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February 26, 2008

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...02/26/2008

More Barter Sites

Two sites found recently are www.teamuphere.com, which reportedly has 2,797 members; www.skillcycle.co.uk a social network for members to exchange skills and services with other members; and www.baitnet.com for fishing sites to barter links with one another. A Long Island (NY) web site for people who live near Nassau and Suffolk county areas is looking for sponsors, www.longislandexchange.com.

Norm Alvis Says Barter Business Is Booming

Norm Alvis of www.edaddywarbucks.com reports to BarterNews that he has done over $10 million in business already in 2008, including millions in barter funding for public companies.

Unique Financing Plan Guarantees Customers

A shop in Boston—Lionette’s Market—and the Garden of Eden restaurant, next door, have been owned by the Lionette family for two generations. (They sell fresh, locally-raised meat and produce.)

Now the brothers Jamey and Robert, managers of the two entities, are making an interesting financial proposal to the South End community to improve their property.

Their plan: Locals who invest $1,000 will get a two-year stipend of $125 per week at the store—a total return of $13,000 in food. For $5,000 the investor gets a $55 weekly stipend for two years. A $2,500 investor gets a 10% discount on store items for two years.

Indonesia Looks To Barter For Military Equipment

Indonesia wants to barter for military equipment from Russia. They also want to establish a maintenance center to work on its Russian-built jets. The proposed deals should, according to Indonesia, also include technology transfer that will increase the production capacity of its own industry.

Harry Schultz Says Financial Tsunami Is Upon Us

Financial radical Harry Schultz says we’re in a derivative crisis and sees the real possibility for new records of hyper-inflation...besting those of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. As inflation hedges he recommends art, commercial property that yields income, and farm land.

Cubans Hoping For Better Economic Conditions With Next Leader

Now that 81-year-old Fidel Castro is retiring (after nearly 50 years as the head of state), Cubans will no doubt expect the next leader to improve economic conditions in a country where monthly pay averages $15.

Yahoo Shareholders Can Expect More, If History Repeats

History isn’t on Microsoft’s side when it comes to its opening offer of $44.3 billion to Yahoo’s shareholders. In 63% of hostile approaches over the past five years, suitors have raised their initial offer. (According to data from FactSet Research Systems.)

Proxy fights waged as part of hostile acquisition attempts are far rarer. They represent less than 5% of all hostile takeovers since 2001, or 27 contests in all.

All back issues of "From the Desk...” can be accessed by clicking here.

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* * ANNOUNCEMENT * *

25 Years Of BarterNews Issues Now In Digital Format

Welcome to the largest repository of barter contacts, strategies, and barter techniques in the world. All 64 issues of BarterNews now available in digital format at http://www.barternews-ezine.com.


Comment And Critique Of Congressman Ron Paul's Statement On Competing Currencies

By Thomas H. Greco, Jr. (February 18, 2008)

My recent message, which included the text of Congressman Ron Paul’s Statement on Competing Currencies, drew a flurry of responses, some positive and some negative. That’s fine because now I know I’ve got people’s attention. Now I would like to explain why I think his message is so important and why I decided to circulate it.

I intended from the start to write a detailed critique of Congressman Paul’s monetary agenda. I’ll include at least a portion of that critique toward the end of this message. I will outline what I agree with and what I disagree with, adding some points about implementation strategies that I think have better chances of success than the political approach which Congressman Paul and other monetary reformers find it difficult to see beyond.

The truth of Lord Acton’s warning that “power corrupts” becomes more evident every day, so anything that enables the ever-increasing concentration of power must be exposed and disabled. Although it is not widely recognized, the monopolistic control of the money system is primary among these.

So my reasons are these:

1) Ron Paul's message has made the money issue, for the first time in

decades, part of the mainstream political dialog. His candidacy for the

office of president, and his demonstrated ability to raise significant

amounts of money from a grassroots constituency have attracted some

mainstream media attention, enabling his statements on money to get some major exposure.

2) Congressman Paul’s statement explicitly exposes the fact that we have “a government-instituted banking cartel that monopolizes the issuance of currency,” and makes the case that competition in currencies is necessary to restoring democracy in America.

3) His statement calls for “eliminating legal tender laws.” People need to understand that legal tender laws play an essential role in empowering and enriching central governments and banking elites at the expense of the people and democratic governance. Legal tender laws amount to, quite simply, a license to steal. They enable the federal government to spend virtually any amount of money for wars and favors to crony corporations without regard to its limited tax revenues.

Chronic deficit-spending creates debt that will never be repaid. It takes value out of the economy by diluting the money supply with legalized counterfeit. Eliminating legal tender is the single most important step in reining in abusive central government and restoring the balance of power.

Do I believe that repeal of legal tender is a likely prospect? Under the present circumstances I put the probability at nil, as I do the chances of getting any kind of political solution to the money problem. But we must look ahead to a time when it will be possible to establish truly democratic government in which people hold power at the local level and the upward assignment of responsibilities is only provisional and temporary.

