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Classified Ads---"Gray Hair"

    San Jose UAEL Regional Meeting

        New CLP Board Elected

            Alexa Ranks Leasing Assoc. Web Sites

                Salesman Pay Survey

                    How to Subscribe

                Amex Small Business Survey

            News Briefs---

        Sports Briefs---

    Calif. Nuts Briefs---

Beige Report --complete with districts

    This Day in American History




This Border ##### Denotes Press Release (Not Written By Leasing News)


Classified Ads---“Gray Hair”


Looking for top experience at affordable prices, get some ideas with

an interview from:


Senior Management: Baltimore, MD

25 year veteran of commercial and equipment leasing seeking a senior management position with leasing or asset based financing company in the southeast (Florida preferred) email:


Senior Management: Denver, CO. Fortune 500 GM/SVP wants to team up with aggressive lender looking for Western expansion mid-market equip. finance/ leasing.20+ years experience within Rocky Mountain/Southwest and Ca markets.


Senior Management: San Francisco, CA., 25 years experience w/global leasing company, sales,marketing,business dev., P&L responsibility, asset mgmt, brokering and remarketing. Interested in joining an est. firm with a future.



Senior Management: Long Island, NY

Degree Banking/Finance. 13 years leasing exp. Now prez young leasing company where promises were not met. Interested in joining established firm with future.



Senior Management: Tampa FL.20+ years of small to middle ticket finance, operations and sales management experience. Outstanding record of revenue enhancement, operational improvement and team development. Email:


Senior Management: Portfolio Management Consultant; 25+years experience in Collections, Customer Satisfaction, Asset Management, Recoveries, Continuous Process Improvement, Backend Revenue Generation, Cost per Collection Analysis. $5+Billion Portfolio expertise. email:



******* announcement**************************************************


United Association of Equipment Leasing Regional Meeting


San Jose, California—October 22---“Two Panels”

(Open to all: Hosted by American Leasing)



3:30pm to 7:30pm at Napredak Hall, 770 Montague Expressway, San Jose

( 1 1/2 blocks off Highway 880.)

Two Separate Sessions

Venture Leasing

4:30pm to 5:30pm


Peter Eaton, Pentech Financial

John Pritchard, Vencore Solutions

Russ Wilder, Atel Leasing




6:00pm to 7:00pm


"Decision Not Based on Credit Scoring"

(also known as "Story Credits" or "Cash Flow Analysis."




Peter Eaton ( does story credits $250,000 minimum)

Doug Houlihan, Allegiant-Partners ($30,000 +)

Archie Julian, Dumac Leasing (Exchange Bank)

Plus wine* with cheese and hors d’oerve**

* Chateau Woltner 2000 Mt. Howell Chardonnay, Lamborn Family 1998

Zinfindel, Mt. Howell, Thornbird New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, along with a

*** light buffet from Kit Menkin’s personal chef: fresh smoked salmon, Bobby Flay corn salsa, some scallops, Kosher pork tenderloin, and Southwest specialties with fresh tomatoes from the chef’s garden.

Host: Kit Menkin, American Leasing $15.00



to register:





New CLP Board Elected


The Board of Directors of the Certified Leasing Professional Foundation is pleased to announce the results of our recent election. The following CLP's have been elected by their fellow CLP's to serve on the CLP Foundation's Board of Directors for two years beginning on January 1, 2004. They will fill the positions of three directors whose terms expire on December 31, 2003:


James H. Possehl, CLP

Republic Financial Corporation


Robert Teichman, CLP

Teichman Financial Training


Marci Kimball-Slagle

ACC Capital Corporation



The current Board members remain until 12/31/03:


George J. Davis, II, CLP

James G. McCommon, CLP

Bruce Winter, CLP

Nancy A. Geary, CPA, CLP

James R. Lahti, CLP

Bob Bell, CLP

Steven B. Geller, CLP

Paul J. Menzel, CLP

Jim Merrilees, CLP

James H. Possehl, CLP

John Winchester, CLP


The Board of Directors would like to thank those who will be going off the Board for their years of service to the CLP Foundation.


There are two whose terms expire on December 31, 2003 who will be stepping down:


James R. Lahti, CLP

Heritage Affiliated Corporate Services, Inc.


Bob Bell, CLP, Director

Independent Leasing Associates


Jim Possehl's term was also up this year but he agreed to run and was elected.


Remaining on the board are:



Each of the supporting associations, EAEL, NAELB and UAEL appoint two directors, so the makeup of our new 2004 Board will not be set until the end of the year when those directors are appointed.



The CLP Foundation is the official governing body for the Certified Lease Professional ("CLP") Program. The CLP designation sets the standard for professionalism in the leasing industry. This designation identifies and recognizes individuals within the leasing industry who have demonstrated their competency through continued education, testing and conduct. The letters "CLP" behind their name represent a visible recognition of this professional achievement and status.



