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Friday, May 5, 2006

Cartoonist Day

To honor all cartoonists in the industry: animation, magazines, comic strips, etc.

(see other calendar events )


Classified Ads---Operations
    Intn. Leasing Industry salutes Fleming
        N-1 Technologies: “Broker/Lessor” List
P MAP: Personal Marketing Action Plan
    Broker Requirements of Allegiant-Partners
        Beckman-Coulter Leasing Change
Neason & Bryan Potthoof join Key Equip
    Trinity Industries Earnings Leap
        Sterling Bancorp 1st Quarter results
Marlin CEO & Pres each sell 22,862 shares
    Marlin Reports 1st Q Increase 20%
        Fitch Upgrades Marlin Receivables
Fitch Upgrades GE Com. Equipment Financing
    News Briefs---
        You May have Missed---
Sports Briefs---
    "Gimme that Wine"
        Calendar Events
Top Event in American History
    This Day in American History
        Baseball Poem

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

Lease Coordinator

Lease Coordinator, Accurate preparation of equipment lease documentation and funding. Knowledge of leasing industry preferred. email


Classified Ads---Operations

Stan Beckman Portovenere, Italy *

Orange County, CA
Operations/Credit Manager with 15 Years Experience, Middle & Large Ticket, initiated policies for Patriot Act and Sarbanes Oxley, Team Motivator.

East Windsor, NJ
Skilled Manager in credit, collections, training, documentation, policy and procedure, lease and finance operations. Get results and keep the customer coming back.


New York, NY
10+ years in equipment leasing/secured lending. Skilled in management & training, documentation, policy and procedure development & implementation, portfolio reporting. Strong work ethic.

Wayne, NJ
20+ heavily experienced collection/recovery VP looking to improve someone's bottom line. Proven, verifiable track record. Knowledge of all types of portfolio. Will relocate

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

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

*Portovenere, Italy
(14" X 10")
Print Edition 450
Price $50.00

Artist Stan Beckman will be at the very popular Saratoga Rotary Art Show, Saratoga, CA.,
held at West Valley College



International Leasing Industry pays tribute to Mike Fleming

from Decision Points... Brief,
a publication of the Alta Group

Michael J. Fleming, CAE, Equipment Leasing Association President
“Considered the ‘Dean' of all leasing associations”

Over the past 27 years there has been one constant in US leasing who has helped to guide the industry through a period of profound change. Mike Fleming is a quietly spoken man whose voice has been heard loud around the world and his enormous contributions have helped to shape the industry that we see today. His work may have been primarily related to the US, but it is clear that Mike has also been a significant influence in the evolution of the leasing industry globally and over the decades has earned immense international respect.

It will come as no surprise to anybody who knows him that he is held in high esteem in leasing circles around the world and, to mark his forthcoming retirement from the position of ELA president on 1st July 2006, the FLA (the UK equivalent of the ELA) recently organised a dinner in Mike's honour. A black tie function in a private dining room at the famous Ivy restaurant in London, the guest list of 30 comprised a who's who of senior figures from the global leasing community. Among the guests were some of Mike's counterparts, including Marc Baert (Director General of Leaseurope), Martin Hall (Director General of the FLA), Ron Hardaker (Federal Director of the Australian Equipment Lessors Association) and David Powell (President of the Canadian Finance & Leasing Association), together with leading names, both past and present, from the UK leasing industry.

Once seated, Sam Geneen, the current FLA Chairman, welcomed everybody with a short speech. Although equally entertaining, it was somewhat shorter than his address to the annual FLA dinner attended by 1,500 people just two nights earlier. More speeches and tributes followed the dinner, praising Mike's contributions, and the guidance he has given to so many around the world. There were kind words speaking of his wisdom and knowledge of leasing matters and also many comments about the great friendships that had developed over the decades. Paul Larkins, the Chairman of the ELA who was also in attendance, added his personal remarks to the international tributes.

To commemorate this occasion and in recognition of his great love of trains, Mike was presented with an antique British Rail clock, recovered from an old signal box and then lovingly restored. To accompany the clock, Mike also received a book in which this clock was featured.

Pictured at the Ivy dinner commemorating Mike Fleming's retirement are (left to right):

Sam Geneen (Chairman FLA), Derek Soper (Principal The Alta Group and former Chairman FLA), Martin Hall (Director General FLA), Marc Baert (Secretary General, Leaseurope), Mike Fleming (President ELA), Paul Larkins (Chairman ELA) and Alan Leesmith (Principal The Alta Group)



N-1 Technologies joins “Broker/Lessor” List

“Broker/Lessor” List

Third Column: YES - Year Company Started | YELB - Years in equipment Leasing Business

A - City Business License | B- State License | C - Certified Leasing Professional |
D - State(s) sales/use tax license |
E -
Named as "lessor" on 50% or more of lease contract signed. |

City, State
Leasing Association
(see above for meaning)
# of Empl.
Geographic Area
Service Organization
N-1 Technologies
Westchester, IL
Michael Owens
Avg. transaction size $500,000


Next week the “Broker/Lessor” list will be up-dated with over fifty new listings. Monday the up-dated list will be posted.



P MAP: Personal Marketing Action Plan

from the late Mike Graneri "Top Gun" Newsletter, as printed in January, 2002, Leasing News

It is generally understood in informed circles that a prerequisite for success in the selling profession is the setting of realistic income goals, and a plan for achieving them that is both implemented and evaluated. The PMAP (The Personal Marketing Action Plan) embodies the essence of successful planning and execution.

The Anatomy of a Top Gun PMAP

Set you personal income goals for the next twelve months.

- Be sure that your goals are realistic: But if in doubt, stretch a little.

