Peter Zeihan - “Covid Vaccine and 2021-2023 Business Forecast”

Peter provides a forecast for the next 3-5 years from his unique geopolitical standpoint given two additional factors.



Peter and Bob examine the economic impact on capital equipment spending and select industry sectors of importance to the equipment leasing and finance industry.

Peter is an expert in geopolitics, a prescient sage, albeit young, who has an uncanny way of simplifying the seemingly complex and sometimes insane world we live in.  He answers the questions of “where is this or that country going in the near future?”

Part 1:  Overview For This Series & Feeding America


Part 2:  Realistic Impact of the COVID Vaccine

Tentative rollout schedule for Covid vaccine. When can we expect a post-COVID vaccine return to normal?  What will that look like?  Commercial Real Estate – back to the office? Are we now better prepared for the next pandemic?


Part 3:  The Biden administration from a geopolitical standpoint

YIKES! What will be the effect on US global involvement, US trade, and our US manufacturers’ supply chain? Reshoring real or myth? Future of US investments in China?


Part 4: Lightning Round – Industry and Equipment Forecast!

Supply chain related … Transportation … Rail … Inland Marine … Manufacturing … Electronics … Oil/Gas – fracking … Corporate Aircraft …  Commercial Aircraft …  IT & Software … Construction … CRE, and Small Biz

Part 5: Peter’s final thoughts for 2021


Part 6: Final Segment

Bob’s Summary & Sentiments! 


Link to Peter's Website

Kirk Phillips Video Interview – A Lesson in Persistence!

Kirk Phillips -   “A Lesson in Persistence”


President and CEO of Wintrust Commercial Finance (“WCF”), a subsidiary of Wintrust Financial Corporation, a $43 billion publicly traded bank holding company traded on the Nasdaq.

One of the objectives of Leasing Avenues is to bring you casually, up close, and personal video interviews with fascinating people in our industry (or outside) that through sheer force of will, passion, and intellect, defied the status quo and created something new!  Kirk’s story is inspiring, that it can be done!

Part 1:  Introduction to Kirk Phillips, CEO of Wintrust Commercial Finance

Kirk describes his circuitous path to entering the equipment leasing and finance industry.

Part 2: Genesis of Wintrust Commercial Finance

The path to Wintrust.  In 2014, Kirk and his team saw an opportune market and developed a model/business plan to start a business that addressed the opportunity.  Five years from a dead start, Kirk and his team of 49 (half of which are sales) are projecting ending 2020 with over a Billion in assets and originating over $700 Million.

Part 3:  From Vision to Reality

Kirk expands a small footprint bank (Chicagoland) nationally serving middle-market mid-large ticket to small ticket platform.  Some things were envisioned originally by Kirk, while others were expansionary opportunities that presented themselves.

Part 4: Key Takeaways From The Journey

Kirk and his team took 32 swings to connect finally.  While that is not the definition of “success” in baseball, it sure was in Kirk’s case. What did it take to get there, and were there doubts?

Kirk Phillips

Kirk Phillips Bio

Peter Zeihan - from coronavirus to social democracy and the fate of China

Peter announces his soon-to-be bestseller "Disunited Nations" and provides a preview that is absolutely relevent to current events along with how to prepare for what is coming.

Peter is an expert in geopolitics, a prescient sage, albeit young, who has an uncanny way of simplifying the seemingly complex and sometimes insane world we live in.  He answers the questions of “where is this or that country going in the near future?”

Part 1:  Introduction to Peter Zeihan

Peter provides some context for his new book “Disunited Nations”

Part 2:  Future of Europe’s Social Democracies

What is the fate of most of Europe’s social democracies and why do you think young people in the US seem to be attracted to a geriatric socialist running for President?

Part 3:  Future of the many paranoid governing countries

What is prognosis for the thugitarian regimes like Iran, China, Russia, etc…?

Part 4: Coronavirus – Precursor to what is to come for China?

As always, Peter has an interesting take on this topic that everyone should find fascinating and surprising.

Part 5: Is there anything positive to live for? LOL

Ok so bottom line how F’d are we and what does that mean for us, our children and theirs?

Part 6: Peter’s writing and speaking style and how to keep abreast of his periodic commentaries.

You can subscribe to Peter’s periodic newsletter commentaries free at his website

or on Twitter @PeterZeihan

or on Instagram #PeterZeihan

Peter Zeihan

Peter Zeihan's Bio

Mezcal Tasting with agave expert, Ricardo, from Hotel Esencia in Mexico

Mezcal Tasting with agave expert, Ricardo, from World Famous Hotel Esencia in Mexico

Mezcal, is a little known and much misunderstood spirit from Mexico. While Mezcal comes from the same Agave plant used in making its cousin, tequila, it is a much a more flavorful, engaging, and complex spirit! Mezcal traces its ancestry to the smoky and spiritual side of Mexican life, made explicitly for celebrations like funerals and weddings!