We invite you to visit our website -- for detailed information about the CLP Foundation and the CLP Program. For further information about our Mentor Program and Anonymous Test Taker Program please contact:


Cynthia Spurdle

Executive Director

CLP Foundation

PH: 610/687-0213

FAX: 610/687-4111






Alexa Ranks Leasing Association Web Sites



55,046 Monitor Daily
63,375 American Bankers Association
62,995  Kit Menkin's Leasing News
102,166 Equipment Leasing Association
121,688 The Electronic Payments Association
222,155 Leasing Press
175,315 Bus. Leasing News
409,920 Ind Community Bankers of America
366,920  Commercial Finance Association
425,250  U.S.Banker
502,076  eLessors Networking Association
365,356  United Association of Equipment Leasing
662,353 Equip. Leasing & Fin Fndn
642,298  Exec Caliber-Jeffrey Taylor
953,694  Institute of International Container Lessors
1,136,180 Equipment Financial Journal
570,936  National Assoc. of Equip Leasing Brokers
943,256   CLP Foundation
1,315,706 National Vehicle Leasing Association
1,683,857 The National Funding Assoc.
1,825,405 Eastern Association of Equipment Leasing
2,731,163 Lean -Lease Enforcement Att Net
2,056,871  Assoc of Government Leasing  Financing
2,113,495 Mid-America Association of  Equip Lessors
NO DATA Leasing Today
NO DATA BizWiz Daily


These comparison are compiled by Leasing News using Alexa and should be viewed as a "sampling," rather than actual count from the website itself.


The Alexa tool bar works on most browsers. They are partnered with Google. You may download their free tool bar.


To learn more about how the rankings work: quicktour_new.html




Salesman Pay Survey


Since the last survey results in October, 2001, not many participated, so in

order to supplement the response we did receive, Leasing News asked several leaders in the industry how they would respond to a question received from a reader

about going to work for a leasing company.


Responses were listed in chronological order, first received:


PB is Patrick Byrne, president of Balboa Capital

BL is Bruce Larsen, National Sales Manager of Leasing Partners Capital

JR is Jim Raeder, president of Capital Werks

DR is David Rabinowitz, Chief Operating Office, Bankers Capital

FS is Fred St. Laurent, Managing Director, The BlassGroup (recruiting firm)



“My name is I am currently an outside sales rep with a fortune 100 company selling electronic payment solutions (doing well but want to move up into the six figure range). I have been offered a job with 888888 in SLC as an inside sales rep. I found your site by searching Yahoo for the company and the content is very informative.


“This is quite a jump. From a Fortune 100 company selling electronic payment systems to a small company selling small ticket equipment leases? Are you sure you are ready for this transition(less

resources, less name recognition, etc.)?


I am new to the leasing business (although I do sell small equipment leases in my current position), and need to make a critical career decision here. I am hoping that you could help shed some light on the following:




1. Is ******* an ethical, stable company in good standing as far as you know? I know there has been some turmoil in their past.


I can t comment on this as I do not know much about *****



I think Pats response is as good as you can do without getting into any

specifics about *****



Are Pro-rata Billing, Interim Rent, Evergreen Clauses, Blind Discounts, and High Interest Rates, unethical? Several debt sources in the past used to believe so. Most of those same lenders that have stayed in business for the past three years and have adopted such revenue enhancers would not agree. I always subscribe,” What’s good for GE is good for me!”



I don’t know enough about the company or the principals to comment.




Past is past... I will not make a comment but I would suggest speaking

with some references ... clients, sales people... I would do this on my

own... a list from the company could be biased. It is easy enough to

research, identify and ask innocuous questions that will get the





2. Are the market conditions/demand for middle market brokered equipment leases (********t) stabilizing, or are they still soft from the economic downturn?


I would characterize the market as still soft but stabilized with many leading indicators pointing to an uptrend.




Pat did a good job of responding.



Although interest rates remain low, the supply of money chasing quality credits is limited. Ever since CapitalWerks formed its Venture Leasing division, we have succeeded with highly structured transactions passed on by most traditional lenders. We have not seen a shortage in these types of deals. Good news is we have placed over 35 Million in this division alone in 2003.



We run a hybrid shop; we do some repeat business with an established existing customer base but our main focus is to act as a high-risk funding source to a handful of intermediaries.  Business couldn’t be better !

Well, it could but first we need a couple more quality credit analysts.  We hear competition is out there for deals and margins on” A” perceived credits are tight. “B” paper is a big concern for intermediaries.  Buy windows keep closing (CIT just recently) and a few times a month we are asked if we would fund “B” paper at a 9 ˝% to 11% buy rate.  From what we see the banks have migrated to quality and raised the credit bar. 

That means a company with some hair on its credit is a bit more challenging to find a funder for.  We have heard from vendors interest is increasing and soon that should translate to activity; but time will tell.



A soft market is just another excuse to not work harder... The "New

Guys" with a strong work ethic who are to "dumb" to know any better

usually seem to have "beginner's luck" ... isn't that interesting.

Yes it is a soft market... but it is a great time to learn the

business... interest rates will rise again and learning this business in

the "hard times" will groom you to excel in the "good times" to come.




3. ********* is offering me a $36k base, 50% company paid medical/dental etc., and 10% on gross margin (including GM on FMV buyout residuals), with a $10k bonus @ $500k in GM and a $15k bonus @ $1mm. Is this a competitive compensation package? I read the sales pay survey and had a hard time determining if it is. I have been told that their average rep makes $100k first year, $150k second year...


I would say that this is competitive package for a vendor based sales rep that has sales experience but is new to equipment leasing. I find it hard to believe that a sales rep that is new to equipment leasing could make $100k in the first year with this package, but I have been wrong before. However, with the right resources, and time; I believe that a six figure income with this package is reasonable.



What kind of marketing support, etc., will *****e give him to basically start from scratch? The base salary s nice, but how long will they guaranty that if he doesn’t

produce? What kind of quotas must he generate, at a minimum, to protect

his base? Obviously, straight commission will always offer a bigger




I would say that this is competitive package for a vendor based sales rep that has sales experience but is new to equipment leasing. I find it hard to believe that a sales rep that is new to equipment leasing could make $100k in the first year with this package, but I have been wrong before. However, with the right resources, and time; I believe that a six figure income with this package is reasonable.



