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Friday, January 4, 2008


Classified ads----Controller
    First Republic Bank closing down leasing unit
        SunBridge Capital sold
    World Leasing Map
        Letters---We get eMail!!!
2008 Leasing Association Conference Schedule
    NACM: Sales and Cash Flow Are Drying Up
        CIT ranked number one SBA in
Rafael Castillo-Triana Leaves CIT Group
    Kris Schulz joins Alter Moneta
        Irwin Financial Reports 4th Quarter Losses
Credit Crisis Finds New Victims
    SBA budget- no money to cut loan fees
        Toyota Becomes No. 2 in U.S. Sales
Even Trucks Hit the Wall in an Erratic 2007
    Late loan payments highest since '01 recession
        A Challenging Year for Financial Markets
    News Briefs---
You May have Missed---
Obama, Huckabee sweep to Iowa victories
    California Nuts Brief---
        Sports Briefs---
"Gimme that Wine"
    Calendar Events
        Snapple Real Facts
Today's Top Event in History
    This Day in American History
        Football Poem
    Daily Puzzle
News on Line---Internet Newspapers
On Line Casino News

Monday: Leasing News Person of the Year for 2007

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


Classified ads----Controller

Boca Raton, FL
CPA w/ Sarbanes Oxley/ 15 years management exp. as CFO/ Controller/5 yrs w/ PWC Extensive exp providing accounting/ tax guidance for the equipment lease industry. Willing to relocate.

Chicago, IL
experienced in lease accounting, operations, management, and Sarbanes-Oxley. Seeking position with equipment lessor. Would consider contract assignments or relocating.

Southeastern, MI
Controller & Management experience w/ equip lessors &broker. MBA, CPA w/ extensive accounting, management, securitization experience with public and private companies. Willing to relocate.

West Palm Beach, FL
CPA/CFO/Controller/Due Diligence Officer/SOX Lead seeking position.

To place a free “job wanted” ad here, please go to:

For a full listing of all “job wanted” ads, please go to:



First Republic Bank closing down leasing unit

Paul Knowlton, CLP, Managing Director, First Republic Equipment Finance, 2008 president of the United Association of Equipment Leasing (UAEL), confirmed that First Republic Bank, San Francisco, California is closing its leasing division that Knowlton heads.

Paul Knowlton, CLP

First Republic Bank was purchased by Merrill-Lynch and in recent news about selling off more of its assets, which previously included Merrill-Lynch Commercial Finance Lease division, Leasing News inquired as to what would happen to Knowlton's unit.

"Actually the closure is not due to Merrill-Lynch, The equipment finance product and its transactual nature did not fit well with FRB’s wealth management strategy, "he said. "We are basically in a different business model. This business decision reflects FRB’s continued strategic focus on its core competencies. This is a good quality portfolio and we will begin marketing it shortly. I am looking forward to the next step in my career upon completion of the sale "

Republic Bank in San Francisco is more a "retail" bank, active in the mortgage and SBA programs; well-known for its wealth management customer base. Bay Area residents know the bank for its ATM ads: "no extra ATM/foreign exchange fees when you use your ATM card overseas."

May 20, 2006 Republic announced that it had purchased Bank of Walnut Creek, across the San Francisco Bay in Walnut Creek, the hub of Contra Costa County. Paul Knowlton then was President of BWC Equipment Leasing. He has been in the leasing industry for the almost 20 years. In 1998, he joined the Bank of Walnut Creek to start up BWC Equipment Leasing which focused on small ticket equipment leasing in Northern California. He worked his way up the chain of officers at UAEL, conference chair as well as serving on other committees. He resides in Oakland California with his wife and two daughters.

Paul can be reached at or 925-952-8253



SunBridge Capital sold

A leader in the commercial trucks, trailers and construction equipment for businesses nationwide, SunBridge Capital, Mission, Kansas, was sold to a group of local private investors on December 31, 2007, for an undisclosed amount. No management changes are expected, they report.

“The new ownership enables SunBridge Capital to grow steadily, focused on long term objectives,” said Adrian Weber, President and CEO of SunBridge Capital. “Our growth will continue to be fueled by offering finance brokers increasingly competitive and diverse products along with enhancing service levels by embracing technology.”

The company’s nearly 100 employees operate from three locations in the Kansas City metropolitan area and according to the Leasing News Funding list market the entire 50 United States. The company started in 1989, works closely with leasing brokers in $20,000 - $500,000 marketplace, with average transactions $75,000 to $100,000.

They belong to four leasing associations: Eastern Association of Equipment Lessors, Equipment Leasing and Finance Association, National Association of Equipment Brokers, and the United Association of Equipment Leasing.

Key Contacts are:

Chris Gregory
866-798-3699 - Fax




Robert J Hunter, Chief Marketing Officer & EVP, LEAF Financial Corporation would like to confirm what Paul Menzel, CLP, President, LEAF Third Party Funding reported to Leasing News.

"None of the customers of the 'third party originators,' (formerly known as Alco, Dolphin, Pacific Capital, or NetBank Business Finance) will be contacted by the direct or vendor unit of LEAF Corporation or any of the other divisions."

In the original article about the telephone calling to the signers of UCC filings, an insider told Leasing News, as quoted in the article, they were not calling the broker customers of LEAF.

"We have ‘scrubbed’ any marketing lists that may be used by any LEAF business unit to EXCLUDE customers from the acquired portfolios, " Paul Menzel, CLP, President, LEAF Third Party Funding told Leasing News. "We have a policy that we will not accept a direct, end user application from a customer that was sourced to us (including by way of PCB, NetBank and Dolphin) by one of our Third Party Origination relationships."

Hunter noted that Resource America has assets over $18 billion with $1.7 billion in leasing. He said while 1/3 of their business may be "broker" driven, the majority of their business comes from 17 other divisions, which include private label programs, manufacturing programs, bank programs, as well as direct marketing.



