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May 8, 2001

Alternative Financial Services Network Changes Name

The first roll-up in the trade exchange industry was started two years ago this September in Vancouver Canada at the International Reciprocal Trade Association's annual convention.

At the time BarterTrust acquired three well-known exchanges, and stunned many in the industry with their announcement at IRTA. Recently the company publicized that they are undergoing a name change, from BarterTrust to Tradaq.

According to Philip L. Letts, President and CEO of Tradaq, "The company name change reflects our vision to make Tradaq the trading network that companies across the globe can use for trading products and services...just the same as foreign exchange dealers use Forex, or investors wanting to invest in technology stocks use NASDAQ."

Presently, the company conducts less than 2% of its trading online. But nonetheless is embarking on a companywide e-business strategy whereby they soon plan to offer online trading, online access to trading accounts and balances, as well as e-service support.

Tradaq has over 10,000 members and offices in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and South America. The network generates trading volumes in excess of $130 million annually, and has 250 employees worldwide.

Here And There. . .

  • Lucent Technologies shored up its balance sheet by bartering $519 million of stock in their Agere micro electronics spin-off, in exchange for a debt repayment held by Morgan Stanley.

  • Tradeoffs take many forms... Duke Energy has offered to California's Gov. Gray Davis a cut in its energy charges retroactively and into the future in exchange for "prompt suspension of state investigations, lowering of rhetoric, and stay of State litigation."

  • Network Commerce,'s parent, is now charging for services as ad fees have declined dramatically. Jennifer Rogers, Senior VP at Network Commerce, says advertisers on their web site are only paying them $3 to $5 for every thousand users who see their messages, compared to previous fees of $50 to $75 per thousand.

  • At these rates, there's no way we can recoup our investment as an advertising-driven business. We did what we needed to (charging for previously-free services) to cover our costs and stay in business."

  • Cuban sports trainers, some of the best in the world, are going to be whipping Venezuelan athletes into shape in exchange for cheap oil. Cuba is
    a perennial sports powerhouse at the Olympics, despite the country's size. (In Sydney they won 29 medals--with 11 gold.)

    In exchange for Cuban trainers spending 18 months in Venezuela focusing on baseball, boxing, wrestling, karate, weightlifting, volleyball, track and field, Cuba will be able to purchase 53,000 barrels of oil a day, worth $500 million a year. Cuba has 15 years to pay, with a 2% interest rate.

  • Malaysia is bartering $2.9 billion (11 billion ringgit) of palm oil to China and India in return for construction of railway tracks. The trade will help Malaysia cut its stockpile of the commodity and boost prices as well.

    A new study, "Who should shoulder the blame for the downturn roiling the technology industry?," concludes it was greedy investors combined with ignorant executives who are to blame for the dot-com demise...the blistering study was made by the Washington-based Pew Internet and American Life Project.

  • Editor-in-Chief Adrian Mello of Line56, a new technology magazine, says the success of b2b e-commerce ultimately depends on whether ordinary brick-and-mortar companies buy it, use it, make it work, and get significant returns on their investment.

    "If you want to understand b2b e-commerce, you have to pay attention to what brick-and-mortar companies are saying and doing about it. These companies are the ultimate reality test. In the real world there are all sorts of problems that don't show up on the white boards of software companies, service providers, and consultants," Mello concluded.

  • It's interesting to see that General Motors' program offering discount coupons to owners of several million older, allegedly defective GM trucks, doesn't want to honor a certificate good for as much as $1,000 off the price of most GM vehicles, if it's not used for the purchase of a new vehicle.

    Truck owners who weren't interested in buying a vehicle, and couldn't find a neighbor or other interested party who wanted to buy, are out of luck, according to GM. They are fighting the truck owners who want to swap their certificates for $100 cash with a Houston-based marketing firm, Certificate Redemption Group. GM doesn't like the idea of a "secondary market," and threatens court action to stop it.

  • The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) is looking to undo 60 years of policy dedicated to so-called dual-network rules, which will make it easier for the largest U.S. media companies to own several entities.

    This month, the agency begins reviewing rules that bar TV broadcasters from owning stations that reach more than 35% of the nation's total population, and separate rules that prevent companies from controlling broadcast stations and newspapers in the same market. Both regulations are likely to be dropped or heavily revised.


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