Unless my 12C has run out of juice, at $500,000 gross fee the rep earns $36 base, $50 commission and a $10 bonus; that’s $96,000 for generating $500,000 in fee.  In the mid 1980’s when I started in sales our comp program was a draw at 30%.  We would have earned $150,000 and I recall when 30% was at the low end.  A draw or salary isn’t much different; if you don’t make your numbers the employer can’t recover the money

and you won’t be there long.



Is the salary a true salary or a draw against commission??? That would

be the issue. There are much better packages, 40-even 70% from 3rd party

lenders, who would pay you a draw, but they want experience and vendor

relationships. Can you do a 500k in gross margin in today's market

though? I doubt that someone new will hold that kind of margin the first

year in this economy. Reality is that you will make somewhere around

50-60k your first year if you work really hard, with the market the way

it is. AND HEY... that's not bad if they are training you too!!!

CAUTION: check out what the medical costs will be on the benefit package

before you take the job... it can be a lot more than you think if you

have any medical history... this is a big one.



4. Any other issues or 'red flags' that you know of regarding the company or market space, or advice you would give me in making my career decision?


I would want to know what current vendor programs ***** has, what type of volume they are doing with these programs, and what the unique selling propositions they provide for these vendors. I would also be asking questions about **** s ability to process the leases. Does ***** have its own funds? If not, who do they sell their paper to? Additionally, how fast are credits turned around and how fast are fundings turned around? How do these figures compare with ******s competitors in the targeted space and how do they compare to some of the best in the vendor leasing arena (GE, DLL, Marlin, GreatAmerican, AMEX, etc). Finally, will you be expected to process deals or simply bring in the vendors? If you are looking to make six figures

then it is going to be much easier if you have key strategic resources at your disposable.



Are there any boundaries surrounding the numbers hes being

offered right now? What are the average transaction sizes and what are the

average grosses on their leases? Who funds their deals? Are they a direct

lender, a super broker, broker, etc.? And, how do they get paid? Are they

discounting or brokering? How do they calculate their commissions?

Depending on what answers you get from these questions could lead to asking

a bunch more.




In the upper middle ticket business he needs to be creative and open minded. ******* will provide the training to be successful as will anyone with middle market experience that is still out there. This is not a business for someone who lacks problem solving skills. The most difficult part will be to manage the client’ss expectations with the products available in the marketplace. Sometimes this takes mo Guns" at every leasing company know what I'm talking about.



Where do you want to go?  If you know the leasing business find out who the employer has for funding sources and how long the relationships have been in place.  If the broker doesn’t last long with stable sources there must be a reason why.  A far older rep once warned me if you walk with the lame you’ll develop a limp.  Work for someone with a questionable reputation and not only can it rub off on you but you could find

yourself wed to poor business practices that could make you less desirable to your next employer.



Can you think out of the box? Can you establish a Consultive

relationship with someone and come up with solutions to problems that

they didn't know they had? If you can relationally save someone money in

this economic environment, and help sales people to sell more equipment

you will be successful. You have to commit to learning everything there

is to know in your spare time, while being available for your customers

24-7... UNDER PROMISE and OVER PREFORM... this is the best way to manage

customer expectations and you will only be able to this if you

understand the process and the deal flow completely... other than that

it is a "piece of cake" good luck to you (I would suggest that you

commit to 10 hours a day minimum... the harder you work, the luckier you







In prefacing his remarks, Jim Raeder commented on the person who originally

asked the questions about whether this was the time to get into equipment

leasing sales:


“ This is quite a jump. From a Fortune 100 company selling electronic payment systems to a small company selling small ticket equipment leases? Are you sure you are ready for this transition(less resources, less name recognition, etc.)?


“Good company to join and learn the basics. They are primarily focused on larger transactions with unique structures. The sales cycle of these transactions are long and competitive. He should make sure he give ample time to hit a “Home Run” because there will be a few “Strike Outs” on the way. Once he’s learned the business I’d be glad to discuss with him additional avenues of increasing income through alternative finance products.


“To sum this up:. He’s making the right move at the right time if he can commit more then 8 hours a day.”




For every $1 of revenue that's generated in "fee" income,

we average, this year, $0.44 (43.6%) in sales commissions and

$0.25 (24.8%) in expenses to "facilitate" that business.

That leaves $0.32 (31.6%) of every dollar in net income.

We take no salaries, so that's what is split amongst the

partners (the "facilitators"; the "risk-takers") for

take-home pay.


Commission structure . . .

Our general compensation plan for salespersons is 50% of the

gross profit commissions on a deal that they bring to the

table and 35% on a "house" deal.


We pay for virtually everything; telephone, marketing,

trade-shows, travel, computer, etc., etc. While we have paid

for health insurance in the past, we do not currently

do so (times are tough!).


Only very extra-ordinary, deal-specific, expenses are deducted

from the gross commissions for purposes of calculating a

salespersons commission on a deal.


James Brustad







ELA 2003 Industry Compensation Survey


Regarding your Salesman Pay Survey, the ELA has just completed its 2003 Industry Compensation Survey, which includes several sales positions.


The survey is available at for a fee.


Ralph Petta

ELA Vice President-Industry Services

(703) 516-8364




“This survey provides an analysis of prevailing wage and compensation data. It reports on salaries, benefits and incentive plans offered by member companies and covers 33 leasing positions, identified by detailed position descriptions.


“Member companies who participated in the survey paid $2,600.00 to cover the cost of the survey. Survey is free to companies who participated and $3,500 for member non-participants & $4,500 to non-members.


