Kit Menkin’s Leasing News

          Monday, June 3, 2002

Accurate, fair and unbiased news for the equipment Leasing Industry




ELA Report: New Biz Increased 4% 1st Q 2001 to 1st Q 2002

   Economic Production Best in 19 Years

     Tyco Chief Said to Be Focus of Sales Tax Investigation

            CIT Observations from Sage Lowell Sims

               Only Eight AAA Companies Compared to 60 in 1979

                  (Ron Caruso on HSBC and CIT)

                 Economic Indicators Expected This Week

Secrets for improving credit score revealed—Anne Perry

   Seismiq, Inc. Nominated For eLNA Web Award

      Comark Capital Selects Isis Leasing System

        eMarket Capital Releases Latest Version of Trinity




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        Leasing News has thirty “Help Wanted” in our Classified Ads



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Performance Indicators Report Reveals Continued Growth in the Equipment Leasing and Finance Industry


New Business Volume Increased 4 Percent from First Quarter 2001 to First Quarter 2002


ARLINGTON, Va. - - The Equipment Leasing Association's (ELA) first quarter 2002 Performance Indicators Report (PIR) reveals an increase in new business volume of 4 percent since the first quarter of 2001. This is in comparison to the first quarter economic growth rate of 5.6 percent reported by the Department of Commerce. The total net portfolio for the key equipment lessors increased nearly 5 percent compared to the first quarter 2001. In contrast, the Commerce Department reported that business spending on the purchase of new industrial equipment dropped 8.2 percent in the first quarter of 2002.


"Growth in new business volume indicates strong demand for the lease product across many end-user sectors," noted Ralph Petta, ELA's vice president of industry services.


ELA's quarterly PIR tracks the performance of prominent leasing organizations in six key areas: total net portfolio, total new business volume, average losses, credit approval ratio, total number of employees and delinquencies. ELA surveys approximately 20 major leasing companies on a quarterly basis, affording trend analysis across all the  performance areas.


First quarter PIR highlights include:


* Total number of employees decreased almost 4 percent from first quarter 2001


* Credit approval ratios have increased 4 percent since first quarter 2001


* Average losses have decreased 30 percent since fourth quarter 2001


* Delinquencies remain stable with a slight decline in current receivables since first quarter 2001


The PIR study is conducted quarterly by ELA, which provides a variety of data, including customized market analyses, to ELA members and organizations.


( This is an Excel spreadsheet. Copy and paste into your browser.  If you have

difficulty, a tip may be to open your Excel program up first, although it depends

on the browser you are utilizing.editor)


Organized in 1961, the Equipment Leasing Association (ELA) is a non-profit association representing companies involved in

the dynamic equipment leasing and finance industry. ELA's mission is to promote the leasing industry as a major source of funds for capital investment in the United States and abroad. ELA maintains an informational portal for financial decision-makers at Headquartered in Arlington, Va., ELA has more than 850 member companies and a staff of 27 professionals. Equipment leasing is estimated to be a $244 billion industry in 2002. Visit ELA online at






First Quarter 2002 Performance Indicator Report Participants


ADP Credit Corporation

Amsouth Leasing Corporation

Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation

Computer Sales International, Inc.

Dana Credit Corporation

De Lage Landen Financial Services

Farm Credit Leasing Services Corporation

Fleet Capital Leasing

GreatAmerica Leasing Corporation

John Deere Credit Corporation

Hitachi Credit America Corporation

Key Equipment Finance

LaSalle National Leasing Corporation

U.S. Bancorp Leasing & Financial

Verizon Credit, Inc.

