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Independent, unbiased and fair news about the Leasing Industry



Thursday, March 1, 2012

Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines

Classified Ads---Operations
  It will take a bulldog to get out of this mess!
   by Christopher Menkin
 The List---January and February, 2012
   Leasing Up at Bigger Banks, but not Smaller
     FDIC Quarterly Report Profits Up, But Fewer Banks
     by Christopher Menkin
      FDIC Beige Report---Generally Positive
       NACM Economic Report Hits 10 Month High
   January, 2011 Leasing New Business Up
     Why I Became a CLP
     Greg Rieke
       Searching for New CLP Foundation Executive Director
        Cumming, Georgia Adopt-a-Dog
   Wanderlust/The Secret World of Arrietty
    Hugo/The Skin I Live In/Parenthood
     Movie/DVD Reviews by Fernando Croce
News Briefs---
Bernanke notes economy better than expected
  ECB pumps a fresh $700 billion into euro banks
     Air Cargo A Lessor's Market?

Broker/Funder/Industry Lists | Features (collection)
Top Ten Stories Chosen by Readers | Top Stories last six months

For just $29 MM, Own Michael Jordan’s Chicago estate
  You May Have Missed
  The Story of Art Tatum
   SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer
      Winter Poem
       "Gimme that Wine"
       This Day in American History
           Daily Puzzle
               Weather, USA or specific area
                 Traffic Live----

######## 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.

Hugh Swandel, Senior Managing Director of the Alta Group and President of the National Equipment and Finance Association
(NEFA) would like to personally invite you to join NEFA
and attend our Spring Summit

Follow the link for more agenda and registration information.

National Equipment Finance Summit, March 22-24



Mr. Terry Winders, CLP
Anaheim, California

April 5 & 6

Two Day Seminar
sponsored by
Equipment Leasing Department
4040 MacArthur blvd, Suite 100
Newport Beach, CA 92660

The seminar will contain information on how to approach leasing in 2012 with the following subjects:

  • New lease language
  • Proposed new accounting rules for lessee's
  • Structuring and pricing for competition
  • Income tax rules, Article 2A vs. Article 9
  • New reasons to lease
  • Questions to ask lessee
  • Vendor needs
  • Credit enhancements
  • Documentation issues 
    and a take home assignment to see how to propose a lease.

Cost $450 per person

Registration and Outline of Course: PDF

For questions, please contact Mr. Terry Winders, CLP, at or call 502-649-0448.




Classified Ads---Operations

(These ads are “free” to those seeking employment or looking

Austin, Texas
Over 20 years experience in building/managing several financial operations
in US & Europe. Adept with technical skills. Available for travel or relocation.

Free Posting for those seeking employment in Leasing:

All “free” categories “job wanted” ads:


It will take a bulldog to get out of this mess!
by Christopher Menkin

When Tennessee Commerce Bank, Franklin, Tennessee closed on January 27, 2012 and deposits as well as offices assumed by Republic Bank & Trust Company, Louisville, Kentucky, Tennessee Commerce Bank were seriously overextended, primarily in commercial and industrial loans. The nonconforming loans caused their demise, with charge offs going from $21 million in 2009 to $16.6 million in 2010 and the first nine months of 2011 to $78 million in commercial and industrial loans. It was the end of the bank and the officers who were drawing excellent salaries and bonuses.

There were other problems, but basically they had overextended their geographic boundaries and evidently were involved in loans they should not have even considered. One of them obviously was financing repossessed trucks and other such equipment, working on the charge offs and putting on more loans to pay off the bad loans.(1)

“Eric Raines, a senior ombudsman specialist with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., cited the bank’s loan portfolio — full of equipment loans and leases and other types of specialized lending — as the reason for the closure. He said the FDIC’s entire presence, from accountants to investigators, was standard procedure.

“'They ventured into a specialty area of lending ... and that was the source of many of the bank’s problems, “he said. (1)

In the broker and lessor communities, the Tennessee Commerce Bank had a reputation for being "loosey-goosey" and servicing transactions that could not be placed elsewhere. Brokers also worked with sub-brokers, Leasing News was told.

One of the insiders told Leasing News it was a common practice with various of the leasing companies for the bank to sell a non-performing asset to the leasing company using their bank recourse line of credit, then for the leasing company to sell or lease the transaction using a non-recourse loan from the bank to pay off the original recourse line. This was encouraged by the bank, Leasing News was told, on various occasions with several of the lessors.

Jim Doster

Two of the major accounts were American Bank Leasing Corp. founded by Jim Doster in 2001, and BullDog Truck & Equipment Sales, Cumming, Georgia. They specialized in repossessed trucks, had a dealership with a large yard, had four in-house salesmen selling them and leasing them, and leasing brokers were welcome. Most of the sales were for cash, Leasing News was told. The games played by other lessors do not appear to include Bulldog, as the company has an excellent reputation in the leasing industry for being fair and above board, according to many sources.

Doster hired Jeff Schubert in July, 2002, who helped the repossession and remarketing company grow, moving into a top management position.


Jeff Schubert

Then in August 26, 2011 Doster sold his share to Jeff Schubert, who took over as president/CEO. (3)

Earlier this month Schubert told Leasing News he was just winding down the portfolio and was acting as a "broker" for new transactions. The bank was not taking more business. He also said his company was no longer taking leads from broker and sub-broker business.

It now appears there is more to the story.

Steve Trager, Chairman and CEO, Republic Bank, told Leasing News they had only purchase a small part of the liabilities, including loans, and that the FDIC had taken perhaps over $800 million to bid on the open market. A UCC search shows liens on used trucks and equipment (4)

It appears they included Bull Dog Equipment and Sales as well as American Bank Leasing, thier loans and leases, and as important, thier exclusivity in deposing of repossessed trucks and other equipment.

