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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Jazz flutist/composer Paul Horn born March 17, 1930 New York City, New York. First considered part of the West Coast Jazz sound, he grew into a world traveler and musician, now labeled a "forerunner of new age music."


Marlin Leasing Now Accepting Broker Business
 Classified Ads---Legal/Operations
  Former Principals of CMC Sentenced to Prison
2,500 Dentists/Optometrists Out $50 million
 Open Letter blames Internet Blogs
  by Christopher Menkin
 Cartoon---Brican Board Meeting
  Classified Ads---Help Wanted
 Is the Broker/Discounter System Broken?
Sales makes it Happen by Steve Chriest
  Focus On Results
 $6 Million Fraud Case for Nonexistent Ads
  CIT Reports 2009 Financial Results
   Leasing News 6 month scoop on Macquarie-Relational Tech
  Lindewold, New Jersey--Adopt a Dog
News Briefs---
 Ex-Park Ave Bank Head Charged With Fraud
  Federal Reserve holds rates for 11th time
   Illinois unemployment soars to 12.2% in January
    L.A. Trial Courts Undergoing Mass Layoff
     GE shares jump/execs sees dividend increase in 2011
  Wells Fargo to shed 415 local Sacto jobs
   Sterling Financial, Spokane, WA "substantial doubt"
    Microsoft "all in" on Internet Explorer 9
     Federal judge denies temp. ban Monsanto sugar beets
  ‘Standout’ Siobhan Magnus wows Idol judges
    You May have Missed---
     California Nuts Brief---
      "Gimme that Wine"
  Today's Top Event in History
    This Day in American History
      St. Patrick Day Jokes
        Daily Puzzle
  Weather, USA or specific area
     Traffic Live----

Top of the morning
Is what we say
On March 17th
St. Patrick's Day.
Wear your green
And I am told,
If you catch a leprechaun
He'll give you his gold.

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


Marlin Leasing Now Accepting Broker Business

According to several well informed sources, Marlin Business Services, Mount Laurel, New Jersey (NASDAQ:MRLN) is again soliciting brokers. While others have backed out, Marlin evidently believes now is the time to get back into it.

January, 2009 Marlin exited the broker business, disappointing over 250 independent leasing brokers.

Perhaps with the news of LEAF Specialty Finance, Direct Capital, among many others exiting the broker marketplace, Marlin decided it was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

A highly reliable source told Leasing News 18 have signed up to date. There goes the argument below that the brokers won’t return to a company that has cut them off (see: “Is the Broker/Discounter System Broken?)

“Good afternoon ******,

“We are in the final stage of rolling this program out and should have everything in place next week. I have a list of the potential brokers and, as you know, you are on that list. I do need to get everyone reapproved and have new master agreements signed for everyone however. I must get all this done prior to accepting applications. I've attached the broker profile and the new master agreement. If you are still interested in renewing our relationship please fill these out and return them to me ASAP.

“You are part of a very small list of twenty so please do not let this leak out to the broker community. We are not accepting any additional brokers at this time.

“Thanks and I look forward to working with you in the very near future.”

Bill Beard
Team Lead
Marlin Leasing Corp.
300 Fellowship Rd
MT Laurel, NJ 08054
Phone:888-479-9111 Ext. 4157
Fax: 866-627-5462

Marlin Business Services Corp. is a company of dedicated employees committed to the delivery of quality credit products to small businesses with exceptional customer service and customer at a time”

((It should be pointed out that according to Marlin’s Investor web site, , officers have been acquiring stock ( while there are some dates as to the reason for an exercising of sale, they are purchased back.) It is obvious the officers are “gung ho” on getting back into the broker program, as it was the company’s mainstay for many years. (editor.))

The enclosed "representation and warrants" agreement was included (note date on form 2/20/2010):

From the Desk of Michael J. Witt, Esq.
   The Minefield of Reps and Warrants

Representations and Warrants
   by Christopher Menkin

(This ad is a “trade” for the writing of this column. Opinions
contained in the column are those of Mr. Michael Witt, Esq.)


Classified Ads---Legal/Operations

San Diego , CA
Experienced in-house corporate, equipment leasing and financial services attorney seeks position as managing or transactional counsel. Willing to relocate.
Cell Phone: 760-533-4058;

N. Phoenix, Arizona
Kathleen Gibbons-Erler. Eleven years experience in all office operations, including but not limited to lease processing. Excellent follow up skills. References on

Acton, MA
Strong experience in lease accounting, operations, & systems.  
Implemented lease plus, Great Plains, networks.
Excellent financial reporting and analysis skills. Looking for new opportunity.
LinkedIn| Resume
Orange County, CA
10 yrs. exp. middle market credit underwriting/syndication/collections. All collateral. Seeking full-time position with equipment broker/lessor. Resume available


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

Other e-Mail Posting Sites:


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

(Nine Years Later)

Former Principals of Commercial Money Center Sentenced to Prison
For $70 Million Bank Fraud Conspiracy and Tax Evasion

Karen P. Hewitt -- U.S. Attorney, San Diego, California

United States Attorney Karen P. Hewitt announced that Sterling Wayne Pirtle was sentenced to serve 57 months in custody, and Ronald Allen Fisher was sentenced to serve 63 months in custody; each was sentenced to serve three years of supervised release for his role in a $70 million scheme involving fraudulent equipment leases and tax evasion. The defendants were sentenced in federal court by the Honorable Thomas J. Whelan.

The Judge also ordered that the defendants each pay $61,212,047 in restitution to 14 victim banks.

The defendants were the former principals at Commercial Money Center ("CMC"), a now-bankrupt company they operated in Escondido and Las Vegas. They each previously pled guilty to two counts in an indictment: one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of tax evasion pursuant to plea agreements.

The defendants admitted that they engaged in a scheme through CMC that involved the sale of pools of fraudulent sub-prime equipment leases to financial institutions. The defendants included $70,000,000 worth of fraudulent leases in the pools they sold to the financial institutions. Before it declared bankruptcy, CMC obtained over $300,000,000 from financial institutions through its sale of sub-prime equipment lease pools.

The tax evasion charges stem from unreported income each defendant earned at CMC. Each defendant admitted that he evaded payment of approximately $1,000,000 in personal income taxes on the millions of dollars received from CMC.

DEFENDANTS Case number: 06CR1806-W
Sterling Wayne Pirtle Age: 73
Ronald Allen Fisher Age: Age: 69

Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343 (Wire Fraud) Title 26, United States Code Section 7201 (Tax Evasion)

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation

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

Previous CMC Stories:


2,500 Dentists/Optometrists Out $50 million
Open Letter blames Internet Blogs
by Christopher Menkin

Major class action suits against Brican America are now underway in many states, including New York, New Jersey, and Florida. Ronald Gossett (Gossett and Gossett, Hollywood, Florida), winner of cases involving NorVergence lessees, along with co-counsel Michael Witt (Des Monies, Iowa, formerly attorney with Wells Fargo Equipment Leasing and Advanta Leasing), filed a major Putative Complaint on Tuesday. An estimated 2,500 dentists and optometrists, all who had leases with Brican America (Miami, Florida), are involved for over $50 million.

NCMIC Finance Corporation dba Professional Solutions Financial Services (PSFS), Clive, Iowa (a suburb of Des Moines) withdrew their suit against Brican America in February. The suit was for $38 million involving 1,672 lessees and pertained to a letter that supposedly allowed lessees to cancel their lease contract. NCMIC stated in their letter to the lessees, "... upon information available to it, continuing to spend a large amount of money on legal fees to pursue a judgment against an apparently insolvent company simply did not make business sense." (1) The doctors would have to continue to make their lease payments, regardless of the promises of Brican America or whether there was support for the equipment on lease.

NCMIC is owned by Professional Solutions, a major provider of malpractice insurance, business insurance, credit cards, financial plans, and leasing.

What happened next is that once the advertising payments stopped, the doctors stopped paying their leases. The advertising payment arrangement was with this purpose; along with the guarantee Brican America would make the payments if the advertising entity did not. The doctors formed an internet blog, the main one on Google. Other blogs were notified, calling colleagues to unite their efforts, attracting other Brican American lessees in the same dilemma. Eventually, while sharing 'war stories', attorneys were contacted and interviewed.

Meanwhile it appears that Brican, under the co-counsel of attorney Michael Leichtling, Troutman-Sanders (2), often called one of the "Iron Chefs of Leasing Attorneys", has been advised to take bold offensive/defensive moves in blaming their troubles on seven dentist’s internet blogs, PSFS, and Leasing News.

