training, documentation, policy and procedure development & implementation, portfolio reporting. Strong work ethic.
Seattle, WA
20 years combined experience in Asset Management and Collections. History of successfully maximizing the residual position through superior negotiation skills and remarketing.
United States
Multi- talented individual looking to relocate back to mainland. Over 20 years of experience in Asset Management, Venture Leasing, Operations and Senior Management Positions.
RESUME | Email:

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Over 500 eMail: Tim Russert

If you are on the Leasing News mailing list, you received the news Friday afternoon on the passing of my news idol Tim Russert. He was tough on all sides in his interviews, in his quest for accuracy. After reading his books, you learned how decent a man he was, also. Leasing News had just celebrated his birthday on May 7:

Happy Birthday to Tim Russert, 58, moderator of “Meet the Press,”
born May 7, 1950 in Buffalo, NY, if you didn’t know that already

Over 500 readers sent in their response to my email that he was my favorite newsman.
Here are some of them:
Kit Menkin

I was so saddened by this. One of the very, very few media people really respected for their integrity.

Keith D. Drayer


Very tragic. Tim was the same age as me and we both suffered heart attacks this year. Guess I was lucky.



So sad. My girlfriend at NBC met him at the debates where he signed his book about his dad. Odd, he is born on the same day and year I was.



mine too!! he will be sadly missed!! :((

Keith Adler


So sad.

I was watching ABC when they broke in with the story and Charles Gibson was really choked up over it....



My wife cried on reading this email from you

Paul Weiss


Mine too

Never met him but I feel like I lost a teacher

Brian Merrick


Thank you so much for sending this, Kit. It's the first I've heard of it. I really liked Tim Russert. We've moved this week, and I haven't been paying attention to the news. He was a good man and way too young to leave us.




He was a saint as far as I was concerned and I don’t think I ever missed Meet the Press just because of him. This is indeed tragic news. I shall pray for his family. Thanks for letting me know. Too damn young.

Rosanne Wilson, CLP


This is very sad. So sudden - reminds me of our local newscaster Pete Wilson that died several months back. Russert was in a prime, prime spot heading into this historic presidential race. He leaves behind some very large shoes to fill.



DAMN IT! I really liked that guy a lot! I see that you did too…

Thanks for the notification, Kit. I would not have known 'til much later…



What a shock…and what a loss.



Very sad. He was the real deal. How he would have enjoyed this election and it's significance.



We share with you the loss of one of the GOOD news men, so needed in these times of confusion.



Kit - I loved him too. I start every Sunday with his program.

Nanette S Iggulden


Very sad to lose such a great contributing member of the human fraternity so unexpectedly at a relatively young age (when compared to my 60 years).


Amen, and ditto. They broke the mold there, didn't they?

Tom Roberts

Russert Wake Will Be at St. Albans,
Private Service Wednesday



OCC: only Nine Memoranda of Understanding in 2007

National City in trouble?

Why this is an important story to the leasing industry:

"On Balance Sheet" (in Millions) 3/31/08 12/31/07 3/31/08
Lease Financing Commercial      
Direct Financing $4,173 $4,280 $3,918
Leverage Leases 155 157 177
Total Commercial Leases: $4,328 $4,437 $4,085
Consumer Retail automobile
Lease Financing
$110 $142 $265
Total net investment $4,438 $4,579 $4,360

Page 24, 5/12/08 10Q *

Not included leasing company warehouse lines, lines of credit, management, as well as "off balance sheet leasing. Key Corp., a major bank located in Cleveland, said earlier this week it planned to raise about $1.5 billion to cover expected charges of about $1 billion after an adverse court ruling on a tax matter. (Please see stories in “News Briefs”) The leverage leases and “off balance sheet leases”
were not discernable on their financial statement** (and perhaps not on the National City.)

National City Commercial Capital is a subsidiary of National City Corporation, and one of the Equipment Finance and Leasing Association 26 members of the MFLI-25 survey. The company purchases:
“Typical bulk portfolios acquired will have the following characteristics:
Portfolios of $2.5 million and up (largest portfolio acquisition to date: $513 million) or repetitive monthly fundings of at least $250,000 Small to middle-market transaction sizes
Servicing retained by partner (though not required)
UNL, credit reserve or recourse structures available”


Leasing News article on Monday questioned the condition of National City Corp.

The article concerned what insiders were telling Leasing News that National City Corp., the nation’s 10th top bank was in serious trouble, and that the "Memorandum of Understanding" with the Office of Controller of Currency (OCC) regarded the banks condition. Leasing News stated, “The OCC is reportedly concerned that if the bank fails it may take five other banks with it due to their risk sharing, banking insiders are telling Leasing News.”

It was also mentioned that National City Corp completed several capital offerings earlier this year. It had reported a fourth-quarter 2007 net loss of $333 million and a net loss of $171 million in the first quarter of 2008. Merger rumors have circulated around the company of late, but they abated in early May, when National City completed a $7 billion capital raise.

A spokesperson for National City, who read the article, stated to contact them “…contact me as soon as possible … This issue requires immediate attention as we have serious concerns regarding inaccurate and inflammatory statements that require appropriate corrections and/or clarification.”

A copy of the company press release was sent. The general issues in the press release were outlined in the SEC filings, but in a general basis as if from a text book on the responsibilities of the bank, its officers, and board of director. A specific issue for the Memoranda was not found in the actual over 145 page 10-Q on 05/12/08. It also appears from National City Chairman President and CEO Peter E. Raskind…” the MOU’s focus on issues that existed at the time of the capital raise.”

In the new communication, Leasing News requested a copy of the “Memorandum of Understand.”

Leasing News was told it would not be made public. A search of the OCC and Federal Reserve of Cleveland could not find the document, but in doing this homework, OCC issued only nine Mememorada of Understanding in 2007.
Table 2, Enforcement Actions

This is then a serious matter, particularly in the OCC explaining its reasons for issuing such mememorada:
“Protecting National Banks against Mismanagement One of the key responsibilities of national bank examiners is to appraise management’s and directors’ supervision of a bank and to evaluate the quality of their decision-making processes. In combating mismanagement during FY 2007, the OCC took such formal enforcement actions as temporary cease and desist orders, final cease and desist orders, removal or prohibition orders, CMPs, and formal agreements. Documents relating to OCC enforcement actions can be found at www.”