Wells Fargo Equipment Finance


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Economic Production Best in 19 Years



By Jeannine Aversa
Associated Press Writer
 WASHINGTON –– A crucial ingredient in the economy's long-term vitality, productivity, turned in its best performance in almost two decades during the first quarter of the year as hard-pressed companies produced more with fewer workers. Productivity – the amount of output per hour of work – soared at an annual rate of 8.4 percent in the January-March quarter, after a strong 5.5 percent growth rate in the previous quarter, the Labor Department reports.  The latest figures show that last year's recession didn't derail healthy productivity gains seen in the late 1990s and bodes well for keeping the nation's economic recovery on solid footing, economists said.


In another encouraging report for the recovery, orders to U.S. factories rose 1.2 percent in April, the biggest gain in six months, the Commerce Department said. That reflected stronger demand for a wide variety of goods, including cars, household appliances and machinery.


"This is all positive news. It should give skeptics some evidence that the economic recovery in the United States is in fact going to have staying power," said Lynn Reaser, chief economist at Banc of America Capital Management.


 On Wall Street, investors were heartened by the economic news, but worries over global conflicts limited gains. The Dow Jones industrial average, having gained as much as 130 points earlier in the session, closed up 13.56 points at 9,925.25.


The 8.4 percent rise in productivity in the first quarter marked the biggest increase since the second quarter of 1983 and matched many analysts' expectations. Economists predicted the new reading on first-quarter productivity would be slightly lower than the 8.6 percent rate initially estimated because the economy grew a little less briskly during the period than previously thought.


The impressive productivity gain came at a price. Businesses, responding to the lingering effects of last year's recession, cut back on their payrolls in the first quarter. That caused the total number of hours worked to fall at a rate of 2.1 percent. Output rose at 6.1 percent.


"As far as downsides go, this is roughly the equivalent of eating your broccoli. It may be tough to stomach at first, but it makes you stronger and healthier in the long run," said Mark Vitner, economist at Wachovia Securities.


In the long run, productivity gains are good for workers, for the economy and for companies, whose profits took a hit during the slump.


Gains in productivity allow companies to pay workers more without raising prices, which would eat up those wage gains. Productivity gains also permit the economy to grow faster without triggering price inflation. If productivity falters, however, pressure for higher wages could force companies to raise prices and thus worsen inflation.


 The rise in productivity helped to push down unit labor costs, a gauge of inflation. Unit labor costs dropped at an annual rate of 5.2 percent in the first quarter, after a 3.1 percent rate of decline in the previous quarter. That also bodes well for improving companies' profits margins, economists said.


"The surge in productivity growth is a powerful sign that the recovery is alive and well and that corporate earnings will end up being strong this year," said Merrill Lynch economist Gerald Cohen.


Productivity normally tends to rise strongly when the economy is booming. But gains in productivity can become weak, or productivity can fall, when the economy slows or contracts.


For all of 2001, productivity grew by 1.9 percent, a slowdown from the 3.3 percent gain posted in 2000 but still a respectable showing given the slump.


Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan has said he remains bullish about the long-term prospects of productivity growth.



 With strong productivity growth keeping a lid on inflation, economists said the Federal Reserve has the luxury of leaving short-term interest rates unchanged at 40-year lows through the summer. ––On the Net: Productivity:

Factory orders:



  Providing Industry Research Since 1989




Tyco Chief Said to Be Focus of Sales Tax Investigation


By ALEX BERENSON  New York Times


. Dennis Kozlowski, the embattled chairman of Tyco International Ltd., is under criminal investigation, suspected of avoiding New York State sales taxes, lawyers involved in the inquiry said over the weekend.


The investigation, by the office of the Manhattan district attorney, Robert M. Morgenthau, began several months ago, said the lawyers, who represent different parties. In the last few weeks, they said, the investigation has grown increasingly serious, with a grand jury issuing subpoenas and taking testimony. No charges have been filed, and the grand jury may choose not to.



E. Kaufman, an experienced criminal lawyer, to represent him. Reached yesterday at his office, Mr. Kaufman confirmed that he was representing Mr. Kozlowski but said he could not comment further. The company did not return calls seeking comment this weekend.


