Photo of a wedge of euro banknotesHair

Hair shirts all round at the
Leaseurope convention in Hamburg, where a curious one-upsmanship
(or is that one-downsmanship?) took hold among the leaders of some
of Europe’s top lessors.

De Lage Landen CEO Ronald
Slaats started it, explaining how costs at his company had been cut
through a process which included Slaats taking a lower salary than
his predecessor.

Not to be outdone, Jean-Marc
Mignerey of SG Equipment Finance quickly pointed out that his own
salary had been voluntarily reduced before the banking

“I have kept my salary low
for four years, not only the last year,” he said.

Could it have been the first
recorded example of bankers boasting about how little they are



Leasing has received the
official seal of approval from the formidable Accademia della
Crusca, the body in charge of protecting the Italian

The use of the English word
“leasing” by Italian lessors has been hotly debated by the
organisation, which in the end conferred acceptability on the
un-translated term.

“A term such as leasing is
left in English, even though it would be possible to translate it
into locazione finanziaria,” says the academic in charge of the
project, Professor Federico Bambi.

Prof Bambi could have
insisted on the Italian for finance lease, locazione
, or its close cousin, locazione
. But would anyone have listened? Molto



News of a new IBM Global
Financing programme has unearthed some schoolyard bickering among
IBM rivals.

The IT giant set up the
programme in an unabashed attempt to poach customers from HP and
Oracle-Sun, saying IGF would offer certainty where its competitors
could not.

Why the uncertainty? Turns
out HP and Oracle have been squabbling ever since one time HP big
cheese Mark Hurd left the company.

Hurd, who stepped down from
his role at HP earlier this year amid allegations of sexual
harassment and expense fiddling, promptly picked up a job at

Cue a lawsuit from HP (since
settled) over fears Hurd would spill trade secrets to his new

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has
since accused Hurd’s replacement, Leo Apotheker, of doing a “bad
job” in his previous role at business software manufacturer SAP,
and even called for the entire HP board to resign.

A HP spokeswoman retorted
that Ellison did not “deserve the dignity of a