· How much volume will you need to achieve your income goals?

- What will be the sources of your volume.

- What obstacles do you anticipate encountering in your quest to reach your objectives?

Examples: Competition, A so-so Economy, and Price Wars.

- What personal and corporate resources do you plan to bring to bear on these real or potential obstacles.

- Be both realistic and specific in detailing how you plan to remove and roadblocks to your goal achievement.

- Detail an evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses in the three elements of a sale

- Product Knowledge.

- Prospecting methods and Market Niche Knowledge.

- Presentation Skills.

- Your remedial plan for eliminating theses weaknesses

- Develop a PEP (Personal evaluation program) to monitor and evaluate your progress toward your goals

- Top Gun Stress Point: Conduct weekly overviews to spot early warning signs of real or potential problems, and detailed monthly evaluations of progress or lack of it. Seek help in this area from your sales manager or another Top Gun Sales Person.

- Implement a PIP (Professional improvement program) on a monthly basis.

-Build your PIP around improvement in the three elements of a sale: Product, Prospect, and Presentation.

•  Develop a chronological plan for the implementation of your PMAP and stick with it.



Broker Requirements of Allegiant-Partners

"Why do They Need That?"

By Christopher A. Enbom, CLP

Reprinted from Spring 2006 Newsline, United Association of Equipment Leasing
with permission of the author

Since the transactions Allegiant is evaluating are on the cusp of not being credit-worthy, we are especially careful in making sure we have enough quality information with which to make a credit decision. Allegiant and other full package funders, especially those in the story credit market, sometimes require a stack of documents and somewhat laborious closing procedures. We thought it would be worthwhile to review some of the rationale behind the documentation and procedures we follow when closing transactions. Understanding the rationale behind the request may make for an easier sell with the customer.

Broker Application and Agreement

Allegiant reviews broker references, pulls credit reports and does Internet/industry searches. We want to work with honest brokers who are professional and take a long term view. In a broker agreement, the broker pledges to Allegiant that it will pass on all of the information it has with regards to the transaction and will not withhold any information from Allegiant.

Application Supplemental Form

Allegiant requires that all brokers fill out a simple form to provide essential information we need to evaluate a transaction. This includes whether (i) the transaction had already been declined or offered to other sources or (ii) up-front payments have been collected on this or related transactions. We can generally ascertain the other funding sources who have inquired on a transaction through reports, but the information regarding deposits paid to brokers is especially important to us. We have seen a number of situations where lessees paid amounts to brokers that were not revealed to Allegiant. When it came time for the first payment to be made on the lease, we have had lessees refuse to pay on the grounds that they have made payments to the broker which they assumed would be applied toward rent. Lessees have also refused to make payments in situations where brokers, working on more than one transaction for a customer, have collected deposits for equipment with Allegiant is not financing then refused to return the deposit even though the transaction was not successfully placed. We also get information such as where the broker sourced the transaction and the funding sources who have turned the transaction down. It is especially crucial to know if sub-brokers are involved, as we would need to approve the sub-broker as well as the broker.

Lease Application

The most common information we have seen withheld includes: (i) weak guarantors or owners, (ii) a strong operator fronting for a weaker operator (especially in trucking, contracting and logging), (iii) not revealing a fact that has a significant bearing on the transaction (such as the lessee intending to sell the business) or (iv) more egregious fraud such as assisting a lessee in over-finance or double financing equipment. Allegiant has seen all of these situations. We need credit applications and personal financial statements that are signed and dated. We need authorization to pull credit reports and personal guarantees.

Information on Affiliates

Often brokers do not understand why we want information related to an affiliate that is not involved directly with the credit we are evaluating. We sometimes find, however, that companies with several affiliates hide losses in companies we are not evaluating. In other situations the affiliate may provide the essential credit strength we need. Without the affiliate information, we may not have a complete and accurate picture of the entire financial situation of the lessee.


As part of the credit process Allegiant interviews principals from each company we finance. We often catch inconsistencies between information presented in writing and information gleaned during the interview. On the other hand, a good interview may help us to approve a transaction which looks weak on paper.

IRS Form 4506T

This form allows Allegiant to go to the IRS and request copies of filed tax returns for applicants, guarantors and affiliates. It is easy for an applicant to give a funding source fraudulent tax returns, and this form allows Allegiant to check the tax returns actually filed and compare them with the tax returns shown to Allegiant.

Bank Statements

Many times people claim to have hundreds of thousands in the bank whereas actual statements reveal much less. We may also need to verify real estate values if real estate makes up a large percentage of net worth. Document Request forms Allegiant has a form that the broker fills out prior to documentation that provides us with the details we need to prepare documents accurately and quickly.

Copy of Drivers Licenses

It is required under the Patriot Act that we document evidence of our customer's identity. Obtaining the licenses is also useful as a fraud check and provides us with signatures to compare with the signatures on the documents.

Original Signed Documents

Allegiant's creditors (our banks) require us to deliver original chattel paper (i.e. original signed documents) to them when we borrow money. Not all lessors have this constraint, but many do.

Officer's Certificate

There is often confusion regarding the officer's certificate. Most often the confusion occurs when the lease document signatory signs at the bottom of the Officer's certificate as well. The purpose of the officer's certificate is to provide us with assurance that the person who signed the contracts on behalf of the company had authority to do so. We therefore ask a different officer or director (not the contract signatory) sign at the bottom of the officer's certificate thus confirming the authority of the contract signatory. Unfortunately the signatory of the contracts cannot confirm his or her own authority.