World Leasing Map

Free map listing to Professional subscribers for the first quarter of 2008.

From Brian Whelan, Director, Interimus Limited

“When I started 12 months ago, little did I know then how large the membership base would become or how geographically diverse it would be. You can now boast to being a member of a global leasing community website that has roughly 800 members in over 20 different countries globally.

“The aim of is to create the largest global network of leasing professionals with the desire to share best practices and facilitate new relationships, but I cannot do this alone. The bigger the group, the more best practice sharing and the wider the opportunities for relationship building, so with that in mind I would like to ask for your help in turning 800 members into 8000 by the year end.

“This is how you can help:

“1) Recommend:
Please take ten minutes to recommend to your leasing colleagues and peers. You can do this by a simple e-mail to your contact list OR go through your Linked-in, Plaxo or Xing connections and use the “Invite to join Group button”. If that seems like too much effort then simply forward this e-mail onto to 10 of your closest leasing colleagues.

“2) Contribute:
Best practice sharing is all about being prepared to discuss topics and themes. As members of you are all automatically an editor and as such you can post your own articles or blogs on the website. Without your insight and opinion, this site will not achieve its goals, so please make your views heard.

“3) Encourage:
One of the most visited areas of website is the “Leasing Jobs” page…surprise, surprise. To increase the number of jobs being posted I have created a special membership for Recruitment firms which allows them to post their jobs to the site. If you know a recruitment consultant, but they are not taking advantage of to promote their opportunities, please encourage them to use the site. The result, more jobs, more members, more best practice sharing etc etc.

“4) Put yourself on the Map: FREE sign up to the World Leasing Map extended !

At the end of last year, I trialed a free sign up to the World Leasing Map for leasing professionals. The response was excellent, so I have decided to extend the FREE SIGN UP to the end of March 2008. By developing the World Leasing Map, we will truly get to understand the extent of the LeaseBlog network and it will be easier for all to identify networking opportunities. If you have not yet seen the Map, please visit .
So why not sign up today, all you have to do is visit the website and follow the links or just send me an e-mail asking to be included at

“Please follow at least one of these simple ideas and together we can build a unique global network of leasing professionals like you that want to make this industry an even better place to work in.

“Wishing you all, every success in 2008.”


Brian Whelan
Interimus Limited

Telephone: +44 (0) 7768 467 413



Letters---We get eMail!!!

Christopher “Kit” Menkin

ELFA Vice President / Communications e-mail in entirety

“It appears to us that your recent newsletter of Friday, December 28 made some incorrect analysis/statements that we believe should be corrected because we know that you strive for independent, unbiased material and to provide accurate information to the industry in which you are a practitioner. We ask that you print our letter to the editor in your next issue (eMail rec’d January 2nd. Editor)

“First, a sentence in your article (italics, below) says that the MLFI is somewhat accurate. ELFA produces the MLFI-25 report to help member organizations achieve competitive advantage by providing them with leading-edge research and benchmarking information which supports strategic business decision making. Each month, the same five components are included in the MLFI-25 survey: new business volume (originations); aging of receivables; charge-offs; credit approval ratios (approved vs. submitted); and headcount for the leasing and finance business. ELFA member equipment finance companies representing a cross section of the equipment finance sector including small ticket, middle market, large ticket, bank, captive and independent leasing and finance companies are surveyed each month for consistency. Therefore we must argue that our survey is not only consistent but also accurate.

“’ Despite the inconsistencies, the MLFI is somewhat accurate, although lumping 25 companies with different marketplaces, dollar transactions, and trying to gauge the climate is like putting one foot in a bucket of ice and the other in a raging fire: on the average, the temperature is comfortable.’

“Second, we believe you are incorrect comparing month to month statistics though our numbers still show a positive trend compared to last year when comparing month to month. In 2006, from Sept to Nov, the monthly volumes declined each consecutive month. ($7.7, $6.8 {-11.7%}and $6.3 (-7.4%}). However, in 2007, the monthly volumes are more level, and do not show the significant decline ($7.2, $7.2 (0%) and 6.8 (-5.6%). December is important because that is typically when the most business is conducted.

“Third, in 2006, we should point out that 72% of the companies showed yoy growth (your article mentioned only the larger companies did).

“Fourth, we believe it is important to address another sentence below, italics, from your article. The employment numbers are off because one company included their international headcount -- we pulled them out of our survey in March to match all other companies which were providing domestic employment numbers. Our press release in March 2007 clearly stated the reason for the drop in headcount.

“’The real indicator is perhaps not the business volume but the employment statistics, which was growing in 2006, but today is down from 13,300 last year to 10,700 in November; that’s over a 20% decline to today’s total of the 25 leasing companies.’

“Thank you for your time and consideration. I have copied my colleagues in research if there are specific questions to direct to them.”

Kind regards, Diane

Diane Helyne Zyats
Vice President / Communications
Equipment Leasing and Finance Association
1825 K Street NW
Suite 900
Washington, DC 20006
phone 202.238.3438

(Thank you for bringing to our attention the correct employment figures. In addition to not seeing the April press release, in all the subsequent reporting the change in accounting of the employment figures are not mentioned in the press releases, or even in the recent November, 2007 release. No wonder we were confused.

ELFA November, 2007 chart

(Going back to April, 2007, the real figure of the 25 reporting then is 11,599.   Don't you think the statistics should have been adjusted to the April, 2007, and/or a footnote about the major change? The chart above shows no footnote or adjustment. Confusing, indeed.

(By the way, even with the corrected statistics, employment is down to 10,700. This “down statistic” Leasing News saw as a real indicator of what is happing in the equipment leasing and finance industry.
(One thing I also learned from your eMail is that Leasing News should be identifying the charts. Readers would then understand which was supplied by the sender and which came from Leasing News.