Brican America stated Brican would be continuing its company, its program, paying the marketing fee, but alleged that PSFS, the financial arm of Professional Solutions, damaged Brican's reputation in the financial community, and cut them off. Additionally all the problems with Brican primarily stemmed from PSFS and false rumors and misinformation on the internet blogs of doctors and Leasing News, an internet trade publication for the leasing industry.

In Gossett’s Putative Class Action Case filed Tuesday, March 16, 2010 in US District Court, Southern District of Florida (to be amended today adding new plaintiffs), he labels the Brican contracts a “Ponzi scam” and outlines how it worked. The suit presents alleged collusion between several related parties as well as Professional Solutions PSFS regarding the marketing agreement and lease payments by the doctors.

First, the Brican America open letter to doctors posted on :

(Please click on letter to make larger in order to read)

In the deposition from the PSFS ex-employee Paula Barkley:

Q. Did you understand that the marketing agreement provided that it was going to give to the lessee a sum of money?
A. Yes.

Q. Okay. Did you view that as being a positive or a negative towards the successes of the leases that you were writing?
A. Me and Jean discussed this and said that it would help the doctors make their payment, but, you know, somewhere along the long it would have to stop. You know, how far could that go with making somebody else's payment?

Q. You could go 5 years, which is the term of the lease; right?
A. Correct.

Q. Okay. Was there anything besides that?
A. No.

Q. During the course of the time that you were employed by the company did you ever hear about those payments ceasing?
A. No.

Q. Were you in charge of anything related to lease defaults?
A. No.

Q. Who handled defaults?
A. Jolynn Quick and Tim Borseth.

Q. Did you speak with either of them about lease default rate on Brican leases?
A. No.

Q. Okay. Meaning that there were too realm of your responsibility; right?
A. Correct.

Q. You're sort of compartmentalizing what you do?
A. Front end is primarily –

Q. -- front end.
A. Uh-huh.

Q. You said that there was a group meeting with Greg Cole about the relationship between PSFS and Brican?
A. No. It wasn't a group meeting over that. It was a group meeting of how we were going to strategically grow the business, because we had cut off Brican and it wasn't it was a positive thing. We can do it, you know. We got sales. We got -- you know, it wasn't like a, "Oh, no, now that we don't have Brican --" it was not like that.

Q. All right. Were you ever told why Brican was cut off?
A. Yes.

Q. What were you told?
A. That it -- we were -- it was over a certain percentage that was allowed by the company.

Q. Too many leases? Is that a simple way of putting it?
A. Yes.

Q. "Concentration," did you ever hear that word?
A . Concentration. Saturated.

Q. Okay. Who told you that?
A. Todd Cook.

Q. When did he tell you that?
A. We had talked about it for quite a few months.

Q. It was no secret that the company was very heavy in with Brican; right?
A. Correct.

Q. Did he state any other reason why the agreement was terminated?
A. No.

Q. Did he say the agreement was terminated because the document before you, the vendor agreement, said that Brican was a Nebraska company when it was a Florida company?
A. No.

Q. Did you ever see any documents or hear that that was a complaint of Brican -- I mean of PSFS?
A. No.

Q. Okay. Did you ever hear that anyone at PSFS complained that they wanted to terminate the agreement with Brican because Brican, LLC, was involved?
A. No.

Q. In fact, everyone at the company pretty much knew Brican, LLC, was involved; right?
A. Correct.

Q. That was very common knowledge; right?
A. Yes.

Q. Okay. It was also common knowledge about the existence of the marketing agreements; right?
A. Yes.

Q. Okay. Did you ever hear anyone complain and say that the agreement with Brican was being terminated because of the existence? of the marketing agreements?
A. No.

Q. At the time that Todd told you that Brican was being terminated because of the concentration issue, did he raise any of those items that I just mentioned -- whether it was Nebraska; Brican, LLC; or the marketing agreement -- as a basis for getting rid of Rican?
A. No.

Q. Do you recall the time frame when that occurred? Would that have been about April of '08 -- I mean of '09?
A. Of '09, yeah, right in -- it was, like, around April 15, maybe, April -- he just came out and told me do not send them money.

Q. And up to that point, like even as a couple days before that, it was business as usual; right?
A. Yes.

In the Gossett Putative Class Action Case, starting page 39:
“310. According to the testimony of Todd Cook, he became aware of the marketing agreements, and the specific language which permitted the customer to cancel the lease if Brican America, Inc., failed to honor its financial commitments pursuant to the marketing agreement, during July, 2008. [Cook (Oct.) Tr., p. 13.]

311. When Mr. Cook became aware of the existence of the marketing agreements, he asked Vincens and Lemacon how many such agreements existed. [Cook (Nov.) Tr., p. 76.]

312. Vincens and Lemacon responded that there were "some." [Cook (Nov.) Tr., p. 76.]

313. Although Mr. Cook was a CPA by education and training, and accustomed to exactness in his business affairs, he accepted the representation that there were "some" marketing agreements in existence, and failed to request copies of all which had been extended to customers. [Cook (Nov.) Tr., p. 76.]

314. Although Mr. Cook reported to the president of NCMIC Finance Corporation in the hierarchy of the corporation, according to the president of NCMIC Finance Corporation, Gregory Cole, no one advised him of the existence of the marketing agreements until April, 2009. [Cole Tr., p. **.]

315. During July, 2008, (the time when Mr. Cook admits to knowledge of the existence of

6Mr. Cook did not become aware of the existence of a written Vendor Agreement with Brican America, Inc., until a visit to the offices of Brican America, Inc., in November, 2008. [Cook (Oct.) Tr., p. 16.]

the marketing agreements) the Vendor Agreement between NCMIC Finance Corporation and Brican America, Inc., provided that Brican America, Inc., warranted and represented that:

6.c. There are no other agreements or warranties given to Lessee relating to the Goods or Leases written or verbal that are not included in the documents given to PSF S.

316. Brican America, Inc., had not provided NCMIC Finance Corporation with copies of the marketing agreements because, as Jean Francois Vincens testified, nobody from NCMIC Finance Corporation asked for them. [Vincens Tr., p. 166.]

317. Upon learning of the apparent breach of representation and warranty contained in ¶ 6.c, as quoted above, rather than demanding that copies of all such agreements be provided to it, NCMIC Finance Corporation asked Brican America, Inc., how many leases had marketing agreements connected to them. [Cook (Nov.) Tr., p. 76.]

318. Brican America, Inc., answered that only "some" existed. [Cook (Nov.) Tr., p. 76.]

319. NCMIC Finance Corporation took no steps to obtain copies of all of the marketing agreements, or to advise those Plaintiffs who had marketing agreements that NCMIC Finance Corporation would not honor the representations contained in the marketing agreement, specifically the representation that the equipment rental agreement could be canceled.

320. By permitting the existence of the marketing agreements, as authorized by Fred Scott, NCMIC Finance Corporation ratified and confirmed the cancellation provision contained therein.

321. By failing to so notify the customers of a contrary position in July, 2008 (when Todd

Cook learned of the marketing agreements), NCMIC Finance Corporation ratified and affirmed the cancellation provision of the advertising and marketing agreements. NCMIC Finance Corporation Conspires with the Brican Companies

322. Having learned that the leases contained related marketing agreements which contained cancellation clauses, NCMIC Finance Corporation, through its officer and employee Todd Cook, conspired with Brican America, Inc., and Brican America, LLC, to modify the contract documents so that the fraud could continue.

323. From the beginning of the vendor relationship through December, 2008, 25% of the total business done by NCMIC Finance Corporation was with Brican America, Inc. That figure increased to 70% during the first four months of 2009. [Cook (Oct.) Tr., p. 23.]

324. During July and August, 2008, Todd Cook, the vice president and general manager of the equipment finance division of NCMIC Finance Corporation, assisted Brican America, Inc., and Brican America, LLC, in furthering the fraud in this fashion:

a. He changed the program from a semi-private label program (where the name and logo of Brican America, Inc., were dominant on the lease forms) to a private label program (where only the name of Brican America, Inc., or Brican America, LLC, appeared on the lease forms), although by agreement the leases would be immediately assigned to NCMIC Finance Corporation…”


There is much more in the filing, and it certainly has many similarities with what happened at NorVergence. A major leasing scandal involving a $500 piece of equipment in a $30,000 lease which was actually service from telephone companies using the $500 piece of equipment.