Tennessee Commerce Bank was a major client for the company, this was well established, owning their own buildings as well as their large truck yard. They also handled repossessions form other banks and finance companies.

Doster told Leasing News he saw the problems at Tennessee Commerce Bank coming over a year ago.

“We had aggressively worked on diversifying our client base over the last year so TCB’s failure does affect us short term but will actually be a positive long term development for Bulldog, “ Jim Doster told Leasing News.

In the most similar incident, July 30, 2010 LibertyBank, Eugene, Oregon was closed with Home Federal Bank, Nampa, Idaho assuming the deposits, as well as $419.7 million of the failed bank's assets, with the bank and FDIC sharing a loss-share of $300 million of the assets. Part of the debt came from Commercial Equipment Lease, Eugene, Oregon, who also specialized in used and repossessed trucks and equipment.

In a telephone interview at the time, Len E. Williams, President/CEO, Home Federal Bank told leasing news he was aware of the leasing entity in business for 35 years, like the management, and said he thought the bank would be keeping the operation. Shortly after the interview, the leasing company staff was cut and letters sent out to brokers:

""We and their other brokers got a letter from them when it happened saying they were ceasing operations and not funding anymore & I know almost all the employees are gone and a couple of employees that are left are gone at the end of October."

Brokers tell me the Commercial Equipment Lease was a clean operation, tight with credit, and a good outfit to work with.

The used truck and equipment industry is certainly a tough market place and history shows difficult to remain.

Perhaps Jim Doster will succeed as the economy appears to be making a comeback. He may even have some surprises to announce.

If you can be of any assistance to Jim, please email him at:

(1) Tennessee Commerce Bank Closing

(2) Banks Problem quote:

(3) American Bank Leasing Announcement

(4) Tennessee Commerce Bank UCC’s


The List---January and February, 2012

--- Mergers, Acquisitions & Changes
"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"-

January, 2012

Key Equipment Finance/American Express/Sierra Cities/Rockford (01/12) Key Products Grow except Leasing

U.S. Bank Manifest Funding Services, Marshall, Minn. (01/12) U.S. Bancorp Loan Products Up, but Not Lease Financing;

HL Leasing, Fresno, CA (01/12) Kathleen Otto Found Liable for $114.5 Million Ponzi Scheme

Puget Sound Leasing/First Sound Bank, Bellevue/Seattle, WA (01/12) Court case settled; both bank and leasing company survive under new chairman who has excellent reputation.

Marquette Equipment Finance, Midvale, Utah (01/12) Acquired by PacWest Bancorp, to change name to Pacific Western Leasing. The New bank gives a lot of abilities to expand in the marketplace.

February, 2012

Westover Financial/Santa Ana/Westover Capital, Tustin, CA (02/12) Accused of Multiple Grand Thefts, over $1 million and FBI may be interested as well as local district attorney.

U.S. Energy Capital, Greensboro, GA (02/12) Jim Borland reacquires company, back to work at age 70.

Balboa Capital, Irvine, CA (02/12) Mass Fax Class Action Case; company can’t seem to stay out of trouble.

LEAF Financial, Philadelphia, PA (02/12) Employee tells all

Mount Pleasant Capital Corp. Warrendale, PA (02/12) Launches Major Franchise Lending Program; look out competition!

Alphabetical List:

Chronological List:


Leasing Up at Bigger Banks, but not Smaller

According to the year-end FDIC State Banking Performance Summary of FDIC-insured institutions, total loans and leases are up at Commercial Banks, National, except for banks with assets under $100 million. Note numbers are not up to 2008 levels, and while institutions are down 550 from 2009, numbers have improved, and are close to 2008 where the number of institutions was 797 less.

Notable is the nonperforming percentages compared to 2008.

(all in millions)
Number of Institutions
All Institutions
Assets less $100 million
Assets greater $100 million

Noncurrent loans & Leases are down:
(in percentages)
All Institutions
Assets less $100 million
Assets greater $100 million
(note these are percentages to total loans and leases)

Full Chart:

Comprehensive personal property tax outsourcing services
We accept file exports and integrate personal property tax information with all lease management or accounting software. No other firm offers the combination of individual attention, software capabilities expertise, "full disclosure" and web port accessibility to information more than we do.

Click here to learn what our clients say about our service
Gary DiLillo, President 440.871.0555 or



FDIC Quarterly Report Profits Up, But Fewer Banks
by Christopher Menkin

The FDIC Quarterly Bank Profile reported. "FDIC-insured institutions reported an aggregate profit of $26.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011, a $4.9 billion improvement from the $21.4 billion in net income the industry reported in the fourth quarter of 2010. This is the 10th consecutive quarter that earnings have registered a year-over-year increase. As has been the case in each of the past nine quarters, lower provisions for loan losses were responsible for most of the year-over-year improvement in earnings."

(click to make larger)

The number of banking offices grew in 16 states and declined in 30 states over the past year. The number of offices was unchanged in four states and the District of Columbia. Several states that experienced office contraction from 2010 to 2011 experienced office expansion over the past five years. For example, Texas, South Carolina, Colorado, Arizona, and Wyoming experienced more than a 1 percent decline in the number of offices between 2010 and 2011, but have each experienced more than a 1 percent increase in the number of offices over the past five years. No state experiencing office growth in 2011 experienced office contraction over the past five years.

The number of U.S. banks of all sizes peaked at 31,000 in 1921, staying around 14,000 for the decades, and began falling again, in the late 1980s. Today, the number of banks is one-fourth of the 1921, although the population has greatly grown since then.