(Leasing News viewpoint is to compare business in a monthly and quarterly basis, which I think has more significance to readers than what happened last year to this year.  It is an old sales practice from "Beat last month.")

Leasing News Jan-June, 2007 chart

It is also the opinion of Leasing News that quarterly graphs are more accurate in trends:

Leasing News October, 2007 chart

(The report did not disclose the quarterly figures, but they were obtained by Leasing News from the monthly charts. Originally the reports from ELFA were monthly, not comparing figures with the previous year. There were changes in the start of the monthly reports, and then a period when they were not reported. Readers tell us they find the MLFI-25 reports valuable, appreciate them very much, and hopefully the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association will continue them. We all appreciate the hard work that goes into bringing this information all together in a consistent format.

(As to the format, Leasing News was pointing out to readers that comparing smaller ticket leasing companies to larger ones is difficult at best. Reading the press releases from the 25 on their monthly activity, Leasing News and most of our readers know the difference between Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation and Marlin Leasing ticket size and volume, as well as Bank of America or Volvo Financial Services, HP Financial Services, John Deere Credit Corporation, Siemens Financial Services, and Canon Financial Services.
Perhaps the general media readers don’t, but Leasing News readers know very well the companies minimums, their market place, and other factors. It is a difficult job to lump leasing companies together
as a “norm.” ELFA needs to do better for Leasing News readers to have real value from the survey.

(To compare their business volume to each other should be pointed out, and is our job in reporting, being independent and fair. Certainly the consistency has value, but our main point in the article was to note employment is down as an indicator, plus it was more relevant, in our opinion, to compare month-to-month rather than to the previous year in the press release. One of the major problems in the current ELFA reporting of the statistics is going to happen when December, 2006 $11.4 billion is compared to December, 2007, instead of comparing November $6.3 billion to December, 2007? editor)

ELFA November 2007 chart

Leasing News MLFI-25 monthly reports:


(photo from Leasing News archives)

Remembering Fred Shieman:

“I knew Fred very well and sold his company for him a few years before he died... He was the one that talked me into purchasing a Cessna 210 that I owned and flew for ten years...Because of his death I always checked my DG which I understand the FAA said looked like it was not adjusted properly and lead him into the mountain... I personally appreciate you remembering him...”

Terry Winders

Archive story:


“I liked you analysis of mortgage losses. One further point in the overstatement might be the fact that a lot of the mortgages were sold off. I can picture a scenario where an analyst gets information from say B of A about a defaulted 300k mortgage. However this had been sold to say Merrill Lynch, who reports a 300k default, then the ultimate buyer of a CDO reports a 300k default. Presto you have 900k in defaults! Also, take a look at the latest WAMU press release on earnings and info on their mortgage portfolios. If my memory serves me correctly they had 100b in mortgages of which 20b was sub-prime, of which 6b was booked in one quarter of ’06. People should lose their jobs over asset management like that.”

Ray Leone

(You are correct in your numbers, Ray. WAMU was not alone as evidenced by all that were too greedy to realize what they were getting into... Also left out is the recovery of the asset, meaning it is not 300k, as the real property exists, has value, and often recovering is 50% to 75% or more of the retail selling price, depending on many factors.

(By the way, Leasing News readers were aware of WAMU when it left the leasing business:

“Washington Mutual Financial (2/05) Bruce Kropschot negotiates to bring full WAMu team to All Points Capital (08/04) Announces exiting the leasing business(12/03) Commercial lending operation purchased by Citigroup.”




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Leasing Association Conference 2008

April 6th-9th, 2008
Spring Conference
Eastern Association of Equipment Lessors
Ritz Carlton
Amelia Island, FL


April 10-12
National Association of Equipment Leasing Brokers
Sheraton Hotel
New Orleans, Louisiana
Conference Program


April 16-17
Equipment Leasing and Finance Association
National Funding Exhibition
Fairmont Hotel
Chicago, IL  


May 1-4, 2008
United Association of Equipment Leasing

Spring Conference
The Renaissance Lodge
Sonoma, California

Registration form:  


June 11th - 14th, 2008
National Vehicle Leasing Association
Camelback Inn Resort
5402 East Lincoln Drive
Scottsdale, AZ 85253   


October 12-14
Equipment Leasing and Finance Association
47th Annual Convention
Hilton New Orleans Riverside
New Orleans, LA


To view Leasing Association Events-Meetings Open to All, please click here.


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

NACM Survey: Sales and Cash Flow Are Drying Up

The combined National Association of Credit Manager’s Index fell 2.4% over the past 12 months as eight of the 10 components fell.

“The filings for bankruptcies component fared the worst, falling 7.4%,” Daniel North, chief economist with credit insurer Euler Hermes ACI said. “It would appear that trade credit managers are now encountering the same difficulty found in other credit markets, that is, the inability of debtors to pay bills due to insufficient cash flow.”

The service sector fell 1.6%, also led by the bankruptcy component which declined 8.8%. In the manufacturing sector, eight of the 10 components fell resulting in an overall drop in the index of 3.1%.

NACM chart

The index lost 0.7%, and dropped to a record low of 52.4%.

“While the manufacturing index actually gained 0.8%, it was overshadowed by a loss of 2.3% in the service index, “North said. “The deterioration in the combined index matches that of other major indicators in the macroeconomy, including disappointing holiday sales, a weakening employment market, accelerating declines in housing prices, downgrades of banks and insurers, plummeting consumer confidence, and a rapid increase in delinquencies and defaults on many types of credit. “

NACM chart

NACM chart

For the first time in four months, the manufacturing sector actually gained ground, rising 0.8% to 53.5%. “Most of the increase came from significant improvements in disputes and the dollar amount of customer deductions,” North said. “The data suggest that at least for the month of December, manufacturers’ customers are being less aggressive about holding on to their cash,” he concluded.