While there was no information on the National City matter, The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland had this “white paper” on its role:

Although a copy of the Mememorada was denied, nor specific answers to our story on Monday, May 9th, here is the response from National City Corporation, in an effort to present both sides to the story, their press release:


“CLEVELAND, Ohio, June 10, 2008 – Today, National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC) Chairman, President and CEO Peter E. Raskind issued the following statement in response to recent media coverage regarding regulatory matters:

“Generally, the relationship between a bank and its regulators is characterized by confidentiality. Unfortunately, however, someone has breached the confidential relationship between National City and our regulators. Given the potential concerns and misunderstandings that this breach could cause for our many stakeholders, we can confirm that National City entered into Memoranda of Understanding with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland on May 5 and April 29, 2008, respectively. These MOU’s address the issues of capital management, risk management, asset quality and liquidity management which have already been publicly disclosed and discussed, including in our most recent 10-Q filing. There have been no material developments since our capital raise, and the MOU’s focus on issues that existed at the time of the capital raise. Further, the MOU’s have no material impact on our ability to serve our customers and communities. Respecting the nature of the bank/regulator relationship and applicable legal requirements, we will not release the actual language of the MOU documents.

“Following our recent $7 billion capital raise, National City has the highest Tier 1 capital ratio among large banks in the United States. Our debt ratings are solidly investment grade and stable. We stand ready to serve our customers and communities with confidence, and we are determined to rebuild value for our stockholders.”

“About National City National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC), headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, is one of the nation's largest financial holding companies. The company operates through an extensive banking network primarily in Ohio, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and also serves customers in selected markets nationally. Its core businesses include commercial and retail banking, mortgage financing and servicing, consumer finance and asset management. For more information about National City,
visit the company’s Web site at”

* 12/08 10Q 145 pages (see 5/12/08 10Q:)

**Key Corp March 31, 2008, 10Q

National City in Trouble?

Key Corp. Not Alone



FIFO/SILO/Voodoo Leasing

by Christopher Menkin

In February, 2005, the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officially declared "sale-in, lease-back," or SILO, arrangements as tax shelters, thereby opening them up to audits. Both Congress and the IRS have been “head hunting” leasing tax shelters, stating they were costing the government $35 billion.

This lead to other changes, including the accounting groups throughout the world to look at “off balance sheet” financing. Terry Winders, CLP, wrote about this in his last Leasing #102 and Shawn Halladay of the Alta Group has been following this closely, stating last year it could be as early as 2012, “no off balance sheet financing.”

Paul Doyle, CPA, partner in the TABS Group Accountancy Corporation has also warned that other costs in maintaining equipment could be grouped into the balance sheet liability, instead of being expensed as “rent” is today.

Perhaps some of the things to come are now being experienced by banks, most recently Key Corp. Others surely will have similar tax rulings. describes it, "Leveraged lease strategies typically include a bank borrowing money to purchase equipment or property that the bank then turns around and leases to a client. While most of the lease payments would go to the lenders who financed the purchase of the leased property, the bank would enjoy favorable tax treatments on the entire value of the leased equipment, which typically includes deducting interest payments for the property's financing, as well as accelerated depreciation write-offs.”

In the Key Corp. case, “The charge is made up of approximately $475 million in interest costs on the taxes claimed on the contested leveraged leases and a $625 million to $725 million accounting adjustment based on the leases' revised cash flows. "

Hitting the banks today are the money borrowed from each other in pools on subprime mortgages, loans to industries that support the building and interior of homes and commercial property, as well as
direct finance leases and now leverage leases, which have huge tax consequences, coming at the wrong time.

Couple with inflation, and the declining value of the US dollar, this makes these tax incentives very valuable. What is worse, at a time when the manner of building profit is loosening credit to attract more business, the opposite is happening.

It is perhaps best explained in the Abbott and Costello this routine:

”Abbott was trying to sell Costello a pair of shoelaces and he told him if he didn’t buy the pair of shoelaces, whether he needed them now or not (Costello said he didn’t need them), THAT Abbott WOULD not be able to have enough to pay the person who distributed the shoelaces, who sold it to him---and the guy then couldn’t afford to have lunch, so the waitress wouldn’t get her tip, the lunch business would be down at the dinner, and the Tuna boat Captain wouldn’t be able to buy his kids new shoes because he couldn’t sell the fish he caught for the tuna fish sandwich the waitress didn’t serve to the distributor Abbott couldn’t pay because Costello didn’t buy the last pair of shoe laces.

I realized the Abbott and Costello comedy routine made fun of the economic ripple effect. But in a downturn, it wasn’t funny as the price of oil, mayonnaise, bread, gasoline, followed by the fall out of the construction industry, houses not selling banks tightening credit, less tax money coming in and therefore city, county, and states were cutting back, letting employees go, less services, and all of a sudden the economy is down because Costello didn’t buy a pair of shoe laces.

As less profits are being generated, and costs go up, instead of down, people laid off, less taxes collected, the local government budgets will have a tough time meeting their June deadline. What appears worse is facing a “do nothing” congress and “lame duck” president who both presidential candidates appear to have criticism, brings the bad news into the beginning of 2009.

If a Republican is elected, he will be expected to change things around, but with a Democratic congress, many will be disappointed.

If a Democrat is elected, most businesses believe nothing good will happen, and if it does, it will be a surprise. Any major bills will also have to get through the US Senate.

Perhaps another budget cutting of local, county, state, education budgets by June, 2009, will lead to term limits, which has become popular by voters in many states.

What is needed is to continue the practice of leasing that was successful for financial institutions and the community, creating incentive for hiring new employees, including a training allowance, as well as bringing back the investment tax credit.

You have to give business incentives, not penalize them for trying to make a profit.

Mr. Terry Winders, CLP: Changes in Accounting for Leases

SILO articles



Beige Report: “Weak April, May”

The Federal Reserve “Beige Report” shows that consumer spending slowed both in April and May, and manufacturing not only dipped, but passed on its higher raw material and other costs.costs..

Three of the 12 regional Fed banks reported ``softer, weaker or lower'' growth and four found ``slower, sluggish or modest'' expansion. Five areas reported business was ``stable or little changed.''

New York
St. Louis
Kansas City
San Francisco

Full Report:



Tygris Commercial Finance Group Closes Funding

Total Equity Commitments Include $290 Million of Additional Subscriptions

New York, – Tygris Commercial Finance Group, Inc. (“Tygris”), a recently formed commercial finance company, is living up to its name, “tiger.” Previously they announced that its initial equity capital raise was completed with over $2 billion in equity commitments. On Friday, they announced the final stage of the offering, in which the company accepted $290 million of additional equity commitments, closed on June 6, 2008.