We send inspectors to photograph all equipment we have financed to verify its existence, check serial numbers and general condition. The inspector also ascertains the delivery date of the equipment to make sure Allegiant has a purchase money security interest in the equipment. If the equipment was delivered more than 20 days prior to our funding, Allegiant may need a lien release or subordination from blanket lien holders since we would otherwise lose our priority security interest in the equipment.

Allegiant often puts tags on equipment it is financing which can add a day to the inspection time. We have found in workout situations that a clear identifier of the lien holder helps to clear up confusion with other creditors regarding the validity of a claim on the equipment. This requirement can be waived if necessary.

Verbal Confirmation

Even with an acceptance certificate signed by the lessee, we want to make sure they are ready to have the vendors funded and begin the lease. This also allows Allegiant to have additional contact with the lessee prior to starting the lease, thus assuring us that the lessee is a real company. We also go over the primary terms of the lease to avoid any confusion later.


Allegiant's approvals expire after 30 days. All funders have some period after which a lessee needs to be re-approved. Most of the time, a re-approval requires simply that we run a few credit reports to make sure the business and personal scores have not materially deteriorated. If the scores have declined significantly, we will need to do more credit investigation, including a review of updated and interview the applicant again. This will determine if the approval can be renewed. Allegiant also takes these steps behind the scenes:

Corporate Name Verification Allegiant always verifies corporate names to make sure we have the correct legal name and thus a binding contract. In addition, Allegiant wants to be sure a lessee has taken all steps necessary to maintain its corporate status.

Internet Searches Basic Internet searches of a company and its principals can reveal articles about misdeeds. For example, a simple Google search on the principals of Norvergence revealed that the brother of the founder had been previously involved with an illegal scheme and we declined the transaction.

Other Criminal Search Tools Allegiant runs background checks on principals that sometimes reveal previous criminal activity.

Brokers may not always agree with everything a funding source does, but understanding the reasons behind the process may make the sales process to the customer easier. In Allegiant's case, the lessee generally knows that its credit is somewhat outside the box, so gathering the additional information is not a problem. In certain situations, some of the steps outlined above may be waived if the transaction merits special treatment. Communication between the funding source and the broker is key, and those who understand the nuances of leasing the best are the most effective! Thus we encourage brokers to be educated through the UAEL, the CLP process and by asking questions and being involved.

About the author:

Mr. Enbom is the founder of Allegiant Partners and has been the company's chief executive from its inception in 1998. Allegiant Partners is a story credit lessor that purchases transactions between $70,000 and $250,000 in size from brokers and other leasing companies. Mr. Enbom has been involved in structuring, marketing and closing leases and structured transactions since 1988 with such companies as D'Accord Financial Services (now Dresdner Securities), Bank of America Leasing & Capital Group and CIBC World Markets in both Japan and San Francisco. Mr. Enbom has a B.A. in Political Economy from the University of California, Berkeley. Information regarding Allegiant Partners can be found at

Your One stop solution for training and reference material for the Leasing Professional

Visit our website by clickng on the logo above

122-A Foothill Blvd., Arcadia, CA. 91006
Voice 626-305-1053 . Fax 626-305-0019 .


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

Beckman-Coulter Leasing Change

Reported sales were down 1.2% compared to prior year quarter, impacted by the previously announced shift in leasing policy toward more operating-type leases. This shift moves the recognition of certain instrument revenue from a lump sum at the initiation of the lease to monthly installments made over the life of the lease, typically five years. Adjusting for currency, which trimmed revenues 2.2%, sales were up 1%.

Geographically, U.S. revenue was up 5.1% despite the negative effects of the leasing policy change. On a currency adjusted basis, international sales were down 3.2% in comparison to an unusually strong international growth rate in the first quarter 2005 of 18.5%. European revenues were down 1.4% from prior year quarter. Modest growth in Germany along with strong growth in Italy and dealer markets was more than offset by lower sales in France and the United Kingdom. Sales in the Far East were down about 10% overall on continued market weakness in Japan and a slow start in other Asian markets due to dealer transitions.

First quarter consumables sales were up 8.9%, in constant currency, affected by comparison with an unusually strong and above trend first quarter 2005 consumables growth rate of 14.3%. Acquisitions made after March 2005 contributed about 6% to the first quarter 2006 growth rate. Access(R) immunoassay system consumables in the U.S., unaffected by acquisitions, gained 21.4%. Consumables revenue growth, an important indicator of the company's strength during the transition to operating-type leases, is expected to be 10% or more for the full year 2006.

The Audit and Finance Committee of the company's Board of Directors is overseeing an inquiry into claims made by a former employee. This individual alleges in a letter dated April 17, that his recent termination, as part of the company's restructuring, was because of certain accounting and financial reporting issues he claims that he brought to the attention of his supervisor. These allegations involve obsolescence of about $25 million of inventory, accounting for returned equipment under lease, and disclosure of causes for change in expenses. The Audit and Finance Committee has retained outside counsel and an outside forensic accounting firm to assist in the inquiry, which could delay the company's filing of its Form 10-Q.


Turning to the outlook, Garrett said, "Assuming stable currency, second quarter sales should be in the range of $620 to $645 million. Operating margin is expected to be between 10.5% and 11.5%, non-operating expense should be $10 to $11 million and earnings per fully diluted share are expected to be $0.62 to $0.72 based on a tax rate between 26% and 27%.

"We are confident that we will see quarter-over-prior year quarter hardware revenue growth in the fourth quarter 2006 and beyond, as the anniversary of the full implementation of our leasing policy change is reached. We are narrowing our range for full year 2006 revenues to $2,530 to $2,590 million, assuming stable currency. Operating margins should be 11% to 11.5% and non-operating expense should be $38 to $40 million. Based on a diluted share count of about 64.5 million and a tax rate between 26% and 27%, we are raising our range for full year earnings per diluted share to $2.75 to $2.95, excluding any unusual items or restructuring related charges. Free cash flow is expected to be about $50 million.