NACM chart

NACM chart

The service sector index fell 2.3% in December on a seasonally adjusted basis, led by sharp downturns in sales and dollar collections. It was the seventh decline in sales in the past eight months. North said, “The data suggest that businesses are experiencing an unpleasant combination of slower cash flow and expectations of slower consumer demand. Once again, the housing market continues to wreak havoc in the service sector.” North noted that of the survey responses, one participant described a “Residential housing crisis…(and)…a continuing problem of buyer walk-offs.” Another reported that “Past dues are higher and customers that were robbing Peter to pay Paul are feeling the unavailability of cash.” Finally, there was the almost plaintive comment from a construction material supplier that “It’s been a tough year.”

NACM chart

NACM chart

The CMI, a monthly survey of the business economy from the standpoint of commercial credit and collections, was launched in January 2003 to provide financial analysts with another strong economic indicator.

The CMI survey asks credit managers to rate favorable and unfavorable factors in their monthly business cycle. Favorable factors include sales, new credit applications, dollar collections and amount of credit extended. Unfavorable factors include rejections of credit applications, accounts placed for collections, dollar amounts of receivables beyond terms and filings for bankruptcies. A complete index including results from the manufacturing and service sectors, along with the methodology:

NACM chart

The National Association of Credit Management (NACM), headquartered in Columbia, Maryland supports more than 22,000 business credit and financial professionals worldwide with premier industry services, tools and information. NACM and its network of Affiliated Associations are the leading resource for credit and financial management information and education, delivering products and services which improve the management of business credit and accounts receivable. NACM's collective voice has influenced legislative results concerning commercial business and trade credit to our nation's policy makers for more than 100 years, and continues to play an active part in legislative issues pertaining to business credit and corporate bankruptcy.


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

CIT ranked number one SBA Lender to Women, Veteran and Minority
Entrepreneurs for Fifth Consecutive Year

NEW YORK – – CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT), a leading global commercial finance company, today announced that CIT Small Business Lending Corporation was ranked the number one Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) volume lender for the fifth consecutive year to women, veteran and minority-owned businesses.

The ranking is based on the 7(a) loan volume for the 2007 SBA fiscal year (October 1, 2006 to September 30, 2007). According to the SBA, CIT provided $236 million in 7(a) loans to 426 minority-owned businesses.

“I am very proud of this distinction, which positions CIT again this year as the preeminent SBA financing partner to women-, veteran- and minority-owned businesses,” said Christine Reilly, President of CIT Small Business Lending.

Christine “Chris” Reilly
(photo courtesy of CIT)

“We value our relationships with small business owners, and we will continue to partner with our customers to craft solutions that help them succeed, “ she said. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to provide the capital and advisory services that these entrepreneurs need in order to start and expand their businesses.”

The 7(a) loan program is a popular SBA program offering up to 10-year fully amortized loans, which can mean lower monthly payments for the borrower. Proceeds from the 7(a) program may be used for most business purposes including the purchase of commercial real estate, equipment, inventory, construction, renovation or leasehold improvements and working capital.

CIT Small Business Lending is consistently cited as an advocate for small businesses. It was recently named the number one overall SBA 7(a) lender for the eighth consecutive year.

Christine "Chris" Reilly began her career at Arthur Andersen LLP. Since joining CIT in 1994, she has held several key senior management positions, including Executive Vice President of Corporate Mergers and Acquisitions, Chief Audit Executive, Vice President of CIT’s Inventory Financing Operation and Chief Financial Officer of CIT Consumer Finance.

She is a member of the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders (NAGGL) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as well as several other professional organizations. In addition, Reilly serves as Co-Chair of CIT’s Women’s Leadership Council and is Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the NJ Metropolitan Chapter of the American Red Cross.

She is a Certified Public Accountant and received her MBA from New York University’s
Stern School of Business.

About CIT Small Business Lending
CIT Small Business Lending has been the nation's number one SBA 7(a) lender for the last eight consecutive years. Designated as a "Preferred Lender" by the SBA because of its strong historical record, it offers loans to finance business acquisitions, owner-occupied real estate purchases, franchises, and medical and professional practice start-ups.

About CIT
Founded in 1908, CIT (NYSE: CIT) is a global commercial finance company that provides financial products and advisory services to more than one million customers in over 50 countries across 30 industries. A leader in middle market financing, CIT has more than $80 billion in managed assets and provides financial solutions for more than half of the Fortune 1000. A member of the S&P 500 and Fortune 500, it maintains leading positions in asset-based, cash flow and Small Business Administration lending, equipment leasing, vendor financing and factoring. The CIT brand platform, Capital Redefined, articulates its value proposition of providing its customers with the relationship, intellectual and financial capital to yield infinite possibilities. CIT will celebrate its Centennial beginning February 11, 2008.


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

Rafael Castillo-Triana Leaves CIT Group
To Expand Work for the Alta Group

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, —The Alta Group announced today that the managing principal of its Latin American Region, Rafael Castillo-Triana, will be leaving his role as the CIT Group Inc.’s head legal counsel for Latin America to dedicate more time to Alta’s clients and projects.

Castillo-Triana has served in this role since 1999 under an outsourcing agreement. Through the agreement, he provided international legal support and direction in equipment leasing and financing to CIT’s wholly owned subsidiaries operating in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina , Chile , Colombia , and Puerto Rico . The work was coordinated through CIT Latin American offices in South Florida .

Rafael Castillo-Triana
(photo from the Alta Group)

“I am proud that I have accomplished my mission at CIT,” Castillo-Triana said. “I feel privileged to have worked with a wonderful team at CIT headquarters in New York and New Jersey and also with the company’s Latin American employees. CIT has proven to be one of the most reliable players in the vendor financing world in Latin America, and I am pleased to have contributed to the company’s growth. Now, it is time to move on: CIT will need less of my continuous involvement in its day-to-day business, and I need more time to attend to other Alta clients in the equipment financing industry’s emerging markets.”