Rick Wolfert

“Raising over $2 billion in the current environment is a strong endorsement of our business plan, the market opportunity, and the management team we have assembled,” said Frederick E. “Rick” Wolfert, Chief Executive Officer of Tygris. “We now turn our efforts to the execution of our strategy, building out the company, and providing liquidity and growth capital to middle market companies throughout North America.”

Here are the executives:

    -- Steven F. Kluger, EVP, Capital Markets and Corporate Strategy, formerly has over 26 years experience in global investments, banking, capital markets, finance, risk, operations, and asset/liability management. Most recently, Mr. Kluger was President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Capital Markets Services, Inc. (CMS) and an officer of the General Electric Company (GE).

    -- Stuart A. Armstrong, President of Corporate Finance, formerly President and CEO of Black Diamond Commercial Finance L.L.C. and Senior Managing Director and Head of Corporate Lending's vertical industry financing groups at GE Commercial Finance; Mr. Armstrong spent 12.5 years at GE Commercial Finance where he was a Senior Managing Director and the leader of Corporate Lending's vertical financing groups. The largest business units that Mr. Armstrong led included the National Restructuring, Retail and Metals groups.

    -- Laird M. Boulden, President of Asset Finance (based in Chicago),
formerly President and CEO of RBS Asset Finance, Inc. and President and co-founder of the Commercial Equipment Finance Group for Heller Financial Inc.; He is a longtime member of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association, previously serving as its vice chairman and was a long-term member of the ELFA’s board of directors and executive committee.

    -- Tim J. Eichenlaub, EVP, Chief Risk Officer, formerly Senior Managing Director and Group Head for CIT's Sponsor Finance business; He was a Managing Director at GE Capital’s Merchant Banking Group and Commercial and Industrial Finance business and Executive Vice President and Head of Capital Markets of Heller Financial's Corporate Finance Group.

    -- T. Doug Hollowell, EVP, General Counsel and Head of Depository
Strategy, formerly Executive Director at Morgan Stanley Corporate Treasury and General Counsel at Merrill Lynch Capital. He also was Chief Operating Officer of Morgan Stanley Bank, a $35 billion Utah industrial bank, and Morgan Stanley Trust, a $4.5 billion Federal savings bank.

Board of Directors:

Jeffrey W. Greenberg, Chairman Aquiline Capital Partners LLC
Frederick E. “Rick” Wolfert, Tygris Commercial Finance Group, Inc.
Sandra S. Wijnberg, Aquiline Capital Partners LLC
Matt Grayson, Aquiline Capital Partners LLC
Richard P. Schifter, TPG Capital
Marshall Haines, TPG Capital
Alok Singh, New Mountain Capital
Douglas F. Londal, New Mountain Capital
Hartley Rogers, Hamilton Lane
H. Eugene Lockhart Diamond, Castle Holdings LLC

Tygris has three commercial finance businesses: middle market corporate finance, middle market equipment leasing and asset finance, and small ticket leasing. Tygris has offices in Chicago, Stamford, CT and Parsippany, NJ. For more information please visit

About Tygris Commercial Finance Group, Inc.

Tygris is a commercial finance company that provides liquidity and growth capital to middle market companies throughout North America. Tygris has three commercial finance businesses: corporate finance, equipment leasing and asset finance, and small ticket leasing. Tygris has offices in Chicago, Stamford, CT and Parsippany, NJ. For more information please visit



Leasing Industry Help Wanted

Sales Representative

Sales Representative

We're a progressive leasing company with ambitious growth plans for 2008. If you're a proven sales rep in the small ticket arena and ready to join a winning team, contact us immediately. We offer a competitive comp plan, amazing work environment, and have strong relationships with the major funding sources.
E-mail: .

About the Company: Genesis Commercial Capital, LLC; Irvine, CA



Like selling vendor programs and large transactions?
Enjoy international financing programs?
Prefer the advantages of a commission only environment with the security of health and welfare benefits?

CLICK HERE to find out how to have fun again.

Please see our Job Wanted section for possible new employees.



Top Stories --June 9--June 13

Here are the top ten stories most “opened” by readers last week:

(1) Archives---June 9, 2000
33 Leasing Companies with Problems

(2) National City in trouble?

(3) CIT $3 Billion—“from near death to critical”

(4) Used Car Dealer Sued/Failing to Deliver Titles

(5) Leasing #102 by Mr. Terry Winders, CLP
Changes in Accounting for Leases

(6) Alert----“National Advisor”
Wellspring Healthcare Lawsuit, Denton, Texas

(7) Leasing Recruiters—Call today!!!

(8) US Capital Help Wanted ad ("click to")

(9) Dakota Financial/ Purchase Creative Portfolio

(10) Texas Pacific and the Assoc. of British Insurers

Extra's, not counted due to technical difficulties:

CIT Survives!!! Ratings to go Up!!!!

Tim Russert Dies from Apparent Heart Attack



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Ads run a minimum of 21 days on the web site ( holidays not included.)  There are placed in the "Help Wanted' section by category, alphabetical, with the largest ad in the category first. Copy may be amended without any extra charge.

It is also our policy to place "help wanted" ads above the news edition headlines. This position is not available as a paid position, but appear on the top of the news edition in a rotation basis. This position is not guaranteed,but is a practice to give advertisers more attention to their ad. 

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Leasing 102

by Mr. Terry Winders, CLP

“Targeting Your Marketing Effort”

Most leasing companies waste time and expense working on transactions that do not fit their chosen parameters. By using easily available information, many lessors could make their marketing efforts more effective. A marketing plan that takes into account past performance, current resources, and goals for transaction volume, size, and creditworthiness can be used to increase the ratio of leases actually booked to lease applications.

Use the Information in Your Credit Files

The first step to a sound marketing plan is to realize that current capabilities and limitations will strongly influence the volume you will be able to achieve next year. You need to have a clear understanding of the relationship between transaction characteristics, break-even size, and prospecting efforts:

  • What is the average dollar amount of your leases?
  • What is their average term?
  • What is their average yield?
  • What is a break-even lease?
  • How many transactions are reviewed for each lease booked?

With this information you can focus your sales resources on deals most likely to succeed. You can decrease the amount of time spent on nonproductive business. And your projections of future volume will be more accurate because they are based on quantitative information about past results.

Performance Ratios

Statistics on present and past performance give you an idea of
what you are capable of accomplishing.

Transaction size. To determine your current average transaction size in dollars, divide the total original equipment cost by the number of transactions in the last calendar year. The leasing department described above booked 332 new transactions in 2007: the total value of the equipment leased was $10,666,000. Therefore, the average transaction size was $32,127. In 2006, the department booked $8,543,000 with 287 new accounts for an average transaction size of $29,766.

