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Monday, June 13, 20 11
For the Executive with Everything, a $230,000 Dog
######## surrounding the article denotes it is a “press release” and was not written by Leasing News nor information verified, but from the source noted. When an article is signed by the writer, it is considered a “by line.” It reflects the opinion and research of the writer. It is considered “bias” as it is the writer’s viewpoint.
Ralph Petta, ELFA, Says Menkin doesn't speak the truth
"FASB Changes: Out of the Footnotes, Into the Spotlight"
What follows originally appeared in the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association on-line LinkedIn Group. Since my reply was not posted, it will appear here as I would like to respond publicly.
First, I have the highest respect for Ralph Petta. He was named the 2009 Leasing News Person of the Year for his work, an award of respect and acknowledgment as nominated by the Leasing News Advisory Board.
LinkedIn ELFA Group Posting to Barrons' article:
"Ralph Petta • The statement in the article that indicates that many small business support the proposed changes in the lease accounting rules is simply not true. If the many comment letters and other inputs to the FASB and IASB were not enough, none less than the US Small Business Administration has expressed serious concerns about the impact of the proposed rules on the ability of small businesses to comply with burdensome and complex accounting rules. I urge readers to review these comments, which are filed on the FASB web site, and learn for themselves the accounting and reporting challenges to be heaped upon lessees of all stripes as they struggle to absorb and comply with the changes being contemplated by the standards-setters. Standards, rules and laws need to foster equipment acquisition in the United States, not impair it."
A copy of my exact response was not kept, but here is what I remember my post stating:
It is no secret that ELFA through press releases, meetings, and direct telephone calls has been calling on its members, other associations, and major corporations to oppose the changes as brought forward by both the American Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board.
The campaign for letter writing has been quite public from ELFA and other business associations, including the lobbyists working all angles. Also those professionals paid by corporations for their corporate benefits on blogs and speaking engagements, particularly in behalf of ELFA members such as GE, Bank of America have also been vocal in opposition of the proposed changes.
Leasing News has written about this and published many articles from all sides of the issue. The comment letters are quite one sided, in my opinion, and represent the very large corporations who want to hide their debt and transactions for financial advantage. The AFASB and the IASB have proposed changes to bring these debts out into the open.
It bears mentioning that the Barron's article was not written by Leasing News nor proposed by us. The fact remains I believe the overwhelming majority of our readers, as well as those on various LinkedIn groups, are for transparency, are for change, as it is certain Wall Street and Greed have gotten us into this economic downfall. Changes must be made to bring all debt to the surface for creditors, investors, and business in general to see a true financial "condition."
As to the US Small Business Administration position that Ralph notes in his post, here is their specific position from their web site:
"In particular, Advocacy recommends that FASB and IASB create a de minimis exception to the proposed standard that would exempt lease transactions of less than $250,000 from the proposed standard. The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) recognizes that lease transactions of less than $250,000 are considered “small ticket” leases relative to costlier and more significant lease transactions. (5) Exempting lease transactions of less than $250,000 from the proposed standard would exclude small businesses with “small ticket” leases from administering the costly and complicated proposed standard but would still accomplish the boards’ objective by only requiring those significant, non-small ticket lease transactions of $250,000 or more to comply with the new standard."
They recommend small ticket leasing under $250,000 be exempt from the change. Doesn't sound to me like they are very much against changes over $250,000.
In my opinion, the Small Business Administration position of excluding leases under $250,000 makes this even more confusing, especially when the company reaches $251,000 in leases they all go on the balance sheet. Doesn’t sound like it is making it easier, but more complicated.
It is also naïve, in my opinion, to believe in this day and age of software that the reason to oppose the change is due to the “burden of accounting.” Even Quicken can handle the general ledger work, not counting all the other professional, sophisticated software, including leasing software, available for companies of all sizes.