Castillo-Triana, an international attorney, is devoted to providing business and legal support to vendors, equipment lessors and financial institutions, governments, and investors. He has over 30 years of legal practice and over 26 years of experience in the equipment leasing and financing industry worldwide, including 10 years in South America serving in CEO and Director positions. Since 1997, Castillo-Triana has served as a principal of The Alta Group Latin America Region. He has participated in drafting the leasing laws and regulations of several countries, including El Salvador, Tanzania , Ghana , Madagascar , Cameroon , and Rwanda , among others. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of UNIDROIT for Drafting the Model Law on Leasing.

John Deane
(photo from the Alta Group)

John Deane, founding principal of The Alta Group, commented, “A strong international presence is very important to many of our clients. Alta has been active in the Latin American Region for more than seven years. With the dramatic growth in equipment leasing and financing activity in this region over the last several years, we are delighted that Rafael will now be able to dedicate 100 percent of his time to meeting the needs of our clients.”

About The Alta Group

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


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

Alter Moneta Adds New District Sales Manager to
Upper Midwest Regional Direct Sales Force

Buffalo, NY,—The U.S. headquarters of Alter Moneta, in Buffalo, New York, announced the recent appointment of Kris Schulz to its Midwest U.S. direct sales force. Effective December 1, 2007, Schulz assumed a role as district sales manager to handle commercial finance business relationships in Michigan, Northern Ohio, and Northern Indiana. Schulz is reporting to Jerilyn Nicholsen, Alter Moneta’s vice president, direct sales, Midwest U.S.

“We were very impressed by Kris’s entrepreneurial background and his personality,” says Nicholsen. “He’s a down-to-earth, no nonsense entrepreneur with a wide, diverse background in manufacturing and fantastic networking skills with banks and accounting firms here in Michigan.”

Schulz, who lives in Belmont, Michigan, will be focusing Alter Moneta’s sales effort primarily on direct calls to customers financing manufacturing, transportation, and construction equipment, as well as natural gas industry production equipment, in the upper Midwest. Schulz said he was attracted to Alter Moneta because of the opportunity it provides to serve a bigger territory.

“I’ve long been interested in a company that would allow me to dip into a larger network, and Alter Moneta gives me precisely that opportunity,” he says. “Alter Moneta is also a younger, rapidly growing company with a great deal of optimism about the opportunities it sees,” he adds, “and that’s exciting.”

Schulz comes to Alter Moneta from Fifth Third Bank, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he had served for three years as vice president of equipment finance and leasing. Prior to his tenure with Fifth Third, Schulz was president of Grand Capital Funding Corp., a full-service leasing company providing origination, consulting, structuring, pricing, holding, and selling of transactions, which he founded in 1998. For 12 years preceding his ownership of Grand Capital, Schulz held several leasing sales, management, and executive positions with M&I Bank’s leasing division. Schulz got his start in sales and commercial finance in the early 1980s, selling steel and steel-related equipment with Wyckoff Steel and later Thyssen Specialty Steels, both in Detroit, Michigan. Schulz holds a bachelor of science degree in education from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.

About Alter Moneta

Alter Moneta, established in 1998, is one of the fastest growing independent financial services firms in North America, with significant market presence in both Canada and the United States. The company provides funds to purchase or lease new and used revenue- producing equipment for middle-market firms in trucking, warehousing, construction, passenger transport, manufacturing and waste management industries. Through its vendor finance group, Alter Moneta also provides financing programs for manufacturers and dealers. Its Lutex subsidiary, in Quebec, provides auto-leasing services. For more information, visit


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

Irwin Financial Reports Fourth Quarter Losses

  1. Consolidated Loss, Including Discontinued Operations, in a Range of $15 to $20 Million;
  2. Results Include Restructuring Charges of $5 Million; and
  3. Mortgage and Housing-related Credit Costs Negatively Affecting Results

(Columbus, IN, -- Irwin Financial Corporation (NYSE:IFC), a bank holding company focusing on small business and consumer mortgage lending, today announced that it expects to report a loss from operations for the fourth quarter of 2007 due to the effects of conditions in the mortgage market and housing markets.

“During the fourth quarter, we saw continued deterioration of credit conditions in our housing-related portfolios. The bulk of weakness was in our home equity mortgage portfolio, but we have also seen some softening in certain portions of our commercial real estate portfolio. While realized losses have been manageable, we believe it is prudent to take additional provisions to prepare for potential increases in loss rates in 2008. During the fourth quarter, we took several steps to align operational and staffing costs to the current environment. These will be reflected in restructuring charges of approximately $5 million during the quarter; we expect at this point to take less than $2 million more in the first quarter,” said Will Miller, Chairman and CEO of Irwin Financial.

“In our home equity segment, we are being negatively affected by the non-core portfolio we transferred from 'held-for-sale' when the secondary market collapsed in the first quarter of 2007. These loans, which were originated for sale and did not meet our core portfolio credit guidelines, are adding to our delinquencies and required provision at a rate that is disproportionate to the portfolio as a whole. In addition, we are seeing greater than expected rate of delinquencies and losses on loans where loan-to-values at origination approached 100 percent. We believe reductions in real estate prices are impacting this portion of the portfolio due to erosion of the limited amount of equity these borrowers had in their homes. Conversely, our portfolio of loans where loan-to-value ratios were above 100% at origination are performing in-line with our delinquency and loss expectations.

“We will report an increase in non-performing loans in our commercial banking segment, reflecting weakness in residential real estate in some of our Midwestern and Western markets. We believe our collateral position in each of these loans remains good and, therefore, do not expect material losses will result. Nonetheless, the deteriorating condition of the residential real estate markets suggests some additional reserves are warranted.