Average yield. To determine the average yield of a lease, sum all interest rates and divided by the number of transactions. (Yield includes all revenues including rentals, tax advantages, and residuals). The average yield for this leasing department in 2007 was 12%.

Average term. To determine the average term of a lease, sum all the months of all the leases and divide by the number of leases. For this leasing company, the average term is 48 months.

To see how these numbers relate to the typical transaction, drop the top and bottom 5% from each calculation. If the averages vary by more than 10%, you probably have a large transaction or a group of small transactions that are skewing the averages and obscuring transactions that are more typical.

Resources Required to Achieve Current Volume

Once you have gathered information about average size, yield, and term, you should determine what marketing efforts were necessary to obtain this average transaction and consider what resources you have available to increase capacity. Some of the information you need, for example, internal costs, may be difficult to gather, so you will need to make some estimates. As you collect data, establish procedures for gathering it as part of your regular operations. Then when you look for this information next year, it will be easy to obtain.

Turndown ratio. The credit department or your own records should be a source of information on each transaction that is reviewed. The ratio of transactions reviewed to transactions booked is called the turndown ratio. It answers the question, “How many transactions must you see to book one lease?”

Statistics about the credit approval process are valuable for measuring the efficiency of your marketing efforts. For example, if the average size transaction reviewed in the credit department is greater than the average transaction booked, you are losing larger transactions than you are booking. The reasons for this could vary from rate to credit standards. Generally, this would require some change in your marketing strategy. For example, perhaps you have failed to establish rate parameters before credit review and are reviewing large transactions that are more rate sensitive; therefore, you are losing a higher proportion of these deals.

If the average transaction reviewed is smaller than the average transaction booked, your credit standards probably exceed the creditworthiness of the transactions you are asked to consider. This also would warrant a change in your marketing strategy, for example, adding some sort of prescreening, approaching larger companies, or working on credit enhancements like prepaid rent, security deposits, or accelerated rents.

Staff resources. To compute your current capacity per day, divide the total number of transactions reviewed by the number of available personnel and then divide that quotient by the number of workdays. Given this capacity, you can determine whether you need to increase staff or make other adjustments, based on projected volume. A rule of thumb is that current capacity can increase 20% before additional personnel are necessary.

Sometimes, the credit department reviews other transactions in addition to equipment leases. In this case, capacity or use of that capacity can be difficult to measure. But, since future projections must take into account resources necessary to accomplish the task, even an estimate of capacity and use is helpful.

Break-even lease. To calculate the break-even point on each lease, you must determine how much it costs to run the lease department. Costs include rent, heat, lights, salaries, expenses, etc. Again, some of these expenses may have to be estimated, but careful estimates are useful. Divide total cost by the number of transactions booked in the last calendar year to determine the expense of each transaction. Then, add your current average cost of funds, and, using the statistics on the average term and yield of a lease, determine what size transaction is required to break even. For example, if average costs for the hypothetical leasing company described above are $973 per transaction and the leasing company’s average cost of funds is 8 ½%, what size lease will provide $973 income above the cost of money? Using a computer or financial calculator, we learn that for 48 months (average term) at 12% (average yield), it takes a $14,900 lease to break even.

It seems logical to use the whole portfolio to offset the lease department’s expenses, but expenses vary considerably from year to year. It is easier to assume that each year’s new volume must offset the expenses. If current new business can offset all expenses, the remaining portfolio will generate a profit.

Marketing Plan

Given that the average size transaction for our hypothetical company is $32,127 and that a transaction must be at least $14,900 to break even, we can begin to evaluate what the average size transaction ought to be.

If management has set a goal of $15 million in new business in 2009, how many new transactions will you have to book in 2009? The 2009 goal divided by current average transaction ($32,127) equals the number of transactions necessary to meet the volume projection: 467.

Given that you must book 467 new transactions, how many transactions must be reviewed in 2009? In our hypothetical leasing company, the turndown ratio is 2 to 1; therefore, to obtain 467 new accounts you would have to look at 934 new transactions. Compare this number to the capacity of your credit department. Last year, you looked at 664 transactions, this year you must look at 934 transactions, a 40% increase.

The results of these questions may cause you to reevaluate your plans. Perhaps the number of transactions required to obtain your projected volume will be greater than your capacity. Are you going to increase the size of your credit department or increase the average size transaction to decrease the number of deals? For example, instead of increasing the number of transactions reviewed by 40%, we could attempt to increase the average size transaction ($15 million/332 = $45,180, also a 40% increase).

When the size of the average transaction increases, the term of the average lease usually increases, too; most lessors won’t offer leases that exceed 36 months for transactions of less than $25,000. Decreasing the average size transaction tends to decrease the average term of your leases. Since increasing size increases the term of the lease, it also increases profits.


Requests from current customers for additional leases are easy volume at a low cost. New customers are expensive and hard to obtain unless you have a good marketing plan and an effective back office that minimizes expenses.

If you have a target size for transactions, you will not waste time chasing transactions that are either too small or too large. Transactions that are too small may incur costs to add capacity that outweigh the income they generate. It may be more profitable to reject them than to approve them. Large transactions may provide volume, but, due to low rates and low profits, reduce your capacity to handle expenses.

By monitoring the average transaction size every month, you will be able to plan capacity to handle requests and give excellent service. As a result, you will benefit from additional business from satisfied customers and business that is concluded successfully because of efficient internal handling. Monitoring current performances lets management respond to both improvements or failures. In the long run, a well organized lease marketing effort protects profits, careers, and income.

Mr. Terry Winders, CLP, has been a teacher, consultant, expert witness for the leasing industry for thirty years and can be reached at or 502-327-8666.
He invites your questions and queries.

Previous #102 Columns:


### Press Release ###########################

Alta Group Conference Explores How Technology Platforms
Can Drive Best Practices in Leasing, Increase Profit Margins

CHICAGO, -- How can equipment leasing and finance executives effectively compete, reduce margin pressures and prosper with ever increasing competition and pressure from stockholders? These and other questions will be addressed at the Aug. 20-22 conference planned by The Alta Group.

Shawn Halladay

“One clear way is to ensure that technology strategy and the chosen platform are designed around best practices in equipment leasing,” says Shawn Halladay, managing principal of The Alta Group’s professional development division. “Lessors are increasingly seeking to solve their toughest business challenges through technology and business process optimization,” says the host of the Professional Development Division’s third annual conference on technology and business processes scheduled at the Marriott Oakbrook Hotel in Chicago, Aug. 20-22.