Leasing News has been informed that there will be Attorney General action, and the Federal Trade Commission may get involved, which occurred in the NorVergence matter.

Statements and/or comments from Brican America and PSFS attorneys and spokespersons were requested, but none to date except for an open letter posted on an internet blog from Brican America.

(1) PSFS Letter to Dentists:

(2) Michael Leichtling bio

Paula Barkley Deposition (71 pages):

Gossett Putative Class Action Case (79 pages):

Previous Articles:

NorVergence Articles:


Brican Board Meeting


Leasing Industry Help Wanted


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Please see our Job Wanted section for possible new employees.


Is the Broker/Discounter System Broken?

Surprisingly the answer from almost everyone who responded was “yes.”

What is the role of the Broker and Discounter today? Is he an extension of the marketing department or a replacement of a branch system with bricks, mortar and employees?

Where does the blame rise when a broker’s or discounter’s portfolio starts to have excess delinquencies? Is adequate blame placed on a bad credit model, poor credit work or unfairly blamed on the Broker?

Would the same evaluation take place on a direct sales marketing concept?

First, fast and furious, many brokers sent in their opinions, most not wanting to use their names, and what they had to say was not only bitter, but angry, and the strongest words from established independents.

Brian Griffin of Mantis Financial, Austin, Texas basically summed up what the group said but did not want to sign their name:

“I’m sure most, if not all brokers, have a similar line of thinking on this.

“We deal with several local and community banks, in addition to national funders, and we look at ourselves as a free sales force for them. We’ve come to accept that’s not the way most funders look at us however.

“I question whether or not when the economy starts back and leasing volume picks up, the broker volume may not come back to some of these funders. We have been forced to find other funding sources like private equity and local banks. They are funding good deals for us now, our loyalty to them is growing stronger every day.

“Funders may be “waiting out the storm”, but when clear skies come back, they may hear NO SOUP FOR YOU! (Seinfeld).”

Brian Griffin
Vice President
Mantis Financial
9433 Bee Caves Rd
Bldg II, Ste 201
Austin, TX 78733
phone 512-402-1650
mobile 512-695-7588

Here is one funder who no longer accepts broker business:

“In response to your question is the broker model broken?  From my perspective the answer is YES.  Having bought paper from over 100 brokers, over the course of several years, I can honestly say that the broker model was a receipt for disaster for funding sources.  Using the same credit model as our direct business, the broker business generated four times as many losses.  You can’t charge enough in yield to make up for the level of charge-offs.  Whose fault was it?  Who cares?  The bottom line is when something performs so poorly you don’t try and fix it, you just move on and stick with what works.

“The incentives were all backwards!  When a broker makes all of their profit upfront, while retaining no real credit risk; and the funding source earns nothing upfront and has to service and collect payments over 60 months, just to make the same amount as the broker does, then something is broken.  With all of the excess liquidity of a few years ago, those with the money were unable to make the rules.  I don’t blame the brokers, if someone was willing to pay me 15 pts to originate a lease and have no risk for default, I would take that deal all day. 

“On the flip side, when liquidity tightened and funders woke up, it should have come as no surprise that the game had to change.  In order for brokers to be relevant in the future they must be aligned much closer with their funding sources.  They should earn their profits over time just like the funding source.  A model where the broker is able to cover origination costs and then shares in the excess yield seems to make much more sense.  However, this means that you need a much more sophisticated broker, with systems that can track excess yield spreads. 

“Anyway, those are my two cents on your question!  What comes around, goes around and some day the ability to generate assets will once again outweigh asset performance but until that time comes, the model has changed and the broker will have much fewer options than before.”

John Dale, COO
FirstLease, Inc.
1300 Virginia Drive, Suite 400
Fort Washington, Pa.  19034
866.493.4778 x-210
215.283.9870 (f)
215.913.7376 (c)

Gene Allen blames it on the credit department and underwriters:

“90% unfairly on the broker. I’d say 100% but that would only pertain to me. I’ve never knowingly submitted anything dubious to a lender or superbroker.

“Yet when you question a lender about why they are stopping their broker programs, the usual response is ‘The quality of the deals aren’t as good as in-house sales. Our losses are too great.’

“I have to ask, what are the credit dept and underwriters doing? Do they vet these deals? So they not have better access than I to information that would affect their decision? Do they just let broker deals slide through without examination?

“What is an in-house salesman going to do differently than me?

Just talk to A paper prospects only?

“IMO, a broker is merely a remote salesman for the lender. The lender sets the criteria. If they send you a deal that has underlying problems, you should find those just as easily as you find the bad deals from in-house.

“Does in-house have different criteria for approval than that for brokers? If so, make it the same for brokers.

“I even approached a local lender about an informal sales, semi-broker relationship and he balked, saying they wanted to keep the entire process in-house. My take on a lot of these is they merely want to hold more points for them selves and own the accounts. Short sided in my opinion. How long will a “salesman” stay when he’s getting 2 pts. when he could make a lot more on his own?

“Personally, if I ever get to the point of self-funding, I would want to look at EVERY possible deal out there, including those from brokers. You don’t have to accept anything that you don’t feel comfortable with. If Credit & UW pass a broker deal and it goes bad, maybe they need closer scrutiny.”

Gene Allen
All Star Lease
Avon, New York

Here is an interesting response, it’s the assets:

“This is in response to your request for thoughts on what is making companies get out of doing business with brokers. One thing that is largely overlooked, or maybe under-estimated, is the collateral in the deal(s). It is often the difference between a good deal gone bad, and a good deal gone really bad.

“I am currently out of a job (laid off last year), but I've spent over 20 years prior to my unemployment in the asset management role for several bank and private leasing companies.

“It wasn't long into my career that I learned to cringe at broker deals because most of the time to me it appeared the broker was looking for the bigger fool. In many of the leasing companies I worked for, not only were some of the accounts brought to us in broker deals credit challenged, they were also asset challenged. In other words, the asset was something not easily valued or remarketed. Many assets were collateral that we (as asset management) had little experience with, but sales, credit, and perhaps management, were so desperate for the business, they would spin the deal details until they had convinced themselves it was a solid transaction.

“Many brokers "promised’ best efforts remarketing on these types of assets, claiming expertise with the more unusual assets, but that promise was rarely kept when the lease terminated and the equipment was returned.

The common sense rule that even if your residual value is minimal, the value of the collateral is key in minimizing your loss in the event of a default was largely ignored. I've been in the middle of many work out situations where the collateral was impossible to recover (good luck trying to get your laptops back in a bankruptcy), or virtually worthless due to its custom nature (retail store FF&E).

“While there has always been a risk/reward element to leasing, you can’t make money without risk, a stretch credit with questionable assets can be a recipe for disaster. My experience has been that at times many leasing companies are too aggressive when broker deals can make up the difference between making the numbers and not making the numbers for the year. For example, I've worked many places where I've seen some big broker deals purchased right before the end of the year. Coincidence? I think not.

“My advice: If you are going to buy broker deals, unless the credit is golden, and the chance of the collateral coming back is zero, stick to the equipment that you know, and let the rest go.”

Brett Zehr

The only one who said “No” in all the responses:

Attorney Barry S. Marks, long time leasing attorney and once active as a co-legal counsel at the National Association of Equipment Leasing Brokers (NAELB:)

“Much as I enjoy attacking and revising systems, I really do not think the broker/discounter system is broken, nor is it dead. (“The report of my death was an exaggeration” – M. Twain). What needs adjusting is our expectations.

“When NAELB was formed, fraud was a major concern, funders hard to come by and making a living as a broker harder than it was to be in the years that followed. Many brokers who have less than 20 years in business never knew the difficulties that senior brokers recall. Money was loose, probably too loose over the last 20-plus years and many brokers and other originators have been spoiled. There is no other way to say it.

“The immediate future is not as rosy, nor as easy, as the last few years but it is not necessarily bleak. New money will enter the arena and new funders, including small banks will step in. The future belongs to those brokers who truly understand their product and can explain it to new funders, those that can spot fraud and weed out bad deals to protect their reputations and those who can shift from one type of deal or equipment to another to capitalize on opportunities. Likewise, discounters who understand how to protect their residuals will see returns.