The number of banks declined from 18,000 in 1984 to 7,377 at year end 2011. By end of 2020 there will only be 4,490. This is more significant when considering the United States population in 1920 was 105 million compared to 308.7 million in 2010, according to Wikipedia.

Before jumping to any conclusions, the number of offices, including retail operations in supermarkets and other chains, is now at 86,708 compared to the 1920’s mainly one bank office operation.

Yes, there are less “independent banks,” but there are many more office locations, not even counting the internet.

The consolidation of credit unions is even more dramatic — virtually a straight line for the past 27 years. There were 15,193 in 1984 but only 7,036 at the end of 2011. This number will drop to 3,500 in 2020.

While this may appear "alarming, the "mega" trend has also applied to bike stores, book stores, clothing stores, coffee shops, as well as many other businesses as the franchise business has replaced many "mom and pop" operations and even regional small businesses as well as the growth of companies such as Costco and Wal-Mart, to name just a few. Add this to the internet, and the "brick and mortar" retail marketplace, including banks who now are in major grocery outlets and others, not only is banking changing but all business, too, including leasing.

As we step into the stream of water, we think we are in the same spot, but we are not. Heraclitus of Ephesus said this around 500 BC, ““No man ever steps in the same river twice." He didn’t even have an iPhone.

Full FDIC Report here:


FDIC Beige Report---Generally Positive

"Reports on banking conditions were generally positive across Districts. Lending increased to varying degree in the New York, Philadelphia, Richmond, Chicago, Dallas, and San Francisco Districts. Lending was little changed in St. Louis and Kansas City, while loan demand was described as weak in Richmond and soft at regional banks in Atlanta. Demand for business credit was flat to slightly higher in Cleveland and increased slightly in Richmond, San Francisco, and at some large banks in Atlanta. Dallas reported strength in middle-market and large corporate lending, and Chicago noted that business loan growth continued at a moderate pace.

Overall lending standards remained restrictive in San Francisco and Richmond and were largely unchanged in St. Louis and Kansas City. Lending standards tightened further for commercial borrowers in New York. Credit conditions in Chicago improved slightly, while quality improved in Philadelphia and Kansas City. Delinquencies were steady or declined in Cleveland. Mortgage delinquencies were steady in the New York District but delinquencies decreased in other loan categories.


New York






St. Louis


Kansas City


San Francisco

Full report


NACM Economic Report Hits 10 Month High

"The sense is that most of the companies that were in financial distress a year ago have fallen into two broad categories, They either succumbed to the pressures of the recession and went out of business (as suggested by the increased rate of bankruptcies this past year) or they pulled themselves together and have started to make progress."

"There has been very little real shift in the numbers since this time last year, but the good news is that four of the six unfavorable factors are now over 50 and that is an improvement over last month when there were only three indicators trending in expansion territory" said Chris Kuehl, PhD, economist for the National Association of Credit Management (NACM).

Full February Report:

John Kenny Receivables Management

• End of Lease Negotiations & Enforcement
• Fraud Investigation
• Credit Investigations
• Asset Searches
• Skip-tracing
• Third-party Commercial Collections

The Solution to Your Credit & Accounts Receivable Needs
John Kenny
315-866-1167 |


(Leasing News provides this ad as a trade for investigations
and background information provided by John Kenny)


January 2011 Leasing New Business Up compared to 2010

(Chart: Leasing News)

In Leasing News’ “News Briefs” on Monday* had the good news about good New Leasing Business in January, according to the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s (ELFA) Monthly Leasing and Finance Index (MLFI-25). Here are the charts to the story:


click to make larger (Chart: ELFA)

“January’s increase in new business volume returned to a more typical growth pattern following a very busy end-of-year for many leasing and finance companies, “ELFA President and CEO William G. Sutton, CAE, said.

"The continued strengthening in financing volume and trend toward healthier portfolios provide clear evidence that the equipment finance marketplace is in the midst of regaining some of the momentum lost during the Great Recession.”

ELFA MLFI-25 Charts

Aging of Receivables:

click to make larger

Average Losses (Charge-offs) as a % of net receivables
(Year Over Year Comparison)

click image to make larger

Credit Approval Ratios As % of all Decisions Submitted
(Year Over Year Comparison)

click image to make larger

Total Number of Employees
(Year Over Year Comparison)

click image to make larger

ELFA MLFI-25 Participants

ADP Credit
BancorpSouth Equipment Finance
Bank of America
Bank of the West
BB&T Bank
BMO Harris Equipment Finance Company
Canon Financial Services
Caterpillar Financial Services
De Lage Landen Financial Services
Dell Financial Services
EverBank Commercial Finance
Fifth Third Equipment Finance Company
First American Equipment Finance
Hitachi Credit America
HP Financial Services
Huntington Equipment Finance
John Deere Financial
Key Equipment Finance
M&T Bank
Marlin Leasing
Merchants Capital
PNC Equipment Finance
RBS Asset Finance
SG Equipment Finance
Siemens Financial Services
Stearns Bank
Susquehanna Commercial Finance
US Bancorp Equipment Finance
Verizon Capital
Volvo Financial Services
Wells Fargo Equipment Finance

* ELFA Reports $5.1 billion new business in January




Why I Became a CLP

Greg Rieke
GeNESIS Capital Leasing

I'd heard much about the CLP exam, so I took it serious and studied extensively. And I'm sure glad I did, because it was one of the most challenging exams I'd ever taken. It covered every aspect of the leasing business, including how to sell a lease, pricing a lease, credit, documentation, funding, accounting, and taxation just to name some of the topics covered.

I was very proud to pass on my first attempt, and ecstatic I wouldn't have to study for it again!