Just as the separation of church and state was a huge step forward, which was enshrined in the United States Constitution, and is generally accepted as a fundamental tenet of democracy, so too the separation of money and state will need to be explicitly enshrined in a new or amended constitution.

4) He correctly states that, “In the absence of legal tender laws, Gresham's Law no longer holds.” Under legal tender laws, which force acceptance of “bad money,” “bad money” drives “good money” out of circulation. In the absence of legal tender laws, the bad money will be rejected or discounted in the marketplace leaving in circulation only “good money,” money that people trust.

5) The Paul message includes some current and historical anecdotes that provide additional insights into the dimensions of the money problem. Specifically, he refers to various government actions that were designed to eliminate free exchange by shutting down competing exchange media.

Anyone who seeks to establish community currencies or other alternative exchange processes, needs to be cognizant of these potential hazards.

Now, for my critique:

Anyone who has been following my work knows that I have repeatedly made clear my opposition to using gold as money. While gold (or silver) might serve as an objective measure of value, there is no need to revert to gold as a payment medium. But even in the role of value measure, gold has serious shortcomings, not the least of which is the fact that the market for gold is manipulated by the large holders of gold. I made these points in my 2007 Malaysia presentation http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docId=1399011433067824706&hl=en.

The traditional functions which money is supposed to serve must be segregated. For my brief recent statement on this see, http://beyondmoney.wordpress.com/new-chapters/fundamentals-of-alternative-currencies-and-value-measurement/.

The exchange of real value, which money is supposed to facilitate, has evolved beyond money. This is the fact that the “gold bugs,” and almost everyone else, fail to recognize. As I’ve described in my presentation on

The Evolution and Transformation of Money (http://www.reinventingmoney.com/slides.html), the highest stage of evolution in the exchange process is direct credit clearing. This is a process by which accounts payable (resulting from purchases) are offset by accounts receivable (resulting from sales) within a circle of associated buyers and sellers.

This approach has the added advantages of bypassing all the sales tax issues associated with using commodities, including gold, as exchange media.

So, in brief, all kinds of “money” are obsolete. All that is required now is a system that provides for the democratic allocation and management of credit. If we insist on using the term money, we must say that money is nothing more than credit.

The local, democratic management of credit and the establishment of networks that connect those local credit clearing entities into regional and global trading unions provides the means for establishing true economic and political democracy and a dignified life for all.


You Have A Choice—Grow Or Go!

Grow or go—that’s the immutable law of biology and it applies to movements and companies, as well as to organisms. Stripped of all the rhetoric, five-year plans, financing schemes and grandiose marketing ideas, your task as a business owner is a lot more basic.

Your organization must grow or go. And critical to your growth is a positive cash flow because cash is the life blood of your business. This is especially true in your formative years when your business is rapidly expanding, because neither sales nor profits pay the company bills.

(Although many business owners operate under the misconception that if they can guide their company to a profitable position they will “have it made.”)

There was a time, not so long ago, when barter was seen as an old, primitive way of conducting business. No more. Today it’s used by companies of every size in our highly competitive marketplace. Worldwide it moves almost a trillion (yes trillion) dollars a year in goods and services. It’s been erroneously labeled “the world’s number one growth industry”—having seen increases every year for decades. But it’s not really an industry per se, it’s a business tool.

Are you aware of its full potential? Do you know the variable cost of your incremental or “barter” business? Are you using barter in your business?

What separates the men from the boys in the business world is management. And the greatest difference in management is not in brains, but in the ability to see what really matters.

Push comes to shove when your daily on-going expenses are higher than planned, and your sales (more accurately your collectibles) are less than anticipated. Therefore, cash flow really matters! The question is: how can your company most efficiently build-up its cash flow? Those in the know understand that it’s directly tied to where the money is spent.

Every time you can substitute a cash buy through barter you’re building your cash flow, because a “saved” dollar goes directly to your bottom line. Whereas a new sales dollar must flow through many “filters” or “costs” (like rent, insurance, utilities, salaries, telephone, taxes, cost of goods sold, advertising expenses) before a few pennies of that dollar finally make it to the bottom line.

One of the easiest and most efficient ways to grow your business is by bartering. Make it a goal to learn as much as you can about this proven business tool.


CPAs Offer Eight Steps Aiding Entrepreneurs In Tough Economic Times

The AICPA (www.AICPA.org) is the nation’s largest professional non-profit association representing more than 340,000 CPAs that specialize in the area of tax, accounting, and consulting services such as personal finance.

As one of small businesses’ most trusted advisors, CPA’s offer these eight steps to help entrepreneurs in tough economic times:

Step 1: Focus on your balance sheet.

Business owners love to talk about sales and tell you how many millions of sales they had this year, but as you get closer to the recession the focus should be on your balance sheet. Make sure you’re managing your cashflow well. It’s something you should be doing all the time but it’s even more critical in a recessionary environment, because there’s just that much less cash floating around. While the going is still good, try to put cash aside to build a war chest.