“In all cases, much of this depends on good documents read by people who understand what they are reading. Before anyone says that the broker/discounter business is sick or dead because of a failure of the system, he or she should look in the mirror and answer these questions:

  • Do you know what your form lease says? Can you negotiate changes if the customer insists?

    Do you understand the reps you make to funders? What is your responsibility to prevent fraud?

  • Discounter: Can your funder sell equipment and cost you the residuals? If there is a default? If there is no default? How can you protect yourself?

  • If your customer wants to finance a computer, where would you take the deal? A delivery van? A personal car?

  • If your vendor wants you to find financing for riskier deals, what can he do?

  • Have you ever considered getting a CLP? What books have you read about leasing? What conventions have you attended? Who do you call when you have questions?

“We could go on but all this is obvious to many of your readers…and alien to those who are probably fuming already.”

Financial Center - Suite 1615
505 North 20th Street
Birmingham, Alabama 35203
P. O. Box 11386
Birmingham, Alabama 35202
fax 278.8905 (Direct) 251.8305 (Main)


Sales makes it Happen

by Steve Chriest

Focus On Results

A significant number of salespeople confuse activity with productivity, and in doing so are less productive than they might be. They believe, sometimes for their entire careers, that activity of almost any kind will lead to sales success. If ever that was true, it is no longer true today. More than ever, salespeople are evaluated and judged on the results they produce, and the competitive landscape isn't patient with underperformers.

Focusing on results, not work, provides the greatest opportunity for success in sales. To maximize success, a salesperson must avoid the myriad time traps that divert attention and rob precious selling hours. Too many salespeople get caught up in addressing customer complaints, solving internal operational problems, and schmoozing with their established customers. When a salesperson focuses on results, these and other time traps can be avoided.

First, if a salesperson continually handles customer complaints, it's time to talk with management about determining the legitimacy of the complaints. Where complaints are justified, suggestions should be offered to management on how the problems might be addressed and solved. As a guardian of their time, and productive member of the sales team, salespeople have an absolute right to explain, firmly and professionally, that they cannot perform at optimum levels if forced to take on the additional responsibility of customer problem solvers.

If salespeople experience customer dissatisfaction as a result of internal operational problems, they will again want to approach management with observations and suggestions for improvement. Spending any significant time on workarounds designed to overcome operational difficulties points to a systemic problem that will keep salespeople from performing to their full potential.

Now for the time trap in which salespeople waste the most time, and over which they have the most control - schmoozing with their customers. Far too many salespeople spend time with their customers under the guise of maintaining good relationships. In reality, spending too much time schmoozing customers keeps salespeople in a comfort zone where they avoid some of the difficult work of sales, like prospecting, qualifying and closing new business.

America's oldest exercise guru, Jack LaLanne, once said, "If it's not good for you, don't eat it; if it tastes good, spit it out!" Salespeople may not want this type of harsh advice when it comes to managing their time, but borrowing from Jack LaLanne's example, "If it doesn't help you prospect for new business, qualify opportunities, facilitate orders, close business, maintain customer relationships, report activities to management, or advance your sales education and training - don't do it!

About the author: Steve Chriest is the founder of Selling UpTM (, a sales consulting firm specializing in sales improvement for organizations of all types and sizes in a variety of industries. He is also the author of Selling The E-Suite, The Proven System For Reaching and Selling Senior Executives and Five Minute Financial Analyst, Basic CREDIT & Analysis Tools for Non-Accountants. He was the CEO of a very successful leasing company and executive at a major company. You can reach Steve at

Sales Makes it Happen articles:



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

$6 Million Fraud Case for Nonexistent Ads

The seventh person convicted in relation to a scheme that collected more than $6 million from companies and organizations that thought they were paying for advertisements that had run in various minority-themed publications was sentenced Monday to 66 months in federal prison.

Joshua Hoffman, 40, of Malibu, was sentenced by United States District Judge George H. Wu. In addition to the 5½-year prison term, Judge Wu ordered the defendant to pay $2,132,784 in restitution to 277 victims.

Hoffman pleaded guilty in May 2009 to conspiring to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, a charge related to a telemarketing scam involving RAB Publications, a company run out of a Tarzana motel room that claimed to put out several publications and bilked numerous entities with false invoices for advertising purportedly aimed at minority readers. Hoffman and others involved in the scheme contacted various organizations and collected money based on false claims that the organizations had purchased advertising in the publications.

Previously in this case, six other defendants were sentenced to prison. They are:

  • Richard A. Bivona, 63, of Las Vegas, Nevada, the leader of the fraud scheme, who was sentenced to 87 months in prison and ordered to pay $3,057,978 in restitution;

  • Frank Hightower, 63, of North Hollywood, who was convicted after a jury trial and was sentenced to 51 months in prison and ordered to pay nearly $2.1 million in restitution;

  • Mark Scott, 43, of Los Angeles, who was sentenced to 41 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $2.1 million restitution;

  • Michael Borodzicz, 56, of Van Nuys, who was sentenced to 41 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $1.9 million in restitution;

  • Thomas Woods, 58, of Van Nuys, who was sentenced to 37 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $900,000 in restitution; and

  • Jeff Hillman, 55, of Calabasas, who was sentenced to seven months in prison on tax evasion charges and ordered to pay $12,667 in restitution to the IRS.

Bivona and his collection agents ran a scheme in which they contacted various entities and attempted to convince them that they had purchased advertising in bogus publications that they called The Veteran’s Observer, American Black Employment Journal, The Hispanic World News, Women’s World News, and Israel Today/Jewish News.

The defendants generally targeted entities by contacting officials who had the ability to pay invoices and telling them that a former employee had authorized the purchase of ads in the bogus publications. In many cases, the purported publications were never printed. In other cases, the publications were printed long after the purported publication dates for the sole purpose of generating “tear sheets” to convince victim entities that the purported advertisements were real.

As a result of the conspiracy, victim entities lost more than $6 million. The victims in the case include the American Red Cross, Southeastern Michigan; ChoicePoint, Inc.; the County of Sacramento; E*Trade Financial; Fed Ex Ground Package System; Instinet; and United Defense.

This case is the result of an investigation by IRS - Criminal Investigation; the United States Postal Inspection Service; the Department of Defense, Office of Inspector General; and the California Department of Justice.

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

CIT Reports 2009 Financial Results

December 31, 2009 Common Equity of $8.4 billion or $41.99 per share
Tier 1 and Total Capital Ratios of 14.2%

NEW YORK--CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT), a leading provider of financing to small businesses and middle market companies, today filed its 2009 Form 10-K and reported a 2009 net loss attributable to common stockholders of $4 million, as a loss from operations was essentially offset by the combination of fresh start accounting adjustments (FSA) and reorganization items. Below is a summary of significant matters reported in the Form 10-K.


CIT emerged from bankruptcy on December 10, 2009. The prepackaged plan of reorganization resulted in:

A $10.4 billion net reduction in debt obligations reflecting the cancellation of senior and subordinated unsecured debt obligations and issuance of new secured notes;
The cancellation of all preferred stock obligations and prior common shareholder interests;
The issuance of 200 million new common shares to eligible debt holders; and
An improved liquidity and capital position achieved through debt reduction and the deferral of significant debt maturities for three years.
Reorganization-related items had a $10.3 billion pre-tax benefit to fourth quarter results. This benefit consisted of an $11.2 billion gain on debt extinguishment and related items, partially offset by an $855 million loss on the termination of certain transportation lease agreements (primarily related to the purchase of railcars previously subject to sale-leaseback arrangements) and $43 million of expenses and other net costs attributable to the plan of reorganization.

Fresh Start Accounting

In accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (U.S. GAAP), the Company adopted fresh start accounting at December 31, 2009 and adjusted the carrying value of assets and liabilities to estimated fair values at or near the emergence date. Total assets were reduced by $8.0 billion (12.0%) to $60.0 billion and total liabilities were reduced by $2.0 billion (4%) to $51.6 billion. A net asset discount of $3.5 billion will be accreted into income over time. All equity of predecessor CIT was eliminated and the fair value of new common equity was determined to be $8.4 billion, or $41.99 per share. FSA resulted in a pre-tax charge of $6.1 billion in the fourth quarter.

Fourth Quarter 2009 Financial Results

Including FSA and reorganization items, the Company reported net income of $3.2 billion in the fourth quarter. Excluding those items, the Company reported a fourth quarter pre-tax loss of $1.0 billion due to low levels of net finance revenue, reflecting high borrowing costs, and high credit costs, particularly in Corporate Finance.