I’ve experienced a number of benefits from becoming a CLP. First and foremost, it gave me the confidence to start my own leasing company, Genesis Capital Leasing. In order to pass the CLP exam, I was required to understand every facet of the leasing business. My background was in credit and operations, but through the CLP study guide I rounded out my skills in other areas such as pricing & structuring deals, accounting and tax rules, and many other areas that proved invaluable as the owner of a small leasing company.

Equally important, the CLP Foundation has provided a network of colleagues within the leasing industry. I rely on these contacts when making major business decisions, for referrals on funding sources, and for references related to service providers. I’ve found the CLP designation to be particularly important when pursuing new funding sources. I’ve been told by a number of funding sources there’s a credibility the designation brings that gives you a leg up. The reality these days is that you need every advantage when building your funding programs.

Additionally, many of my CLP colleagues have become personal friends and provide an invaluable support system, especially in challenging times like the most recent recession we experienced. As the economy improves and we begin to rebuild our team here at Genesis Capital, the CLP program is something I will continue to highlight and promote with my employees.

Finally, the CLP designation provides an important level of credibility. Within the leasing industry, we’ve seen a number of incidents that do not portray a positive image for our industry. I believe joining and supporting the CLP foundation is a significant way to stand for all that’s good about the leasing industry.

Previous Why I Became a CLP:





Searching for New CLP Foundation Executive Director

Looking for a candidate with a balanced background to include non-profit association management; marketing and sales skills a plus as well as knowledge of finance and leasing.

The Executive Director is a part-time position, working from your own office or home. The basic operational duties include managing the CLP databases, maintaining accurate records, proctoring exams, coordinating updates and changes to website with Web Master and working on special projects as directed by the Board.

The Executive Director acts as a spokesperson in promoting the CLP program, primarily helping to organize volunteer efforts with the CLP Board and Committees. Association conference travel two to three times per year is required.

The Certified Lease Professional (CLP) designation is the preeminent credential for equipment leasing and financing professionals throughout the world. The title that appears after their name in correspondence, business cards, and in the press, shows the individual has demonstrated competency through testing of knowledge, continuing education and a commitment to their business practices and dedication to the industry.

Send resume to Cynthia "Cindy" Spurdle: or telephone: 610.687.0213 



Cumming, Georgia-- Adopt-a-Dog

Diego Y

Breed: Labrador Retriever
Color: Tan/Yellow/Fawn
Age: Young
Size: Large 61-100 lbs (28-45 kg)
Sex: Male

"I am already neutered, housetrained, purebred, and up to date with shots."

Diego Y's Story...
"Diego is a 2 year male yellow lab. The first thing people notice about him is how athletic and muscular he is. He has a ton of energy and loves physical activity: walking, fetching and probably swimming too. He is eager for love and human companionship. He will be a very loyal dog to his new owner. After just 2 days with his foster family he has learned to sit and walk on a leash. He hasn’t had any accidents in the house and sleeps well through the night in a kennel, although he would much rather share a bed with his new owner if it were up to him. He loves being outside, especially if we are out there with him to throw a ball. He is eager to learn and could benefit from further training with his new family. It would be the best way to bond with this energetic dog."

Rescue Group: Labrador Friends of the South, Inc.
(They don't list their phone number here)
Let 'em know you saw "Diego Y" on!
Address: PO Box 933
Cumming, GA

UPDATE: Diego has passed the first test to become a working dog. He will have the full test in two weeks so we will know then if he will be available for adoption or if he will be working to keep our airport safe.

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

Adopt a Pet


Fernando's View
By Fernando F. Croc

Raucous laughter ("Wanderlust") and delicate animation ("The Secret World of Arrietty") await theatergoers this week, while two of last year's most acclaimed hits ("Hugo," "The Skin I Live In") and a vintage family favorite ("Parenthood") come to DVDs.

In Theaters:

Wanderlust (Universal): Director David Wain ("Role Models") mines comic gold once more with underrated everyman Paul Rudd in this frequently hilarious satire of social aspirations. Rudd plays George, a New York schlub who decides to ditch the big city when he and his wife Linda (Jennifer Aniston) both lose their jobs. Looking for a new start, the couple go on a road trip and finally settle on a small Atlanta commune. At first, the laidback, hippie-style generosity of the place seems idyllic after their urban troubles, but trouble starts to brew as George and Linda get to know more about such residents as long-haired messiah-wannabe Seth (Justin Theroux) and Counterculture vet Carvin (Alan Alda). Mixing bursts of uproarious rudeness with moments of humanistic gentleness, the movie draws an inspired portrayal of the tensions between country and city life.

The Secret World of Arrietty (Walt Disney): Delicately crafted and emotionally sophisticated, this adaptation of Mary Norton's beloved children's book "The Borrowers" is another captivating animated gem from Japan's Ghibli Studios. The fanciful plot focuses on married couple Pod and Homily (voiced by Will Arnett and Amy Poehler) and their teenage daughter Arrietty (Bridgit Mendler), a family of thumb-sized people who live under the boards of a British home. Their peaceful existence is shaken, however, when Arrietty is discovered by Shawn (David Henrie), the sickly boy who comes to live in the house. Though perhaps not on the level of Ghibli classics like "My Neighbor Totoro" and "Spirited Away," there is enough magic in this fairy-tale to enchant even the most seasoned animation specialists.

Netflix Tip: One of the screen's most recognizable faces, Ben Gazzara (1930-2012) left a distinguished and varied body of work behind. Check out Netflix for his celebrated collaborations with maverick filmmaker John Cassavetes (including such masterpieces as "Husbands" and "The Killing of a Chinese Bookie"), as well as fine films like "Anatomy of a Murder," "Saint Jack," "Buffalo 66" and "The Big Lebowski."