My wife, Emily, and I met Ricardo Robles Flores during our recent honeymoon at Hotel Esencia, an exclusive, secluded, and romantic boutique beach resort.  Hotel Esencia is located about an hour south of Cancun, in an area called Quintana Roo.   Ricardo held a Mezcal tasting for us, which Emily immediately thought would make a great addition to Diversions. Emily and I hope you will enjoy the ride!

Part 1: An Introduction to Mezcal – Truly Spirit – ual!

Hotel Esencia –


Part 2: Differences between Mezcal and Tequila

Part 3: Tasting #1: Mezcal Vago

Mezcal Vago is an “ancestral” mezcal, which means it is made in the ancient method using clay pots for distillation.  So, you combine the underground roasting method of the agave heart of the espadin varietal, typical of mezcal, and the distillation in clay pots.  The result is a smoky upfront taste on the tongue, followed by a lingering earthy finish that is smooth, pleasant, and thought-provoking!  But you will probably only find Mezcal Vago when you are in Mexico at a very high-end restaurant.  Worth the trip to Mexico and Hotel Esencia alone!

Part 4: Tasting #2: La Herencia de Sanchez

La Herencia de Sanchez is also an “ancestral” mezcal, but while it is boiling in the clay pots, the master distiller adds quail breasts stuffed with indigenous fruits where it is cooked.  The result is a less smoky upfront taste that is more mellow than Mezcal Vago but with a more pronounced alcoholic “warmth” as it goes down.  This is an exceptionally complex tasting.

Part 5:  Tasting #3: Mezcal MarcaNegra & Conclusion:

Luck for you, MarcaNegra can be found in the USA.  This is a 96 proof mezcal that you immediately know when it hits your lips.  However, this mezcal is a blend of two types of agave and has a very floral finish and is less smoky than the previous two.  The result is also a complex and pleasant taste profile that is extremely enjoyable.   One last plug for Hotel Esencia – look it up and come visit.

Arnaldo Rodriguez Video Interview – BEYOND THE USA

Arnaldo Rodriguez - Video Interview with Arnaldo Rodriguez, a trailblazer in opening up new leasing markets in Latin America.  Arnaldo is President of CSI Leasing the largest independent technology equipment lessor of its kind.

One of the objectives of Leasing Avenues is to bring you real-time interviews with fascinating people that through sheer force of will, passion and intellect defy the status quo and create something new!  Arnaldo Rodriguez is one of those people.  Arnaldo dramatically expanded the FMV technology leasing market into Mexico and throughout almost all of Latin America.

Part 1:  Introduction to Arnaldo Rodriguez, President of CSI Leasing

Arnaldo provides us with a prelude to how this whole thing started in the first place, from a US business start to Mexico.

Part 2:  State of FMV leasing in Mexico

Part 3:  After Mexico?

Part 4: Challenges along the way & Conclusion


Arnaldo Rodriguez

Arnaldo Rodriguez Bio

August 2019 - Keynote at Asobancaria in Bogota, Colombia

Video of Bob Rinaldi delivering the Keynote speech at Asobancaria's 3rd Leasing Encounter in Bogota, Colombia

Optimal Enterprise Value = Luck

Article as published in NEFA's July/August 2019 Issue of Newsline

Rinaldi Newsline Article Extract

Terence Reilly - Aganorsa Leaf

Aganorsa Leaf Cigar Company visits a “world class” cigar lounge in Houston, aptly named,

Stogies World Class Cigars

(BTW: Jorge has a special offer from Stogies at the end)

Aganorsa Leaf is well known as a very significant tobacco leaf supplier to many great cigar companies but will soon be as well known for their newest branded cigar lineup. Terence Reilly, the VP Sales for Aganorsa Leaf Cigars held a very educational and entertaining session, called the Aganorsa Experience at Stogies in early June. Aganorsa Leaf grows two seed varietals on their estate. The Corojo 99 and Criollo 98 varietals are very different in their own right. Terence provided us each with a small taste of each leaf rolled solely by itself in a rough twig shaped cigar. The Corojo 99 has a subtle, sweet, and nutty flavor while the Criollo has a more distinctive earthy profile. However, when Terence had his audience put them both in their mouth at the same time and draw the smoke together, the combination was more distinguishing and complex than either by themselves. Aganorsa Leaf cigars blended each of their brands with various combinations of each varietal, giving each cigar a completely different flavor profile. Such is the experience of tasting their many fine cigar blends. You cannot help but find one or two that you will find enjoyable.