“We have seen a leveling-off of repurchase requests in our Discontinued Operations. We averaged 13 per month in the fourth quarter, down from an average of 23 per month in the third quarter. Additionally, we are starting to see opportunities for material recoveries from losses we have incurred in representation and warranty claims. Pursuing these opportunities will be a high priority in 2008.

“Finally, on a positive note, our commercial finance segment continues to exhibit the strength we have seen all year. We expect the segment will conclude 2007 with another quarter of record net income and good credit quality,” Miller concluded.

About Irwin Financial

Irwin® Financial Corporation ( is a bank holding company with a history tracing to 1871. The Corporation, through its principal lines of business, provides a broad range of financial services to small businesses and consumers in selected markets in the United States and Canada.


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

News Briefs----

Credit Crisis Finds New Victims

SBA budget has 191 earmarks, but no money to cut loan fees

Toyota Becomes No. 2 in U.S. Sales

Even Trucks Hit the Wall in an Erratic 2007

Late loan payments highest since '01 recession

A Challenging Year for Financial Markets

Netflix to stream movies directly to TVs

Owner to Sell the Weather Channel

Video of Sleeping Guards Shakes Nuclear Industry

Music album sales plunge in '07 as online purchases soar

Sirius Satellite Radio ends 2007 with 8.3 million subscribers, up 38 percent



You May have Missed---

Obama, Huckabee sweep to Iowa victories
Obama 37.58 %
Edwards 29.75 %
Clinton 29.47 %

Huckabee 34 %
Romney 25 %
Thompson, McCain (tie) 13 %

Dodd/Biden drop out of race,0,



Sports Briefs----

Raiders' Sapp decides to retire



California Nuts Briefs---

California State high court preserves tax breaks for domestic partners



Calendar Events This Day

St. Helenan Ray Chadwick named Wine Enthusiast magazine’s ‘Man of the Year’

The U.S. is turned on to wine

Wine production increases in Texas

2007: The year in review in Michigan wine country

How American sommeliers put their French counterparts to shame.

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



Calendar Events This Day

Myanmar: Independence Day
The British controlled the country form 1826 until 1948 w hen it was granted independence. The country’s name was changed from Burma to the Union of Myanmar in 1989 to reflect that the population is made up not just of the Burmese but of many other ethnic groups as well.

Spaghetti Day

Trivia Day
In celebration of those who know all sorts of facts and/or have doctorates in uslessology.

Utah: Admission Day
Utah became the 45th state in 1896.

Saint feast Days



New York City: Tribeca stands for TRIangle BElow CAnal street.



Today's Top Event in History

1954-- A young truck driver named Elvis Presley enters the Memphis Recording Service in Memphis, TN, ostensibly to record a song for his mother's birthday (which was, in reality, many months away). He records "Casual Love Affair" and "I’ll Never Stand in Your Way." It was this recording that would lead MRS head Sam Phillips to call Presley back to record for his Sun Records label.