Hugo (Paramount): Martin Scorsese, the man behind such hard-hitting movies as "Taxi Driver" and "Goodfellas," would seem like an unlikely choice to direct a children's picture. And yet, this lovely adaptation of Brian Selznick's book is not only one of last year's most enchanting films, but also Scorsese's most affecting movie in years. Set in 1930s Paris, it tells the story of Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield), a 12-year-old boy who, after the death of his father, finds refuge behind the walls of the train station. While trying to sort through his family inventions, he befriends a mischievous girl (Chloe Grace Moretz), keeps one step ahead of a bumbling inspector (Sasha Baron Cohen), and meets film pioneer Georges Melies (Ben Kingsley). A valentine to movies, this is a heartfelt fantasy enchants from beginning to end.

The Skin I Live In (Sony): Oscar-winning Spanish director Pedro Almodovar serves up a dark and unpredictable tale with this stylish combination of operatic horror and high camp melodrama. After years since their previous collaboration, the filmmaker reunites with his longtime leading man Antonio Banderas, who stars Dr. Robert Ledgard. A world-famous plastic surgeon, Ledgard is working on what is to be his ultimate project, the creation of a new brand of skin inspired by his late wife. Aided by his faithful companion Marilia (Marisa Paredes), he experiments on a young woman (Elena Anaya) who harbors a deep secret and may not really be all she seems. To say more would be to give away the twists that make Almodovar’s movie such a rich and perversely lyrical experience. With subtitles.

Parenthood (Universal): The trials and tribulations of family life are painted with laughs and tears in this 1989 comedy-drama from Oscar-winning director Ron Howard ("Apollo 13," "A Beautiful Mind"), released in a new special edition DVD. Centering on the Buckman family, it weaves several subplots into a rich tapestry of fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, and everybody in between. Among them are Gil (Steve Martin) and Helen (Dianne Wiest), who are struggling with their troubled sons, Susan (Harley Jane Kozak) and Nathan (Rick Moranis), who differ on how to raise their kids, and grandfather Frank (Jason Robards), who has to deal with "black sheep" son Larry (Tom Hulce). With the help of a remarkable ensemble cast that also includes Mary Steenburgen and Keanu Reeves, Howard offers a heartening view of the joys and pangs of being a parent.


News Briefs----


Bernanke notes economy better than expected

ECB pumps a fresh $700 billion into euro banks

Air Cargo A Lessor's Market?



You May Have Missed---

For just $29 MM, Own Michael Jordan’s Chicago estate


SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer

The Story of Art Tatum



Winter Poem

Winter: A Dirge

by Robert Burns

THE WINTRY west extends his blast,
And hail and rain does blaw;
Or the stormy north sends driving forth
The blinding sleet and snaw:
While, tumbling brown, the burn comes down,
And roars frae bank to brae;
And bird and beast in covert rest,
And pass the heartless day.

“The sweeping blast, the sky o’ercast,”
The joyless winter day
Let others fear, to me more dear
Than all the pride of May:
The tempest’s howl, it soothes my soul,
My griefs it seems to join;
The leafless trees my fancy please,
Their fate resembles mine!

Thou Power Supreme, whose mighty scheme
These woes of mine fulfil,
Here firm I rest; they must be best,
Because they are Thy will!
Then all I want—O do Thou grant
This one request of mine!—
Since to enjoy Thou dost deny,
Assist me to resign.



“Gimme that Wine” 