The intensity of the investigation has surprised Tyco's board, which has been buffeted since January by Tyco's plunging stock and questions about its accounting practices, according to a person involved in the board's discussions. At least for now, the board continues to support Mr. Kozlowski, this person said.


Details of the investigation are scant, but prosecutors are said to believe that Mr. Kozlowski, who has moved hundreds of millions of dollars into family trusts, may have used those trusts to buy goods and services without paying state sales taxes, the lawyers said.


The investigation is another serious blow for Mr. Kozlowski, a former accountant who built Tyco into one of the world's largest companies and made a fortune for himself during the stock market boom of the late 1990's. With 240,000 employees, Tyco, based in Bermuda with headquarters in Exeter, N.H., makes everything from electrical equipment to syringes.


Aided by hundreds of acquisitions, Tyco had its reported earnings rise steadily over the last decade, and the company became a favorite of big investors and mutual fund companies like Fidelity. At its peak, Tyco had a market value of $120 billion, making it one of the 20 most valuable companies in the United States.


Mr. Kozlowski made hundreds of millions of dollars over the last three years selling Tyco stock, even as he said publicly that he rarely if ever sold his shares. Along the way, Mr. Kozlowski, the son of a Newark police detective, raised his social profile, buying and racing yachts.


But even as Tyco grew, the company's accounting and business practices drew scrutiny from some analysts and journalists. Tyco was one of the first big companies to move its nominal headquarters offshore to avoid United States taxes. It disclosed in January that it had paid one of its independent directors $10 million last year as a finder's fee for a merger, raising questions about that director's independence.


Since the collapse of Enron, Tyco has become one several companies whose accounting practices have come under more intense scrutiny. Like General Electric, I.B.M. and Computer Associates, Tyco uses highly complex accounting methods, and its financial statements are so clogged with footnotes that they can take days to read.


Short-sellers, who profit when stocks fall, have argued that Tyco manipulates the finances of the companies it buys to make its own profits appear to be growing faster than they are. The company, denying this, says its accounting is proper.


A powerful man with a sometimes short temper, Mr. Kozlowski has aggressively challenged reporters and analysts who criticize Tyco's accounting practices. But that strategy seems to have backfired recently, as Tyco's stock has plunged by almost two-thirds since December, leaving its shareholders a collective $80 billion poorer. Tyco closed at $21.95 on Friday, up 45 cents.


In an effort to reverse the overall slide, Mr. Kozlowski announced in January that he would split Tyco into four companies, abruptly reversing a decade of growth by acquisitions. Then, in April, he reversed field again, telling shareholders that Tyco would remain a single company.


The shifts in strategy have left some investors grumbling that Mr. Kozlowski should resign, although Tyco has said its board strongly supports him. Tyco's stock briefly rose 5 percent last week after an Internet site posted a rumor that Mr. Kozlowski was stepping down.



CIT Observations from  Sage Lowell Sims



Kit  Your perceptions of CIT are "dead ass, right on"  It has been a great

old line financial company, persevering through thick and thin.  Its

underlying quality is the people who can make it happen and keep it

happening, year in and year out.  Able to discern a credit for what it is,

shore up the weak aspects, and make that necessary YES/NO decision. Then

collect it, no matter where the economy goes. (including South)


So much of this has been lost as CIT has been passed from one parent to



  I worked for CIT in 1983 when RCA bought it from the Ittelson

family.  Wisdom among the old timers was, "they paid too much for it." And

the sequence started.  RCA sucked a bunch of cash out (sold Manhattan

headquarters and leased Livingston offices etc.)  Then figured out what they

really bought and the Greater Fool sequence started.  Sold it to

Manufacturers Hanover Bank.  Manny Hanny merged with a big Japanese bank and

went Bye Bye.


 I have forgotten several steps in the sequence but it has ended up with Tyco as possibly the Greatest Fool.  Can they find a Greater One?  Maybe Lehman is right?  The Balloon has been blown up so big with hot air perceptions of Market Valuation (etc. etc.)(fluff) and the cooling off’s going to cost so much the common guy can not even fathom it.