Step 2: Diversify and launch.

Economic downturns have a benefit for business. A recession gives you the opportunity to step back, rethink, and review all sectors of your operation. Consider launching a new product or service offering not currently offered in your market. Use the time for diversifying your products, services, or industries so you don’t have too many eggs in one sinking basket.

Step 3: Start looking at your credit and debt.

You should begin looking at increasing your debt. Negotiating with a bank from a position of power and good financial resources in a good economy is a lot easier to do than trying to negotiate in a recessionary environment. Don’t think of that extra credit simply in terms of reserves to get you through cash-trickling times.

Step 4: Review your accounts receivables.

When things are starting to turn down, you want to keep a sharp eye out for someone who is in to you for quite a bit, because if they go under and cash is tight that could have a huge impact on your small business. Similarly, review your agreements with suppliers. Maybe you don’t have to pay in 30 days; maybe you can pay in 45. Again, it’s easier to negotiate in a good economy than in a downturn.

Step 5: Review your company discretionary spending items.

Although small businesses are typically very lean, recession survivors often still manage to trim some fat. Think of all the discretionary items. Take whatever steps you can to reduce your debt. The less you have to pay out on a regular basis during an economic slowdown, the less painful it will be. Employ labor and time-saving technology to reduce business costs. More effective use of the Internet can save on travel, training, administration, and operations costs.

Step 6: Review your customers.

Start reviewing about how a recession will impact your customers. If your customer base is involved, for example, in the home-building industry, and home building is down, then you know these customers are not going to be demanding as much product, so you better get ready for that. One way to do that is to search out alternatives. Somebody’s always making money, even in a recession, so if you can find out where those pockets are and if you have services you can provide to them, maybe you want to expand those services.

Now is also the time to take customer service to a new level. Get in touch and stay in touch with your active customers. Take nothing for granted. Make sure your pricing is competitive, your service exceptional and your attitude reflects how much you value their business. Revisit dormant customers and see what you can do to bring them back into the fold.

Sometimes it takes as little as just asking to restart a relationship. Other times it can take some imagination, but resurrecting a past customer can still be easier and less expensive than finding and breaking in a new one. Ask your customers for referrals. While this is a good practice at any time, it is particularly important in a down economy.

Step 7: Keep up marketing.

Many companies cannot afford to stop marketing, regardless of economic conditions. New products are always sure revenue generators if marketed properly. Determine what sets your business apart from the competition and market it like crazy. Attend networking functions, spruce up your Web site, send out post cards, put out a new sign in front of your office.

New business, however, doesn’t have to come from new customers. Many small-business owners can find that their best prospects for new revenue are their existing customers and clients—established relationships mean an owner doesn’t have to spend time, energy and money trying to make a good impression and knowledge of customers’ needs makes it easier to come up with new products or services they’ll want to buy.

Whether prospecting for new business or working with a long-standing customer, success can turn on making a valid case that your product or service will benefit the buyer, even if the economic times are uncertain.

Step 8: Do additional research.

The CPA profession in the United States has created free resources and tools to help small business owners with personal finance issues.

To learn more check out the CPA profession’s 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy visit www.360financialliteracy.org and check out the “Entrepreneurs” tab.

Hotel General Managers

Work With Audio/Visual Vendor On Barter

Collect cash, as usual, from the guest accounts staying at your facility that require the use of professional AV services. And rather than shouldering your ongoing employee costs, or your current vendor’s cash agreement for AV services, here’s a much better alternative:

Work with a proven national vendor (a sterling 25-year track record) who will provide all of the AV services for your hotel on a 100% TRADE BASIS! (Payment to be in the form of trade dollars.)

Your hotel’s annual AV billings must be a minimum of $200,000, and this offer is available only in the continental United States.

For a confidential introduction contact Bob Meyer via e-mail: bmeyer@barternews.com.

Attention Trade Exchange Owners:

If your member hotel(s) have a minimum of 10,000 sq. feet of meeting space and annual billings of at least $200,000 for AV services this is a great opportunity to earn substantial cash service fees on the hundreds of thousands of trade dollars your hotel member will be paying the vendor. Contact Bob Meyer at the above e-mail.


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The Growth and Use of Secondary Capital (New Money) Creates Unprecedented Wealth In Today’s New Age Of Possibility

There are many forms of secondary capital—which can be defined as any financial instrument that measures and communicates value in a common language. Would you like to see and learn more about the many forms of secondary capital?

 We have 70 free, informative and inspiring, articles for you in our “Secondary Capital Section.” Check it out... www.barternews.com/secondary_capital.htm.

Get New Money-Making Ideas And Valuable Contacts!

You can obtain useful, informative ideas and contacts in every available back-issue of BarterNews.


Every barter company in the world is listed on our web site, click through to our Global List of Barter Companies.


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