In reality, most (I believe last year was 91%) small ticket leases were "capital leases" with bargain purchase options or $1.00, according to the Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation. If this is the case, what is this all about? Let’s look at the example by the writer of the Barrons’ article:
“Under current accounting rules, FedEx has far less debt than rival UPS. If a change in FASB rules requires the companies to add leases to their balance sheets, reported debt at FedEx will balloon.
“To understand the impact of the possible rule change, consider the balance sheets of FedEx and United Parcel Service (UPS). FedEx finished its latest reported fiscal year (ended May 31, 2010) with $1.93 billion of debt, equal to 7% of its market capitalization. UPS, whose fiscal year ended in December, had $10.8 billion of debt, equal to 15% of its market cap, according to HOLT.
“If both companies were forced to add operating leases to their balance sheets, however, total debt at FedEx would jump to $16.3 billion, or 56% of the company's market value. Debt at UPS would edge up to $16 billion, or 22% of its market cap.
"’Although they are regarded as close operating peers, the difference between leasing and owning assets results in significant comparability issues if not properly adjusted,’ states a HOLT report.”
If you would like to read the entire report, you may use the URL link at the beginning of the story, or PDF that follows:
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Bank Beat---The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
EverBank, Main Street Bank, First Sound Bank
EverBank, Jacksonville, Florida has grown to 22 branches in their state, as of March 31, 2011, with 2,342 full time employees. Total equity capital $1.127 trillion current to $1.117 trillion year-end 2010.
February, 2010 EverBank purchased Tygris Commercial Finance (formerly USXL who later bought MarCap) in an all-stock transaction. As part of the transaction, Tygris, which is owned by a consortium of private-equity firms, would inject $65 million of cash into its buyer before closing. Taking over Tygris would also add $470 million to EverBank’s capital base. This covered the NetBank trial and declining Florida real estate and gave the bank a shot in the arm, as well as a new product to increase sales and serve their customer base.
Profit year-end: 2009 $59.2 million; 2010 $122.6 million, and March 31, 2011: $14.2 million.
Tier risk-based capital 2009: 14.53%; 2010: 15.78%; March 31, 2011: 16.01%
Non-current loans: 2009, $786.1 million; 2010, $964.7 million; March 31, 2011: $888.1 million.
Year-end 2009 Charge Offs: $77.1 million ($40.3 million in construction and land development, $15.5 million in non-farm non-residential property, $13.2 million in 1-4 family residential properties, $469,000 commercial and industrial loans.
Year-end 2010 Charge Offs: $65.4 million in charge offs ($27.2 million 1-4 family residential property, $16.2 million secured by non-farm nonresidential property, $11.2 million construction and land development, $5.99 commercial and industrial loans (no lease financing receivable noted).
March 31, 2011 charge offs: $16 million, $6.9 million in 1-4 family residential property, $4 million in commercial and land development, $516,000 in loans secured by nonfarm nonresidential property.
Home of Tom Depping, formerly head of Sierra Cities-Financial (sold to American Express, then sold to Key Equipment Finance) and Main Street Bank once very active in equipment leases and medical loans, after an order from the FDIC to make changes, lets go most of the leasing department including head Bob Fisher, but keeps a limited Studebaker-Worthington group… things have settled down, including down to 77 full time employees from 2009 where there were 120 full time employees.
Bank total equity capital is up from $43.5 million year-end 2010 to $47.5 million March 31, 2011.
Profit was $1.5 million year-end 2010 and the first quarter $620,000, definitely headed in the right direction, also with a current Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of $23.5% (under 5% is to be watched, 10% considered very good, and over 20% is just plain excellent (and may also reflect a more conservative position.)
On the negative side, the noncurrent loans were almost $2 million year-end 2010, but the first quarter stand at $4.9 million, more than double for the first quarter; charge offs are also up from year-end $445,000 ($320,000 in commercial and industrial loans and $125,000 in lease financing receivables) to a first quarter charge offs of $674,000 ($345,000 in commercial and industrial loan) and $325,000 in lease financing receivables.)