“Member Price: $3500


“Non-Member Price: $4500”



(If a reader has purchased this report and would like to share a “review” or

“recommendation, Leasing News would be glad to print it. editor )




How to Subscribe


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


Small Business Optimism Rises Sharply but Hiring Plans Hold Steady, According to the OPEN Small Business Network 2003 Semi-Annual Monitor from American Express



NEW YORK-- Small business optimism is on the increase, according to the OPEN Small Business Network(SM) 2003 Semi-Annual Monitor from American Express (NYSE:AXP).


Nearly three-quarters (72%) of small businesses now see growth opportunities for their businesses over the next six months, up sharply from 64% in the fall of 2002. In addition, 62% of businesses say they plan to make capital investments in the next six months (up from 56% a year ago), and fewer businesses are reporting cash flow concerns, 55%, down from 63% a year ago.


Despite heightened levels of optimism, businesses appear to be keeping their hiring plans in check. Overall, a third (34%) of small businesses report plans to hire over the next six months, up from 26% reported a year ago, but steady compared to spring 2003 (35%). The survey found that businesses plan to recruit equally for full and part-time positions (18% vs. 19%).


Small business hiring plans vary widely by region and by a company's age. Businesses in the West are more likely to have hiring plans (42%) than those in the North East and the South (both 33%), and those in the North Central states (29%). In addition, start-up enterprises, defined as companies in business for three or fewer years, are more likely to have hiring plans than more established companies (45% vs. 32%).


Businesses with hiring plans report that their primary motivation to add employees was to handle growing business. With a focus on growth and rising levels of optimism, these business owners appear more willing to offer a wider range of benefits compared to small business overall. The survey found that firms planning to hire are more likely to offer employee benefits such as paid vacation (64% vs. 53%), paid holidays (58% vs. 48%), flexible work hours (53% vs. 42%) and life insurance (23% vs. 18%), compared to small businesses overall. Twice as many firms with hiring plans have profit sharing plans (21% vs. 12%).


Overall, one in five small businesses offer employees a 401k plan (19%), and the number of firms offering health care benefits fell slightly compared to 2002 (58% vs. 61% in fall 2002). Among start-ups, 37% offer healthcare to employees. Interestingly, women-owned companies are more likely to offer flexible work hours than small business overall (53% vs. 42%).


"Business owners are clearly feeling better about their prospects for growth compared to one year ago, with more planning to hire, fewer reporting cash flow concerns and an increase in the number of those planning capital investments," said Kerry Hatch, executive vice president and general manager, OPEN: The Small Business Network from American Express. "However, business owners are still keeping a watchful eye on the overall economy, which they once again site as the top factor that could impede their growth prospects."


According to the survey, similar to last year, businesses planning to make capital investments in the next six months put computers and peripherals at the top of their list (29%), followed by office equipment (15%) and real estate, manufacturing equipment and office furnishings (all 11%). Companies planning to hire are more likely to make capital investments than small businesses overall (73% vs. 62%). Start-ups are more likely than older businesses to make capital investments (70% vs. 60%).


Despite these plans to invest in their companies, many business owners still report facing a wide range of cash flow concerns, with most concerned about having enough cash on-hand to win new business (15%); their ability to pay bills on time (14%); and accounts receivable (13%). Business owners cite a variety of tactics to address cash flow crunches, including putting off purchases (25%); obtaining and using a line of credit (22%); using a charge or credit card (13%); taking out a short-term loan (10%); or leasing rather than purchasing business equipment (5%). The primary way for women-owned businesses to address cash flow issues is to put off purchases (34%); for ethnic minority owned businesses it is to obtain and use a line of credit (36%).


The survey also found that credit and charge cards remain an important financing tool for small businesses, with nearly three-quarters (73%) using "business plastic" to pay for business expenses. The most common purchase using business credit or charge cards is office supplies (47%) followed by travel (42%), computer equipment purchases and wholesale purchases (tied, 36%), entertainment (31%), and business or professional services (24%).


Becoming a Better Manager and Boss


In addition to probing on business growth opportunities, hiring and investment plans, the OPEN Small Business Network 2003 Semi-Annual Monitor asked business owners about the ways they run their companies. Most business owners (82%) saw opportunities to enhance their own business skills. The top disciplines where owners reported plans to seek self-improvement are marketing (44%), sales (33%), business management and planning (30%), financial analysis/planning (28%), and negotiation (21%). These business owners planned to employ a variety of tactics to enhance their business skills development, including reading a book (49%), attending a seminar or conference (48%), talking to a peer (48%), and searching for information on the Internet (48%). Thirty nine percent also said they would take a class.


"From talking with business owners, we know they value input and advice from their peers, and the survey found that networking continues to be an important resource for them," Hatch added.


The survey also found that desired areas of improvement vary among different segments of business owners. For example, ethnic minority business owners - compared to business owners overall - are nearly twice as likely to want to further develop their decision making skills (34% vs. 17%), their sales skills (60% vs. 33%) and negotiating skills (39% vs. 21%). When developing these skills, these business owners were almost twice as likely to talk to a management consultant to develop business skills as business owners overall (40% vs. 21%). Start-ups were more likely to talk to a financial advisor than business owners overall (39% vs. 29%). Compared to overall small businesses, women business owners are more keenly focused on improving their marketing skills (55% vs. 44%).


Further, nearly three-quarters (72%) of business owners saw room for improvement as bosses. According to the survey, the top improvement they could make to become a better boss was to become better communicators (18%), followed by rewarding and motivating employees more (16%) becoming a better listener (14%), providing their employees more opportunities for skills development (13%) and providing more constructive feedback on employees' work (12%).


