Monday, December 6, 2004
######## surrounding the article denotes it is a “press release”
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Information System: Portland, OR.
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New York/New Jersey
Operations: Wayne, NJ
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Archives-December 6, 2000 - United Capital Against the Ropes???
“I have heard from several insiders that United Capital in Austin, Texas may be going out of business. They have supposedly been bouncing vendor checks and holding fundings since last week. Rumors that half of the staff are going to be let go this week are also being heard.”
( We have tried to seek comment from United Capital for two days, but no confirmation or denial to date. We will print any comment they may have regarding these "rumors" ---editor )
“Bank of America is pulling back from all equipment lessors even the good ones, because of the problems with the bad ones.”
( his broker gave us other information, but to utilize it, may reveal who sent us the comment, so we are withholding it, but mentioning the comment about Bank of America---editor )
“Checks they wrote to us for leases we funded and assigned to them did not clear their account, and other checks we were supposed to receive today did not arrive. Calls throughout the day were not returned until our general counsel reached them. He was informed United experienced a trigger event with Lehman, and that all outstanding checks were "stopped" while Lehman could come in and assess the situation. Further, he was told there is no certainty any of these checks will be made good. All outstanding approvals will be reviewed and held to new credit standards. Thus, brokers and discounters who relied on these approvals and issued purchase orders may find their subject leases will not be funded.”
(We also edited this and believe the comment reputable, or we would not use it---editor )
No Verbals When AMEX Turns Key over to Key Bank?
“AMEX turned over control to Key Bank last night and on the way out the door AMEX funded EVERYTHING in the system,.....verbals where not completed on many transactions, nor had delivery of the equipment occurred for many deals as well.....random attempts were made to complete verbals however after a message was left the deal was BOOKED....
“Nice to see Integrity rises to the upper levels of management in this industry!!
“name and address withheld”
(This was received last week while I was on vacation. Making the Transition was more important than doing it right, it appears. Perhaps at this level, these few leases are “chump change,” but to the employees in the process, their viewpoint is different. And/or maybe this is one of the reasons why American Express turned their leasing operation over as it appears management didn't care about doing things “right.” editor)
HP Financial Closes Colorado Small Ticket Operation
“HP Financial Services recently announced that they are closing their Colorado small ticket operations center and moving to Murray Hill, NJ. All of the employees in Colorado will be laid off.
“ Less than two years ago, HP moved its small ticket operations center from NJ to CO and all of the NJ employees were laid off.”
(This was received last week while I was on vacation. There may have been other reasons than costs as evidenced on the Leasing News Complaint Bulletin Board: too many brokers were disguising themselves as “dealers” to get transactions accepted. Or this may be simply the operation was moved here for a key management geographic reason or “none of the above.” The people at HP Financial are not talking, but if there is any comment, we would be glad to print it in full. Editor)
NACM “Slight” Slowing Down in Manufacturing
The monthly National Association of Credit Managers notes in the latest report: “A slight slowing in the manufacturing sector growth was offset by a small gain in the service sector. There don't appear to be any major concerns as we head into December.”
Press Release Errors re: Fisher to Tom Depping's Main Street Bank
There were several inaccuracies in the press release received about the popular Bob Fisher, CLP, evidently now in charge of Tom Depping's leasing broker program. We hope to correct the omissions, after an interview, perhaps with both gentlemen.
One of the questions will concern broker protection (one of the main reported gripes about Sierra Cities, which was run by Mr. Depping, was once he bought the company, he often removed the founder, then ordered inside sales people to start calling the lessees and vendors for business direct. From memo's we printed, Depping never let go the reigns of his company's sales efforts.)
Many believe brokers have a short memory, especially if they receive low rates and favorable credit decisions.
Others believe the leasing market has changed, including the sharing of information over the internet, plus the growth of organizations who now protect leasing brokers, such as the National Association of Equipment Leasing Brokers.
Year-end special from leasingpress.com
“All three of our best selling books may be purchased through the remainder of 2004, mixed as you wish for the following prices, which include free shipping to the same address:
“Power Tools for Successful Leasing
“Through December 31, our prices have been reduced as follows:
US Bank –Manifest Letter to Customers
“To Our Valued Customers,
“Thank you for your continued support and our partnership together in 2004. This has been Manifest Funding Services' most successful year ever.