Except for the rise in noncurrent loans, nothing to be overly concerned about, especially with the capital available and seeming more conservative control; remember 2009 saw $2.7 million in lease financing charge offs and $4.2 million in commercial and industrial loans.
While one of the FDIC orders was for Depping to step aside as CEO and President of the bank, which he has, the web site does not show the position being filled, although Tom Depping is Chairman of the Bank and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MS Financial
First Sound Bank, Seattle, Washington
Parent of Puget Sound Leasing, Bellevue, Washington, originally owned by Larasco controlled by the Secord brothers, who were sued and then filed bankruptcy, which ended the original complaint by the bank as to the value of the leasing company they had purchased.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Reports
Year-end 2008: $1.7 million: $300,000 commercial and industrial loans, $1.1 lease finance receivables.
Year-end 2009: $10.3 million: $4.37 million commercial and industrial loans, $5.3 million lease finance receivables, $504,000 construction and land development.
Year-end 2010: 2010 $12.4 million: $3.9 million commercial and industrial loans, $3.6 million construction and land development, $2.7 million in lease financing receivables, $2.1 million nonfarm nonresidential properties 3/31/2011 $2.9 million: $1.6 million nonfarm nonresidential properties, $518,000 commercial and industrial loans, $350,000 construction and land development, $239,000 loans to individuals, $227,000 lease financing receivables.
March 31, 2011: $2.95 million: $1.6 million loans secured by nonfarm nonresidential property, $518,000 commercial and industrial loans, $350,000 construction and land development, $239,000 loans to individuals, $239,000 "other consumer loans," $227,000 lease financing receivables.
On March 1, 2008, First Sound Bank purchased a majority of the assets of Puget Sound Leasing Company, Inc. - a small ticket, business-to-business leasing company with a prior 23-year history - and established Puget Sound Leasing as a division of First Sound Bank.
On November 19, 2008, however, First Sound Bank relieved Louis Secord and Richard Secord of all responsibilities relating to the leasing business, and First Sound Bank President Steve Shaughnessy assumed management of Puget Sound Leasing operations.
January 14, 2009 First Sound filed suit in federal court for fraud and breach of contract in connection with its "...March 1, 2008 purchase of certain assets from Puget Sound Leasing Co., Inc. The defendants to the suit are the sellers of the assets: Larasco, Inc. (the business formerly known as Puget Sound Leasing Co., Inc.) and its owners, Richard Secord and Louis Secord."
May, 2009: "Our situation is different from other banks," Don Hirtzel, chairman and CEO, said in a press release. "Our increased losses and reserves are primarily the result of alleged misrepresentations made by the owners of Puget Sound Leasing in how they portrayed their assets to us."
Of the 2009 charge offs, $5.2 million were lease receivables, but it did not add up to the $44.5 million year loss as the reality is real estate loans as the rest of the banks in the area were taking its toll and created many bank failures in Washington. July, 10 First Sound Bank raised $3.2 million in capital. The break out of the profit from the leases and their residuals were not disclosed in any of the FDIC financial statistics.
The court case with Larasco, the other banks who had signed with Larasco, as well as the Secords was closely and the outcome came when Louis and Richard Secord filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy on May 29, 2010. This became a consolidation of both brothers and Larasco, Inc, too, with monthly financial reports being filed electronically until May 19, 2011: "Request for No Future Electronic Notice. Attorney no longer requires notice of action in this case. Filed by Amy Phillips on behalf of First Sound Bank. (Phillips, Amy) (Entered: 05/19/2011 at 15:57:36)"
There is much more to the story, which can found below:
First Sound Bank and Puget Sound Leasing
Financial Numbers from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Tracking Bank Failures Map:
List of Bank Failures:
Banks Want to Regulate Size of Broker Fees
(Kit: The reason that I wrote this article is the criticism some of the banks have had from the regulators on lease charge-offs that contained large broker fees.