In addition, rewarding employees for outstanding performance was the top way to improve as bosses for ethnic minority business owners (26% vs. 16% for small business overall) and start-ups (24% vs. 16% overall). Top for women business owners was becoming a better communicator (23% vs. 18% overall).


According to the OPEN Small Business Network 2003 Semi-Annual Monitor, two-thirds (65%) of business owners overall are also voicing concerns regarding computer usage. Guarding against viruses tops the list of computer concerns among small businesses (18%), followed by the cost and time to train staff on new software (15%), managing spam (14%) and securing their computers from hackers (8%). One-quarter (23%) reported having no computer-related concerns.


Survey Methodology


The OPEN Small Business Network Semi-Annual Monitor, released each March and October, is based on a nationally representative sample of 787 small business owners/managers of companies with fewer than 100 employees. The survey was conducted via telephone by International Communications Research (ICR) from September 8- September 19, 2003. The poll has a margin of error of +/-3.5%.


About OPEN: The Small Business Network from American Express


OPEN: The Small Business Network is a division of American Express that offers small business owners a wide range of tools, services and savings designed to meet their evolving needs, including charge and credit cards, convenient access to working capital and credit information, enhanced online account management capabilities and savings on business services from an enhanced lineup of partners. To obtain more information about the OPEN Network, visit or call 1-800-NOW-OPEN to apply for a card or loan.



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




News Briefs---


Interest rates on short-term Treasuries fall


Venture funds numbers dismal/

27% loss lags public market; experts blame cutbacks of last 2 years


Retail sales dip by 0.2 percent in September as shoppers cool off after buying binge

but economy overall remains positive in last six months


Apple swings to quarterly profit


Ex-Chairman of Tyco Asked About Bonuses


Transit, grocery clerk strikes leave SoCal residents in a bind


Amtrak reports record rider ship


S.F. Bay Area rents hold steady


Answers to 12 questions commonly asked about wine




Sports Briefs---


Marlins Break Cubs Heart


Red Sox Drop Yankees Force Game 7


Cubs fan who caught pop-foul ball a marked man in Chicago


Stewart sidelined, Bears to start Chandler


Falcons bench Johnson, will start Kittner


Denver QB Plummer sidelined by foot injury


Suit seeks to oust Raiders' leader Al Davis




California Nuts Briefs---


Bush and Schwarzenegger to Meet in California


Federal generosity unlikely this year




Beige Report---Federal Reserve


Prepared at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and based on information collected before October 7, 2003. This document summarizes comments received from businesses and other contacts outside the Federal Reserve and is not a commentary on the views of Federal Reserve officials.


(Ten of the Fed's 12 districts reported stronger economic activity, according to information gathered in September and early October while the other two – Only Boston and Cleveland -- reported economic activity as mixed, but not declining whereas the

remaining ten districts reported a stronger economic activity.


("On balance, the pace of economic expansion has picked up since the last report," the report states.


(This is the next to the last of the eight reports conducted each year (last is November 26th.) It is expected with the Federal Reserve policy makers meeting on October 28 to

review interest rates, they will utilize this report to conclude that interest rates remain

the same. It remains at a 45-year low of one percent driving the mortgage, construction,

and many sales of major products such as automobiles.)


Information received from District Banks suggests that, on balance, the pace of economic expansion has picked up since the last report. Ten of the twelve districts indicate that activity has been expanding, while two--Boston and Cleveland--report mixed but steady levels of economic activity. Overall, both wages and prices of finished goods and services remained relatively stable, though there were scattered reports of business input cost pressures. Hurricane Isabel inflicted some limited damage across much of the Richmond District, but the disruptions to activity from the storm were said to be short-lived.


Consumer spending generally strengthened, though most districts report a recent pullback in auto sales. Improving sales trends are reported in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Dallas, and San Francisco. Retail inventories are generally described to be at or close to desired levels, and retailers generally anticipate modest year-over-year gains for the upcoming holiday season. Most districts report strengthening in manufacturing activity. Employment in this sector remained generally weak, though some districts note pockets of firming.


Broad-based strength is reported in residential real estate and construction, but commercial real estate markets are still described as sluggish. Travel and tourism activity was mixed but, on balance, showed some improvement. Reports from most other service industries also show improvement.


Banks in almost all districts report a substantial drop-off in refinancing activity since the last report, though there were a few reports of improvement toward the end of September. There was some pickup in business loan demand, while home mortgage and consumer lending were mixed. Credit quality was generally described as good, with only scattered reports of increased delinquency rates. Most districts report favorable weather conditions and improved agriculture yields since the last report, though Richmond reports significant crop damage from Hurricane Isabel.


Labor markets generally remain slack, but some signs of a pickup are reported in New York, Richmond, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Dallas. Prices of finished goods were generally stable, and wage increases continued to be quite modest, though many districts note continued escalation of non-wage benefit costs--particularly health insurance. Also, fairly sharp price increases are reported for cattle and certain commodities, such as steel, lumber, plywood, and natural gas.


Consumer Spending

Most districts report a general strengthening in retail sales but some softening in automobile purchases. A few districts credit the recent federal tax rebates with temporarily boosting sales, though the timing of the effect on sales varied. Non-auto sales are generally said to be improving in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Dallas, and San Francisco, while Cleveland, Atlanta, and Chicago describe sales as steady or moderating but still ahead of plan. Boston and Richmond characterize sales as flat but with some pockets of strength. Richmond reports that sales lost due to hurricane-related closures were quickly made up, and that hardware stores, grocery stores, and restaurants saw brisk business after the storm.