Total commercial net charge-offs for the fourth quarter were $385 million, 4.77% of average finance receivables, with over half in the print, media, gaming, energy, small business lending and commercial real estate sectors in Corporate Finance. Non-accrual loans for the commercial segments (before FSA) were $2.6 billion, representing 8.80% of finance receivables at December 31, 2009. The fourth quarter provision for credit losses was $835 million, which increased the allowance for loan losses to $1.8 billion prior to its elimination through FSA .

Total assets at December 31, 2009 were $60.0 billion, including finance and leasing assets of $46.1 billion. Total cash at year end was $9.8 billion, which included approximately $6.7 billion of corporate and operating cash, $1.7 billion of cash at CIT Bank, and $1.4 billion of restricted cash. CIT’s consolidated Tier 1 and Total Capital Ratios were 14.2 % at December 31, 2009.

About CIT

CIT (NYSE: CIT) is a bank holding company with more than $45 billion in finance and leasing assets that provides financial products and advisory services to small and middle market businesses. Operating in more than 50 countries across 30 industries, CIT provides an unparalleled combination of relationship, intellectual, and financial capital to its customers worldwide. CIT maintains leadership positions in small business and middle market lending, factoring, retail finance, aerospace, equipment and rail leasing, and vendor finance. Founded in 1908 and headquartered in New York City, CIT is a member of the Fortune 500.

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




Meet and learn from Mr. Terry Winders, CLP

Leasing #102 columnist for Leasing News,
long time educator and trainer

Sales and Operations
click here for course information and to register

April 12th until Noon on the 14th
Seattle, Washington
Hosted by Financial Pacific

$395.00 Paid in Advance for first person from company
$345 with each additional attendee 

"Certified Leasing Professionals attending this seminar will earn CPEs (Continuing Professional Education)
Credits toward their recertification"

(This ad is a “trade” for the writing of this column. Opinions contained in the column are those of Mr. Terry Winders, CLP)


Leasing News Six month scoop on Macquarie-Relational Tech

Informed sources told Leasing News September, 2009 that Relational Technology Services was sold to Macquarie Group, Sydney, Australia, most of 350 employees being let go, salesmen being interviewed. Six months later, it is now official:

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

Macquarie Equipment Finance Acquires Relational Technology Services Division

Diverse portfolio of mid-market and enterprise equipment leases

Grows Macquarie’s customer base and provides new services capabilities to meet customer needs

Press Release Source: Macquarie Equipment Finance On Tuesday March 16, 2010, 8:00 am EDT

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Macquarie Equipment Finance (MEF), a global provider of independent lease financing and asset management solutions, today announced that it has acquired the Technology Services Division of Relational Technology Solutions (Relational). As part of the agreement, MEF will also service Relational’s existing lease portfolio.

The acquisition provides MEF with a substantial number of new leasing customers, additional experienced leasing professionals and the ability to offer new services relating to network and communications equipment that will be attractive to MEF’s existing client base. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Relational’s lease portfolio consists of approximately $US500 million of assets leased to mid market and enterprise customers across the United States and Canada. Relational’s Technology Services Division is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio and provides technology hardware acquisition and integration services and unified communications solutions to mid market, enterprise and government customers.

“This agreement continues Macquarie’s strategy of selectively seeking acquisitions and servicing arrangements that strengthen our position as a leading global provider of independent leasing solutions,” said Andrew Gee, Global Head of Macquarie Equipment Finance.

Relational’s Technology Services Division (RTS) has strategic relationships with leading technology manufacturers, serving as a Value Added Reseller (VAR) of unified communications and enterprise IT solutions. “With the addition of RTS’ solutions and services, customers of the combined business benefit from the improved service offering, increased resources and operational scale that Macquarie provides,” Gee added.

In addition to completing a stock purchase of the Technology Services Division, MEF has integrated a number of Relational’s leasing sales and back office personnel into its operations. “As a result, Macquarie now has one of the largest and most experienced direct sales forces in the North American market and our customers will benefit from Relational’s industry best practices and talent,” said Greg Goldstein, President of Macquarie Equipment Finance.

“We now provide leasing and asset management services to over 2400 companies across the U.S. and Canada and we are actively looking to grow this further both organically and through selective acquisitions,” added Goldstein.

About Macquarie Equipment Finance
Macquarie Equipment Finance, a member of the Macquarie Group, provides lease financing, asset management solutions, and remarketing of technology, healthcare, and capital equipment for enterprises around the globe. MEF specializes in providing solutions to large customers to help them finance and manage their technology equipment fleets. In addition to working directly with customers, MEF provides financing solutions to major equipment vendors to allow them to provide additional services to their end user customer base. MEF has operations in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia and assets under management of in excess of $US1.7 billion.

The Macquarie Group (Macquarie) is a global provider of banking, financial, advisory, investment and funds management services. Macquarie’s main business focus is making returns by providing a diversified range of services to clients. Founded in 1969, Macquarie operates in more than 70 office locations in 28 countries and employs more than 14,000 people. Assets under management total more than US$300 billion. For more information, visit

About Relational Technology Solutions
Relational Technology Solutions (Relational) is a premier independent technology and financial solutions provider dedicated to helping its clients solve business challenges with an integrated suite of solutions for technology acquisition, finance and disposition. Founded in 1990, Relational has been ranked one of the top five independent lessors in the U.S., serving for Fortune 1000 and mid-market companies across all industries. For more information, visit

*Other than Macquarie Bank Limited ABN 46 008 583 542 (MBL), any Macquarie Group entity noted in this press release is not an authorized deposit-taking institution for the purposes of the Banking Act 1959 (Commonwealth of Australia). That entity's obligations do not represent deposits or other liabilities of MBL. MBL does not guarantee or otherwise provide assurance in respect of the obligations of that entity, unless noted otherwise.

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

First Story:

No Official Word on Macquarie Group buying Relational



Lindewold, New Jersey--Adopt a Dog

Chello is the perfect one to complete your family!'s info...
Breed: Labrador Retriever Mix
Size: Med. 26-60 lbs (12-27 kg)
Color: Tan/Yellow/Fawn - With White
Sex: Female
Age: Young

Chello is the perfect one to complete your family! is:
already spayed
up to date with shots

Chello is the perfect one to complete your family!'s story...
This sweet girl is Chello! Chello is a two year old labrador retriever mixed who is gentle, loving and just a darling! Chello loves her visits with our volunteers and her off-leash time in our dog park is just the best treat ever! Chello is going to make some lucky family a wonderful companion - She does well on her leash and, with proper exercise and playtimes, is a calm and affectionate best friend. We took Chello from a high kill shelter where she was scheduled to be euthanized due to overcrowding. This good girl deserves her second chance! Please hurry in to meet Chello today!”

Pet ID #: 2225905
Shelter: Animal Adoption Center
Phone: (856) 435-9116
- Let 'em know you saw "Chello is the perfect one to complete your family!" on!


Address: 501 N Berlin Road
Lindenwold , NJ 08021

Adopt-a-Pet by Leasing Co. State/City

Adopt a Pet


News Briefs----

Ex-Park Ave Bank Head Charged With Fraud

also see Bank Beat: Park Avenue

Federal Reserve holds rates for 11th time

Illinois unemployment soars to 12.2% in January

L.A. Trial Courts Undergoing Mass Layoff

GE shares jump as executive sees dividend increase in 2011

Wells Fargo to shed 415 local Sacto jobs in call center merger

Sterling Financial, Spokane, WA "substantial doubt" needs $650MM 2011361252_sterling17.html?syndication=rss

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Federal judge denies temporary ban on Monsanto sugar beets 5206F367EA41A27C862576E90007821E?OpenDocument

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The London International Vintners Exchange (Liv-ex) is an electronic exchange for fine wine.


Today's Top Event in History

St. Patrick's Day: commemorates the patron saint of Ireland, Bishop Patrick (AD389—461) who, about AD 432, left his home in the Severn Valley, England, and introduced Christianity into Ireland. Feast Cay in the Roman Catholic Church. A national holiday in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Here in the United States there are major parades in major cities, such as New York, held since 1762, the parade is a two mile march starting at 11:30am, lasting six hours, with over a million in attendance. Other parades include the “Downtown Hornell NY” 14 the annual “come as you are”, “wearin' of the green,” in New Orleans, and in Florida they also celebrate, “Save the Panther Day.” Also Chicago, where the river runs green today, (Savannah, Ga., does the same believe it or not).  Boston, which was actually the site of the first St. Paddy's in 1737. If you drink, don't drive or get a designated driver.