(It was the banks that asked me to write an article putting the brokers on notice that large fees are going to be looked at differently in the future.TW)
The recent economy caused some lease charge-offs that were higher than normal because of higher than normal front end broker fees. The regulatory authorities are looking for the banks to place a procedure in their lease policy to regulate the size of broker fees.
Transactions in the small ticket market are the most flexible because they do not represent that much money; however as you move up into the middle market rates will begin to get scrutinized.
In the middle market, the so called “buy rate” does not give you the license to add on a lot of rate, to increase your fee. There is a limit or comfort zone for funders that usually means they will only go so far without support from you like recoursing your fee if they suffer a loss.
A good yardstick is to take the funders cost of money and add two points to cover operating costs and then subtract it from the buy rate to determine the neighborhood of their earnings. If your fee exceeds this amount, then you need to make some compromises or look for ways to support the funder’s risk.
The broker/packager has marking cost to offset but please remember the funder has to live with the lessee for the full lease term and suffer the losses. One loss offsets more than five good deals. If your transactions are squeaky, clean and little or no collection work is necessary, then a larger fee is possible, however, the funding sources know that the better the credit--- the tighter the rate so higher fees are suspect. Therefore the higher your fees, the closer the funder will look at the credit and often asked for more financial information.
Fees are a direct result of the term. If you want higher fees look for equipment that has longer lease terms. An example of the effect on fees from lease terms would be a transaction for $50,000 over 38, 50, or 62 months with a buy rate of 10% and a lessee rate of 14%. The fee earned would be $2,939, $7,008, or $12,389.82 respectfully. This is due to the increase in earnings as the term gets longer.
In the “old days” (I wish we could get them back) 84 months was common in many hard equipment markets. Now it seems difficult to get pass 62 months. You will notice I did not use 36, 48, 60 in the example because leasing is for the term of the equipments “use” not a loan term. Also a good excuse to lengthen any term is to take it to the end of the customer’s fiscal year.
If you decide to retain a few months payment to increase your fee then try and extend the term beyond the loan terms of 36, 48, or 60 so the funder sees the standard term for discounting. However, remember what I presented on the problems of sales tax on retained payments.
Recourse is a tough problem for broker/packagers and many funders are not interested in accepting it for excess fees because they question the strength of the recourse when the transaction hits the fan. A better procedure is each time when you are successful in negotiating a larger than normal fee put part of it in a reserve at the funding source to help the strength of your fee recourse. The longer it stays there and is not needed, the stronger your relationship with the funder will grow and you will get more accommodations as your portfolio with them is looked upon favorably.
In times like these we all are looking to increase our earnings any way we can, but it cannot be at the expense of our life blood, the funding source. Earn what is necessary but look to increase the number of transactions and the lease term, not the size of the fee to survive.
Mr. Terry Winders, CLP, has been a teacher, consultant, expert witness for the leasing industry for thirty-five years and can be reached at email@example.com or 502-649-0448
He invites your questions and queries
Previous #102 Columns:
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Top Stories June 6---June 10
Here are the top ten stories opened by readers:
(1) Galloway and Shivers to Influence
(2) ACC Capital in Outer Space
(3) "Vendor Verification" hits Pay dirt on First Inspection
(4) Leasing 102 by Mr. Terry Winders, CLP
(5) Balboa Capital: Court Bypasses Lessor's Forum Clause
(6) Florida couple threatens Bank of America
(7) New Hires--Promotions
(8) $30 MM plus Law Suit re: CPA Firm,
(9) May---"The List"---- Mergers, Acquisitions & Changes
(10) CoActiv Launches a New Office Products Group
Full-throttled action (“Super 8”) and full-throated laughs (“The Trip”) dominate theaters this weekend, while two of the last year’s best films (“Another Year,” “True Grit”) and one of this year’s funniest (“Hall Pass”) debut on DVD.