Recent reductions in motor vehicle sales are reported in most districts. Automobile sales are said to have weakened in the Cleveland, Atlanta, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Kansas City, Dallas, and San Francisco Districts. St. Louis, on the other hand, reports some improvement in vehicle sales in recent weeks, though they were still lower than a year ago. Also, sales of imports are said to be holding up better than those of domestic makes in the St. Louis, and San Francisco Districts.


Non-auto inventories are generally reported to be in good shape in almost all districts, but vehicle inventories are said to be higher than desired in Cleveland, Chicago, and St. Louis. Looking ahead to the rest of 2003, retailers in most districts are reported to be cautiously optimistic. Modest sales growth is anticipated in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Atlanta, St. Louis, and Kansas City, while the remaining districts did not specify sales expectations.



The majority of the districts report a pickup in manufacturing activity, with several indicating significant improvement in a wide variety of industries. Machine tool orders strengthened in the Atlanta and Chicago Districts; semiconductor producers note a pickup in demand in the San Francisco District; contacts in lumber and construction related materials see improvement in several districts; and high-tech manufacturers in the Dallas District indicate gains. On the downside, Richmond reports a contraction in its manufacturing sector, and contacts in Boston report weak demand and a decline in revenues. The Minneapolis District notes only slight gains, and the Dallas and Cleveland Districts report mixed activity. Kansas City, Boston, and St. Louis report a decline in activity in the aerospace industry, and several districts indicate marked deterioration in the textile industry. Activity in the transportation equipment industry was mixed, with declines noted in the Philadelphia District, little change in Chicago, but increases in St. Louis. Several districts report a continuing low level of inventories, and most contacts report that input prices remain high, and above year-ago levels, but have not accelerated further since the last report.


Manufacturing employment exhibited modest gains in some districts, but in most was stable or declining. The Kansas City, Cleveland, and New York Districts report increases in hours worked, and Kansas City, New York, and St. Louis report hiring gains. Capital spending activity was mixed, with contacts in several districts reporting plans to increase capital spending, while the majority of contacts from other districts cite hesitation and lackluster spending plans going forward.


Real Estate and Construction

Residential real estate markets continued to show strength in virtually all districts, while commercial real estate markets remained generally sluggish. Virtually all districts describe housing markets as robust, despite relatively modest signs of slowing in the Boston, Richmond, Kansas City, and San Francisco Districts. On the other hand, signs of further strengthening are noted in New York, St. Louis, Minneapolis, and Kansas City. A few districts specify that the recent increase in mortgage rates appears to have had at most a limited impact on home sales. Reports from Boston, New York, Chicago, and Kansas City note particular strength for entry-level or lower- to mid-priced homes, as opposed to the high end of the market.


Residential construction is also indicated to be strong in most districts. Recent increases in construction activity are reported in New York, Atlanta, St. Louis, and Minneapolis. Kansas City notes that builders have had trouble obtaining plywood, while reports from Boston, New York, Cleveland, Atlanta, and San Francisco indicate sharp increases in lumber and plywood costs, which, in turn, are said to be squeezing builders' profit margins.


Commercial real estate markets, in contrast, continue to be characterized as weak in almost all districts. Still, a number of districts indicate slight signs of firming since the last report--specifically New York, Cleveland, Atlanta, St. Louis, Kansas City, and Dallas. On the other hand, renewed signs of slowing are reported from Chicago and Minneapolis, while conditions are described as stagnant in Richmond and San Francisco.


Tourism and Services

Tourism and travel activity was mixed but, on balance, improved; however, both business travel and international visitors were still lagging, although there were some scattered signs of recovery. Overall, tourism was described as robust in New York, Kansas City, and San Francisco but sluggish in the Boston District. Since the last report, New York and San Francisco report a pickup in international visitors, while Boston, Minneapolis, and Kansas City note some pickup in business travel. On the other hand, Atlanta describes both of these segments as persistently weak. Richmond reports that Hurricane Isabel caused substantial hotel damage and widespread cancellations along much of the Virginia and North Carolina shore. The evacuations from the storm resulted in a noticeable pickup in business at hotels in less affected parts of the district.


Business conditions in other service industry sectors varied but generally improved. Increased demand for various business-related services (such as legal, accounting, IT, and executive search) is noted in Philadelphia, Richmond, Dallas, and San Francisco. Increases in trucking are reported in Cleveland, while Dallas indicates a decrease in trucking volume but an increase in rail shipments, and New York reports strong increases in port traffic. Boston reports mixed to firmer conditions in the insurance industry, with industry contacts reporting little financial impact from the August blackout and expressing optimism about the business outlook.


Banking and Finance

Banks report mixed but generally favorable conditions. Loan demand is generally steady overall, with some improvement from the commercial sector, but steep declines in mortgage refinancing. Demand for commercial loans strengthened in Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and San Francisco, and was little changed in New York. While none of the districts indicates weakening in business lending, a few characterized the level of activity as still low. Demand for consumer and home mortgage loans was steady to weaker in New York, Cleveland, and Richmond, but some firming was indicated in Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, and Kansas City. Most districts report sizable declines in mortgage refinancing activity, though Dallas indicates persistent strength in this category, while Chicago and Minneapolis report a slight bounce back in late September.


Loan quality is generally described as good, with delinquency rates little changed since the last report. Chicago and Dallas report some improvement in loan quality and Atlanta says that loan delinquencies "remained manageable," while Philadelphia cites an increase in debt-service to income ratios, and New York indicates an up tick in delinquencies on consumer and home mortgage loans.