Focusing on the theme, “Combating Margin Compression,” speakers will represent industry consultancies, technology providers and equipment leasing and finance companies. Discussion and system exploration will provide a range of information from broad business and strategic viewpoints to technical nuts and bolts. The conference is designed for COOs, CFOs, CIOs, IT managers, risk managers, portfolio/equipment managers, conversion specialists, auditors and quality teams. The Chicago location makes it easy for executives from both coasts to meet face to face, Halladay notes.

“Margin compression is on everyone’s mind these days,” Halladay said. “The goal of this two and a half-day event is to open up the various technology applications and see how they work to create efficiencies.” In his consulting practice, Halladay said he is frequently called upon when organizations are considering new platforms. “They want to ensure the systems will be designed around best practices,” he said.

Halladay has served the equipment leasing and finance industry for more than 20 years, as a consultant, professional trainer, auditor and lessor. His practice is global with customers in all leasing markets and in North America, South America, Asia and Europe. He provides educational conferences for Latin American clients in Miami each fall in both English and Spanish.

He has authored eight books on equipment leasing. Halladay serves on Financial Accounting committee of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association, as well as the editorial board of the Journal of Equipment Lease Financing.

Dr. James Johnson, PhD

Speakers for this year’s conference include another well known leasing educator and industry author, Dr. James Johnson, PhD., Northern Illinois University School of Business. He will discuss how lessors should position themselves to survive in the mature asset finance industry. Dr. Johnson has written or co-authored several books on equipment leasing, including Power Tools for Successful Leasing, Technology Leasing: Power Tools for Lessees and Power Tools for Small Ticket Leasing.

Presenters include Mike Zoretich and Mark Belec of Third Pillar; Andrew Denton, CHP Consulting; Joseph Franco, Oracle; and consultant Tom Matlon.

Topics include using technology to address risk, outsourcing, cost controls, system selection, accounting dynamics, migration to new platforms, regulatory compliance management and optimizing the performance of a legacy platform.

In addition, leading industry providers, such as CHP Consulting, Third Pillar, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Oracle Lease Management, will conduct comprehensive functionality demonstrations of their technology platforms. They will introduce the latest features of their systems, and show how customers are using technology to respond to the dynamic changes taking place in the industry and create cost efficiencies.

“The functionality demos using transaction data provided by the conference organizers provide attendees with a clear understanding of how the technology platforms will work in real-world situations,” said Justin Cooper, president, CHP North America. “Everyone uses the same data and scenarios, making comparisons easy.”

The cost to attend is $1,495. Persons interested in registering for the conference can call Kaye Reeder at 801-322-4499 or email
For more information, visit

About The Alta Group:

The Alta Group is a global consultancy serving equipment leasing and finance companies, investment professionals, manufacturers, banks and government organizations. Founded in 1992, The Alta Group supports clients in North America; Latin America; Western, Central and Eastern Europe; Australia and China. For more information, please visit


### Press Release ###########################

Verizon Credit Inc. Goes Live with Integrated Solution for
Equipment and Services Financing from International Decision Systems

RapportÒ and ProFinia™ will enable Verizon to streamline financing options for business customers who choose to finance their communications equipment and services.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN,– Customers of Verizon Credit, Inc., will benefit from improved efficiencies and functionality using advanced software from International Decision Systems (IDS).

IDS’ Rapport and ProFinia software will allow Verizon Credit to more effectively and efficiently provide business customers with a full array of financing options for their communications equipment and services. Verizon Credit works side by side with Verizon Business and Verizon Telecom to provide customers with innovative financing options to help them manage cash flow and reduce the risk of technology obsolescence.

"These new software platforms will enable Verizon Credit to better serve its customers by enhancing our financing operations," said Paul Repp, President and Chief Executive Officer of Verizon Credit Inc. “We will have even greater ability to provide financing options that allow our customers to tap the business power of communications.”

Verizon Credit migrated from IDS’ InfoLease, the market-leading portfolio management solution.

International Decision Systems is a leading provider of asset finance origination and portfolio management software and consulting, implementation and technical support team services used by financial institutions and equipment manufacturers. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, International Decision Systems also has offices in London, Sydney, Singapore and Bangalore. International Decision Systems offers one of the largest and most experienced global software development teams in the asset finance industry. For additional information about International Decision Systems, visit, or call 1-866-465-9393 to reach global headquarters.


### Press Release ###########################

For Businesses Going Global,

The Melissa Data Guide to International Address Formats is a “Must Own”

Handy desktop reference helps companies obtain postal discounts and ensure mail delivery from one country to another

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif.– Melissa Data, (, a developer of high-performance mailing technology solutions, announced today that the company has published The Melissa Data Guide to International Address Formats – a single source of comprehensive information about international addressing for over 140 countries and territories, including examples of postal-code and address formats. This new resource will help companies save money on international postage, decrease delivery times due to inaccurate address formats, and reduce undeliverable mail.

The Melissa Data Guide to International Address Formats is a must for international businesses that want to develop web forms, build a global database, enhance CRM programs and improve their data quality. The Guide’s compact size makes it a handy desktop reference and free updates are provided online so companies can keep pace with postal changes that affect the way international mail is delivered.

“We constantly hear from customers who are frustrated by the complexities of global address formats” explains Melissa Data VP of sales, Gary Van Roekel. Many Web forms are designed without taking international address standards in to consideration – resulting in lost revenues when orders are not accepted simply because they do not fit a U.S. address format. International addresses tend to contain more and longer address lines than addresses in the United States. And there’s different nomenclature, for instance ZIP Code vs. Postal Code. We decided to put our 20-plus years of know-how into one comprehensive and affordable guide to help companies navigate the complexities of international mailings.”

Melissa Data has been helping businesses go global for years with software solutions that capture, validate and cleanse addresses in North America and around the globe. Now Melissa Data offers a new tool that marketers and mailers can use to obtain postal discounts and ensure mail delivery from country to country. For information on how to purchase The Melissa Data Guide to International Address Format, please visit:

Melissa Data is an active DMA member, as well as a member of the DMA’s List & Database Council. For over 23 years, Melissa Data has been a leading provider of data quality solutions with emphasis on U.S., Canadian, and international address and phone verification, and postal software. Free trial software is available by visiting or by calling 1-800-MELISSA (800-635-4772).


### Press Release ###########################

News Briefs----

Key, "It was not just leases..."

KeyCorp strategy spurs confidence

UN chief: Saudi king to boost oil production

Mortgage mess fallout: Beleaguered AIG gets new chief

36,000 Iowans homeless as floodwaters recede

F.C.C. Chief Recommends Approval of Radio Merger



You May have Missed---

Russert death shows massive heart attack isn't easy to predict



Sports Briefs----

Celtics can't close out Lakers in L.A.

