Friday, December 24, 2004
######## surrounding the article denotes it is a “press release”
There will be no regular edition from December 27th to January 5th, although there may be a holiday edition from time-to-time during this period.
All ads will remain on the web site and will not be counted in the contract period. New banner ads will be accepted after the first of the year to start running on January 5th.
There may be some holiday editions from time to time. In the meantime, as Roy Rogers and Dale Evans used to say, Happy Trails to You.
“I wanted to bring to the attention of your readers an unethical, and likely illegal, practice that has recently popped up again. This has happened to Pacific Capital Bank (aka SBBT) in the past as well. The practice is going into a public info data site (i.e. UCC Filings) and pulling up transaction info under a particular lender as a lead source.
This of course is not illegal.
“However, it has come to our attention that a broker has obtained leads and then called those lessees to prospect for new business by identifying themselves and claiming to represent Santa Barbara Bank & Trust. This is obviously both unethical and illegal.
“We have put the broker on notice that making statements that you know to be untrue or misleading in this context is an unlawful, unfair and fraudulent business practice pursuant to Business and Professions code sections 17200 and 17500. If anyone continues to contact Pacific Capital Bank and/or Santa Barbara Bank & Trust's customers and make false and misleading statements regarding the relationship with the Bank, we will have no choice but to bring legal action against them seeking damages as well as injunctive relief.
“Kit, it is important for our industry to police itself regarding unfair and unethical business practices or we will quickly become government regulated. A regulated business environment is both restrictive and expensive and would undoubtedly drive many out of business. We all have an obligation to maintain the integrity of the industry that earns us a decent living.”
Best regards, Paul
Paul J. Menzel, CLP
PACIFIC CAPITAL BANCORP
Collector: Boston, MA.
Collector: Jacksonville, East Brunswick, FL.
Collector: West Hartford, CT.
Controller: Seattle, WA
Controller: Southeastern, MI.
full listing of all “job wanted ads” at:
Air Traffic Information
Track actual flight of airplane (tied into the FAA directly, public information, and tells you exactly where the airplane is and ETA, plus other information.)
Airport Delays Nationwide---Latest Information on Line
##### Press Release ##############################
NY Atty Gen. Gets Additional $11 Million Settlement
DEFRAUDED NOVERGENCE CUSTOMERS TO RECEIVE ADDITIONAL $11 MILLION IN RELIEF
Attorney General Eliot Spitzer today announced settlements with five leading financial institutions in connection with a widespread telecommunications fraud involving NorVergence, Inc., a bankrupt New Jersey-based telephone equipment and service company.
Under the terms of the agreement, the financing companies will forgive approximately $11 million in payments due from New York customers who had signed long-term contracts with NorVergence. Earlier this month, Spitzer announced a $2 million settlement with GE Capital regarding similar NorVergence contracts. The $13 million forgiven under all of these settlements provides relief to more than half of NorVergence customers in New York.
"I am pleased to announce that these financial institutions have agreed to forgive the bulk of the outstanding balances on New York customers' NorVergence leases. I particularly commend TCF Leasing Inc. for its willingness to forgive all outstanding balances on a nationwide basis," said Spitzer. "These settlements bring a resolution to many small businesses that were struggling to meet obligations while simultaneously paying for replacement telecommunications services."
The chart below outlines the terms of the settlements:
LEASING COMPANY TOTAL DOLLARS FORGIVEN
(Outstanding Balances as of July 15, 2004) SETTLEMENT THRESHOLD CIT Technology Financing Services, Inc. (CIT Group/Equipment Financing Inc.) $4.2 million 90 percent
* Reflects a multi-state settlement
In addition, the settlements forgive any late fees, penalties and property insurance charges after termination of contracted services and credit any payments made which exceed the settlement threshold. The financial institutions will issue refunds to customers where payments exceeded amounts due under the settlements and will terminate all litigation and withdraw any adverse credit reports against former NorVergence customers who elect to participate in the settlements. They will also offer the settlement terms to customers who have already settled on less favorable terms.