"Looking ahead to 2007, we expect sales growth in the range of 7% to 9% as we complete the leasing transition and the benefits of recurring revenues from operating-type leases increasingly contribute to revenue growth," said Garrett.

Full press release at:


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

Key Equipment Finance Appoints Philip E. Neason and
Bryan Potthoof to Lease Advisory Services

SUPERIOR, CO. – – Key Equipment Finance, one of the nation's largest bank-affiliated equipment financing companies and an affiliate of KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY), has announced the appointment of Philip E. Neason and Bryan Potthoff to the position of vice presidents within its Lease Advisory Services group. The Lease Advisory Services group is a small team of experienced professionals focused on providing value-added products and services nationwide to prospects and clients of KeyBanc Capital Markets in addition to the market at large. Structured products include the arranging of securitization of lease, loan and license/subscription receivables, lease structures for equipment and single tenant real estate, structured debt for projects and facilities and leveraged leasing. Advisory services are provided on these products in addition to acquisitions, divestitures and capital formation. Mr. Neason's office is with KeyBanc Capital Markets in San Francisco, California; Mr. Potthoff's office is located at Key Equipment Finance's worldwide headquarters outside Boulder, Colorado.

Mr. Neason has more than 20 years of experience in domestic and international equipment finance, including a core focus in the transportation and energy industries. He most recently held the position of senior vice president at G.E. Energy Financial Services where he was responsible for energy-related business marketing activity in the Northwest and Alaska. He began his career at Bank of New England Leasing (now BTM Capital) and has since held positions of increasing responsibility at Bank of America Leasing, Babcock & Brown and Macquarie Corporate Finance. Mr. Neason earned his bachelor of science degree from Boston College and his masters in economics from Boston University.

Bryan Potthoof

Mr. Potthoff joined Key Equipment Finance (then Leasetec Corporation) in 1991 as director of treasury and banking relationships. He was promoted to treasurer in 1997 and to vice president in 1998. In 2000 he was named head of worldwide credit for the vendor leasing unit. In February 2002 he became general manager of the European region, overseeing new business and operational responsibility for Key's European vendor leasing unit. After two years in the United Kingdom, he returned to the U.S. and accepted a similar position overseeing vendor operations in North America, Key's largest vendor leasing unit. Prior to joining Key, Mr. Potthoff held the position of vice president for First Interstate Bank in Denver, Colorado. Mr. Potthoff earned his bachelor of science degree from the University of Colorado in Boulder where he graduated with honors. He then earned his MBA with an emphasis in corporate finance from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California.

“In addition to soliciting the market at large, both Phil and Bryan will deliver lease advisory product solutions and services to specific vertical market segments within KeyBanc Capital Markets,” said Steven T. Dixon, managing director for Key's Lease Advisory Services group. “Phil will serve prospects and clients of the Energy Group, and Bryan will focus on the Technology Group. Phil's experience in the energy industry as well as his solid background in consulting and syndications make him a strong asset to our team. Similarly, Bryan's long tenure with Key, his experience as a corporate treasurer and his work in the technology sector will serve us well.”

Key Equipment Finance is an affiliate of KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) and provides business-to-business equipment financing solutions to businesses of many types and sizes. They focus on four distinct markets:

• businesses of all sizes in the U.S. and Canada (from small business to large corporate);

• equipment manufacturers, distributors and value-added resellers worldwide;

• federal, provincial, state and local governments as well as other public sector organizations; and

• lease advisory services for manufacturers' captive leasing and finance companies.


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

Trinity Industries Earnings Leap

Trinity Industries (TRN:NYSE - commentary - research - Cramer's Take), a diversified industrial company, said its first-quarter earnings rose more than five-fold, boosted by higher sales and improved margin across all of its business segments.

The Dallas-based company earned $37 million, or 70 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $6 million, or 11 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of $31.5 million, or 61 cents a share in the most recent quarter.

First-quarter revenue rose 17.6% from a year-ago period to $760.9 million as against analysts' expectation of $778.1 million.

"Our operating profit was higher during this quarter than any March-ending quarter in the Company's history. Operating margins in all of our business segments improved as compared to the same quarter last year," the company said.

First-quarter operating income increased more than three-fold to $73.6 million and operating margin moved up 691 basis points to 9.8%.

By segment, first-quarter revenue from the rail group rose 24.3% from a year-ago period to $539.9 million. Revenue from construction products group increased 15% to $164.6 million. Revenue from inland barge group jumped 82.6% to $82 million. Revenue from the energy equipment group was up 46% to $68.2 million. Revenue from the railcar leasing and management services group increased 7.2% to $56.3 million and revenue from all other groups moved up 20.2% to $11.3 million.

Full press release here:


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

Sterling Bancorp Reports First Quarter 2006 Earnings Per Share of $0.33

Loan and Deposit Growth Remained Strong

NEW YORK, -- Sterling Bancorp (NYSE: STL - News), a financial holding company and the parent company of Sterling National Bank, today reported its financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2006.

First Quarter 2006 Highlights:

-- Net income increased by 11.7% year-over-year to $6.4 million

-- Diluted earnings per share increased to $0.33 from $0.29 in the first quarter of 2005

-- Period end loans increased 12.2% from March 31, 2005

-- Interest income rose 14.6% year-over-year to $30.0 million

-- Return on average tangible equity increased to 21.27%

"In the first quarter of 2006, Sterling delivered solid year-over-year growth in our loan portfolios, deposits and interest income and continued to build a stronger balance sheet," said Louis J. Cappelli, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "The current interest rate environment, rapidly rising cost of funding and flattened yield curve are impacting Sterling and the entire banking sector. It is essential to be proactive in responding to the changing marketplace and circumstances, and we believe the actions we are taking will position us for future growth."