This Day in American History

    1780 - A snowstorm hits Washington's army at Morristown New Jersey.
    1838- Charles Sherwood Stratton, known as “ Tom Thumb, “ perhaps the most famous midget in history, was born at Bridgeport, CT. He eventually reached a height of three feet, four inches and a weight of 70 pounds. Discovered by P.T. Barnum in 1842, Stratton, as “General Tom Thumb,” became an internationally known entertainer and performed before Queen Victoria and other heads of state. On Feb 10, 1863, he married another midget, Lavinia Warren. Stratton died at Middleborough, MA, July 15, 1883.
    1847 - Samuel Colt rescues the future of his faltering gun company by winning a contract to provide the U.S. government with 1,000 of his .44 caliber revolvers. Before Colt began mass-producing his popular revolvers in 1847, handguns had not played a significant role in the history of either the American West or the nation as a whole. With the help of Eli Whitney and other inventors, Colt developed a system of mass production and interchangeable parts for his pistols that greatly lowered their cost. Though never cheap, by the early 1850s, Colt revolvers were inexpensive enough to be a favorite with Americans headed westward during the California Gold Rush. Between 1850 and 1860, Colt sold 170,000 of his "pocket" revolvers and 98,000 "belt" revolvers, mostly to civilians looking for a powerful and effective means of self-defense in the Wild West.
    1863 - Union General Henry Halleck, by direction of President Abraham Lincoln, orders General Ulysses Grant to revoke his infamous General Order No. 11 that expelled Jews from his operational area.
    1869- the fist School for blind African-American students was the state School for the Blind and the Deaf, opened in Raleigh, NC, with 26 pupils.
    1893- President Benjamin Harrison issued a proclamation granting full amnesty and pardon to all persons who had since November 1, 1890, abstained from unlawful cohabitation of a polygamous marriage. This was intended in the main for a specific group of elderly Mormons who had continued in the practice of contracting serial marriages. Amnesty was based on the condition that those pardoned must obey the law in the future or be " vigorously prosecuted." The practice of polygamy as a factor interfering with attainment of statehood for Utah.
    1888 - Sacramento, CA, received 3.5 inches of snow, an all-time record for that location. The heaviest snow in recent history was two inches on February 5th in 1976.
    1896 - Six years after Wilford Woodruff, president of the Mormon church, issued his Manifesto reforming political, religious, and economic life in Utah, the territory is admitted into the Union as the 45th state. In 1823, Vermont-born Joseph Smith claimed that an angel named Moroni visited him and told him about an ancient Hebrew text that had lost been lost for 1,500 years. The holy text, supposedly engraved on gold plates by a Native-American historian in the fourth century, related the story of Jewish peoples who had lived in America in ancient times. Over the next six years, Smith dictated an English translation of this text to his wife and other scribes, and in 1830, The Book of Mormon was published. In the same year, Smith founded the Church of Christ, later known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in Fayette, New York. The religion rapidly gained converts and Smith set up Mormon communities in Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois. However, the Christian sect was also heavily criticized for its unorthodox practices and on June 27, 1844, Smith and his brother were murdered in a jail cell by an anti-Mormon mob in Carthage, Illinois. Two years later, Smith's successor, Brigham Young, led an exodus of persecuted Mormons from Nauvoo, Illinois, along the western wagon trails in search of religious and political freedom. In July 1847, the 148 initial Mormon pioneers reached Utah's Valley of the Great Salt Lake. Upon viewing the valley, Young declared: "This is the place," and the pioneers began preparations for the tens of thousands of Mormon migrants who would follow. In 1850, President Millard Fillmore named Young the first governor of the territory of Utah, and the territory enjoyed relative autonomy for several years. Relations became strained, however, when reports reached Washington that Mormon leaders were disregarding federal law and had publicly sanctioned the practice of polygamy. In 1857, President James Buchanan removed Young, a polygamist with over 20 wives, from his position as governor, and sent U.S. army troops to Utah to establish federal authority. Tensions between the territory of Utah and the federal government continued until Wilford Woodruff, the president of the Mormon church, issued his Manifesto in 1890, renouncing the traditional practice of polygamy, and reducing the domination of the church over Utah communities. Six years later, the territory of Utah was granted statehood.
    1915- Moses Alexander of Idaho, a Democrat, became the first governor in the United States who was Jewish. he served from January 4, 1915 to January 6, 1919.
    1916- guitarist Sam Gaillard, Detroit, MI.
    1922 –Jazz tenor and flute player Frank Wess birthday
    1926- "Billboard" Magazine published the first list of best-selling pop records, covering the week that ending 1935. On the list were recordings by the orchestras of Tommy Dorsey and Ozzie Nelson.
    1930- Don Shula pro football Hall of Fame couch and former player born Painesville, Ohio,
    1935- heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson born Lincointon, GA.
    1936- Billboard magazine published the first list of best-selling pop records, covering the week that ended December 30, 1935. On the list were recordings by the Tommy Dorsey and the Ozzie Nelson Orchestras.
    1942- British jazz-rock guitarist John McLaughlin was born. He first gained recognition for his work on Miles Davis's "Bitches' Brew" album, and later formed the Mahavishnu Orchestra. This group did much in the 1970's to promote the idea of fusing jazz and rock music.
    1944- San Francisco Giants' Tito Fuentes born Havana, Cuba.
    1945--JACHMAN, ISADORE S. Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company B, 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment. Place and date: Flamierge, Belgium, 4 January 1945. Entered service at: Baltimore, Md. Birth: Berlin, Germany. G.O. No.: 25, 9 June 1950. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty at Flamierge, Belgium, on 4 January 1945, when his company was pinned down by enemy artillery, mortar, and small arms fire, 2 hostile tanks attacked the unit, inflicting heavy. casualties. S/Sgt. Jachman, seeing the desperate plight of his comrades, left his place of cover and with total disregard for his own safety dashed across open ground through a hail of fire and seizing a bazooka from a fallen comrade advanced on the tanks, which concentrated their fire on him. Firing the weapon alone, he damaged one and forced both to retire. S/Sgt. Jachman's heroic action, in which he suffered fatal wounds, disrupted the entire enemy attack, reflecting the highest credit upon himself and the parachute infantry.
    1948---Top Hits
Ballerina - Vaughn Monroe
How Soon - Jack Owens
Serenade of the Bells - The Sammy Kaye Orchestra (vocal: Don Cornell)
I’ll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms - Eddy Arnold
    1954-- A young truck driver named Elvis Presley enters the Memphis Recording Service in Memphis, TN, ostensibly to record a song for his mother's birthday (which was, in reality, many months away). He records "Casual Love Affair" and "I’ll Never Stand in Your Way." It was this recording that would lead MRS head Sam Phillips to call Presley back to record for his Sun Records label.
    1957-- On NBC's The Steve Allen Show, former heavyweight boxing champ Joe Louis introduces the world to singer Solomon Burke, who performs Louis' song "You Can Run, But You Can't Hide."