Currently, 15 other financial institutions are facing impending legal action in connection with the fraudulent NorVergence telecommunications agreements. Those institutions include:
Alfa Financial Corporation; BB&T Leasing Corporation; Celtic Bank Corporation; Commerce Commercial Leasing, LLC; Dolphin Capital; IFC Credit Corp.; Irwin Business Finance; Liberty Bank; Madison Capital LLC (dba Madison Capital Equipment Leasing, Inc.); National City Commercial Capital Corp. (formerly known as Information Leasing Corporation); Popular Leasing USA, Inc.; Preferred Capital, Inc.; R-G Crowne Bank (dba Crowne Bank Leasing); Sterling Bank Leasing, Inc.; Studebaker-Worthington Leasing Corp. Notices were also sent to Thomas Salzano and Peter Salzano as officers of the bankrupt NorVergence. NorVergence began aggressively marketing its telecommunications products in 2002, falsely promising potential customers savings of up to 60 percent. It attributed these savings to its use of a proprietary device referred to as a "Matrix box." The company claimed this technological innovation provided customers with wireless, toll-free inbound, local and long-distance telephone service; and high-speed internet connection, all for a fixed monthly fee. In truth, the equipment accomplished none of these functions; rather, it is commonly used in the industry to permit both voice and data transmission through a high-speed service line.
NorVergence's sales force was trained to apply deceptive and high pressure sales tactics to prospective customers, which consisted largely of small businesses, not-for-profits and religious institutions. Nationally, the company secured approximately 11,000 customers; with nearly 1,000 in New York.
The company's customers typically signed five-year contracts, which the company then sold at a discount to third-party financial institutions. The financial institutions, in turn, billed customers under the original contract terms. These multi-year commitments purported to obligate customers to pay as much as $340,000 for the matrix box, even though the market value of the device was no more than $1,500.
Last summer, a federal bankruptcy court declared NorVergence bankrupt. As a result, customers were left without telecommunications services and had to purchase alternative service on a per call basis. Yet the financial institutions continued to bill customers for the discontinued services. Many of the financing institutions sued to collect on the agreements both in New York and in states in which the customers had no contacts.
Consumers wishing to file a complaint pertaining to a NorVergence telecommunications contract may contact the Attorney General's toll-free consumer helpline (800) 771-7755, or visit our website at www.oag.state.ny.us .
This matter is being handled by Assistant Attorneys General Joy Feigenbaum, Keith Gordon, Shahla Ali and Shirley Stark under the direction of Susanna Zwerling, Chief of the Telecommunications and Energy Bureau, Thomas Conway, Chief of the Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau, and Terryl Brown Clemons, Assistant Deputy Attorney General for the Division of Public Advocacy.
##### Press Release #############################
Classified Ads—Help Wanted
Business Channel Manager / National Sales Manager/ Small Ticket Leasing Sales People
SEC Wraps Up Disclosure-Framework Debate.PUB
The SEC has approved a sweeping set of rules dictating what information asset-backed issuers can disclose to investors and how it can be delivered.
The Dec. 15 decision surprised many market players, who weren't expecting the agency to address the matter until next year. Most industry insiders figured the SEC would need more time to wade through hundreds of requests that it received for changes and clarifications to the rules.
The SEC asked for that input when it released a 400-page draft of the disclosure guidelines in May. After Wednesday's vote in Washington, industry professionals were scrambling to find out how the commission addressed their concerns when drafting the final version. "We're all anxiously awaiting to see it," said Jordan Schwartz, a partner at the law firm of Cadwalader Wickersham. "Along the way, they seemed receptive to suggestions from the industry on certain topics."
The SEC indicated that it would try to resolve conflicts between the guidelines, known as Regulation AB, and a set of pending revisions to the Securities Act of 1933, Schwartz said. Like the measure approved this week, the planned update of the securities act would give asset-backed issuers more freedom to talk about their offerings and release written information before they launch deals.