Part 1: Bob introduces you to Terence Reilly, VP Sales & Marketing of Aganorsa Leaf


Part 2: Featuring – Aganorsa Leaf Corojo

Terence discusses his Aganorsa Leaf Corojo cigar line. Its flavor profile both sweet and earthy as Aganorsa uses both a Corojo binder and wrapper with a criollo filler.


Part 3: Featuring – Aganorsa Leaf Maduro

Aganorsa Maduro is a fuller more flavorful blend that is both distinctive and memorable. The flavor profile is a rich depth of flavor that Terence describes as like a milkshake!

Part 4: Featuring – Aganorsa Leaf Habano

Up next, Aganorsa Leaf Habano, which is for those that like a spicy or peppery flavor in their cigar.

Special Treat From Stogies World Class Cigars

Jorge, Terence, and Jenny

Jorge and Jenny are providing “Diversion” viewers 10% off your purchase of Aganorsa Leaf cigars from their website PLUS free shipping!


Stogies (click here)


How Technology is Changing One of the Oldest Professions

An interview with Michael Levison, CEO ALS Resolvion Skip Trace & Repossession Management Services.

This video series is about how technology is remaking the historically fractured market of repossession services.  Technology in this series is more of an overriding term for several capabilities that have come of age from the conceptual drawing board to tangible, useful, and paradigm changing applications.  The use of this technology was paramount to moving what has traditionally been an industry of many small regional repossession companies into an industrial strength set of capabilities that allow a participant to scale dramatically.

Michael Levison, CEO – Introduction

Michael talks about its genesis from the typical small family-owned repossession company to a national force operating at scale.

Part 1: Compliance played a pivotal role for technology advancement of skip trace & repossession capabilities 

Some of the technology was a requirement to comply while other technologies like big data, data mining, and AI was a requirement to achieve scale. Real-time data communication, however, is required to reduce the potential for “wrongful repossession” and you cannot afford to screw that up!

Part 2: Is it data mining or artificial intelligence?

Michael discusses the use of big data and data mining tools to find linkages in diverse data sets that only these tools can provide in providing actionable data to find missing assets. Michael also discusses the impact of GPS data (again, yet another separate data source).

Part 3: License plate recognition technology

Michael discusses what LPR technology is, how it works as well as the hundreds of millions of new scans each month it adds to an already enormous database from which to mine and amalgamate with other data to increase the likelihood of finding vehicles.

Part 4: Conclusion & what’s next!

Michael discusses what he sees as the next big thing. As opposed to entirely new technologies, Michael feels that improvements in data mining and AI will be the most impactful.

Michael Levison

Michael Levison's Bio

Harry Kaplun Interview - Industry Leader and past CEO Frost Bank Equipment Finance

Harry Kaplun - An Interview with an industry leader with deep expertise in starting and building a significant and successful bank equipment leasing and finance business.

This video series is a must for banks wanting to add a significant commercial asset generation business and specifically, doing so by starting an Equipment leasing and finance lending vertical.  Harry Kaplun, who very recently retired as President of Frost Bank Equipment Finance, has deep expertise in green-fielding the business at a 150-year-old Texas-based bank. Harry describes what works, what does not work, and some of the pitfalls along the way.  Bob and Harry discuss the national vs. footprint models as well as middle and large ticket sectors vs. small ticket (small business).  Harry has been there and seen it all.  Harry has also been a longtime contributor of time, talent, and treasure to the Equipment Leasing & Finance Association.  It was Harry’s idea to create the ELFA Guest Lecture Program to evangelize the industry at colleges and universities across the USA.

Harry Kaplun – Introduction

Part 1: A discussion around equipment leasing & finance banking models

Harry and Bob discuss the two types of models for a bank equipment leasing and finance business unit.

Part 2: A discussion around equipment leasing & finance banking models

Harry discusses the “characteristics of success.”  One such requirement is a well thought out strategic approach with buy-in with all stakeholders at the bank.

Challenges to starting a new bank leasing & finance model

Harry discusses a couple of the more significant challenges, such as the need for transaction speed and receptivity to change.

Addressing the Cost of entry concern

One false perception by the bank is usually that the cost of entry will be high, but the reality can be very different.  Understanding the banking metric of efficiency ratio is a must.

The role of the bank’s CEO and culture

How does a bank usually get started in entering the equipment leasing & finance business?  The role of the Bank CEO, which is where the impetus all must begin, has to build consensus across the bank executive team.  Harry discusses the two models of “footprint” vs. “national approach.”  Assessing whether the bank’s culture can tolerate the change requires objective and frankly brutal honesty.

Harry Kaplun

Harry Kaplun's Full Bio