A public holiday at Boston and Suffolk County, Massachusetts to celebrate the 225 the anniversary of the evacuation from Boston of British troops. They evacuated Boston after American forces seized and fortified Dorchester Heights on March 4. General Howe sailed for Halifax, Nova Scotia, to await reinforcements. Considered the first major defeat of the British by the Americans, who were losing most battles with ill trained officers, soldiers, and lack of supplies.


This Day in American History

   1734-Forty-two families of German Protestant refugees landed in the American colonies. Sponsored by the British Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge (SPCK), the 78 religious pilgrims soon founded the town of Ebenezer, 30 miles from Savannah, Georgia.
    1755- Transylvania Land Co buys Kentucky for $50,000 from a Cherokee chief
    1776 - Having seized Dorchester Heights, George Washington forced the British under William Howe to evacuate Boston. One a tour of the Boston area, I saw where the cannon were poised around the British. It was amazing that they were able to be put into place over such rough land, poor weather, and under strength crew. What the British did not know, they had little dry powder to fire the cannon, and many lacked the cannon ball, but Washington surrounded them and bluffed them into leaving Boston. I would highly recommend a visit to Boston and the surrounding area for the history, great restaurants, and people. Best is to hire a personal tour by one of the professional history storytellers who will take you to the sites, including the famous cemetery with a fabulous view of the city. I would recommend Robert of Exciting Tours of Boston, 69 Prescott Avenue, Boston, MA. 02150, Phone 617-699-6140 Fax: 617-889-3011 Four Hour Maximum is a lot. Plan it so he can drop you off to one of his favorite Italian restaurants. You will not be disappointed.
    1777-Roger B. Taney birthday, 1777, he became the first presidential nominee to be rejected by the Senate and later became Supreme Court Justice who ruled on the Dred Scott decision. Taney served as Attorney General under President Andrew Jackson. Nominated as Secretary of the Treasury, his rejection by the Senate centered on his strong stance against the Bank of the United States as a central bank and his role in urging President Jackson to veto the congressional bill extending its charter. The states want to control banking, and not allow the federal government to do so. In reality, the first federal bank failed during a terrible recession and bad decisions by its then president, which ended the contest between federal and state control. A year after being rejected later as Secretary of the Treasury, he was nominated to the Supreme Court as an associate justice by Jackson, but his nomination was stalled until the death of Chief Justice John Marshall July 6, 1835 Taney was nominated to fill Marshall's place on the bench and after much resistance he was sworn in as Chief Justice in March 1836. His tenure on the Supreme Court is most remembered for the Dred Scott decision, that decided a Black man would not be recognized as a “free man” in U.S. territories.
    1804-Frontiersman Jim Bridger born, American fur trader and scout, born at Richmond VA, and died July 17,1881, near Kansas City, MO. Believed to be the first white man to visit (in 1824) the Great Salt Lake, he also established Fort Bridger in southwestern Wyoming as a fur-trading post and a way station for pioneers heading west on the Oregon Trail. Bridger National Forest in western Wyoming is named for him. The son of a surveyor and an innkeeper, Bridger moved with his family to St. Louis in 1818. There, Bridger apprenticed to a blacksmith, learned to handle boats, and became a good shot and skilled woodsman. When the Ashley-Henry fur trading company advertised for "enterprising young men" to travel the Missouri River to trade with the Indians, Bridger was among the first to respond, and he was hired in 1822.Though he lacked much formal education, Bridger demonstrated a brilliant ability for finding his way and surviving in the wilderness. As part of the Ashley-Henry team, he helped construct the first fur trading post on the Yellowstone River. At the age of 21, Bridger became the first Anglo definitely known to have seen the Great Salt Lake, though he mistakenly thought it was the Pacific Ocean at the time. He was adept at learning Indian dialects and culture, and he had a tremendous memory for geographical detail. For several years Bridger worked as an independent trapper and in 1830 he joined with three partners to gain control of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company. Bridger never really enjoyed the life of the businessman, though, and he sold out in 1834. That same year, he married Cora, the daughter of a Flathead Indian chief, and she accompanied him on his fur trapping expeditions. Yet by 1840, Bridger had grown tired of the nomadic trapper life. He was convinced that the emigrant traffic through the West had become heavy enough to support a trading post. He founded Fort Bridger along the Green River section of the Oregon Trail, in present-day southern Wyoming. Fort Bridger quickly became a regular stopping place for overland emigrants, and Bridger happily settled down with Cora, with whom he had three children. Bridger's idyllic life did not last, though. Cora died, Indians killed one of his daughters, and a second wife died in childbirth. Bridger retreated to the mountains to trap and hunt after each of these tragedies, often living for a time with Indians. In 1850, he married the daughter of a Shoshoni chief, and thereafter he and his bride-whom he called Mary- divided their time between summers at Fort Bridger and winters with the Shoshoni. In 1853, Mormons, resenting the competition from Bridger's fort, tried to arrest him as an outlaw. He escaped into the mountains with Mary and his children, but a band of Mormons burnt and gutted the fort, destroying all his supplies. Concerned for his family's safety, Bridger bought a farm near Westport, Missouri, where he left Mary and the children during all of his subsequent western journeys. He sold Fort Bridger in 1858, and spent the next decade working as a guide and an army scout in the early Indian wars. By 1868, Bridger's eyesight was failing, and he increasingly suffered from rheumatism. He retired to his Westport farm, where he cared for his apple trees and no doubt fondly recalled the rugged western mountains he had known so well. He died at the age of 76 on July 17, 1881.
    1811-The first Ohio River steamboat leaves Pittsburgh for New Orleans; it arrived three months later.
    1841- Birth of James R. Murray, American sacred music editor. A veteran of the American Civil War, Murray is better remembered today as composer of the hymn tune MUELLER, to which we sing the Christmas carol, "Away in a Manger."
    1842-Female Relief: Society of Nauvoo Organized. Twenty Mormon women formally initiated this organization at Nauvoo, IL, which is now known as the Relief Society and has grown to almost four million members. Information furnished by Church of Latter-Day Saints, Public Affairs Department.
    1862- Martha Platt Falconer born, one the greatest of all pioneers in changing holding area of delinquent or homeless girls from virtual jails to homes for rehabilitation, education, and social adjustments. She pioneered her work at Sleighton Farm in Pennsylvania and the idea was gradually accepted throughout the nation.
    1863- Battle of Kelly's Ford, Virginia. Union cavalry attack Confederate cavalry at Kelly's Ford, Virginia. Although the Yankees were pushed back and failed to take any ground, the engagement proved that the Federal troopers could hold their own against their Rebel counterparts. In the war's first two years, Union cavalry fared poorly in combat. This was especially true in the eastern theater, where Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart boasted an outstanding force comprised of excellent horsemen. On several occasions, Stuart embarrassed the Union cavalry with his daring exploits. During the Peninsular Campaign of 1862, Stuart rode around the entire 100,000-man Union army in four days. Later that year, he made a daring raid to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and returned unmolested to Virginia after inflicting significant damage and capturing tons of supplies. In February 1863, a raid by General Fitzhugh Lee (son of Confederate commander Robert E. Lee) left the Federals running in circles in search of the enemy force. Now, General Joseph Hooker assumed command of the Federal Army of the Potomac. He sought to bring an end to the Confederate raids by stopping Stuart's cavalry. Hooker assigned General William Averell to attack the Rebel cavalry near Culpeper Court House. Averall assembled 3,000 men for the mission, but he left 900 behind to protect against a rumored Confederate presence near Catlett's Station. Averell led the rest of his men towards Kelly's Ford, a crossing of the Rappahannock River east of Culpeper Court House. Fitzhugh Lee learned of the advance and positioned his cavalry brigade, which was part of Stuart's corps, to block the ford and dig rifle pits above the river. On the morning of March 17, Averell's men reached Kelly's Ford and were welcomed by fire from 60 Confederate sharpshooters. It took four attacks for Averell's men to capture the rifle pits and by noon the entire force was across the Rappahannock. Now, Fitzhugh Lee arrived with 800 troopers and two pieces of artillery. As the Confederates approached, the cautious Averell ordered his men to form a defensive line, thus giving the initiative to the Confederates. Lee arrived and ordered his men to attack, but Yankee fire drove them back. He attacked again and was again repulsed. Averell had a chance to score a major rout with a counterattack, but he instead withdrew across the Rappahannock River. He later said that the arrival of Stuart on the battlefield signaled the possible approach of additional Confederate cavalry. Averell lost 78 men killed, wounded, and captured during the day's fighting. The Confederates lost a total of 133 men. Among the Rebel dead was Major John Pelham, perhaps the best artillery officer in the Confederate army. He happened to be visiting Stuart when the battle began, and he rode forward to see the action. Pelham was mortally wounded by a shell splinter as he observed the Confederate attacks in the afternoon. Although Kelly's Ford was a Union defeat, it signaled a new phase of the cavalry war in the east. The Yankees were closing the gap with the Confederate horsemen. In the next four months, the Union cavalry fought their Confederate counterparts to a standstill at Brandy Station, and then scored a major victory at the Battle of Gettysburg.
    1870- Massachusetts legislature authorizes incorporation of Wellesley Female Seminary
    1876 --The Battle of Powder River--In the first of a series of battles over the Black Hills, Colonel Joseph Reynolds leads troops in an attack on a peaceful camp of Northern Cheyenne and Oglala Sioux near the Powder River. From positions on ledges and behind rocks, the Indians hold the soldiers at bay until women and children can escape across the river. Then the soldiers burn the tepees and everything inside, including the winter food supply, and drive away all the Indians' ponies. After dark, however, the Indians raid the Army encampment and recover their stolen horses. This lead to a court martial of Colonel Reynolds. The fighting near the Powder River culminates at the Little Big Horn and the ultimate destruction of freedom for the northern plains Indians.—
1892 - A winter storm in southwestern and central Tennessee produced 26 inches of snow at Riddleton, and 18.5 inches at Memphis. It was the deepest snow of record for those areas.
    1876--BRYAN, WILLIAM C.  Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Hospital Steward, U.S. Army. Place and date: At Powder River, Wyo., 17 March 1876. Entered service at: St. Louis, Mo. Born: 9 September 1850, Zanesville, Ohio. Date of issue: 15 June 1899. Citation: Accompanied a detachment of cavalry in a charge on a village of hostile Indians and fought through the engagements, having his horse killed under him. He continued to fight on foot, and under severe fire and without assistance conveyed 2 wounded comrades to places of safety, saving them from capture.
    1894- Novelist and playwright Paul Green is born. He won the 1927 Pulitzer Prize for his play “In Abraham's Bosom.” Although Green was white, his work examined the problems of blacks in the South, based on his observations of his native state, North Carolina. Born in 1894, Green studied at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He began writing plays for the theater group Carolina Playmakers in 1919, drawing on Southern folklore for his themes. During the Depression, his work took on a tone of social protest and included plays like Hymn to the Rising Sun (1936), about a chain gang. In 1941, he worked with novelist Richard Wright to dramatize Wright's book Native Son. Interested in the interplay of words and music, he wrote a series of symphonic dramas, including The Stephen Foster Story (1959) and The Lone Star (1977). He died in Chapel Hill in 1981.
    1886-First Issue of “The Sporting News”, published in St. Louis at a price of two cents per copy. The Sporting News, long known as “The Bible of Baseball” and a multi-sport magazine since 1942,is the oldest continuously published sports publication in the country.
    1897 - For the first time, motion pictures were shot of a championship prize fight, as ‘Sunny' Bob Fitzsimmons knocked out ‘Gentleman' Jim Corbett to win the world heavyweight title. Many of these films are available on line from the Library of Congress for free. With fast connections today, they are fascinating to view.
    1897 -Emilie Grace Briggs became the first woman in America to graduate from a Presbyterian theological school, when she received her Bachelor of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary, in New York City.
    1902-Golfer Bobby Jones birthday ( Robert Tyre Jones, Jr., first golfer to win the grand slam ( the four major British and American tournaments in one years), Born at Atlanta, GA, he died there December 18,1971.
    1903- Radie Britain, composer, writer, teacher born near Amarillo, TX, won more than 50 national and international awards for her more than 150 classical compositions, trained at the American Conservatory in piano, organ, and composition, with advanced work and master classes in Germany. She taught at the Chicago Conservatory. Her daughter Lerae taught anthropology in Hawaii.
    1906 - In a speech given to the Gridiron Club in Washington, DC, President Theodore Roosevelt coined the word ‘muckrake'.