Super 8 (Paramount Pictures): Producer Steven Spielberg’s fingerprints are all over this highly anticipated science-fiction thriller, which bears traces of such past smashes as “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “E.T—The Extraterrestrial.” Set in a small Ohio town in the summer of 1979, it centers on Joe (Joel Courtney) and Alice (Elle Fanning), movie-loving kids who, along with their friends, are suddenly thrust into an adventure of cosmic proportions after accidentally filming a disastrous train crash. The strange events that take place afterwards hint at larger and darker forces at play, especially when it is revealed that something top-secret got loose after the accident. J.J. Abrams, who last directed the “Star Trek” rebook, brings enough action, humor and wonderment to this sure-to-please story to make Spielberg proud.
The Trip (IFC Films): A remarkably prolific and versatile filmmaker, Michael Winterbottom follows last year’s dark drama "The Killer Inside Me" with this chummy, hilarious road-trip comedy, which reteams the excellent odd couple from his previous comedy "Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story." Playing themselves (or, rather, a jokey version of themselves), Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon go on a culinary holiday around England, trying out expensive dishes at fancy restaurants. But that's just an excuse for the two friends to hang out, match their Michael Caine impersonations, make fun of each other's careers, and contemplate the course of their lives. Seemingly slight on its surface but filled with moments of improvised, bittersweet insight, it's like a British version of "Sideways." Keep an eye out for some surprise cameos.
Another Year (Sony): A specialist in bittersweet human tragicomedies, British master Mike Leigh (“Secrets and Lies,” “Vera Leigh”) is in top form with this deeply affecting tale of grieving and generosity. Weaving a rigorous yet tender web of relationships, the picture centers on Tom (Jim Broadbent) and Gerri (Ruth Sheen), a London couple whose five decades of serenely happy marriage contrast with the emotional troubles of the friends who drop by their cottage over the course of several seasons. And chief among their dysfunctional guests is Mary (Lesley Manville), an alcoholic acquaintance whose miserable stories engages with the couple’s compassion. Brimming with splendidly lived-in performances and showcasing Leigh’s masterly blend of devastating feeling and humor, this piercing film sneaks up on the viewer.
True Grit (Warner Bros.): Best known for their mordant crime tales, Oscar-winning filmmakers Ethan and Joel Coen ("No Country for Old Men") play it affectingly straight in this stirring remake of the classic 1969 Western. Playing grizzled, drunken frontier marshal Rooster Cogburn (the role that won John Wayne his only Oscar), Jeff Bridges dons a deceptively bumbling eye-patch in his journey to help Mattie (Hailee Steinfeld, in a terrific breakout performance), a willful girl looking for revenge after the killing of her father. But will their mission lead to vengeance, or to something deeper and sadder? Wondrously shot and featuring a gallery of memorable performances, this is a sturdy old-fashioned Western, and one of the Coen brothers' finest, most loving achievements.
Hall Pass (Warner Bros.): Nobody mixes raunchiness and heart quite like Bobby and Peter Farrelly. Continuing to mine the unique vein they kicked off with “Dumb and Dumber” and “There’s Something About Mary,” the brothers introduce another hilarious protagonist in Rick (Owen Wilson), a happily married suburbanite who nevertheless can’t seem to keep his eyes off other women. That’s when his wife Maggie (Jenna Fischer) tests his faithfulness by giving him a “hall pass,” a week in which he’s free to do whatever he wants. Overjoyed at the thought of a second bachelorhood, however, Rick and his pal Fred (Jason Sudeikis) soon rediscover how hard it is to get girls, as well as how they feel about their wives. A sometimes warm, sometimes gross, wholly enjoyable comedy.
### Press Release ############################
LA Attorney to pay $41 Million plus 32 Months in Jail
MATTHEW G. KRANE, 56, of Los Angeles, California, was sentenced Friday by United States District Court Judge Ricardo S. Martinez in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 32 months in prison and two years of supervised release for Tax Evasion and False Statement in a Passport Application. KRANE has also agreed to forfeit approximately $23.1 million to the U.S. Treasury in back-taxes and return approximately $17.9 million in illegal fees to his former client, Haim Saban.