A final version of the 500-page "Reg AB" should be posted on the SEC's Web site, sec.gov, within a week or so. But market players will be able to get a glimpse of the rules before then. That's because Nomura securitization-research chief Mark Adelson was in Washington on Wednesday to witness the SEC vote and write about it in a yearend research report that was scheduled to be distributed yesterday.
Market players have been applauding the SEC's attempts to codify and improve the loose bag of practices that govern disclosure of information about securitizations. However, many have complained that certain parts of the initiative would unfairly bar some issuers from the market and unnecessarily drive up transaction costs.
One concern has been a plan to make issuers supply investors with substantially more information about the past performance of the credits they securitize - along with data on similar receivables from the same originators and servicers. Issuers will also be forced to update that information on a regular basis. The rules will take effect for new deals a year from now.
Fitch Affirms Greater Bay Bancorp;
(The Matsco Companies not mentioned in press release)
Fitch Ratings-New York Fitch Ratings has affirmed the 'BBB-/F3' long and short term ratings for Palo Alto, CA based Greater Bay Bancorp (Greater Bay). At the same time, Fitch has withdrawn the ratings for six bank subsidiaries of Greater Bay as a result of the company's legal completion of its charter consolidation in February of this year and subsequent maturity of certificates of deposits during the course of 2004 that had been issued by the subsidiary banks.
The ratings for Mid-Peninsula Bank have been assigned to Greater Bay Bank, National Association, reflecting the name change resulting from the consolidation. Greater Bay Bank is now the sole, wholly-owned subsidiary of Greater Bay Bancorp.
Mid-Peninsula Bank to Greater Bay Bank, NA
Sammie Comes to the office with me today
The above is a picture of my son Dashiell when he graduated from US Naval school in Great Lakes, Chicago. He is now home in San Diego, California, after serving six months in the waters off of Kuwait, inspecting vessels primarily, and also supporting other ships in naval operations.
He was three years old when I first rented my office at 2175 De la Cruz Blvd.,Santa Clara, California, as an equipment leasing broker, going into business for myself. I have thought about this many times. It's interesting that when I was younger, it was a long time ago. As I have gotten older, it is almost like yesterday. Time seems to have changed in reverse with things long ago seeming recent.
It was exactly 34 years ago I took the first commission from Harold McAfee and rented an office in Santa Clara, California. He was surprised. It was a two room office and I subleased the second office to an attorney, then a vendor who's main office was in Oakland, then taking over the second office with at first a part-time secretary, growing, finally buying out the lease of the next door office, a pool supply company who wanted to move and I made it worthwhile by paying his first month rent plus a few hundred dollars to help him move. It was daring in its day. Eventually we had all the offices on the second floor of this small building for eighteen years, until we outgrew it.
I remember the days we only had “gumbo” soup in the closet. We would visit friends for dinner as they had no idea of our condition, and I used the credit cards for milk and baby food. I had been out of work for nine months, actually doing all the odd jobs I could to bring in money, free lance writing, vacation relief radio and TV news, door-to-door survey,and I can tell you I was determined to make money and never be broke again.
The move to an office was daring in its day in December, 1971. You see our Christmas tree in San Bruno was given to us by friends, the Griffiths, and my parents, friends, and relatives supplied most of the gifts to our kids, two and three years old at the time. I put all the family money into opening a small office, near the San Jose airport
(today it is less than a half block walk to the airport parking lot where you can catch the parking lot bus for free to the airport itself.) It is less than a half mile from three major freeway and two major highways, the heart of what has become the Silicon Valley. Intel, Yahoo, National Semiconductor, and most of the major technology companies are located here as the electricity is owned and sold by the city at a lower rate than elsewhere.
I brought my old desk and typewriter from home. My late wife and
I told her I would buy her a house because I was going to make a lot of money in equipment leasing. She had wanted a house since we got married in 1968. It was the most important thing to her, she said. She was an accountant (she did Harrah's daily P&L when she lived in Nevada, delivering it to him in person every morning). She always managed our money, and rarely did I ever even know what was in the bank account. As a side note, she never spent anything without talking to me first. That's the way it was in the old days.