“For the past several years Manifest has been driven by our commitment to your business…we call it “Focused on Your Success”. We are passionate about our commitment to work with you to create products that drive the success of your organization and our relationship together. This mutual commitment has helped create these important products and programs:
“Commercial Program (2004) - $75-250K leases & EFA's
“One of our goals for 2005 will be to evaluate many of the smaller funding relationships we have. For example, we will fund business with 166 brokers who will average less than $5,000 per month funded in 2004. An additional 124 companies did not fund a single transaction with Manifest even though they are active and submitting business to us. Collectively, these accounts have less than 40% approval and fund less than 18% of their submittals. These inefficiencies sometimes prevent us from providing the best service possible to our customers. This needs to be addressed…
“Over the next couple of weeks, we will be visiting with these accounts to either find a better fit for our services or to inactivate the funding relationship. As with all our customers, it is our desire to build a better relationship with these lower volume accounts and earn an acceptable share of their business. We will be asking for a minimum volume commitment of $20,000 per month.
“It is our sincere hope that we can continue our current relationships with every company now active with Manifest. In addition, we will be looking for new relationships that will help us learn and grow in this industry. We are also committed to making some tougher decisions so that we may provide the best service possible to our customers.
“We are looking forward to a terrific 2005. Our success will continue to be driven by your business, and that is why we will remain “Focused on Your Success”.
Senior Vice President, General Manager
(This was printed with Brad Peterson's permission. )
Marlin Business Services Corp. Announces New Additions
MOUNT LAUREL, N.J.------Marlin Business Services Corp. (NASDAQ:MRLN), a nationwide provider of equipment leasing solutions, announces the appointments of new members to its management team made over the past few months.
Kevyn Rakowski is the new Corporate Controller. Kevyn is a Certified Public Accountant with 15 years of financial reporting experience. Kevyn previously worked at InfraSource and the accounting firm of Arthur Andersen. Kevyn reports to Bruce Sickel, Chief Financial Officer.
Willie Kelly is the new Director of Human Resources. Willie brings 20 years of personnel management experience to the position and previously held senior level positions at Blue Cross and American Reinsurance. He reports to George Pelose, Senior Vice President and General Counsel.
Vince Drobniak is the new Chief Credit Officer. Vince has over 23 years of small and mid-ticket leasing credit & operations experience and has served in leadership roles with De Lage Landen, Tokai Financial Services, Citicorp & Manufacturers Hanover Bank. He reports to Daniel Dyer, Chief Executive Officer.
Steve Carr is the new Director of Northeast Retail Sales. Steve has 14 years of business to business sales experience and most recently worked at MicroWarehouse, a leading provider of computer solutions to small business. Steve reports to Gary Shivers, President.
Rob Herb is the new Director of Marketing. Rob has over 10 years of experience in sales and marketing and is a Six Sigma certified Green Belt. Rob previously worked at GE Commercial Finance, Canon Financial Services and Tokai Financial Services. Rob reports to Deborah Affonsa, Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
About Marlin Business Services Corp.
Marlin Business Services Corp. is a nationwide provider of equipment leasing solutions primarily to small businesses. The company's principal operating subsidiary, Marlin Leasing Corporation, finances over 60 equipment categories in a segment of the market generally referred to as "small-ticket" leasing (i.e. transactions less than $250,000). The company was founded in 1997 and completed its initial public offering of common stock November 12, 2003. In addition to Mount Laurel, NJ, Marlin also has regional offices in or near Atlanta, Chicago, Denver and Philadelphia. For more information, visit www.marlincorp.com or call toll free at (888) 479-9111.
Fitch Ratings Affirms CIT; Rating Outlook Stable
Fitch Ratings-New York-: Fitch Ratings affirms CIT Group, Inc.'s (CIT) and related entities' ratings as follows:
--Senior debt 'A';
Fitch has also affirmed the following ratings for Newcourt Credit Group Inc. and AT&T Capital Corp., both of which are guaranteed by CIT.
--Senior debt 'A'.
The subordinated debt rating has been withdrawn as all subordinated debt has been fully repaid. The Rating Outlook is Stable. Approximately, $37 billion of debt and preferred stock are covered by Fitch's actions.