In June 2009, KRANE was indicted along with the former Chief Executive Officer of Quellos Group L.L.C. (“Quellos”), Jeffrey I. Greenstein, 48, of Mercer Island, Washington, and an attorney and principal of the investment firm, Charles H. Wilk, 52, of Seattle, in connection with a fraudulent tax shelter scheme. KRANE pleaded guilty in December 2009 and agreed to cooperate with the government in its prosecution of Greenstein and Wilk. Subsequently, in January 2011, Wilk and Greenstein pleaded guilty, paid $7 million in penalties to the IRS, and were each sentenced to 50 months in prison in January 2011.
“Our system of tax reporting and collection depends in substantial part on tax professionals following our tax laws,” said Chief of the Criminal Division Robert Westinghouse. “When they fail to do so, it hurts all law-abiding citizens. The criminal conviction and sentence in this case justly punishes this kind of wrongdoing. Collecting more than $23 million in back taxes, interest, and penalties places an exclamation point on this important law enforcement effort.”
“Tax evasion is a classic symptom of overarching greed,” said Kevin Hanff, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation for the Pacific Northwest. “As this case demonstrates, no matter how you earn the money, you still have to pay taxes on it.”
Greenstein and Wilk agreed to secretly split Quellos’ fees with KRANE in exchange for KRANE’s assistance in enrolling a wealthy client in the tax shelter scheme. The client, Haim Saban, had more than $1 billion in capital gains in 2001, and Greenstein and Wilk promised KRANE a cut of the fees if Saban purchased the tax shelter scheme. Saban was never informed of the fee arrangement, or illegal nature of the scheme. Between March 2001, and October 2001, the men drafted false fee agreements that made it appear that Saban was paying $46 million to Quellos to participate in the tax shelter strategy.
In fact, nearly $36 million of that fee was actually diverted by Wilk and Greenstein to an offshore account controlled by KRANE. KRANE failed to pay taxes on the income. In addition, when KRANE learned of the criminal investigation of Quellos in February 2008, he applied for a passport in a false name, using a false Social Security Number and California Driver’s License number.
The Saban family issued a statement through their attorney regarding the funds that will be returned to them: “Cheryl and Haim Saban are gratified that through the efforts of the United States Attorney's Office, the IRS and their counsel, they have recovered the funds held in a foreign bank, and justice has been done. To show their appreciation they have decided to donate these funds to the Saban Foundation for use by the following charitable groups, among others: Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, The Saban Free Clinic, Operation Home front, and Para Los Ninos. The monies will help those most in need.”
The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kathryn Kim Frierson, Robert Westinghouse, Jerrod Patterson and Mike Dion
About Haim Saban:
#### Press Release #############################
Kingwood, Texas-- Adopt-a-Dog
“DOB 12-10... Super cute, green-eyed DALLAS was rescued at 8 weeks old with his brother Austin. They were found with their doggy caretaker (not mom!) Bubbles on a night that was well below freezing. Happy and healthy, Dallas loves to play with his toys, his brother and his foster family and is working on crate training, house training, and basic puppy commands. If you have room in your heart and home for Dallas, he promises you lots of love, fun, and sloppy puppy kisses!”
Contact Michelle at email@example.com
*****If you would like more information about the dog featured above, be sure to send a note to the "Contact Person." This is the person fostering the dog and they will be happy to answer any questions you have.
Also, in sending your note to the Contact Person, be sure to include information about yourself, family, home, yard, fence, other pets, work situation, and pet accommodations. This information will help us make the best match between you and one of our dogs***
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1774- Rhode Island becomes 1st colony to prohibit importation of slaves. The Rhode Island General Assembly in Newport, RI, passed this legislation, banning slave importation: “ No Negro or mulatto shall be brought in to this colony, and in case any slave shall be brought in , he or she shall be, and are hereby, rendered immediately free, so far as respects personal freedom, and the enjoyment of private property, in the same manner as the native Indians.”
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