Free Mobile Wine Program

Wine Prices by vintage

US/International Wine Events

Winery Atlas\

Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page



This Day in History

       1440- Martin Alonzo Pinzon (1440-1493), Spanish shipbuilder and navigator (and co-owner of the Nina and the Pinta), accompanied Christopher Columbus on his first voyage, as commander of the Pinta. Storms separated the ships on their return voyage, and the Pinta first touched land at Bayona, Spain this day in 1493, where Pinzon gave Europe its first news of the discovery of the New World (before Columbus's landing at Palos).
    1624- Edward Winslow, governor of the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts received cattle imported from Dover, England. Cows, were raised principally for their hides; secondly, for meat; and only very incidentally for their milk.
    1638- the Dutch colonial administrator Peter Minuit ( who was later to establish Patroons, grants of settlement in New York ), lead an expedition that sailed from Gothenburg, Sweden on November 20, 1637 and arrived this day in 1638, in two Dutch vessels, Lamar Nyckel and Vogel Grip, with Jan Hendricksen van de Waeter as skipper. The expedition landed at the Rockes” on Chritina River (the future site of Wilmington, DE), Fort Christina, and build nearby was named in honor of the Swedish queen. Another settlement, New Sweden, was built on the Delaware River, near the present site of Trenton, NJ.
    1639- The first document known to have been printed in America was the Oath of a free Man,” by Stephen Day Press, Cambridge, MA. It was a one-page sheet that read: I doe solemnly bind myself in the sight of God, that when I shall be called to give my voice touching any subject of this State, in which Freemen are to deal, I will give my vote and suffrage as I shall judge in mind own conscience may best donce and ten to the publick weal of the body, without respect of persons, or favour of any man.”
    1642 - Georgeana (York), Maine, became the first American city to incorporate.
    1692- The Salem Witch trails began and “witches” were put to death.
    1776- The first independent government was formed in Charleston, SC. John Rutledge was elected president, Henry Laurens vice president, and William Henry Drayton chief justice. An army and navy were created, a privy council and an assembly were elected, and the issue of $600,000 of paper money was authorized, as well as coin.
    1780 - Pennsylvania became the first U.S. state to abolish slavery (for new-borns only). It was followed by Connecticut and Rhode Island in 1784, New York in 1785, and New Jersey in 1786. Massachusetts abolished slavery through a judicial decision in 1783.
    1781- This should be the national holiday, as it commemorates the founding of the United States. A compact was made among the original 13 states had been adopted by the Congress Nov 15, 1777, and submitted to the states for ratification Nov 17, 1777. Maryland was the last state to approve, Feb 27, 1781, but Congress named Mar 1, 1781, as the day of formal ratification. The Articles of Confederation remained the supreme law of the nation until Mar 4, 1789, when the US Constitution went into effect. 1803
    1803- Ohio became the 17 th state.  The Buckeye State (nicknamed because of the many buckeye trees, the state tree) with Columbus as its capital city seems to have a penchant for the color red. Its state bird is the cardinal; the scarlet carnation is its flower; the state insect is the ladybug; and the state drink is tomato juice. The state song is "Beautiful Ohio", the word, Ohio, is derived from the Iroquois Indian word meaning ‘great river'. The Ohio River is not as great as the Mississippi, but it is pretty big! Ohio's state motto: With God, all things are possible.”
    1810-- Georgetown College was chartered in Washington, D.C., making it the first Roman Catholic institution of higher learning established in the United States.
    1845--- President Tyler signs a resolution annexing the Republic of Texas
    1864-- Rebecca Lee, received the first formal M. D. degree in the U.S. ever given an Afro-American woman. Lee got her degree16 years after Elizabeth Blackwell fought her way into the all-male medical establishment. Blackwell then established       other women's medical institutions. Lee received her degree from the New England Female Medical College in Boston.
    1864- Believing the Confederate capital of Richmond. Virginia, to be lightly fortified, President Abraham Lincoln ordered a surprise raid to capture the city and free Union prisoners. Federal troops under General Judson Kilpatrick and Colonel Ulric Dahlgren led the attack on this date, but failed when the plan was discovered by Southern forces in the wake of their retreat, Dahlgren was killed, and two documents were discovered on his body. The incriminating documents contained plans to burn the city and kill Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his cabinet. Confederate General Robert E. Lee complained to the Union commander, George Meade, which infuriated President Lincoln. War historian also label Meade "incompetent", who's indecision cost the Union many lives. As a side note, President Lincoln on March 10th appointed Ulysses S. Grant general in chief, replacing Henry W. Halleck, who systemically began replacing officers who seemed to be composed on "high society" appointments.
    1867-- Nebraska became the 37th state. The Cornhusker State, aka the Beef State, aka the Tree Planter State, Nebraska means ‘flat water' in Oto Indian speak. Lincoln is the official seat of Nebraska government. Nebraska's motto: Equality before the law. The western meadowlark holds the honor of being the state bird; while the goldenrod takes its place as the state flower. Other state symbols include the cottonwood tree (state tree); the honeybee (state insect); blue agate (state gemstone); whitetail deer (state mammal); mammoth (state fossil); prairie agate (state rock); "Beautiful Nebraska" (state song)
    1867-- Howard University, Washington DC, charted.
    1872-- The Yellowstone National Park was established. The first area in the world to be designated a national park, most of Yellowstone is in Wyoming, with small sections in Montana and Idaho. It was established by an act of Congress.
    1874-- Lawn tennis was introduced by Mary Ewing Outerbridge, who imported rackets and other equipment from Bermuda. A court was laid out at the Staten Island Cricket and Baseball Club, New Brighton, N to which Miss Outerbridge's family belonged. The first players were members of the family. Within seven years, tennis had become popular and on May 321, 1881, Eugenius H. Outerbridge, Mary Outerbridge's brother, organized the United States Lawn Tennis Association, to which 33 tennis clubs sent delegates.
    1904- March 1, Glenn Miller Birthday
