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March 23, 2004

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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Unique Swap Promises To Drive More Advertisers To Newspaper

The daily Houston Chronicle is working with local retailers putting new products on an auction web site for one to two week period. The auction and various items will be promoted in a printed insert of the newspaper.

The paper will receive the proceeds from the auction, which is free for retailers with biddable items. Winning bidders pick up their items at the retailer's store.

Based on the retail value of the items sold, the retailer then earns ad credits that can be used toward payment for print or online advertising in the paper.

CityXpress is the supplier of the auction and online section to the Houston newspaper. The Vancouver-based company has signed with 65 newspapers to stage auctions during 2004.

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Bentley Commerce Reports Big Trade Volume Increase

Bentley Commerce (OTCBB:BLYC) reports that in February, its second month as an operating company, they processed $5.28 million in trade volume and earned $15,000 in trade fees.

Bruce Kamm, Bentley's CEO, says the dramatic 164% increase in trade volume (from $2 million in the company's first month) is a result of the new exchanges brought online, coupled with an increasing number of corporate trade transactions.

"We believe the tremendous growth in trade volume is a clear indication of how our online trading system can grow exponentially, and (underscores) the potential we have for future cash revenues," Kamm explained.

Bentley is now negotiating with nine large exchanges that have about 10,000 members, to join the 34 independent trade exchanges now using the VirtualBarter 3.0 Software and management system, which handles barter transactions for approximately 9,500 small to midsize companies. For more info:

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EBB-Euro Barter Business Launches Operations In Switzerland

Reiner Husemann, CEO of EBB-Euro Barter Business, has announced that the trade exchange network with offices in Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Romania, Turkey, the Caribbean, and USA, has now opened a branch in Switzerland.

The new office is located in Zurich, under the direction of franchisee and general manager Mr. Jorg Oggenfuss. Husemann says an additional five branches will be opened in Switzerland this year.

The barter business in Switzerland has a historic tradition, in that the largest trade exchange in the world, WIR Bank, is located in Basel. (WIR has 87,000 accounts and an annual trade volume of approximately $3 billion in USD. Reportedly, more than 20% of small and medium-sized businesses in Switzerland are members of WIR.)

According to Husemann, EBB-Euro Barter Business will open the Swiss market for international barter transactions via the EBB-International Clearinghouse. For more info:

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Greenspan Says Education & Policies Are Key To Today's Outsourcing Anguish

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan spoke this month at Boston College and, succinctly, gave his input on one of the hottest issues in this presidential election year.

In his March 12 address, he noted the U.S. has been challenged over the years by lower-cost nations (Japan in the 1950s & '60s, Mexico in the 1990s), but ultimately both our businesses and workers retooled to drive new economic gains.

Greenspan warned that erecting trade barriers to staunch the flow of jobs overseas would eventually damage the U.S. economy, stifling the innovation and competitive spirit that has brought long-term prosperity.

According to Greenspan, the way to address dislocations is to expand access to education as well as to pursue policies that open additional global markets. "It's the strategy the U.S. has followed successfully for most of the past century, and a strategy that we now should embrace with renewed commitment."

Editor's Note: Charlene Barshefsky, an Asian expert who served as U.S. trade representative under President Clinton, says 60,000 engineers graduated from U.S. colleges in 2002. However, China and India, the Asian giants that together hold one-third of the world's population, graduated 300,000 that same year.

And, backing up Greenspan's suggestion of pursuing policies to open additional global markets, Secretary of State Colin Powell is lobbying India to open its market to more U.S. exports. Last year trade between the two countries totaled $18 billion.

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Here & There...

  • ITEX (OTCBB:ITEX) has announced the results of its annual meeting of stockholders held March 15 at its headquarters in Bellevue (WA). The newly elected board members are: Steven White, ITEX CEO and interim CFO; Eric Best, CEO of MorseBest Innovation; John Wade, CFO of Aptimus Corp.; and Alan Zimmelman.

    Steven White was appointed Chairman. John Wade was appointed Secretary and Treasurer for a second term. The board receives no cash remuneration for their service other than reimbursement of expenses, but will be given 40,000 shares as board compensation.

  • Homestore Inc. the biggest online home-listings company, received final court approval for its $91-million barter settlement of a shareholder lawsuit brought by the California State Teachers' Retirement System. Homestores is providing 20 million new shares as reparation in the settlement.
  • BingoTV, a new channel on the Dish Network, lets players win prizes during a live two-hour broadcast each Wednesday evening. Rather than airing traditional 30-second TV spots, a youthful trio describe the items for which viewers compete.

    The prizes are products from various companies (Southwest Airlines travel, Carnival's cruises, Microsoft Xboxes, etc.), which are exchanged with BingoTV for what is tantamount to an infomercial.

  • NATE (National Association of Trade Exchanges) is offering its members of five or more consecutive years to bring one free attendee when they bring one paid attendee to this year's Las Vegas convention in September. (Members of ten years or longer will get two free attendees when they pay for two.) For more information: (440) 205-5378.
  • Have you signed up to receive a summary via e-mail of the Tuesday Report every week? If not, go to the top of this issue (right hand corner) and sign up!
  • The weak dollar is making the U.S. particularly attractive to visit now. For Europeans a visit is one-third cheaper than it was a few years ago. The $529 billion tourism industry expects international bookings to the U.S. to rise by about 5% this year.

  • Data shows more work is outsourced to the U.S. than away from it... the value of U.S. exports of legal work, computer programming, telecommunications, banking, engineering, management consulting and other private services jumped to $131.01 billion in 2003. While the U.S. outsourcing of call centers and data entry to developing nations, among other things, hit $77.38 billion for the year.
  • U.S. online retail sales for the fourth-quarter 2003 were $17.2 billion, up 25% from the year-ago period, according to the Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce.
  • Bentley Commerce Corporation (OTCBB:BLYC) has appointed its first eight corporate trade brokers. The company's goal is to build a worldwide network of independent brokers who will channel potential transactions to its Corporate Trade Group.
  • Investors poured $43.76 billion into stock mutual funds in January, more than triple the $14.18 billion inflow in December, and the largest amount for any month since the bursting of the stock market bubble in early 2000. Many experts believe stocks should continue to rise through 2004, an election year, if bond yields and short-term interest rates remain stable.
  • International business for the U.S. economy is more important than ever before. Today 25% of U.S. output is dependent upon international trade. U.S. exports that supported seven million U.S. workers a decade ago, have almost tripled to over 20 million workers.

  • FactSet Merger Stat LLC, a Santa Monica-based firm that tracks mergers and acquisitions, reports that there were 233 world-wide reverse mergers into public shells in 2003...up from 160 in 2002. Year to date reverse mergers total 23.

We welcome your comments, questions, and observations.
? Copyright BarterNews 2004. Redistribution of BarterNews content expressly prohibited without the prior written permission of BarterNews.

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