"Early in the second quarter we completed the acquisition of PL Services, a leading provider of credit and accounts receivable management services to the staffing industry, which expands our commercial lending portfolio and enhances cross-selling opportunities. We have also applied to add a Sterling branch at their headquarters in Woodbury, Long Island," added Mr. Cappelli. "Further expanding our franchise in the New York region, we recently announced the planned opening of our newest branch in Jamaica Queens, directly across the street from the Queens County Court House, which will bring our unique combination of high-touch, high-tech banking to this vibrant community of businesses and legal professional groups."

First Quarter 2006 Financial Results

Net Income

Net income for the first quarter of 2006 was $6.4 million, an 11.7% increase from $5.8 million in the first quarter of 2005. Net income was favorably impacted by a $5.3 million lower provision for income taxes which is discussed further below. Diluted earnings per share grew to $0.33 from $0.29 in the first quarter of last year (adjusted to reflect a 5% stock dividend effected in December 2005).

Full Press Release here:


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

May 2 Marlin CEO & Pres each sell 22,862 shares

The day before the announcement below of the 20% First Quarter profit increase, May 2 , Daniel P. Dyer , Chairman and CEO, sold 22,862 share at $21.87 (according to the form) of his 236,681 shares.

May 2, Gary M. Shivers, president, sold 22,862 shares of stock.

May 3, George D. Pelose, attorney/public relations/vice-president exercised his option of 1250 shares of stock at $4.23 and sold it for $21.49.


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

Marlin Business Services Corp. Reports 20% Increase in First Quarter Net Income

MOUNT LAUREL, N.J., -- Marlin Business Services Corp. (Nasdaq: MRLN) Wednesday, May 3 reported net income of $4.7 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2006, a 20% increase over net income of $3.9 million for the same period in 2005. Diluted net income per share was $0.39 for the first quarter of 2006, an increase of 18.2% compared to $0.33 for the same period in 2005. Annualized returns on average assets and equity in the first quarter of 2006 were 2.82% and 16.34%, respectively.

"I am pleased to report a strong quarter, marked by solid earnings growth," said Daniel P. Dyer, Chairman and CEO of Marlin. "Our operating results were driven by strong credit quality, lower G&A spending, and higher origination volume, which was up 7.3% from the fourth quarter of 2005."

Full Press Release:


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

Fitch Upgrades Marlin Leasing Receivables VII, LLC, Series 2003-1

CHICAGO)--May 3, 2006--Fitch Ratings upgrades the following classes of equipment contract backed notes for Marlin Leasing Receivables VII, LLC, series 2003-1 as follows:

Class A upgraded to 'AA' from 'A+';

Class B upgraded to 'A' from 'BBB+;

Class C upgraded to 'BBB' from 'BB+'.

In its review of the Marlin 2003-1 transaction, Fitch noted increasing levels of credit enhancement available to the class A, B, and C notes. The continued increase in credit enhancement is a result of better than expected portfolio performance. As of April 17, 2006, 30+ day delinquencies equaled 2.79%, cumulative net losses were 2.18%, and the recovery rate on previously defaulted contracts is 39.16%. In addition, the transaction also benefits from a reserve account ($2,371,050), over-collateralization ($2,123,470), and expected future booked residual realizations.

In addition to the aforementioned transactions, Fitch also rated the Marlin 1999-2, 2000-1, 2001-1, and 2002-1 transactions, which matured in December 2002, March 2004, July 2004, and August 2005, respectively. All four transactions outperformed original base case expectations, with consistently low delinquency and default rates, resulting in steadily increasing levels of credit enhancement available to all classes.

Fitch will continue to closely monitor these transactions and may take additional rating action in the event of changes in performance and credit enhancement measures.

Fitch's rating definitions and the terms of use of such ratings are available on the agency's public site, Published ratings, criteria and methodologies are available from this site, at all times. Fitch's code of conduct, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, affiliate firewall, compliance and other relevant policies and procedures are also available from the 'Code of Conduct' section of this site.


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

Fitch Upgrades GE Commercial Equipment Financing LLC 2003-1

CHICAGO----Fitch has taken the following rating actions on the lease-backed notes for GE Commercial Equipment Financing LLC, series 2003-1:

-- Class A affirmed at 'AAA';

-- Class B upgraded to 'AAA' from 'AA+'.

The rating upgrade is a result of increased available credit enhancement. The collateral continues to perform within Fitch's expectations and, under Fitch's analysis of the credit enhancement structure, the security can now withstand stress scenarios consistent with the upgraded rating and still make full payments to investors in accordance with the terms of the documents. As of March 20, 2006, 30+ day delinquencies equaled 0.44% and cumulative net losses were 0.04%. As before, the ratings reflect the quality of origination, underwriting, and servicing experience and procedures of General Electric Capital Corporation (GECC), as well as the sound financial and legal structure of the transaction.

Fitch's rating definitions and the terms of use of such ratings are available on the agency's public site, Published ratings, criteria and methodologies are available from this site, at all times. Fitch's code of conduct, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, affiliate firewall, compliance and other relevant policies and procedures are also available from the 'Code of Conduct' section of this site.


Fitch Ratings

Du Trieu, 312-368-2091 (Chicago)
Peter Manofsky, 312-368-2068 (Chicago)
Sandro Scenga, 212-908-0278 (New York, Media Relations)


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

News Briefs----

An April Easter Helps Retailers Post Best Sales Gain in 2 Years

AOL to Add Free Phone to Instant Messaging Feature

Microsoft invades Google's turf

San Diego County home prices to flatten
Anderson Forecast sees leveling-off through 2011 in U.S.