    1904- Birthday of Glenn Miller, American bandleader and composer (Alton) Glenn Miller was born at Clarinda, IA. He enjoyed great popularity preceding and during World War II. His hit recordings included "Moonlight Serenade," "String of Pearls," "Jersey Bounce" and "Sleepy Lagoon." Major Miller, leader of the US Army Air Force band, disappeared Dec 15, 1944, over the English Channel, on a flight to Paris where he was scheduled to give a show. There were many explanations of his disappearance, but 41 years later, in December 1985, crew members of an aborted RAF bombing said they believed they had seen Miller's plane go down, the victim of bombs being jettisoned by the RAF over the English Channel. Famed trombone player Buddy Morrow now leads the orchestra.
    1910 - The deadliest avalanche of record in the U.S. thundered down the mountains near Wellington Station WA sweeping three huge locomotive train engines and some passenger cars, snowbound on the grade leading to Stevens Pass, over the side and into a canyon, and burying them under tons of snow. The avalanche claimed the lives of more than 100 people. The station house at Wellington was also swept away.
    1912-Isabella Goodwin becomes the first woman detective with the New York City police department.
    1914-- Ralph Ellison, American writer and educator, born at Oklahoma City, OK. Author of the acclaimed novel Invisible Man (1952), the story of a young black man's struggle for his own identity in the face of rejection from both whites and blacks. Quickly recognized as a classic of 20th-century literature, it won the National Book Award in
    1953-- While only one of his novels was published, Ellison published collections of his essays, reviews and stories in Shadow and Act (1964) and Going to the Territory (1986). He died Apr 16, 1994, at New York City.
    1917-- American radio and television personality Dinah Shore was born Frances Rose Shore at Winchester, TN. In addition to recording many hit songs in the 1930s and 1940s, she was one of the first women to be successful as a television host, beginning in the 1950s with the "Dinah Shore Chevy Show." She received 10 Emmys before she died Feb 24, 1994, at Beverly Hills, CA.
    1922--- Birthday of William M Gaines. The magazine Mad , especially popular in the 1960s and 1970s, was founded and published by William Gaines. Alfred E. Neuman, the loony, freckle-faced mascot of the publication, became a pop-culture hero. The magazine, known for its parodies of movies, comic strips and celebrities as well as its satire of politics and social mores, greatly influenced dozens of humorists. Gaines was born at the Bronx, NY. He died June 3, 1992, at New York City.
    1923-- The first tenant moved into a shopping center as we know it today, designed for cars. It was the Country Club Plaza, Kansas City, MO, built by Jesse Clyde Nichols. the center occupied 40 acres and had 150 stores, a 2,000 seat auditorium, and a parking lot for 5,500 automobiles.
    1927-- Harry Belafonte birthday, Harlem City, NY
    1928 --Paul Whiteman and his orchestra recorded Ol´ Man River for Victor Records. The featured vocalist on the track was 29-year-old Paul Robeson.
The song became an American classic.
    1930-- Birthday of Benny Powell, Jazz musician, trombone with the Ernie Fields band, Lionel Hampton, Count Basie veteran.
    1933—Bank holidays were declared in six states, effectively preventing runs on bank assets by worried depositors. By March 4, bank panics reached their greatest intensity. At 4:30am, that day, Gov. Herbert H. Lehman of New York declared a state bank holiday; Gov. Henry Honer of Illinois immediately followed suit.
    1934--- Primo Carnera beats Tommy Loughran in 15 for heavyweight boxing title
    1941-- FM Radio began in the U.S. when station W47NV in Nashville, TN started operations on this day. W47NV was the first commercial FM radio station to receive a license, some 20 years after its AM radio counterpart, KDKA in Pittsburgh. FM stands for ‘frequency modulation´ as opposed to ‘amplitude modulation´.
    1945-The first Barbie doll is unveiled at a toy fair in New York City. It was developed by Ruth Handler who cofounded Mattel, Inc., with her husband in 1945. Since 1959 more than 800 million dolls in the Barbie family had been sold. Sales in Barbie paraphernalia now exceed $1 billion a year. Barbie has had more than 500 professions in her collector series and can be found in more than 140 countries in various ethnic costumes. Barbie is modeled after a Germany comic strip character named Lilli. Mattel bought the rights to Lilli to manufacture Barbie. Her unrealistic dimensions led Finnish scientists to declare Barbie anorexic. Barbie has also been banned in some Muslim countries.
    1948---Top Hits
Now is the Hour - Bing Crosby
I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover - The Art Moonie Orchestra
Ballerina - Vaughn Monroe
I'll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms) - Eddy Arnold
    1950-- The FBI issued their first “Ten Most Wanted.” It was originally a publicity stunt, but two men were caught within the month, based on tips from the public.
    1952-Sam Phillips launches Sun Records by releasing "Drivin' Slow" by 16-year-old saxophonist Johnny London.
    1954 -- Ted Williams fractures collarbone in 1st game of spring training after flying 39 combat missions without injury in Korean War 
    1954--- US explodes 15 megaton hydrogen bomb at Bikini Atoll
    1955-- The Four Lads record their long standing hit "Standing On The Corner"
    1956---Top Hits
Lisbon Antigua - Nelson Riddle
The Poor People of Paris - Les Baxter
Why Do Fools Fall in Love - Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers
I Forgot to Remember to Forget - Elvis Presley
    1957-The Everly Brothers record "Bye Bye Love", a teen-age love song that was written by 37 year old Boudleaux Bryant and his 31 year old wife, Felice. Although nearly 30 other artists turned the song down.
    1957-- Chuck Berry releases "School Days"
    1958--Johnny Mathis, Johnny's Greatest Hits is released. 
    1958- New Orleans mayor DeLesseps "Chep" Morrison, noting Elvis Presley's arrival in town to begin filming his movie King Creole, officially declares today "Elvis Presley Day" in the city.
    1961-- Official establishment of the Peace Corps by President John F. Kennedy's signing of executive order. The Peace Corps has sent more than 153,000 volunteers to 134 countries to help people help themselves. The volunteers assist in projects such as health, education, water sanitation, agriculture, nutrition and forestry. For info: Peace Corps, 1111 20th St NW, Washington, DC 20526. 
Web: .
    1962-Gerry And The Pacemakers release their first British single, "How Do You Do It", which will go on to top the UK chart the following April. The song had been turned down by Adam Faith and although The Beatles had recorded it, they declined to release their version.
    1963- Filming begins in Hollywood for Elvis Presley's 13th film, Fun in Acapulco. 
    1964---Top Hits
I Want to Hold Your Hand - The Beatles
She Loves You - The Beatles
Dawn (Go Away) - The Four Seasons
Begging to You - Marty Robbins
    1965-Petula Clark's first U.S. hit, "Downtown" is awarded a gold record.