I had been driving my old 1961 Porsche S-90, which needed a paint job, working out of an answering service. No cell telephones in those days. No car telephones in those days. I couldn't even afford a copier for the first year, as I remember, and then the first one made “wet copies.” No Federal Express, as I would drive the application to Triple C Leasing in San Rafael, to Duane Russell in San Francisco, or Jack Mancinelli in San Mateo, or Studabaker-Worthington in Novato (Bill Grohe remembers the contact name, a good friend of his, and later deals to Bill) and Tiger Leasing in Redwood City, CIT in Kansas City, Russ Rickards at CenVal in Oakland, Rick Wilbur at Budget Financial in Los Angeles, to Jay Coles in San Francisco at Foothill, and later directly to banks in a discounting arrangement, then as lessors. Most often, with a full set of financials, too.
I had started in September cold calling from Belmont, San Mateo, to finally South San Jose, California, all the industrial parks first ( if I had a deal that funded I delivered the check to the vendor and walked that industrial park.) I had tried the telephone, but found more success in meeting with the owner of the company. I wore a suit and tie in those days. I was selling money I told them when I walked in. I did it Monday to Friday, hot weather, rain, from 9:30am to 4:30pm, using the telephone before and after, coming in on Saturdays, typing follow-up thank you letters, planning the next week.
I can't remember anyone ever kicking me out or even being rude. Of course, I didn't get to see the person making the decision on the first visit, although sometimes it worked. But I got a business card and started a telephone follow up systems with 3x5 cards along with a master sheet, one of the vendors who I met along the way showed me how he trained his salesmen to make calls.
In those days, we walked the streets, knocking on doors. While considered the hard way today, we wanted to get to know our customers with the idea of generating repeat business.
I worked trade shows, auctions, and even spoke at all the service clubs in two counties who wanted to hear about leasing ( most of the questions at the time concerned vehicles, as equipment leasing was not very well known at the time.) The owner of the building, Frank Sanchez, and I became very good friends ( he later died of lung cancer from smoking cigarettes as did my late wife.) He let me use his UPS shipping, even showed up one late Christmas eve to give me a high power bulb that had burnt out so I could video my kids Christmas discovering presents under the tree in the morning---you needed high powered lights in those days to shoot indoors and he was in the microfilm business. I called him and he never gave it a second thought to meet at his office so I could use my video camera with a connection to the VHS recorder. He was that kind of guy. )
The first year and a half, I took the train back and forth, leaving my old car in the train parking lot. It was safe in those days, old and battered. I parked it around the block so when I walked the industrial park, or signed leases, no one ever saw what I drove.
Often my late wife did not pick me up at the train station as the babies may have been asleep, or it was raining and she didn't want to pack them in the car, so I would eight blocks home. I did this for a year and a half, saving money for a house, and eventually we moved to an apartment in Santa Clara, California, where we even bought a television set (we never had one while we were first married.). I also had become president of the chamber of commerce, primarily because I brought in the most members, had this idea to establish a convention bureau financed by a hotel tax, and after going through three managers, convinced the board to appoint the secretary as manager---she just retired after 30 years in the position, and they named the convention center after her.)
Changing of Santa Clara Chamber Guard: While outgoing Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce president Ross Trigg and new vice president Bob Finocchio razz newly installed treasurer Christopher Menkin, new president, John McDonald counteracts with encouragement at installation dinner dance Saturday night. Annual event was held at Benson Memorial Center on University of Santa Clara campus. Installing officers were State Senators Alfred Alquist and Clark Bradley. New president McDonald is a controller for the Pacific Coast region of Owens-Corning Fiberglass.
As I realized you had to become more involved in the credit decision, I created leasing companies with investors who were general partners.
And as I grew, I brought in more experienced operations people, who to keep, set them on a program to buy into the partnerships, such as Jim Kalinski.
1977 with general partner James J. Kalinski, whereabouts now are unknown.
Last known picture of Jim Kalinski, 1990
Growing each year, I become involved in community and national organizations.