CIT's ratings reflect its well-defined operating strategy and significant market share in selected businesses as well as its improved profitability, capitalization and leverage. The company's committed sources of liquidity, including bank credit facilities and conduits, and the regular use of conduit facilities are also important considerations in the ratings. Rating concerns center on the sustainability of the current favorable trends in asset quality and steps taken to reduce volatility over a full business cycle, asset growth well in excess of management's articulated targets, successful implementation of new CIT culture, and the long-term success of the diversified finance company business model.
Over the last 15 months, CIT's credit profile has trended upward to allow the company to be comfortably positioned in the 'A' category. While some of the company's financial metrics suggest a higher rating, commercial finance is a notoriously cyclical industry and CIT's ability to continue to operate at the current levels will be tested during the next U.S. economic downturn. Reducing the business volatility, particularly evident in asset quality, that CIT endured during the last domestic recession is a key focus for management. However, in many ways, CIT is a much different company than it was five or 10 years ago or even one year ago. As such, recent changes in management and CIT's evolving business profile will be the drivers of the company's ratings in the future.
CIT is in the midst of a corporate 'rebirth' with Jeffrey Peek succeeding longtime CEO Albert Gamper. Although CEO for less than 12 months, Jeffrey Peek has begun to put his stamp on the company and his vision of CIT. Key initiatives include a renewed emphasis on corporate profitability, with a return on tangible equity target of 15%, changes in corporate fabric, as exemplified in the One CIT program, along with more emphasis on a performance culture, and annual asset growth in the 8%-10% range over a business cycle. In addition to the strategies to help improve CIT's financial metrics, several qualitative other initiatives have been introduced. Management's goal with the implementation of these programs is to drive CIT to be a better and stronger organization that is more responsive to the needs of its customers and stakeholders. Fitch favorably views these initiatives although recognizes that the success of the qualitative ones will be difficult to measure.
Operationally, CIT continued on the business momentum established in 2003 and reported record results for the nine month period ending Sept. 30, 2004. Net income for the 2004 period was $550 million, including a $26 million after-tax gain from the redemption of the public income notes (PINES) securities, versus $412 million for the same period in 2003. Based on CIT's nine month operating results, the company is likely to report record results for 2004 with net income exceeding $700 million. More importantly, CIT's profitability has been trending upward with return on managed assets and return on tangible equity (ROTE) of 1.57% and 14.10% annualized for the three month period ending Sept. 30, 2004 compared to 1.20% and 12.20% for the same period in 2003. The trend in ROTE is of particular importance in light of management's publicly announced profitability goal of 15%. While CIT benefited from lower credit costs and the gain from the redemption of $513 million of PINES in January 2004, improved lending margins and lower depreciation expense, due to a change in asset mix, partially offset by a sharp rise in operating expenses, were the primary drivers of the company's strong results. The sustainability of these trends in 2005 is likely, assuming the domestic economy remains stable. CIT should enjoy additional margin expansion as higher priced debt is refinanced while management strives to gain additional economies of scale through the company's existing infrastructure with headcount remaining constant.
Since Dec. 31, 2002, CIT's asset quality has improved markedly with delinquencies, nonperforming assets, and net charge offs declining significantly. Total net charge offs as a percentage of average owned receivables for the nine month periods ending Sept. 30, 2004 and 2003 were 1.06% and 1.45%, respectively. Core net charge offs, excluding telecommunication and liquidating assets, were 0.81% and 1.14% for these periods. While CIT management has indicated that over an entire business cycle they expect core net charge offs to be between 80 and 90 basis points given the current business mix, it appears that additional improvement is likely in the near term as delinquencies and nonperforming loans have trended downward throughout 2004. While the strengthening of CIT's asset quality is noted, it is unclear as to how much of the improvement is company specific or sector related. Additional data points over time are likely to help address this question.
Similar to the trends in asset quality, CIT's capitalization and leverage has generally improved since year-end 2002. Leverage, defined as total managed debt divided by tangible equity, stood at 8.34x at Sept. 30, 2004 down from 8.50x at Dec. 31, 2003. Similarly, tangible equity divided by managed assets increased to 9.39% at Sept. 30, 2004 from 9.13% at Dec. 31, 2003. Fitch believes that CIT, if it can fully execute on its business model, should be able to continue to manage leverage down and improve capitalization. The key drivers for accomplishing this will be maintaining the growth rate of internal tangible capital formation, adjusted for common share repurchases, in excess of the growth rate for assets.