Rates on 30-year climb to highest point in nearly four years

It's NorthPark's big day
High-end mall becomes Texas' largest with unveiling of $225 million expansion

FedEx to add jobs in Indianapolis,1,4917798.

Mutinous franchisees file suit against UPS

Tyco 2Q earnings soar to $1.02 billion

Picasso portrait sells for $95.2 million

Another 'Idol' contestant out; Four left



You May have Missed---

Big snowmelt turns rivers deadly



Sports Briefs----

Injury to Titan may speed exit of McNair,0,1921489.

49ers obtain Dilfer to mentor Smith

S.F. trades Dorsey to Browns in exchange for QB and a 2007 draft pick

No more options on Joey

Bonds cools in Chase for Hank

Miami mauls lackluster Bulls to close out series,1,3803682.

Nets Make a Memory of the Pacers



“Gimme that Wine”

The Judgment of Paris: Wine tasting re-enactment leads to resistance on both sides of the Atlantic

THE FACES OF ORGANIC Many vines; few wines

Gallo rebrands

Beckstoffer receives first Grower of the Year award

Wine Prices by vintage

US/International Wine Events

Winery Atlas\

Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page



Calendar Events This Day

Bonza Bottler Day

To celebrate when the numberof the day is the same as the number of the month. Bonza Bottler Day is an excuse to have a party at least once a month.

Cartoonist Day

To honor all cartoonists in the industry: animation, magazines, comic strips, etc.

China: Birthday of Lord Buddha

Religious observances are held in Buddhist temples and Buddha's statue is bathed. Annually, the eight day of fourth lunar month. Date in other countries will differ form Cahina's

Cinco de Mayo

The holiday of Cinco De Mayo, The 5th Of May, commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862. It is primarily a regional holiday celebrated in the Mexican state capital city of Puebla and throughout the state of Puebla, with some recognition in other parts of the Mexico, and especially in U.S. cities with a significant Mexican population. It is not, as many people think, Mexico's Independence Day, which is actually September 16.

Ethiopia: Patriots Victory Day

Naitonal holiday. Commemorates the 1941 liberation of Addis Ababa by British and Ethiopian forces.

Japan: Children's Day

National holiday. Observed on the fifth day of the fifth month each year.

Totally Chipotle Day

To help trumpet what is proving to be one of the most popular “new” flavors in the US. Totally Chipotle Day helps familiarize the initiated with the delectable chipotle---a smoked jalapeno pepper---and its somewhat difficult pronunciation. Celebrated alongside Cinco de Mayo to honor it exclusively Mexican-Indian heritage.



Today's Top Event in History

1966-- Willie Mays hit home run number 512 of his career. The San Francisco Giants' superstar became the greatest home run hitter in the National League to that time.