Another dramatic finish for Woods forces a playoff

Earnhardt Soaks in Feeling After Ending 76-Race Dry Spell

Switzerland beats Portugal 2-0



“Gimme that Wine”

Auction Napa Valley closes the book on another amazing year

First-time jitters, Oprah sightings at Auction Napa Valley

Sonoma in a Suitcase

In France, Plans to Make a Bit More of the Bubbly

Changing World of Wine Journalism Focus of 2008 Wine Bloggers Conference

Wine Prices by vintage
US/International Wine Events
Winery Atlas
Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page
The London International Vintners Exchange (Liv-ex) is an electronic exchange for fine wine.



Calendar Events This Day

National Fudge Day

Quarterly Estimated Federal Income Tax Payers’ Due

South Africa: Youth Day
National Holiday. Commemorates a student uprising in Soweto against “Bantu Education” and the enforced teach of Africaans in 1976.

Saint feast Days



The largest movie theater in the world, Radio City Music Hall in New York City, opened in December, 1932. It originally had 5,945 seats



Today's Top Event in History

1972 - The only museum devoted exclusively to jazz music opened. The New York Jazz Museum welcomed visitors for the first time.


This Day in American History

    1738-Birthday of Mary Katherine Goddard - Colonial printer and publisher. She was the first to publish the Declaration of Independence. Her widowed mother worked in her son's printing plant in Rhode Island as she did. When he moved away leaving it in debt, the women continued the business and published the Providence Gazette. They sold it and moved to Philadelphia to publish the Pennsylvania Chronicle. Selling this paper, she moved to Maryland as the editor and publisher of the Maryland Journal which she published right through the Revolutionary war.
    1755 - British captured Fort Beausejour and expelled the Acadians. The Accadians of Nova Scotia were uprooted by an English governor and forced to leave. Some 10,000 people moved to destinations like Maine and Louisiana. Some moved to Iles-de-la-Madeleine off Quebec. The Longfellow story "Evangeline" is based on this displacement.
    1775 - American Col. William Prescott led 1200 men from Cambridge to dig in at Bunker’s Hill but arrived at night and dug in at Breed’s Hill. A siege on Boston by Colonial militia generals John Stark and Israel Putnam prompted the British to attack.
    1822--Denamrk Vessy led slave rebellion in South Carolina, according to reports from 35 to 37 blacks slaves were hung, and perhaps up to 50 exiled into slavery into other parts of the world. The revolt had the opposite affect, arming whites, restricting travel of Black , education, bringing fear to whites of further black revolt and further laws of “repression.”
    1858 - In a speech in Springfield, Illinois, Senate candidate Abraham Lincoln said the slavery issue had to be resolved, declaring, "A house divided against itself cannot stand."
    1882 -- 17" hailstones weighing 1.75 lbs fall in Dubuque, Iowa. Small still- living frogs are found in some of those hailstones.
    1892--Birthday of Jennie Grossinger, Austrian-born American hotel executive and philanthropist. She managed a small family inn operating on a small chicken farm taking in summer boarders to one of the most famous resort hotels in the world: Grossinger's in the Catskills Mountains. At her death in 1964, Grossinger's resort consisted of 35 buildings on 1,200 acres and served 150,000 guests a year. Her children carry on the tradition. In the beginning, her mother was the cook for the guests, her father did the maintenance, and Jennie was both chambermaid and bookkeeper.
    1883- The New York Giants hosted the first Ladies’ Day baseball game. Both escorted and unescorted ladies were admitted to the game free.
    1897 - The government signed a treaty of annexation with Hawaii.
    1903 - Ford Motor Company was incorporated.
    1904 -- James Joyce meets Nora Barnacle, a chambermaid at Finn's Hotel, Dublin, Ireland, & takes her for a walk. This is the day of Leopold Bloom's fictional odyssey through Dublin in Ulysses — Bloomsday.
    1909- The first airplane sold commercially was the “Gold Bug,” delivered by Glenn Hammond Curtis to the New York Aeronautical Society at Hammondsport, NY, for $5,000. Flying instructions were given to two members.
    1917-Birthday of Katharine Meyer Graham, U.S. newspaper publisher who guided the Washington Post (and Newsweek magazine) to a place of prominence. Under her direction they challenged such national newspapers as the New York and Los Angeles Times, and Time magazine. She hired a strong staff of reporters and editors. She personally gave the go ahead to Post stories that exposed the Nixon political abuses and led to his resignation. She never, in the face of a lot of political pressure, failed to support her staff. In fact, Nixon's Attorney General John Mitchell had chortled after a Post article on the corruption of the Nixon administration that "this time she's got her tit in a wringer.” He was that confident of the administration's power to crush her. He went to jail instead.
    1917 –Birthday of photographer Irving Penn.
    1917 - The temperature soared to 124 degrees at Mecca climaxing the most destructive heat wave of record in California history.,_California
    1920- Birthday of John Howard Griffin, American author and photographer, deeply concerned about racial problems in US. To better understand blacks in American South, Griffin blackened his skin by the use of chemicals and ultraviolet light, keeping a journal as he traveled through the South, resulting his best-known book, “Black Like Me.” Life Magazine syndicated the book, which was instrumental in the Civil Rights movement of the 60’s.
    1924 –Tenor player Lucky Thompson birthday.,,501507,00.html?artist=Lucky+Thompson
    1933- Congress passed the Glass-Steagall Act, known as the Banking Act of 1933, creating bank deposit insurance. There was a sliding scale of protection, up to 50% over $50,000. In August 23,1935, the law was changed to a limit of $5,000 for any one depositor “ to provide for the sound, effective and uninterrupted operation of the banking system, and for other purposes.” Banks were regulated to obtain this insurance, which changed banking for both the business community and consumers, giving them more protection and regulating the banking industry.
    1939- Country rock singer Billy (Crash) Craddock was born in Greensboro, North Carolina. Craddock scored a hit on the pop charts in 1959 with "Don't Destroy Me," then quit the music business because his record company wouldn't allow him to record country songs. Craddock began recording again in the late 1960's, scoring hits with such rock-oriented country tunes as "Dream Lover," a former chart success for Johnny Burnette, and "Knock Three Times," a hit on the pop charts for Dawn. Billy (Crash) Craddock topped the Billboard country chart in 1977 with "Broken Down in Tiny Pieces."
    1940—Blues singer Nolan Struck born Dunson, LA
    1943---*SARNOSKI, JOSEPH R. (Air Mission) Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Corps, 43rd Bomber Group, Place and date: Over Buka Area, Solomon Islands, 16 June 1943. Entered service at: Simpson, Pa. Born. 30 January 1915, Simpson, Pa. G.O. No.: 85, 17 December 1943. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty. On 16 June 1943, 2d Lt. Sarnoski volunteered as bombardier of a crew on an important photographic mapping mission covering the heavily defended Buka area, Solomon Islands. When the mission was nearly completed, about 20 enemy fighters intercepted. At the nose guns, 2d Lt. Sarnoski fought off the first attackers, making it possible for the pilot to finish the plotted course. When a coordinated frontal attack by the enemy extensively damaged his bomber, and seriously injured 5 of the crew, 2d Lt. Sarnoski, though wounded, continued firing and shot down 2 enemy planes. A 20-millimeter shell which burst in the nose of the bomber knocked him into the catwalk under the cockpit. With indomitable fighting spirit, he crawled back to his post and kept on firing until he collapsed on his guns. 2d Lt. Sarnoski by resolute defense of his aircraft at the price of his life, made possible the completion of a vitally important mission.
    1946-Trumpet player Tom Harrell’s birthday, born Urbana,IL.
    1951---Top Hits
Too Young - Nat King Cole
On Top of Old Smokey - The Weavers (vocal: Terry Gilkyson)
Syncopated Clock - The Leroy Anderson Orchestra
I Want to Be with You Always - Lefty Frizzell
    1952- Canadian pop singer and composer Gino Vanelli was born in Montreal. He had his first international hit in 1974 with "People Gotta Move." Vanelli's recording of "I Just Wanna Stop" was a million-seller, and garnered the singer a Grammy Award nomination and a Juno Award as male vocalist of the year in 1978. Vanelli traded heavily on his sex symbol image - good looks, shoulder length curly hair and tight jeans - during the 1970's. But that image was toned down with the release of his 1985 comeback album, "Black Cars."
    1952 - Gale Storm (Margie Albright) and Charles Farrell (Vernon Albright) starred in "My Little Margie" which debuted on CBS-TV on this day. Fans of the popular comedy will remember that "My Little Margie" was based at the Carlton Arms Hotel, Apartment 10-A. Vern Albright was a very eligible widower who worked for the investment firm of Honeywell and Todd. Margie Albright, his 21-year-old daughter, was continually scheming to help dad and continually causing big trouble while helping.