                                Lowell Sims



((Don’t let Lehman fool you, they were posturing themselves to steal CIT.

Let’s not forget these New York Stockbrokers brought us Unicapital, among

others, raising money when high yield equipment, especially aircraft leasing,

was attractive.  Some of these stockbrokers are nothing but immature leasing brokers,

who know everything, are motivated solely by the “buck”, meaning

they want to put the deal together and move on  to the next because they are

solely commissioned salesmen ( except  at Lehman, they make it both ways: selling and buying.) Unfortunately, you may be correct in your observations.  Please read Ron Caruso’s comments on CIT, which follows. Editor.))




Only Eight AAA Companies Compared to 60 in 1979


Excerpt from Ron Caruso’s Pulse OnLine



The number of corporations that are rated AAA continues to decline.  In 1992,

according to Moodys, there were 21 AAA- rated companies and in

1979 there were 60.


 Today, there are 8.  In fact, only one company, General Electric, had kept its Standard and Poor’s AAA rating since 1960. 


As the competitive landscape continues to shift, staying aware of customer needs and wants and alternatives is a life and death issue- ask AT&T or Xerox or Polaroid – having

a highly regarded corporate name still demands taking the necessary steps to maintain it.


Further Consolidation?


Two major leasing companies/operations are on the block – CIT and

HSBC’S (formerly Marine Midland) leasing division.  CIT’s parent,

Tyco, has indicated its intent/attempt to spin CIT off in an IPO.

Will this be successful?  If it is, can the again-independent CIT

be as successful as it has been during its 75-year history?


HSBC has entered and exited the leasing industry on at least two

other occasions.  Today, it has a billion-dollar plus portfolio

underlying a national middle market capability.  Will this

operation be sold as an on-going operation or as a portfolio



The successful sale of these operations in an IPO for CIT/Tyco and

acquisition from HSBC would avoid a further contraction in the

membership of the leasing world.  The alternative for either or

both would mean further consolidation – fewer whales.  Stay tuned.


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Economic Indicators Expected This Week




MONDAY May 6  


Construction Spending: April










Sales of Leading Retailers: May


Weekly Jobless Claims




Unemployment: May


Consumer Borrowing: April




Visit  for classified ads, The List, Books, Bulletin Board Alerts




Secrets for improving credit score revealed


by Anne Perry  San Diego Union-Tribune



You're saving to buy a house in a year or two. Meanwhile,

you know it's important to have a good credit score to get a desirable mortgage rate.


Perhaps you already know your credit score. But do you know how to improve it?


Now you can get some tips directly from Fair, Isaac and Co., the creator of FICO, the most widely used credit-scoring measure.


The company describes its latest innovation at its Web site as part of its long-term initiative to demystify credit scores for consumers.


In years past, your FICO – or the predictor of your credit behavior based on computer modeling – was sold to lenders but unavailable to you. But in March 2001, Fair, Isaac responded to consumer complaints and a new state law and began offering consumers the ability to learn their credit scores.


Since that time, for $12.95 visitors to the Web site have been able to obtain their scores within minutes, get copies of their credit report from Equifax (one of three major credit reporting agencies) and read explanations of their scores. In its first year, the site attracted 1 million users, far more than expected.


"We were dazzled," says Craig Watts, a spokesman for Fair, Isaac. But visitors wanted more, he says. "Consumers from Day One have been saying, 'What you're not telling me is how I can improve my score.' "


Now, for the same price, the package also includes an interactive tool the company calls the FICO Score Simulator.


Once you've received your credit score and learned your strengths and weaknesses, you can experiment with some interesting – though limited – "what if" questions. What if you paid off all your credit cards tomorrow? What if you didn't pay your bills for three months?