1982-First male president of Credit Women International, with outgoing president Jenny Lindell presenting him the gavel. He is the former president of Credit Grantors of Santa Clara Valley.
I did very well, actually being able to buy a house in 1974 in Los Gatos, California. We moved up three times to finally a 26 acre estate. Renting the office in 1971 seems to have been a good investment. When my late wife died, I had sold “Broad Oaks” and then divided the early American antique furniture my wife had chosen among the three children, moving into a two bedroom apartment, as my kids would visit me from time to time. I got out of the wine business and actually moved to a larger building, a half block away from the original office I had rented.
Here I am in December, and in reality, renting the office on De La Cruz Boulevard has become more important than being in the position to acquire and collect stuff. Our fourth dog Sam (short for Samantha,) a black Labrador retriever, who I take to the office when it rains and thunders, and other times, as she wants to be with only me, was diagnosed last week with a massive growth. She was not eating and originally I thought her teeth were bothering her as she seemed to have had plenty of energy. Her twin sister died of cancer at age nine on December 7, 1999. Sam's health certainly has changed as I personally think she understands the words of the veterinarian. Maybe she senses our deep concern.
I am going to take her to the office today. It may be her last visit, but I know she enjoys being with me, visiting all the people working as she has made many friends, and enjoys seeing me work. At least, I think so, as she is always excited to join me, almost as if she thinks my office is the most important place I like to be. She does like the visitors, and people come in to sign leases, or visit, or make an application, and I do take her for a short walk, as do others in the office, who she has made friends with, so maybe it is exciting to her to spend the day. She likes it best when I take her for a walk to the park nearby. It is the best Christmas present I am in the position to give to her.
The Dollar Falls, but the Pain and the Gains Vary
All ages turning to online shopping E-tailing a bright spot in lackluster season, poll finds
Economy delivers a modest present, home sales plunge
Consumer Spending Up Modestly in November
Gifford's severance to top $16m
“Gimme that Wine”
Garlicky rib roast marries rich with a Napa Cab
( I serve 1995 Dunn Vineyards, Mt. Howell and 1995 Viader, Mt. Howell, and earlier, too, with our standing rib roast Xmas dinner— SF fresh crab Xmas eve---Rombauer Chardonnay.)
Simply Wine: Vintner breathes new life into old winery
From blues-rock to rootstock, Boz Scaggs launches label
This Day in American History
. . But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
Clement C. Moore, "A Visit from St. Nicholas"
Christmas Eve, traditionally one present is exchanged in the evening in many Christian countries. Often all gift giving is done this evening with Church service the next day; however, in the United States, many of the Christian faith attend late evening or midnight mass. Easter is considered the major event, but the most popular of Christian observance is Christmas as a Feast of the Nativity, dating from the 4 th century. Although Jesus' birth date is not known, the Western church selected December 25 for the feast, possible to counteract the non-Christian festivals of that approximate date. Many customs from non-Christian festivals ( Roman Saturnalia, Mithraic sun's birthday, Teutonic yule, Druidic and other winter solstic rites ) have been adopted as par of the Christmas celebration ( lights, mistletoe, holly and ivy, holiday tree, wassailing and gift-giving, for example ). Some Orthodox Churches celebrate Christmas on January 7 th based on the “old calendar (Julian ). Theophany ( recognition of the divinity of Jesus) is observed on this date and also on January 6 th , especially by the Eastern Orthodox Church, considered by history as the first organized Christian church.
American Football Poem
SUPER BOWL XXXIX
Super Bowl XXXVIII: Twelve Ways of Looking at Super Bowl XXXVIII
Among a thousand American flag
I was of three minds, like a field goal -- missed!
The yellow flag wilts in the climate control
Upon further review a man and a
I do not know which to prefer -- the beauty
Icicles fill the windows of Boston
O thin men of New England Special Teams!
I know noble accents & fumbles when
When Steve Smith flies out of sight, look out below.
Carolina leaps ahead in one play.
Delhomme rides over New England in a
...The river of red, white and blue has moved,