    1956 - Capitol Records released "Be-Bop-A-Lula" by Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps. Vincent was hailed as Capitol’s answer to Elvis Presley. Of the three songs Vincent Eugene Craddock had hit the airwaves, "Lula" was biggest hit to make the pop music charts. The other songs were "Lotta Lovin’", and "Dance to the Bop." In 1971, Vincent died.
    1959---Top Hits
Personality - Lloyd Price
Quiet Village - Martin Denny
Tallahassee Lassie - Freddy Cannon
The Battle of New Orleans - Johnny Horton
1965- Herman's Hermits earned their first gold record with "Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter".
    1966---HOWARD, JIMMIE E. Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Gunnery Sergeant (then S/Sgt.) U.S. Marine Corps, Company C, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division. Place and date: Republic of Vietnam, 16 June 1966. Entered service at: Burlington, Iowa. Born: 27 July 1929, Burlington, Iowa. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his own life above and beyond the call of duty. G/Sgt. Howard and his 18-man platoon were occupying an observation post deep within enemy-controlled territory. Shortly after midnight a Viet Cong force of estimated battalion size approached the marines' position and launched a vicious attack with small arms, automatic weapons, and mortar fire. Reacting swiftly and fearlessly in the face of the overwhelming odds, G/Sgt. Howard skillfully organized his small but determined force into a tight perimeter defense and calmly moved from position to position to direct his men's fire. Throughout the night, during assault after assault, his courageous example and firm leadership inspired and motivated his men to withstand the unrelenting fury of the hostile fire in the seemingly hopeless situation. He constantly shouted encouragement to his men and exhibited imagination and resourcefulness in directing their return fire. When fragments of an exploding enemy grenade wounded him severely and prevented him from moving his legs, he distributed his ammunition to the remaining members of his platoon and proceeded to maintain radio communications and direct air strikes on the enemy with uncanny accuracy. At dawn, despite the fact that 5 men were killed and all but 1 wounded, his beleaguered platoon was still in command of its position. When evacuation helicopters approached his position, G/Sgt. Howard warned them away and called for additional air strikes and directed devastating small-arms fire and air strikes against enemy automatic weapons positions in order to make the landing zone as secure as possible. Through his extraordinary courage and resolute fighting spirit, G/Sgt. Howard was largely responsible for preventing the loss of his entire platoon. His valiant leadership and courageous fighting spirit served to inspire the men of his platoon to heroic endeavor in the face of overwhelming odds, and reflect the highest credit upon G/Sgt. Howard, the Marine Corps, and the U.S. Naval Service.
    1967- The Monterey International Pop Festival opened in California. It was the first major rock festival and attracted 50,000 people over three days. Ticket prices ranged from $3.50 to $6.50 to see more than two dozen top rock acts. The performers played for free. The festival was immortalized in D.A. Pennebaker's 1969 documentary "Monterey Pop." Janis Joplin, The Jefferson Airplane, the Dead, Big Brother and other San Francisco artists performed. Fifty thousand spectators migrated to the site that featured Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Mamas and the Papas and The Who. It was one wild weekend and I remember the smoke, the stoned performers and audience,
and everyone was rocking all day and night long. I had press passes from KFRC radio and also went back stage, what I remember most
was the booze, marijuana, and everything else right out in the open.
    1968 - Lee Trevino became the first golfer in 68 years to play all four rounds of the U.S. Open golf tournament with sub-par totals of 69, 68, 69 and 67, respectively.
    1967---Top Hits
Respect - Aretha Franklin
Him or Me - What’s It Gonna Be? - Paul Revere & The Raiders
Somebody to Love - Jefferson Airplane
It’s Such a Pretty World Today - Wynn Stewart
    1972 - The only museum devoted exclusively to jazz music opened. The New York Jazz Museum welcomed visitors for the first time.
    1974 -- Homer Simpson & Marge Bouvier wed.
    1975---Top Hits
Sister Golden Hair - America
Love Will Keep Us Together - The Captain & Tennille
I’m Not Lisa - Jessi Colter
When Will I Be Loved - Linda Ronstadt
    1978 - After much success on Broadway, Grease, came to the big screen when it premiered in New York City. John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John starred in the hit movie. Several hit songs came out of the motion picture including "Grease," by Frankie Valli, "You're The One That I Want," and "Summer Nights," The first two songs went platinum selling 2,000,000+ copies, while the third sold a million.
    1980 - The movie "The Blues Brothers" opened in Chicago, Illinois. Starring John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd, both formerly of NBC’s "Saturday Night Live" the movie was a hit. The pair played Jake and Elwood Blues and were joined by celebrity guests James Brown, Ray Charles, and Aretha Franklin. Cab Calloway also appeared with a rendition of his song "Minnie the Moocher."
    1981 - For $20.5 million, the "Chicago Tribune" purchased the Chicago Cubs baseball team from the P.K. Wrigley Chewing Gum Company. For over 60 years the Wrigley family had controlled the team. The longest, continuous ownership of a team, that stayed in its original city, ended with the sale.
    1983---Top Hits
Flashdance...What a Feeling - Irene Cara
Time (Clock of the Heart) - Culture Club
My Love - Lionel Richie
Our Love is on the Faultline - Crystal Gayle
    1985 - No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: "Heaven," Bryan Adams.
    1987 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar signed a two-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers for $5,000,000. The 18-year veteran of the NBA became the highest paid player in any sport at the time.
    1988- the largest operatic production in Canadian history was staged at Montreal's Olympic Stadium. About 30,000 people paid between $20 and $150 each to watch Verdi's "Aida" - complete with a 14-metre model of the Sphinx, elephants, tigers and a four-metre python. The stars were soprano Katia Ricciarelli in the title role and tenor Nicola Martinucci as Radames. Giuseppe Raffa conducted a 120 piece orchestra and a 140 member chorus.The production was repeated two nights later in the Olympic Stadium. An even more grandiose staging of "Aida" took place in 1987 at Giza, Egypt, site of the real Sphinx.
    1989- Sammy Sosa becomes the youngest (20-years, seven months) Dominican to play in the majors. The Ranger rookie goes 2-for-4 with a double against the Yankees.
    1991---Top Hits
Rush, Rush - Paula Abdul
Love is a Wonderful Thing - Michael Bolton
Losing My Religion - R.E.M.
If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets) - Joe Diffie
    1995 - "Batman Forever", the third film in the Batman series premiered. Batman/Bruce Wayne (Val Kilmer) faces Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones) and the Riddler (Jim Carrey). Add a sexy psychologist (Nicole Kidman), with a thing for Batman and sidekick Robin (Chris O’Donnell), and you wind up with a smash: $52.78 million in the U.S. for opening weekend. Smash, Bang, Wow box-office, Batman!
    1999 - Cher launched her "Believe" tour in Phoenix, Arizona. The CD had become a worldwide smash, and the single made Cher, at 52, the oldest woman to have a song hit Number 1 on the charts. It was the first time in nearly a decade that the exotic, charismatic diva had gone on a concert tour. To an enthusiastic sell-out crowd, she performed the hits from her "Believe" album, and many of the public's favorite spanning the previous three decades.
    1999 - World-class sprinters all dream the impossible dream, to break the 100-meter world record. Maurice Greene’s dream came true this day at an invitational track meet in Athens, Greece, the birthplace of track and field events. Running in the stadium (home of the 2004 Olympics) with no wind at his back, his friend and training partner in another lane, 24-year-old Maurice Greene finished the 100 meters in 9.79 seconds. The previous record (9.84 seconds), set at the 1996 Olympics, belongs to Canada’s Donovan Bailey. Greene from Kansas City, Kansas is the first American to hold this sprint record since 1994. His training partner, Ato Boldon, placed second with a time of 9.86.
    2000-Heat wave ends in San Jose with records over 109 degrees and over 100 degrees in San Francisco, breaking all weather history records. In June, San Francisco recorded 104, its highest ever in the history of the city.
    2001- At Turner Field in a game which featured thousands of swarming moths, Boston beat the Braves and bugs in extra innings, 9-5. Although the insects had little bearing on the outcome of the game, the insects clearly bothered the some players, including Dave Martinez who claimed to having sucked one into his mouth.