You can only explore one scenario at a time, but the results can be illuminating. Let's take my own due-for-improvement case.


FICO scores range from 500 to 850, with 720 being the median. My own paltry 670 – nothing you'd want to take to a mortgage lender – was due to two negative factors: the proportion of balances to the limits on my credit cards was too high, and I had too many credit cards.


I plead guilty to both. In the first instance, a large expense check had gotten hung up. As for the second, it's true I have seven credit cards, four to retail stores that I never use. The average, according to the FICO site, is four or five.


My positive attributes included a relatively long credit history going back more than 24 years, and no evidence of seriously late payments on my credit accounts.


Before cranking up the Score Simulator, you'll see a caveat. The simulation exercise provides an approximation of the impact on your FICO score, which is made up of complex information that is changing daily. And because you can only test one factor at a time, you can't gauge the result of taking two positive actions.


So what could I do to put vitality back in my FICO? I had six possible actions to take for a test drive: pay bills on time; pay down the balances on all credit cards; miss payments; max out the credit cards; seek new credit; and transfer credit card balances.


Clearly the place for me to start simulating was with my high balances.


I asked the simulator to pay off 10 percent of my total balances. The approximate impact: my score could range from 670 to 710 – about the same or slightly better than my current score.


If I paid off half? It could go from 710 to 750. If I paid it all off? A nifty 740 to 780, with no questions asked about my improved cash flow.


Just out of curiosity, I asked what would happen if, instead, I completely maxed out the cards? A possible 620 to 670 – that is, the same or somewhat worse than my current score.


Then I went to a second category. What if I applied for new credit? How about an auto loan for $18,000? My score could take a slight hit, dropping to a possible range of 655 to 675.


I also tried a third category. What if I missed the payments on all my accounts for the next three months? My score would stay the same or drop to 635.


You should come away from the simulator, as I did, with the impression that the things you could do in the short run, such as taking out a car loan or missing some payments, are likely to affect your score incrementally. Getting your score to move in a big way, however, such as by paying off your balances, usually takes some time.


Watts compares trying to raise your FICO score to trying to improve your cholesterol level – hard to move in the short term, but your behavior can make a significant difference over the months and years.


That's why anyone contemplating the purchase of a home – as many visitors to the FICO site are – should start planning to polish scores well in advance.


The site itself offers some motivation – a loan savings calculator – that provides current auto and mortgage loan rates from your state and shows just how dramatically rates can differ depending on FICO scores.


On the day I visited the site, consumers with the highest scores of 720 to 850 averaged 6.812 percent for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, while those with a 675 to 699 score averaged 7.486 percent, and those with the lowest scores, 500 to 559, averaged 10.198 percent.


The calculator allows you to plug in your current FICO score, your target score and your projected mortgage amount and see the difference in your future monthly house payments. Not surprisingly, it's hundreds of dollars per month.


So don't get mad at your FICO. Just take charge of it.



  Providing Industry Research Since 1989




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Seismiq, Inc. Nominated For eLNA Web Award


(, Inc.) - Atlanta, GA - The eLessors Networking Association  has announced the Seismiq, Inc. ( Web site has been nominated to receive its 2002 eLNA Web Award.


John O. Semon, eLNA Chairman, said, "The eLNA Web Award will be presented at our Annual Networking Conference to the company nominated and voted by our membership as having the most dynamic and content relevant Web site serving the equipment leasing industry. I am pleased to see Seismiq, Inc. nominated by our membership. Seismiq's Web site represents the high standard of excellence we expect the eLNA Web Award to recognize."


About the eLNA Web Award


The eLNA Web Awards program recognizes outstanding contributions and innovations in the field of technology and finance services. The eLNA Web Award is presented annually at the annual eLNA Networking Conference to companies introducing

new concepts, techniques and content in their Web design with enduring value to the eLeasing community. For additional nomination and voting information, visit


About the eLessors Networking Association


The eLessors Networking Association represents a proactive "eLeasing Industry"... a national network of industry leaders and smaller pre-IPO companies and professionals from the technology, commercial finance and manufacturing business sectors.


