Don't you all see that investing and all this making money based off of it is FAKE? Nothing real is generated by it. It's like the lie that our paper money is actually worth anything. If you aren't physically creating something with your time then you are stealing food off of people's tables. The barter system was based on trading necessities. All of these luxuries and interest and other non-necessity things are what is watering down the world.
If you are leasing equipment when it gets old then the leasing company takes it back. Then it is still waste. Just because you aren't the one eating it directly doesn't mean it went away. Credit is passing the losses off over and over. The entire world economy is like one big kiting scheme.
I'll try this again.
Investing means I loan my money (directly or indirectly) to people who want to, guess what, buy things or use services for which they may or may not have the money, and are willing to pay for the privilege of using mine. That can mean other companies like mine, it can mean small business owners looking to expand, it can mean entrepreneurs, it can mean real estate investors, retailers, wholesalers, you name it.
By earning "interest", I'm basically selling a service and charging a fee for it. I'm engaging in a contract for you to use my money for something, temporarily, and the "rate" is the same as an hourly fee for a consultant if you will.
By paying interest, I'm basically using the service and paying the fee for it. The service is valuable to me, because it helps me accomplish a goal. Not everyone uses credit wisely, but in business terms, it's necessary to use credit as a tool for maximizing the return on your capital.
Some companies operate "debt free" and are proud of it...I call these companies "stupid". One such company is Novell. Smart companies use debt as an important tool to maximize profits, but like anything, it has to be managed properly. It's worth the trouble.
As it applies to lease returns, the leasing company will clean up and "refurbish" the equipment. What they "pay" for the equipment coming off-lease is called the residual value (in FMV terms at least) - it amounts to the item's original cost, minus depreciation. I won't get into the finer points of leasing here; suffice to say that the leasing company will re-sell the equipment as 'refurbished', for a profit (e.g. more than the residual value). In the mean time, they made a 3% return on their investment - meaning the equipment they bought for you. May not sound like much, but a 3% margin on 'sales' isn't bad when you're doing billions of dollars a year in volume and require relatively few administrative individuals to keep up with it.