That was the year
that was

Can you remember
1993?

It was the year William
Jefferson ‘Bill’ Clinton became the 42nd president of the United
States; the World Trade Center in New York was hit by a car bomb
planted by Islamist extremists; the US and Russia agreed to halve
their stockpile of nuclear warheads; the crew of the space shuttle
Endeavour repaired the Hubble telescope during a marathon
spacewalk; and Marseille won the first UEFA Champions League
Final.

But all that hardly matters,
because October 1993 also saw Issue 1, Volume 1 of Leasing
Life
hit the news-stands.

The editorial team at
Leasing Life HQ recently undertook the unenviable task of
cleaning our desks. Amid the ancient coffee stains, now gelatinous
and possibly sentient, the scribbled notes reminding us of
important tasks long ago forgotten and deadlines well passed, we
came across the original issue – the prima editio, alpha
of the asset finance journal universe.

This, we thought, was worth
celebrating with a look at the big leasing stories of that innocent
time before the euro, before the War on Terror and Facebook when
shell suits were cool and mobile phones were colossal.

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By GlobalData

Here are some snippets of
leasing history:

 

Accounting
changes

Image of Leasing Life issue 1Last year the
Austrian Institute of Certified Public Accountants issued a draft
on accounting standards for leases which is now in open debate. The
main areas covered by the draft are: the time recognition of profit
and loss; bad-debt provisions; initial costs; and valuation
principles for leased assets.

Austria’s new banking law
incorporates (in accordance with EEA-treaty) the EC directive No.
86/635/EEC. The directive relates to financial statements and
consolidated financial statements of financial institutions and
banks.

The law, which in general
will come into force on 1 January 1994, applies to lessors that are
members of banks and financial groups as far as consolidated
financial statements are concerned.

Company reports:
Woodchester Investments

The devaluation of the Irish punt, caused by last
year’s ERM debacle, hit Woodchester to the tune of a 6.2% fall to
IR£6.4m pre-tax for the first six months to 30 June. Lending is on
fixed rates and the policy is to hedge 90% of the
portfolio.

However, this was not
practicable during the currency turbulence of late 1992 and early
1993. Consequently, as short-term rates soared, Woodchester had to
carry the extra costs. The results include input from Credit
Lyonnais’s leasing arm CLLE (in which Woodchester holds 30%) for
the first time. CLLE upped profits to IR£2.8m. Group earnings fell
by 15% to 6.37p, but the interim dividend was boosted by 15% to
12.08p.

BR decision this
month?

As Leasing Life went to press, the British Railways
Board was preparing to pass its recommendations to government on
which of the two £150m rolling-stock leasing proposals should go
forward. The bids stem from the government’s autumn 1992 decision
to allow BR to place orders for new lease-financed trains in the
face of increasing pressure from train builders.

 

Another highlights include
The Fritz Peter Story, a profile of Fritz Peter – professional
footballer with Grasshoppers Club Zurich, Swiss bobsleigh champion,
respected academic and founder of Leaseurope and a look ahead to
that same organisation’s annual working meeting in
Marrakech.

Truly those were halcyon
days.

Leasing Life 1
opened with the following statement:

 

“This month’s Transaction
Chronicle suggests that there really is still life in the leasing
industry. Leasing Life has been launched to reflect that life and
to be a forum for European leasing’s interests, hopes and concerns.
It is your publication, please use it to express your
views.

“My sincerest thanks to
all our contributors and advertisers without whom Leasing Life
would not have been born. Future issues may be slimmer but the
editorial philosophy will remain constant.

“My very best regards,
Vic Lock.”

 

The issues have maintained a similar girth these 18 years
and while the production design is, we hope, a little more savvy
and the writing, dare we say, a little more sophisticated, the
ambition of founding editor Vic Lock for Leasing Life to
be a forum for European leasing is still one we strive towards and
we hope our esteemed readers would agree we are doing okay in that
regard.