This Day in American History

    1494-- Columbus discovered Jamaica in 1494, meeting the Arawak Indians, who reportedly celebrated the event with a rum drink. He would eventually enslave or kill all on the many islands by disease or violence.
    1847-The American Medical Association was organized at a meeting at Philadelphia attended by 250 delegates. This was the first national medical convention in the US.
    1864- The forces of Union General Ulysses S. Grant and Confederate General Robert E. Lee clash in the Wilderness, beginning an epic campaign for the capture of the Confederacy capital. Lee had hoped to meet the Federals, who plunged into the tangled Wilderness west of Chancellorsville, Virginia, the day before, in the dense woods in order to mitigate the nearly two-to-one advantage Grant possessed as the campaign opened. For the next six weeks the battle continued off and on.
    1867- Nelly Bly (Elizabeth Cochran Seaman) - U.S. journalist. The first woman superstar of journalism, NB was a fighter for women's rights and the underdog. She once feigned insanity to get inside asylum to expose the dismal conditions for the emotionally ill. Her fame, however, rests on a publicity race around the world to beat the 80-day around the world fictional trip authored by Jules Verne. Her career that started at $5 a week and reached a high point of $25,000 a year. Her first articles were about the slum life of her home area of Pittsburgh and the dismal conditions forced on the working girls of the city because of low wages and social stigmas. She then went to Mexico where she wrote of the poor there and the overt official corruption that kept so much of the culture in poverty while making others super rich.. She was expelled from Mexico when the articles appeared. The articles were later collected in Six Months in Mexico (1888). She moved to New York to work for Joseph Pulitzer's New York World at a much higher salary. Her first assignment was feigning insanity and being committed to an asylum. Her exposes resulted in a grand jury hearing and some changes in care of the insane. The articles were collected in Ten Days in a Mad House (1887) Her career included exposes of sweatshops, the jail system (she was arrested after pretending to shoplift), and even the briberies inherent in the lobbying system that influences legislatures. Then came her high publicized trip around the world to break the Jules Verne fictional record of "Around the World in 80 Days." Traveling alone on whatever transportation was available, she sent back dispatches that were eagerly read by the public so that when she returned to New York in 72 days, 6 hours and 11 minutes, she was the most famous woman in America - perhaps in the world. She published her exploits in a successful Nellie Bly's Book: Around the World in Seventy-two Days 1890). She was 23 years old. She also described using a diving bell to descend into the ocean and then floating above the earth in a balloon. Her real name was Elizabeth Cochran Seaman. The pen name "Nellie Bly" came from a Stephen Foster song.
    1891- the world-famous Carnegie Hall opened in New York. Among the opening night attractions ... Tchaikovsky conducting his "Marche Solennelle." On this date in 1991, a 100th birthday celebration for the hall included two concerts, featuring the likes of violinist Isaac Stern, tenor Placido Domingo, soprano Jessye Norman, cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and conductor Zubin Mehta.
    1893-Stock Market Crash: Wall Street stock prices took a sudden drop. By the end of the year 600 banks had closed. The Philadelphia and Reading, the Erie, the Northern Pacific, the Union Pacific and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroads had gone into receivership; 15,000 other businesses went into bankruptcy. Other than the "Great Depression" of the 1930s, this was the worst economic crisis in US history; 15-20 percent of the workforce was unemployed.
    1895- Peggy Margaret Francis Bacon - U.S. artist. Her main media were painting, dry point etching, and lithography. PFB once gave up painting because her husband derided her and made her think her efforts were inadequate. She was able to fashion a great career in caricatures and book illustrations. Her work was often featured in the New Yorker magazine. She resumed serious painting after her divorce at age 45. At age 80, in 1975, she became the first living woman to be given a retrospective at the National Museum of American Art. Her witty, much praised caricatures of the famous of her era were collected in the best-seller Off With Their Heads (1934).
    1903-James Beard birthday, the Father of American Cooking was born at Portland, OR. In a long and busy culinary career, he penned more than 20 classic cookbooks, appeared on television's first cooking show in 1946 and was an enthusiastic ambassador for the American style of cooking. He died Jan. 21, 1985. His Greenwich Village brownstone is America's only culinary historic landmark and serves as the headquarters of the James Beard Foundation.
    1904-Baseball's Perfect Game: Denton T. "Cy" Young pitched baseball's first perfect game, not allowing a single opposing player to reach first base. Young's outstanding performance led the Boston Americans in a 3-0 victory over Philadelphia in the American League. The Cy Young Award for pitching was named in his honor.
    1925- High school science teacher John Scopes was arrested for teaching evolution in one of Tennessee's public schools
    1936-The first bottle with a screw cap and a pour lip was patented by Edward A. Ravenscroft, Glencoe, Il. The bottles were manufactured by the Abbott Laboratories, North Chicago, Il.
    1942- Country superstar Tammy Wynette, whose real name is Virginia Wynette Pugh, was born in rural Mississippi, near Tupelo. "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" and "Stand By Your Man," which is also the title of her autobiography, are typical of her country ballads, backed by the lush orchestral arrangements of Billy Sherrill. "Stand By Your Man," which topped the country charts in 1968, was the biggest-selling single by a woman in the history of country music. Her other number-one hits include "The Ways to Love a Man" from 1969, "He Loves Me All the Way" from 1970 and "We're Gonna Hold On," a 1973 duet with George Jones. Wynette and Jones were married from 1968 to 1975. In 1992, she teamed up with pop-pranksters The KLF. Together they scored a modest hit with a reworking of "Stand by your Man", called "Justified and Ancient (Stand by the Jams)."
Tammy Wynette died last month of natural causes
    1946—Birthday trumpet player, composer Jack Walrath
    1949---Top Hits
Cruising Down the River - The Blue Barron Orchestra (vocal: ensemble)
Forever and Ever - Perry Como
Again - Doris Day
Lovesick Blues - Hank Williams
    1949-“Stop the Music” Premiers. ABC's prime-time musical-game show hosted by Bert Parks. Featured the singing talents of Kay Armen, Jimmy Blaine, Betty Ann Grove, Estelle Loring, Jaye P. Morgan and June Valli, and the dancing numbers of Sonja and Courtney Van Horne. Harry Salter conducted the band.
    1955- - The musical, "Damn Yankees" opened in New York City for a successful run of 1,019 performances. The show, at the 42nd Street Theatre mixed both baseball and ballet. It is an adaptation of the book, "The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant". Gwen Verdon starred in the role of Lola. Whatever Lola wants Lola gets including the Tony for Best Actress in a musical for her performance. My mother took me to the matinee and Ray Walton as the devil was my favorite.
    1955 -Dodger rookie hurler Tommy Lasorda, making his major league debut, ties a record by throwing three wild pitches in the first inning of a 4-3 victory over the Cardinals. The future Dodger Hall of Fame skipper doesn't get the decision and will end his playing days after the 1956 season with a lifetime record of 0-4.
    1957---Top Hits
All Shook Up - Elvis Presley
School Day - Chuck Berry
A White Sport Coat (And a Pink Carnation) - Marty Robbins
Gone - Ferlin Husky
    1961- Astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. became America's first space traveler as he made a 15-minute suborbital flight in a capsule launched from Cape Canaveral
    1962 -"West Side Story" soundtrack album goes to #1 & stays #1 for 54 weeks which is more than 20 weeks longer than any other album
    1962 - No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: "Soldier Boy," The Shirelles.
    1965---Top Hits
Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter - Herman's Hermits
I Know a Place - Petula Clark
I'll Never Find Another You - The Seekers
This is It - Jim Reeves
    1966-- Willie Mays hit home run number 512 of his career. The San Francisco Giants' superstar became the greatest home run hitter in the National League to that time.
    1967-"San Francisco" by Scott McKenzie enters the charts and will eventually hit #4. The song became kind of an anthem during the hippie movement.
    1973-Secretariat, ridden by Ron Turcotte, won the Kentucky Derby in record time of 1:59.2 “Big Red,” as he was known, beat Sham by 2 ½ lengths and went on to win the Triple Crown.
    1970 - No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: "American Woman," Guess Who.
    1973---Top Hits
Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree - Dawn featuring Tony Orlando
The Cisco Kid - War
Little Willy - The Sweet
Behind Closed Doors - Charlie Rich
    1978-Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds got the 3,000 th hit of his career, a single off Steve Rogers of the Montréal Expos. Rose played in the majors form 1963 through 1986 and wound up with 4,256 hits, more than any other player.
    1981---Top Hits
Morning Train (Nine to Five) - Sheena Easton
Just the Two of Us - Grover Washington, Jr./Bill Withers
Being with You - Smokey Robinson
Rest Your Love on Me - Conway Twitty
    1981 - Mobile, Alabama had its worst flash flooding ever as thunderstorms unloaded 8 to 16 inches of rain over the metro area in a couple of hours. Damage was set at 36 million dollars.
    1982 - No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: "Chariots of Fire," Vangelis. The performer, whose real name is Evangelos Papanthanassiou, wins an Academy Award for the score to the film "Chariots of Fire."
    1986 - Sacramento, California hit the 100 degree mark, breaking the previous record for this day of 92 degrees which was set in 1944. This is the earliest in the season Sacramento has hit the 100 mark.
    1987 - Unseasonably hot weather prevailed in the western U.S. A dozen cities in California reported record high temperatures for the date. Afternoon highs of 93 degrees at San Francisco, 98 degrees at San Jose, 100 degrees at Sacramento, and 101 degrees at Redding, were the warmest of record for so early in the season. The high of 94 degrees at Medford OR was also the warmest of record for so early in the season.
    1989---Top Hits
Like a Prayer - Madonna
I'll Be There for You - Bon Jovi
She Drives Me Crazy - Fine Young Cannibals
Young Love - The Judds
    1989 - Thunderstorms swept across Georgia and the Carolinas during the late afternoon and evening hours spawning seventeen tornadoes. A tornado at Toccoa GA injured 15 persons, and a tornado at Chesnee SC killed two persons and injured 35 others. Five tornadoes in North Carolina accounted for five deaths, 88 injuries, and sixty million dollars damage. Thunderstorms also produced baseball size hail at Lake Murray SC, and wind gusts to 78 mph at Brooklyn MD.
    1990 - A strong Pacific cold front moving rapidly inland caused weather conditions at the east end of the Strait of Juan de Fuca in Washington State to quickly change from sunny and calm to westerly winds of 60 mph and ten-foot waves. Three recreational fishing boats capsized in heavy seas off Port Angeles resulting in five deaths. In California, temperatures soared above 90 degrees across much of the state. The high of 101 degrees in downtown Los Angeles was eight degrees hotter than their previous record for the date
    1993- Microsoft announced it would bundle its popular database software, Microsoft Access, with its Microsoft Office package, which already included MS Word and Excel. Microsoft's competitors, including Lotus and WordPerfect, also added database software to their office software suites.
    1995 -a supercell thunderstorm rapidly developed just ahead of a fast moving bow echo squall line and blasted Tarrant County, Texas. Large hail up to 5 inches in diameter, driven by 80 mph winds, caused a tremendous amount of damage. 10,000 people were caught out in the open at Mayfest in Downtown Forth Worth, resulting in 109 injuries from the large hail. Torrential rains of up to 3 inches in 30 minutes and 5 inches in one hour across Dallas caused unprecedented flash flooding, resulting in 16 deaths. Total damage in Forth Worth alone was estimated at 2 billion dollars, making this the costliest thunderstorm event in U.S. history. This was the third severe hailstorm to Strike the area in only a little over a month.
    1999 - At the 34th annual Academy of Country Music Awards, Garth Brooks is named artist of the decade, Dixie Chicks' critically acclaimed multiplatinum debut "Wide Open Spaces," is named album of the year, and Faith Hill wins top female vocalist, as well as single and video of the year honors for "This Kiss."
    2000 -Cardinal first baseman Mark McGwire hits the longest home run in the 30- year history of Riverfront/Cinergy Field, but the 473-foot shot isn't enough as Ken Griffey Jr.'s homer leads the Reds past St. Louis, 3-2.
    2005 - Mavis Staples and Charlie Musselwhite lead the field with three trophies each at the 26th W.C. Handy Awards, held in Memphis.