Founded in 1908, CIT Group, Inc. (CIT) is the largest publicly owned domestic diversified finance company. With over $50 billion in managed assets, CIT provides a full array of commercial finance products and services as well as selected consumer finance offerings through a staff of about 5,700 employees throughout North America with strategic offices in Europe, Latin and South America, and the Pacific Rim.
Contact: Philip S. Walker, Jr., CFA +1-212-908-0624 or Matthew D. Gallino +1-212-908-0218, New York.
Fitch Upgrades Caterpillar Financial Asset Trust 2002-A
Fitch Ratings-Chicago-: Fitch Ratings upgrades the following class of notes for Caterpillar Financial Asset Trust 2002-A (CAT 2002-A).
--Class B asset-backed notes are upgraded to 'AAA' from 'AA';
Fitch affirms the class A-3 asset-backed notes at 'AAA'.
In its review of the CAT 2002-A transaction, Fitch noted increasing levels of credit enhancement available to each class of notes. Specifically, the current credit enhancement available to the class B notes as of Oct. 31, 2004 was 20.82% versus the original level of 2.75% at closing and 9.61% at the time of Fitch's last upgrade on Jan. 28, 2004. Both classes of notes also benefit from credit enhancement components that include a reserve account ($14,220,628), overcollateralization (OC) ($9,449,922), and excess spread.
The continued increase in credit enhancement is a result of better than expected portfolio performance as well as certain structural mechanics, such as a non-declining reserve account, which benefits both classes of notes. Portfolio delinquencies have been relatively consistent since transaction inception, with an historical average since close of 3.62% (30+ days) as of the period ended Oct. 31, 2004. Cumulative net default experience through 28 periods is .40%. As a result, the lifetime collateral losses for the transaction may yield an ultimate default number less than Fitch's original assumption. Fitch also analyzed current break even cash flow scenarios and noted that the class B notes currently can sustain several times more losses than the class A notes were expected to sustain at close.
Fitch will continue to closely monitor this transaction and may take additional rating action in the event of changes in performance and credit enhancement measures.
Contact: Du Trieu +1-312-368-2091, Joseph Tuczak +1-312-368-2083, or John Bella Jr. +1-312-368-2058, Chicago.
Edmunds.com Reports True Cost of Incentives:
SANTA MONICA, Calif., -- Edmunds.com (http://www.edmunds.com), the premier online resource for automotive information, reported today that the average manufacturer automotive incentive in the United States was $2,395 per vehicle sold in November 2004, up $9, or 0.4%, from November 2003, and down $260, or 9.8%, from October 2004.
Edmunds.com's monthly True Cost of Incentives(SM) (TCI(SM)) report takes into account all of the manufacturers' various United States incentives programs, including subvented interest rates and lease programs as well as cash rebates to consumers and dealers. To ensure the greatest possible accuracy, Edmunds.com bases its calculations on sales volume, including the mix of vehicle makes and models for each month, as well as on the proportion of vehicles for which each type of incentive was used.
Overall, combined incentives spending for domestic Chrysler, Ford and General Motors nameplates averaged $3,379 per vehicle sold in November, down $283 from October 2004. Chrysler lowered incentives spending in November by $215 to $3,429 per vehicle sold while increasing market share by 0.9% to 13.8%. Ford decreased incentives spending by $270 to an average of $3,141 per vehicle sold, while its market share fell by 0.4% to 18.0%. GM lowered incentives spending in November by $339 to $3,519 while its market share dropped 0.7% to 24.6% -- a historical low.
"The kind of incentives that helped to jump start the automotive industry from its lull three years ago has lost its effectiveness to create new potential buyers. The domestic automakers have made the most of incentives in recent years, and are beginning to accept that consumers, who have been bombarded with messages of cash back and special financing, are becoming relatively insensitive to those offers," stated Dr. Jane Liu, Vice President of Data Analysis for Edmunds.com. "It's supply and demand: the continued success of models like the Chrysler 300 and the Dodge Magnum, and brands like Mini and Scion, prove that consumers will enthusiastically purchase an exciting, high-quality product even in the absence of any incentives. GM and Ford, aware of the need to reduce the supply of less popular models, recently announced that they will be cutting production."