Aside from lending, financial institutions report favorable conditions and brisk growth. New York's securities industry reports strong growth in revenue, profits and compensation. Similarly, financial institutions in the Dallas District report a pickup in mergers and acquisition activity, leading to higher fee income. Finally, San Francisco suggests that a recent acceleration in business deposit in- flows further reflects a pickup in general economic activity.


Agriculture and Natural Resources

Most districts report favorable weather conditions and improved agriculture yields since the last report. However, Hurricane Isabel wrought significant damage in the Richmond District. A combination of flooding, high winds, and power outages resulted in damage to crops, fruit, livestock, and fishing equipment in much of the Richmond District. Otherwise, recent rains have improved crop yields in the St. Louis, San Francisco, Atlanta, Kansas City, and Chicago Districts. These rains, however, caused spotty problems for fall planting in some districts. Suppliers from all cattle-producing districts report banner prices, decent pasture conditions, and are optimistic that profits will follow suit.


Activity in the energy industry was mixed. The Minneapolis District indicates a slight decline in oil and natural gas exploration levels since the last report, while the Kansas City District reports a moderate expansion in oil and gas drilling. The Dallas District reports that activity remained at a relatively high level, but was not quite as strong as might be expected given the current price of oil and natural gas.


Labor Markets, Wages and Prices

Most districts continue to describe labor markets as slack, though there are modest signs of improvement in a number of districts. In general, labor markets are characterized as stagnant in Boston, Cleveland, Atlanta, Minneapolis, and San Francisco. On the other hand, Richmond, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Dallas report increased demand for temporary workers, while New York reports a pickup in hiring across a number of sectors. Both New York and Chicago note that much of the hiring is coming from smaller firms. Kansas City notes some decrease in layoff announcements, as well as an increase in hiring plans.


Modest wage growth is reported across the nation, though continued escalation in non-wage benefits, particularly health insurance, are noted in Atlanta, Chicago, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Dallas, and San Francisco. Rising benefit costs are said to be holding down wage increases in the Atlanta District and deterring hiring in Dallas.


The various districts report little change in prices of consumer goods and services, but steep escalation in certain commodity prices. Retail prices are reported to be stable in Cleveland, Atlanta, Chicago, and San Francisco; steady to slightly higher in Philadelphia, Minneapolis, and Kansas City; and steady to slightly lower in Boston, New York, and Dallas.


In contrast with the general price stability for finished goods and services, prices for a number of commodities have risen sharply. Steep increases in lumber and plywood costs are noted in Boston, New York, Cleveland, Atlanta, Kansas City, and San Francisco--some of this is attributed to post-war rebuilding in Iraq, post-hurricane repairs along the Mid-Atlantic seaboard, and fires in the West that affected supply. There were also reports of steep price increases for cattle, steel, and natural gas. However, oil and gasoline prices have retreated, following a sharp run-up in August. In terms of intermediate services, a noticeable increase in freight costs is reported in the Minneapolis District, but declines in commercial rents are seen in Richmond, Chicago, and Minneapolis.

To view your area, please see the report from the "district" you are located:




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This Day in American History


    1629- the Virginia General Assembly enacted a law to limit the planting of tobacco, in an attempt to control the price of the export to Europe.

    1701-The Collegiate School (later to be named Yale ) was founded at Branford, CT by Congregationalists dissatisfied with the religious atmosphere at Harvard. In 1716, the school was moved to New Haven, CT., where it became Yale College, named after Elihu Yale, a governor of the East India Company. The first degrees wren awarded in 1716. Yale became a university in 1887.. Founded as a school for men, Yale began admitting women undergraduates in 1969.

    1758- birthday of Noah Webster, American teacher and journalist whose name became syn­onymous with the word “dictionary” after his compilations of the earliest American dictionaries of the English language. Born at West Hartford, CT, he died at New Haven, CT, May 28, 1843.

    1846- Dr. John Collins Warren gave the first demonstration of painless surgery using a drug supplied by William Thomas Green Morton, a dentist of Charleston, MA. Morton was refused admission to hospitals until he divulged the name of the secret drug, which was sulfuric either. Although he is credited with the discovery of anesthetics, 8 or 10 others have also claimed this honor.

    1859- The federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry (now in W.Va.) was seized by John Brown and 21 followers. Brown wanted to establish an abolitionist republic in the Appalachians and to fight slavery with fugitive slaves and abolitionist whites. On Dec. 2 he was hanged at Charles Town, Va., for murder, conspiracy, and treason against Virginia. In the South he was thought of as a murderer and traitor who deserved the gallows, but in the North his gibbet was described as “the cross of a martyr.” Slave owners in the South had been chasing runaways in “free” states and territories. They were raiding cities. John Brown survived one of the raids. There were border wars and skirmishes between armed raiders and unarmed small towns. Violence was riff in many areas. In Concord, Mass., Henry David Thoreau wrote of Brown: “When a govern­ment puts forth its strength, to kill the liberators of the slave, what a merely brute ... force it is seen to be.” Lincoln was philosophical and brooded over the fates of historical zealots who had taken it upon them­selves to end oppression. Longfellow sounded a pro­phetic note: “This will be a great day in our history, the date of a new revolution. . . . As I write, they are leading old John Brown to execution. ... This is sow­ing the wind to reap the whirlwind, which will soon come.

    1863-After his impressive victory taking Vicksburg, Mississippi, Ulysses S. Grant, a brigadier general of the militia, was appointed a general in the regular army and with the subsequent reorganization of the departments of war in this area. Grant's first priority was to save the besieged and starving Union troops at Chattanooga, Tennessee.

    1868- America's first department store, Zion's Co-Operative Mercantile Institution, was opened in Salt Lake City, Utah and is still operating there. IT was founded under the direction of Brigham Young.