Additional information is available from -


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Comark Capital Selects Isis Leasing System



Cyence International announced that Comark Capital LLC has selected Isis Leasing System as its platform to automate leasing processes for its captive equipment finance business.


Isis will allow Comark Capital to more accurately manage their entire sales management and internal process flow.  Isis incorporates full application entry and tracking, including full asset entry, lease pricing quoting, and remarketing, lease documentation, unlimited comment screens and full memo based notes, complete internal audit trails, reporting, and a host of other features incorporating industry best technologies.


 Comark will use Isis to process applications, quote pricing, execute contracts and initiate the booking of deals from any desktop.  Managers and salespeople will be able to track all applications in the business pipeline in real time.


 "Replacing the present collection of manual systems with a single platform that can be deployed nationally is a major achievement for us," states Joseph H. Rinehart, Vice President - Leasing, at Comark Capital. 


"After an extensive review of the potential applications available, we chose Cyence International and its Isis Leasing System platform because of its robust process tracking and asset management capabilities.  Isis Leasing System provides an easy to use solution that is flexible enough to support our sales channels, programs, and workflows and it will support us for substantial future growth." 


"We are very happy to be working with Comark Capital on this project" says Mike Cumby, VP and General Manager of Cyence International, USA.


 In Isis Leasing System, we have a solution that will meet their need for speed, automation and rapid deployment. We are committed to a successful and long term partnership between Comark and Cyence”.


 For more information about Comark, please visit  For more information about Cyence, please visit



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eMarket Capital Releases Latest Version of Trinity

 (King of Prussia, Pa. - eMarket Capital, Inc. ( announced today the release of Trinity Version 2.4, its own exclusive technology platform that uses a patent pending process to match Vendor-Partner customers with lenders able to meet their equipment financing requirements.

"Our new technology platform offers eMarket’s Vendor Partners, their customers and lenders a seamless user experience and faster access to critical application and transactional data," explained Bernard Hoffman, eMarket Capital’s Director of Software Engineering.

Created by eMarket Capital, Trinity Version 2.4 adds power and adaptability to industry standard features, allowing eMarket Capital to react quickly to market fluctuations and customer needs.

This latest release of Trinity incorporates powerful tools for managing programs, an industry standard XML/SOAP data exchange capability and improved data visibility.

"We’re constantly striving to keep the eMarket Capital technology ahead of the industry’s needs," stated Hoffman. "Our goal is full electronic transaction facilitation with a secure and comfortable user experience."

For eMarket Capital partners, Trinity Version 2.4 provides a customized look and feel while supporting sales force and lender relationship management. Unlike offerings from pure technology players, eMarket Capital’s platform easily complements its partners’ in-house resources and provides maximumvalue for all who use the system.

"eMarket Capital believes that people and technology must be precisely matched to ensure top-quality service to each customer," said Hoffman.

To begin the process, customers are directed to a manufacturer's web site. eMarket Capital is designed as a co-branded site which gives the appearance that the vendor is providing the financial service directly. The process begins with the submission of a credit application on-line. Customers also have the option of printing out the application from the web-site and faxing it to Customer Service at 800-994-4942. In less than 48 hours, customers receive financing proposals. The web site breaks out the key terms of the proposal to help applicants make their decisions. Once a proposal is selected, the financing is finalized. Customers can contact a Customer Service Representative at

eMarket Capital, Inc. was established by a group of experienced leasing professionals to create, host and manage private label financing programs for equipment manufacturers and distributors. Located in suburban Philadelphia, eMarket Capital can be reached at 800-994-4369 or via the web at for more information.

Sites of Reference:

Richard Matosky
eMarket Capital
Phone Number: 610-354-8820 x230
Fax Number: 610-354-8835


( courtesy )


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