In November 2004, Korean automakers reduced incentives spending by $357 to average $1,828 per vehicle sold, European automakers reduced incentives spending by $565 to average $1,765 per vehicle sold and Japanese automakers reduced incentives spending by $41 to average $888 per vehicle sold in October.
From October to November, Korean and European manufacturers grew their market share from 4.15% to 4.44% and 7.25% to 7.53%, respectively. At the same time, Japanese and domestic manufacturers both lost market share, with the Japanese dropping from 31.9% to 31.5% and the domestics falling from 56.51% to 56.3%.
"The decline in average TCI from October to November reflects a seasonal trend, as this time of year many new model year vehicles are being sold with relatively low incentives," explained Dr. Liu. "Gains in market share for Koreans and Europeans can partially be attributed to strong sales of new and redesigned vehicles like the Hyundai Tucson and the Volvo S40."
Comparing all brands, in November Mini spent virtually nothing on incentives and Scion spent only $83, while Lexus spent only $164 per vehicle sold. At the other end of the spectrum, Lincoln was the biggest spender at $4,949 in November, followed by Jaguar at $4,872 and Cadillac at $4,184 per vehicle sold.
Among vehicle segments, in November large SUVs continued to offer the highest average incentives, $4,364 per vehicle sold. Other segments with high incentives were large cars at $3,004 and large trucks at $2,856 per vehicle sold. Compact cars had the lowest average incentives at $1,492, followed by luxury sports cars at $1,653 and luxury SUVs at $1,782 per vehicle sold.
Midsize cars have lost the most market share since November 2003, decreasing from 16.4% to 14.6%, while large cars have gained the most market share during that period, up from 4.2% to 6.1% of the new vehicle market.
About Edmunds.com True Cost of Incentives(SM) (TCI(SM))
Edmunds.com's TCI(SM) is a comprehensive monthly report that measures automobile manufacturers' cost of incentives on vehicles sold in the United States. These costs are reported on a per vehicle basis for the industry as a whole, for each manufacturer, for each make sold by each manufacturer and for each model of each make. TCI covers all aspects of manufacturers' various incentives programs (except volume and similar bonus programs), including dealer cash, manufacturer rebates and consumer savings from subvented APR and lease programs (including subvented lease residual values used in manufacturer leasing programs). Data for the industry, the manufacturers and the makes are derived using weighted averages and are based on actual monthly sales and financing activity.
About Edmunds.com, Inc.
Edmunds.com is the premier online resource for automotive information. Its comprehensive set of data, tools and services, including Edmunds.com True Market Value(R) pricing, is generated by Edmunds.com Information Solutions and is licensed to third parties. For example, the company supplies over 800,000 pages of content for the auto sections of AOL and NYTimes.com, provides weekly data to Automotive News and delivers monthly data reports to Wall Street analysts. Edmunds.com was named "best car research" site by Forbes ASAP, has been selected by consumers as the "most useful Web site" according to every J.D. Power and Associates New Autoshopper.com Study(SM) and was ranked first in the Survey of Car-Shopping Web Sites as reported by The Wall Street Journal. The company is headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif. and maintains a satellite office outside Detroit.
CIT Names Flint Besecker to Lead Focus on Healthcare Sector
NEW YORK / -- CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT), a
leading provider of commercial and consumer finance solutions, announced that it has appointed Flint Besecker as President, CIT Healthcare Financial Services, effective December 6, 2004.
In the newly-created position, Mr. Besecker will report to Frederick
(Rick) Wolfert, Vice Chairman of CIT's commercial finance businesses. He will lead CIT's focus on providing a broad range of financing products and services to meet the large and diverse commercial financing needs of customers in the healthcare industry. The group will offer equipment finance and leasing, working capital loans, acquisition finance and real estate finance, along with selected advisory and capital markets services.
Mr. Besecker's appointment further underscores CIT's strategy of targeting high-growth economic sectors and increasing operating efficiencies through synergistic industry alignments that provide enterprise-wide financing solutions for customers.