    1906-the temperature at Snake River, Wyoming dipped to 50 degrees below zero -- a record for the US for the month of March.
    1910 - Luther and Charlotte Gulick founded the Camp Fire Girls organization at Lake Sebago, Maine. The group's catch phrase is “Wohelo”, an acronym of the words: WOrk, Health and LOve. It continues today, though the name has been changed to Camp Fire Boys and Girls, when boys began being accepted into the organization.
    1917 - In St. Louis, Missouri, America's first bowling tournament for women began with almost 100 women participating in the event.
    1919-pianist Leroy Lovett piano born Philadelphia PA
    1919-- Nat “King” Cole birthday
"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love, & be loved in return."
— from the song "Nature Boy"
    1926 - In New York City, the musical "The Girl Friend" for a run of 409 performances.
    1930-Composer/flutist Paul Horn born, New York, New York.
    1930- Trombone player Grover Mitchell born Whatley AL, now directs the Count Basie Band, who play all the old charts with enthusiasm.
    1938-guitarist Eddie Giles born Shreveport, LA
    1939- Dean Mathis of the 1960's rock group the Newbeats, was born in Hahira, Georgia. Dean and his brother, Mark, along with Larry Henley, formed the trio in 1964. The Newbeats first record, "Bread and Butter," went to number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1964 and was the biggest of their half dozen hits.
    1940- Vito Picone, lead singer with the Elegants, was born in Staten Island, New York. The Elegants took their recording of "Little Star" to number one on the Billboard chart in 1958.
    1941 - In Washington, D.C., the National Gallery of Art was officially opened by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
    1941 - Paul Kantner born San Francisco, CA.(musician: guitar: groups: Jefferson Airplane: Somebody to Love, White Rabbit, LP: Crown, Wooden Ships; Starship: LPs: Dragonfly, Red Octopus, Spitfire, Earth; KBC Band; solo LP: Blows Against the Empire, Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra)
March 17
    1942- Birthday of Paul Kantner, guitarist and vocalist with Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship.
    1944- Singer and songwriter John Sebastien, founder of the Lovin' Spoonful, was born in New York. Sebastien formed the Spoonful in 1964, and they had seven successive top-ten singles in 1965 and '66. The Lovin' Spoonful hit number one with "Summer in the City." After the group broke up at the end of the '60s, Sebastien began a moderately successful solo career in 1970 with an appearance at Woodstock. In 1976, he had a number-one record with "Welcome Back," the theme from the TV show "Welcome Back, Kotter."
    1948---Top Hits
Now is the Hour - Bing Crosby
I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover - The Art Moonie Orchestra
Beg Your Pardon - Francis Craig
I'll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms) - Eddy Arnold
    1948 -- Science Fiction author William Gibson born, Conway, South Carolina. He is credited with having coined the term 'Cyberspace', & with having envisioned both the Internet & virtual reality before most people had even heard of them. An early notable book by Gibson is Count Zero, whose characters are a mixture of eccentric low-lifes and nonconformists who find themselves confronting representatives of vast egomaniacal individuals whose wealth & power result directly from their ability to control information.
    1956-"St. Patrick's big snow" fell at Boston, Massachusetts. Nearby Blue Hill observatory recorded 12.6 inches.
    1956---Top Hits
Lisbon Antigua - Nelson Riddle
Why Do Fools Fall in Love - Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers
Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom) - Perry Como
Heartbreak Hotel - Elvis Presley
    1962-The Shirelles' "Soldier Boy" is released on Sceptor Records. The tune become the girl group's biggest hit, climbing to Number One, selling over a million copies and earning a gold record
    1963 - The Boston Celtics' Bob Cousey, played his last regular season basketball game after spending 13 years in the National Basketball Association.
    1964---Top Hits
I Want to Hold Your Hand - The Beatles
She Loves You - The Beatles
Please Please Me - The Beatles
Saginaw, Michigan - Lefty Frizzell
    1965 -- 1,600 demonstrate at Montgomery, Alabama courthouse.
    1966 -- César Chávez and the National Farm Workers Association march from Delano to Sacramento, California, from March 17 to April 11, arriving on Easter Sunday.
    1967 - "Peanuts" comic strip characters, Snoopy and Charlie Brown, were on the cover of "LIFE" magazine.
    1967-Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumkins is born.
    1968 - DEVORE, EDWARD A., Jr. Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Specialist Fourth Class, U.S. Army, Company B, 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Saigon, Republic of Vietnam, 17 March 1968. Entered service at: Harbor City, Calif. Born: 15 June 1947, Torrance, Calif. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sp4c. DeVore, distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on the afternoon of 17 March 1968, while serving as a machine gunner with Company B, on a reconnaissance-in-force mission approximately 5 kilometers south of Saigon. Sp4c. DeVore's platoon, the company's lead element, abruptly came under intense fire from automatic weapons, Claymore mines, rockets and grenades from well-concealed bunkers in a nipa palm swamp. One man was killed and 3 wounded about 20 meters from the bunker complex. Sp4c. DeVore raced through a hail of fire to provide a base of fire with his machine gun, enabling the point element to move the wounded back to friendly lines. After supporting artillery, gunships and air strikes had been employed on the enemy positions, a squad was sent forward to retrieve their fallen comrades. Intense enemy frontal and enfilading automatic weapons fire pinned down this element in the kill zone. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Sp4c. DeVore assaulted the enemy positions. Hit in the shoulder and knocked down about 35 meters short of his objectives, Sp4c. DeVore, ignoring his pain and the warnings of his fellow soldiers, jumped to his feet and continued his assault under intense hostile fire. Although mortally wounded during this advance, he continued to place highly accurate suppressive fire upon the entrenched insurgents. By drawing the enemy fire upon himself, Sp4c. DeVore enabled the trapped squad to rejoin the platoon in safety. Sp4c. DeVore's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty in close combat were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 39th Infantry, and the U.S. Army.
    1968-The Bee Gees make their U.S. television debut on the "Ed Sullivan Show." They perform "To Love Somebody" and "Words."
    1969- Cardinal first baseman Orlando Cepeda is traded to the Braves for catcher/first baseman Joe Torre.
    1970 - Eddie Holman was awarded a gold record for the single, "Hey There Lonely Girl", which was originally a hit for Ruby and the Romantics titled, "Hey There Lonely Boy" in the 1960s. While singing this song, dedicated to his daughter, Holman died on stage at a New Jersey performance in the mid-1970s.
    1972---Top Hits
Without You - Nilsson
Heart of Gold - Neil Young
The Lion Sleeps Tonight - Robert John
My Hang-Up is You - Freddie Hart
    1978 - American Hot Wax, a film based on the story of Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed, who introduced rock'n'roll to teenage American radio audiences in the 1950's, opened in United States theaters. The film featured a young Fran Drescher as Sheryl and Jay Leno as Mookie in one of their early film roles.
    1980---Top Hits
Crazy Little Thing Called Love - Queen
Longer - Dan Fogelberg
Another Brick in the Wall - Pink Floyd
My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys - Willie Nelson
    1985 -a strong (F3) tornado tore through Venice, Florida during the early morning hours. 55 homes were destroyed and 220 were damaged. 2 people were killed and 45 were injured.
    1988---Top Hits
Never Gonna Give You Up - Rick Astley
I Get Weak - Belinda Carlisle
Man in the Mirror - Michael Jackson
Too Gone Too Long - Randy Travis
    1989 - Strong northerly winds ushered snow and arctic cold into the north central U.S. Winds gusted to 58 mph at Sydney NE and Scottsbluff NE, Cadillac MI received 12 inches of snow, and International Falls MN reported a record low of 22 degrees below zero.
    1990 - Showers and thunderstorms associated with a slow moving cold front produced torrential rains across parts of the southeastern U.S. over a two day period. Flooding claimed the lives of at least 22 persons, including thirteen in Alabama. Up to 16 inches of rain deluged southern Alabama, with 10.63 inches reported at Mobile AL in 24 hours. The town of Elba AL was flooded with 6 to 12 feet of water causing more than 25 million dollars damage, and total flood damage across Alabama exceeded 100 million dollars. Twenty-six counties in the state were declared disaster areas.
    1990- Carly Simon, Whitney Houston, Air Supply, Dionne Warwick and Milli Vanilli were among those who turned out in New York for a benefit billed as the single largest fund-raising event for AIDS. About two million dollars was raised. The concert was sponsored by Arista Records, which was celebrating its 15th anniversary.
    1995-Chicken Pox vaccine was approved for public use. Marketed by Merck and Company, Whitehouse Station, JN, under the trade name Variva, the vaccine was believed to be 70 to 90 percent effective.
    1995-Madonna holds the "world's biggest pajama party" as 1500 guests gather with pj's and teddy bears. This was all for the premiere of her new "Bedtime Stories" video.
    1997-The US Supreme Court declined to hear the San Francisco's argument that the cross on Mt. Davidson is a cultural landmark. The cross would now have to be torn down or sold to a private owner.
    1997- the Recording Industry Association of America announced that the Eagles "Greatest Hits" album had tied Michael Jackson's "Thriller" as the all-time best-selling album in the US. Each had sold more than 24 million copies. "Thriller" was still the top-seller worldwide, with estimated sales of 46 million copies.
    1998- USA Women's Hockey Team beats Canada for 1st Olympics Gold medal
    1998-Van Halen releases their latest album, "Van Halen 3," which is their first album with new lead singer Gary Cherone. That night they hold a record signing for fans at the Virgin Megastore in Times Square.