NBA Finals Champions This Date

    1996 Chicago Bulls



Baseball Poem

- from: Songs Of The Out-o'-doors

If you've never sat in the blazing sun
and prayed the gods for another run,
If you're not clean daft till the season's done
and the talk of the game is through,
If you've never joined in the bleachers' roar
at a double play or a daring score,
Don't listen to this a minute more,
this ballad is not for you!

But if the sound of the ball that's hit
or the thump of a strike in the catcher's mitt,
And the umpire's voice and the coacher's wit
are spells that hold you sure,
If you're one of the faithful, cheering throng
that follows the fate of the team along
Maybe you'll join in the swinging song,
the song of the baseball lure!

Chuck-full of glamour,
Tumult and clamor,
Sparkling with vigor and zipping with zest.
Gingery, tangy,
Flippant, and slangy,
Brimful of action and banter and jest.
Sport of the multitude--held by its joys again,
Steadiest of people are nothing but boys again!

In every city or country spot,
in every corner or vacant lot,
In any old weather, cool or hot,
from earliest spring to fall,
The young and lively, old and gray
are there to join or watch the play,
The game that wields its royal sway
and keeps the land in thrall.

And if you're watching the players sweat,
down on the field where the scene is set,
You feel its ,magic and you forget your age
and your sense as well,
For the game--it turns your face to tan,
it makes a boy of the oldest man,
It turns the sane to a crazy fan
with nothing to do but yell!

Calling for muscle,
Hurry, and hustle,
Baseball's a tussle that's vivid with vim,
Heated but happy,
Peaceful but scrappy,
Evermore snappy and nevermore grim!
Sport of the multitude--every one's wild again,
Every true fan is as young as a child again.

Oh, the silence tense and the hush of doubt
with the bases full and two men out,
And the clean, sharp hit, and the rooters' shout
as the runners cross the plate,
Or the long-drawn "Ah!" as the ball soars high
and the fielder shields his sun dazed eye
And waits and gathers the falling fly
as certain and as sure as fate,

Oh, the jeers, the cheers, an the throbbing thrill,
the batter's might and the pitcher's skill.
The crowd that never is wholly still
but shouting its joy or woe,
These are the things that fan the flame,
that lend their wonder to the game,
That make it glorious in its fame.
the king of all games we know!

Free of the grafter,
Lighted with laughter,
Full of the spirit of never say die!
Action is in it!
Every sharp minute,
Something is doing to capture the eye!
Then--and the reason can never be hid again--
Best of it is--that it makes you a kid again!

Published in: The Popular Magazine - April 7, 1912




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