NBA Finals Champions This Date

    1969 Boston Celtics

Stanley Cup Champions This Date

    1966 Montréal Canadiens



Spring Poem

Baseball Is

by Greg Hall ©

Published: ESPN Radio (2000)


Baseball is grass, chalk, and dirt displayed the same yet differently
In every park that has ever heard the words play ball.
Baseball is a passion that bonds and divides all those who know it.
Baseball is a pair of hands stained with newsprint,
A set of eyes squinting to read a boxscore,
A brow creased in an attempt to recreate a three-hour game
From an inch square block of type.
Baseball is the hat I wear to mow the lawn.
Baseball is a simple game of catch
and the never-ending search for the perfect knuckleball.
Baseball is Willie vs Mickey , Gibson vs Koufax , and Buddy Biancalana vs the odds.
Baseball links Kansan and Missourian, American and Japanese,
But most of all father and son.
Baseball is the scent of spring,
The unmistakable sound of a double down the line,
And the face of a 10-year-old emerging from a pile of bodies
With a worthless yet priceless foul ball.
Baseball is a language of very simple words that tell unbelievably magic tales.
Baseball is three brothers in the same uniform on the same team for one brief summer
Captured forever in a black and white photo on a table by the couch.
Baseball is a glove on a shelf, oiled and tightly wrapped,
Slumbering through the stark winter months.
Baseball is a breast pocket bulging with a transistor radio.
Baseball is the reason there are transistor radios.
Baseball is a voice in a box describing men you've never met,
In a place you've never been,
Doing things you'll never have the chance to do.
Baseball is a dream that you never really give up on.
Baseball is precious.
Baseball is timeless.
Baseball is forever.


Ten Top Stories each week chosen by readers (click here)
Top Stories chosen by editor Kit Menkin (chronological order)