"We believe the healthcare industry presents a significant opportunity for CIT to build our existing knowledge base, deepen our client relationships and further leverage our core capabilities in healthcare," Mr. Wolfert said. "We are very pleased to have Flint join a team that is already a recognized leader in this industry. His depth of experience and strong track record of delivering customized solutions to healthcare companies is ideally suited to lead CIT's focus on this important growth sector."
Mr. Besecker is a 15-year veteran of the healthcare finance industry, bringing a wealth of experience in all facets of healthcare financing. Most recently, he was Managing Director and Group Head at GE Healthcare Financial Services. Prior to GE, he served as Executive Vice President & Chief Risk Officer for Heller Healthcare Finance. He received a B.S. in Accounting from Canisius College and is a Certified Public Accountant.
CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT), a leading commercial and consumer finance company, provides clients with financing and leasing products and advisory services. Founded in 1908, CIT has approximately $50 billion in assets under management and possesses the financial resources, industry expertise and product knowledge to serve the needs of clients across approximately 30 industries. CIT, a Fortune 500 company, holds leading positions in vendor financing, factoring, equipment and transportation financing, Small Business Administration loans, and asset-based lending. CIT, with its principal offices in Livingston, New Jersey and New York City has approximately 5,800 employees in locations throughout North America, Europe, Latin and South America, and the Pacific Rim. For more information,
Gibson Joins AIG Commercial Equipment Finance
Mark J. Gibson has joined AIG Commercial Equipment Finance, Inc. (AIGCEF) as Vice President – Capital Markets. Mr. Fluharty comes to AIGCEF with over nineteen years experience in the financial services industry. Gibson earned a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from The Ohio State University. As Vice President – Capital Markets, Gibson will responsible for developing new business for AIGCEF through qualified intermediaries and brokers. He is based in Plano, TX and can be reached at (972) 987-3711.
ORIX USA Hires Stephen J. Turpin
Stephen J. Turpin has joined ORIX USA's Structured Finance division located in Kennesaw, GA. Turpin is responsible for the development of the division's Specialty Finance origination for the Gaming, Broadcast/Media, Entertainment and Sport's Franchise industries.
Steve Crain, President of Structured Finance said, “We are pleased to have Steve on our team and look forward to utilizing his marketing and development skills as we continue to grow the specialty finance segment of our business.” Turpin was most recently with CIT and brings over 25 years of experience in new market development with a proven track record of performance. Turpin reports to Blair McBeth, Senior Vice President, managing the direct marketing team for Structured Finance.
Structured Finance specializes in providing equipment financing and leasing to middle market and larger business enterprises with core competencies in manufacturing, energy, mining, business aircraft, rail, marine and other capital intensive industries. Additionally, Structured Finance provides “turnkey” financing (land, building and equipment) of facilities (refineries, manufacturing plants, grocery stores, processing plants and other facility-related business locations).
Structured Finance is part of the Corporate Finance Group of ORIX USA Corporation. The Corporate Finance Group provides senior secured, unsecured, mezzanine and structured finance credit products to companies throughout the U.S. and Canada. ORIX USA Corporation, together with its wholly owned subsidiaries, is a division of ORIX Corporation, Japan's leading diversified financial services provider. Based in Tokyo with operations in 23 global markets, ORIX Corporation is a publicly traded company listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and New York Stock Exchanges (Ticker: IX)
### Press Release #####################
United Association of Equipment Leasing
Originally the Western Association of Equipment Leasing (WAEL,) the organization grew to a true national association where the eastern membership now equals western membership.
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Day in American History
1628- Thomas Beard began manufacturing shoes. He came over on the Mayflower. Prior to that date, shoes were imported from England. The colonists also learned from the Native Americans how to make moccasins, which were so well liked that as early as 1650 they were exported to England
American Football Poem(s)
Boomer Sooner, Boomer Sooner,
I'm a Sooner born and a Sooner bred
Arthur M. Alden, a student of history and
Ivied walls and stately towers,
On we march for Alma Mater,
Wisdom brought from out the ages,
"Oklahoma Hail!" is the original Oklahoma alma
The most famous---Oklahoma!!!
Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain
We know we belong to the land
We're only sayin'
To create the musical Oklahoma!, Rodgers and