    1967 -- Black Congressman Adam Clayton Powell is stripped of his House seat for "gross misconduct." Ralph Bunch later commented: "...if Adam Clayton Powell were white, he would have his seat today." (Re-elected without campaigning, April 11.)
    1967- The Beatles record "A Day In The Life," "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds"
    1968 -- Elton John´s first record, I´ve Been Loving You, was released by Philips Records in England. Philips, not realizing the potential of the soon-to-be superstar, released him in 1969, just prior to his teaming with lyricist Bernie Taupin. Elton then signed a contract with Uni Records and began to turn out what would become a string of more than 50 hits over the next 25 years.
    1968---- Country music stars Johnny Cash and June Carter got married on this day. Johnny walked down the aisle knowing that his 1956 hit, Folsom Prison Blues, was about to be redone for a June release. Cash has a daughter, Rosanne, (previous marriage) who became a country star in her own right in the 1980s.
    1969 - Mickey Mantle announced his retirement from baseball on this day. ‘Number 7' was considered to be the final link to the great Yankee dynasty of the 1950s and 1960s. Mantle's World Series records include: home runs (18), runs scored (42), RBIs (40), walks (43) and strikeouts (54). Mickey Mantle died in 1995
    1969---BRUCE, DANIEL D.  Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, Headquarters and Service Company, 3d Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division. Place and date: Fire Support Base Tomahawk, Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam, 1 March 1969. Entered service at: Chicago, 111. Born: 18 May 1950, Michigan City, Ind. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a mortar man with Headquarters and Service Company 3d Battalion, against the enemy. Early in the morning Pfc. Bruce was on watch in his night defensive position at fire support base tomahawk when he heard movements ahead of him. An enemy explosive charge was thrown toward his position and he reacted instantly, catching the device and shouting to alert his companions. Realizing the danger to the adjacent position with its 2 occupants, Pfc. Bruce held the device to his body and attempted to carry it from the vicinity of the entrenched marines. As he moved away, the charge detonated and he absorbed the full force of the explosion. Pfc. Bruce's indomitable courage, inspiring valor and selfless devotion to duty saved the lives of 3 of his fellow marines and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country. 
    1971 -- At Miami's Dinner Key Auditorium, Jim Morrison of the Doors is arrested for allegedly exposing his penis during the show. Morrison is officially charged with lewd & lascivious behavior, indecent behavior, open profanity & public drunkenness.
    1972---Top Hits
Without You - Nilsson
Hurting Each Other - Carpenters
Precious and Few - Climax
It's Four in the Morning - Faron Young
    1973 --The Robert Joffrey Dance Company opened with a unique presentation in New York City. The show featured music of the Beach Boys in "Deuce Coupe Ballet". A clever show, even if it didn´t do much to bring the masses to ballet.
    1973-- Elvis Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, sells all of Elvis' back catalog recordings to RCA for a lump sum of $5.4 million, forgoing all future royalties, in an apparent attempt to garner the King some quick, much-needed cash. Parker also renegotiates Elvis into a 50-50 split on new royalties, and lands another seven-year, fourteen-album deal with RCA for $3.5 million.
    1975- 17th annual Grammy Awards for 1974 are announced during ceremonies at the Hollywood Palladium. Olivia Newton John wins Record of the Year for "I Honestly Love You" (which also earns her Best Female Pop Vocal Performance). Album of the Year is Stevie Wonder's "Fulfillingness' First Finale" (he wins Best Male Pop Vocal Performance). Song of the Year is "The Way We Were."
    1975-The Eagles had their first million seller and first number one record in the US when "Best of My Love" reached the top of the Billboard chart. "Take It Easy" had made it to number 12, "Witchy Woman" reached number 9, "Peaceful Easy Feeling" hit number 22 and "Already Gone" stalled at number 32.
    1977- Sara Lowndes Dylan files for divorce from her husband of eleven years, Bob Dylan. The divorce is granted in June and she is given custody of their 5 kids and possession of their million-dollar home. Sara was the subject of such songs as "Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands," "Lay Lady Lay" and "Sara."
    1977- Manfred Mann gets their first gold record for "Blinded by the Light," one of the several Bruce Springsteen songs covered the group. The song hit Number One last month, 13 years after Mann's first Number One song, "Do Wah Diddy Diddy."
    1980---Top Hits
Crazy Little Thing Called Love - Queen
Yes, I'm Ready - Teri DeSario with K.C.
Longer - Dan Fogelberg
I Ain't Living Long like This - Waylon Jennings
    1980 - Norfolk, VA, received 13.7 inches of snow to push their season total to a record 41.9 inches exceeding their previous record by more than four inches.
    1980 - An unusually large Florida tornado, 500 yards in width at times, killed one person and caused six million dollars damage near Fort Lauderdale.
    1981-- Duke Ellington-musical "Sophisticated Ladies" premieres in New York NY
    1983 - The Philadelphia 76ers won their 10th straight game, beating the New York Knicks 106-94, their 50th win of the season. The Sixers lost only seven of their first 57 games. The team had the fastest start of any team in the 37-year history of the National Basketball Association
    1983-- Robyn Smith rode North Star to victory in the Paumanok Handicap at Aquaduct Racetrack to become the first woman jockey to win a stakes race.
    1983-- Skier Tamara Mckinney became the first American woman skier to win the overall World Cup Championship.
    1987 - The Boston Celtics defeated Detroit 112-102 to become the first NBA franchise to win 2,000 games.
    1988---Top Hits
Father Figure - George Michael
What Have I Done to Deserve This? - Pet Shop Boys & Dusty Springfield
She's like the Wind - Patrick Swayze featuring Wendy Fraser
I Won't Take Less Than Your Love - Tanya Tucker
    1988-- Center Wayne Gretzky of the4 Edmonton Oilers earned an assist in a game against the Los Angeles Kings to become the NHL's all-time career assist leader. It took Gretzky 681 games to garner 1,050 assists and surpass Gordie Howe who set the record in 1,767 games.
    1991-Director Oliver Stone's biopic The Doors, starring Val Kilmer, opens in Los Angeles.
    1994- Aretha Franklin is honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award and Frank Sinatra is given the annual Living Legends Award at tonight's Grammys in New York.
    1994- Tony Bennett's Unplugged wins Album of the Year at tonight's Grammy Awards.
    1995- The 1994 Grammy winners are announced. Sheryl Crow wins Grammys for Best New Artist and Best Song for "All I Wanna Do" while Tony Bennett's "Unplugged" LP wins Best Album.




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