    1916-Margaret Singer, Fania Mindel and Ethel Burne opened the first birth control clinic in the US at 46 Amboy Street, Brooklyn,NY. singer believed that the poor should be able to control the size of their families.

    1888-Birthday of Eugene O’Neil. American playwright, born at New York, NY. O'Neill began writing plays in his 20s, while recovering from tuberculosis at a Connecticut sanitarium. His first full-length play, Beyond the Horizon, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1920. He wrote more than 30 plays during his career. His major works included Mourning Becomes Electra (produced in 1931), The Iceman Cometh (produced in 1946), and Long Day's Journey into Night (published posthumously, in 1956).

He died in Boston, MA, Nov. 27,1923

    1898-Birthday of William Douglas, American jurist, world traveler, conservationist, outdoorsman and author. Born at Maine, MN, he served as just of the US Supreme Court longer than any other (36 years). Died at Washington, DC, Jan. 19,1980.

    1903-Birthday of pianist Buck Washington, Louisville, KY

    1928- Marvin Piipkin of the Incandescent Lamp Department of General Electric Company at Nela Park, OH, received a patent for a n electric light bulb frost on the inside. Inside-frost bulbs have a number of distinct advantages over outside-frost bulbs, among which are less absorption of light and less collection of dust, allowing the bulb to last longer and retain its illumination.

    1930- Lionel Hampton cuts first vibes solo with Hite Band, “Memories of You,” Okeh Records.

    1931- Trunk murderess Winnie Ruth Judd allegedly chops first body

    1940 -Benjamin Oliver Davis Sr. named first black general in regular army (later to become

the air force ).

    1947- Woody Herman’s second Herd debuts at Municipal Auditorium, San Bernardino, CA

    1956---Top Hits
Honky Tonk (Parts 1 & 2) - Bill Doggett
Just Walking in the Rain - Johnnie Ray
Love Me Tender - Elvis Presley
Hound Dog/Don’t Be Cruel - Elvis Presley

1962 Cuban missile crisis began as President John F. Kennedy becomes aware of missiles in Cuba. On October 22, he addresses the public on television and

on October 24 authorizes a blockade of offensive weapons to Cuba.
    1964—Top Hits
Oh, Pretty Woman - Roy Orbison
Do Wah Diddy Diddy - Manfred Mann
Dancing in the Street - Martha & The Vandellas
I Guess I’m Crazy - Jim Reeves

    1968- at the Mexico City Summer Olympics, American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos, winners of the gold and bronze medals, respectively, in the 200-meter run, raised their black-gloved fists in a black power salute during the medal presentation to call attention to racism and poverty in the Untied States. Two days later, the pair was suspended by the US Olympic Committee and sent home.

    1969- the “Miracle” New York Mets defeated the Baltimore Orioles, 5-3, to win the World Series, four games to one. Prior to the 1969 season, the Mets had never won more than 73 games. Their 2100 regular season victories and triumphs over the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS and the Orioles are regarded to be among recent baseball history’s more improbable occurrences.

    1969- Trumpet Player Roy Hargrove Birthday


    1976 - Memphis, TN disc jockey Rick Dees and his ‘Cast of Idiots’ made it all the way to number one on the "Billboard Hot 100" with the immortal "Disco Duck (Part 1)". Dees today is a disc jockey in Los Angeles and is hosting several varieties of the "Weekly Top 40" show, syndicated around the world.

    1976 - Stevie Wonder’s album, "Songs in the Key of Life" wound up at number one in the U.S. Hits on the album included "Sir Duke", "Isn’t She Lovely" and "I Wish", the double-album stayed at #1 for 14 weeks. Other tracks: "Love’s in Need of Love Today", "Have a Talk with God", "Village Ghetto Land", "Contusion", "Knocks Me Off My Feet", "Pastime Paradise", "Summer Soft", "Ordinary Pain", "Saturn", "Ebony Eyes", "Joy Inside My Tears", "Black Man", "Ngiculela - Es Una Historia"/"I Am Singing", "If It’s Magic", "As", "Another Star", "All Day Sucker", "Easy Goin’ Evening (My Mama’s Call)".

    1980—Top Hits
Another One Bites the Dust - Queen
Woman in Love - Barbra Streisand
Late in the Evening - Paul Simon
Loving Up a Storm - Razzy Bailey
    1985- Intel unveiled a 32-bit microprocessor, the 386. Although other chip makers had already unveiled this new, more powerful chip technology, Intel's introduction of the 32-bit chip was more significant because the company held eighty-five percent of the market for less powerful processors

    1986 - Chuck Berry celebrated his 60th birthday with a concert in his home town of St. Louis, Missouri (at the Fox Theatre). The show was organized by Keith Richards (The Rolling Stones) and the concert was used in a documentary titled, "Hail! Hail! Rock ’N’ Roll", an overview of Berry’s career.

    1987- Jessica McClure rescued 58 hrs after falling 22' into a well shaft .
    1988- Orel Hirsheiser, 1st to pitch shutout in playoff and World Series ( game 2)

    1988—Top Hits
Red Red Wine - UB40
Groovy Kind of Love - Phil Collins
What’s on Your Mind (Pure Energy) - Information Society
Streets of Bakersfield - Dwight Yoakam & Buck Owens

    1998-Hackers broke into America Online and altered the online service's Internet address. Millions of e-mail messages were misdirected as a result.



World Series Champions This Date


1909 Pittsburgh Pirates

1912 Boston Red Sox

1962 New York Yankees

1969 New York Mets

1983 Baltimore Orioles


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