    1956---Top Hits
Memories are Made of This - Dean Martin
The Great Pretender - The Platters
Band of Gold - Don Cherry
Sixteen Tons - Tennessee Ernie Ford
    1957-- Elvis Presley reports for his pre-induction Army physical in Memphis
    1959- “ College Bowl” premiered on TV. Originally, a quiz show on CBS. Two colleges sent a team of their best and brightest to the academic competition. “College Bowl” was sponsored by General Electric and hosted by Allen Ludden (1959—62) and Robert Earle (1962—70). More recent incarnations of ”College Bowl” have appeared on NBC and Disney with Pat Sajak and Dick Cavett as hosts.
    1960-- Marty Robbins' "El Paso" hits #1
    1964-- Bobby Vinton's "There! I've Said it Again" hits #1
    1964---Top Hits
There! I’ve Said It Again - Bobby Vinton
Louie Louie - The Kingsmen
Forget Him - Bobby Rydell
Love’s Gonna Live Here - Buck Owen
    1970- the Minnesota Vikings became the first expansion team to win the NFL title when they defeated the Cleveland Browns 27-7 in Minneapolis. The Vikings went on to lose Super Bowl IV to the Kansas City Chiefs.
    1970- the Kansas City Chiefs, aided by four interceptions, defeated the Oakland Raiders 17-7, in the last American Football League Championship game. The Chiefs went on to defeat the Minnesota Vikings in Superbowl IV.
    1971- Gerald Garrison Hearst, great 49er, number 20, born Lincolnton, Ga.
    1971 - A blizzard raged from Kansas to Wisconsin, claiming 27 lives in Iowa. Winds reached 50 mph, and the storm produced up to 20 inches of snow.
    1972---Top Hits
Brand New Key - Melanie
American Pie - Don McLean
An Old Fashioned Love Song - Three Dog Night
Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’ - Charley Pride
    1974- in a NHL game between the Boston Bruins and the Minnesota North Stars, Burins winger Dave Forbes punched Henry Boucha, fracturing his cheekbone and opening a cut that required 30 stitches to close Forbes was later indicted for using “ excessive force,” becoming the first professional athlete to be prosecuted for actions taken during a game. his trial that summer ended in a hung jury after which all charges were dropped.
    1974 - President Richard Nixon refuses to hand over tape recordings and documents that had been subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee. Marking the beginning of the end of his Presidency, Nixon would resign from office in disgrace eight months later.
    1975-- Phoebe Snow's "Poetry Man" enters the pop charts
    1975-- Elton John's "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" hits #1
    1980---Top Hits
Escape (The Pina Colada Song) - Rupert Holmes
Please Don’t Go - K.C. & The Sunshine Band
Send One Your Love - Stevie Wonder
Happy Birthday Darlin’ - Conway Twitty
    1982 - Milwaukee, WI, was shut down completely as a storm buried the city under 16 inches of snow in 24 hours. It was the worst storm in thirty-five years.
1984, " Night Court" premiered on television. The original cast included Harry Anderson as Judge Harry T. Stone, John Larroquette as prosecutor Dan Fielding, Richard M0II as court officer Bull Shannon and Selma Diamond as court officer Selma Hacker. Karen Austin as clerk Lana Wagner and Paula Kelly as public defender Liz Williams were gone after one season, Ellen Foley then became PD Billie Young but was replaced by Markie Post in 1985 as PD Christine Sullivan. Charles Robinson joined the cast as clerk Mac Robinson in 1985. Diamond died in 1985 and Florence Halop, who then appeared as court officer Florence Kleiner, died in 1986. Marsha Warfield was then brought aboard as Court Officer Roz Russell. Mel Tormé made a few appearances as himself, Harry’s idol. The last telecast was July 1, 1992.
    1974- President Richard Nixon rejected the Senate Watergate Committee’s subpoenas seeking White House tapes and documents.
    1984-- the last Van Halen album with David Lee Roth as lead singer, "1984," was released. Sammy Hagar was Roth's replacement.
    1985- to honor team president and former coach Arnold “ Red” Auerbach, the Boston Celtics retired uniform number 2 in a ceremony prior to a game against the New York Knicks. Auerbach begin coaching the Celtics in 1950-51 and led them to `6 NBA championships as coach, general manager and president.
    1985 — The Cowboys play their record 36th postseason game, but Eric Dickerson steals the show, rushing for a playoff-record 248 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Los Angeles Rams to a 20-0 victory over Dallas.
    1987 - A storm moving off the Pacific Ocean spread wintery weather across the southwestern U.S., with heavy snow extending from southern California to western Wyoming. Up to 15 inches of snow blanketed the mountains of southern California, and rainfall totals in California ranged up to 2.20 inches in the Chino area.
    1988 - Frigid arctic air invading the central and eastern U.S. left Florida about the only safe refuge from the cold and snow. A storm in the western U.S. soaked Bodega Bay in central California with 3.12 inches of rain.
    1988---Top Hits
Faith - George Michael
So Emotional - Whitney Houston
Got My Mind Set on You - George Harrison
Somewhere Tonight - Highway 101
    1989 - Up to a foot of snow blanketed the mountains of West Virginia, and strong winds in the northeastern U.S. produced wind chill readings as cold as 60 degrees below zero in Maine. Mount Washington NH reported wind gusts to 136 mph along with a temperature of 30 below zero!
    1990 - A winter storm moving out of the southwestern U.S. spread heavy snow across Nebraska and Iowa into Wisconsin. Snowfall totals in Nebraska ranged up to 7 inches at Auburn and Tecumseh. Totals in Iowa ranged up to 11 inches at Carlisle. In Iowa, most of the snow fell between midnight and 4 AM.
    1994 - A major winter storm blanketed much of the northeastern U.S. with heavy snow. More than two feet was reported in northwestern Pennsylvania, with 33 inches at Waynesburg. There were ten heart attacks, and 185 injuries, related to the heavy snow in northwest Pennsylvania. Whiteout conditions were reported in Vermont and northeastern New York State. A wind gusts to 75 mph was clocked at Shaftsbury VT. In the Adirondacks of eastern New York State, the town of Tupper reported five inches of snow between 1 PM and 2 PM
    1995 - Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-GA) was formally elected Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. He was the first Republican to hold the post in 40 years and the first Georgia Speaker in over 100 years.
    1999 - Minnesota inaugurated pro wrestler Jesse Ventura as its 38th governor. The only Reform Party candidate to ever win statewide office, Ventura had shocked the political establishment by defeating Attorney General Hubert H. (Skip) Humphrey III and St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman in an upset victory. 2000 - The Nasdaq composite index was hit for its worst point loss, falling more than 229 points (5.6 percent) to 3,901. The market appeared to be concerned about future Fed rate hikes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 359 points (3.2 percent) to 10,997.



Football Poem

A poem to the nation

    Oakland Raider Blog

As i look upon Our Oakland’s side
I wonder, where is the Raider pride,

From Warren Sapp to Randy Moss
I fear this team looks very lost,

Our team has stood the test of time
but can we beat the next in line,

I fear the worst, as we fall
We lack the excellence to conquer all,

I read words of anger, disappointment, and hate
I wonder has this team sealed its fate,

A nation divided will never prevail
As we chase this AFC west trail,

Have we lost all hope and respect
While teams take us as neglect,

This silver lining has faded to grey
As I look forward to another day,

I say this team will stay Silver and Black
as long as the nation don't turn its back.


(Note: Thursday, 2008 Warren Sapp announced his retirement from football.)




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