St. Patrick's Day Jokes

A farmer named Muldoon lived alone on the Irish countryside with a big black lab he doted on. The dog finally died and Muldoon went to the parish priest and said, "Father, the dog is dead. Could you be saying the mass for the creature?" Father Patrick replied, "No, we cannot have service for an animal in the church. But there is a new denomination down the road. No telling what they believe, but maybe they'll do something for the animal." Muldoon said, "I will go right now." Do you think $50,000 is enough to donate for the service?" Father Patrick said, "Why didn't you tell me the dog was Catholic?"


Father O’Malley

Father O’Malley has been preaching at his church in Ireland for so long, that he decides to take a vacation. He has never been married and he is curious as to what an American endures in everyday life. So, he decides to go to the States before it is too late. He hops on the plane bound for Nevada. He arrives in the Airport in Las Vegas. As he is exiting the plane, someone in the airport runs up to him and exclaims, "Elvis! Oh my God! It's Elvis! I knew you weren't dead Elvis! How have you been?" Father looks at her and says, "Get outta me face. Can't you see I'm not Elvis? I don't look a thing like Elvis." The father moves on to his cab waiting outside. He hops in his cab and he's a little upset so he tells the cabby, "Take me to my hotel and step on it." The cabby turns and says, "Sure thing sir - Oh my God! It's Elvis! I knew you weren't dead! I'm your number one fan! It's so great to see you!" "Shut up, you imbecile. I'm not Elvis! Now turn around and drive!" So, the cabby speeds up to the hotel. Father O'Malley gets his things and walks up to the hotel check-in counter. "Oh my God! Oh my God! It's you!" screams the hotel clerk. "You're back Elvis! I knew this day would happen. We saved everything just the way you like it! Free cheeseburgers, peanut butter and banana fried sandwiches, masseurs, and a full liquor bar! I'm so glad you're back!" Father O'Malley looks at the hotel clerk and says, "Thank you. Thank you very much!"


And my favorite, told to me in a Irish Brogue:

A man stumbles up to the only other patron in a bar and asks if he could buy him a drink.

"Why of course," comes the reply.

The first man then asks: "Where are you from?"

"I'm from Ireland," replies the second man.

The first man responds: "You don't say, I'm from Ireland too! Let's have another round to Ireland."

"Of Course," replies the second man.

Curious, the first man then asks: "Where in Ireland are you from?"

"Dublin," comes the reply.

"I can't believe it," says the first man.

"I'm from Dublin too! Let's have another drink to Dublin."

"Of course," replies the second man.

Curiosity again strikes and the first man asks:

"What school did you go to?"

"Saint Mary's," replies the second man.

"I graduated in '62."

"This is unbelievable!" the first man says.

"I went to Saint Mary's and I graduated in '62, too!"

About that time in comes one of the regulars and sits down at the bar.

"What's been going on?" he asks the bartender.

"Nothing much," replies the bartender. "The O'Malley twins are drunk again."




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