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May 4, 2004

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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Happenings In The Commercial Barter Industry

#1 In last week's lead story on Illinois Trade Association I failed to mention and acknowledge the outstanding efforts of the ITA staff. In retrospect, I find it quite interesting that both ITA—North America's largest independent trade exchange—as well as the largest corporate barter company in the world—Active International—both have ESOPs. (Employee stock option plans.)

#2 Cristobal Banados, president of Barterhouse Latinoamerica, recently reported the ongoing development in which his company is engaged. The company was launched in 1997 with its first operation in Santiago, Chile.

After initiating a successful franchising model, Barterhouse Latinoamerica today has offices in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and La Paz, Bolivia. The company is also working on the Mexican market to establish a new franchisee in Mexico City this year. For more information: www.barterhouse.com.

#3 International Monetary Systems (OTCBB:INLM) announced it has enrolled 229 new clients in the fourth quarter of 2004...the highest quarterly total of client sign-ups in the company's history.

#4 Bentley Commerce (OTCBB:BLYC) has purchased a 20% equity interest in CollectACheck, a cash low management company that pioneered free NSF (non sufficient funds) check recovery services for businesses. The equity purchase was in an exchange of stock.

#5 Bentley Commerce (OTCBB:BLYC) has acquired 100% of The Barter Exchange For Hotels, Motels And B&Bs, a private internet based company that has a membership of 200 lodging facilities—consisting of bed & breakfasts, motels, and hotels.


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"Trumped!" To Be Bartered Nationwide By Clear Channel's Premiere Radio Network Division

Donald Trump is ready to take on radio...starting June 15, a show called "Trumped!" is slated to air during morning drive time on stations across the country.

Trump's vignettes, which will run from 60 to 90 seconds in length, will be offered to stations on a barter basis in exchange for one minute of commercial time.

Signing Trump is a coup for Premiere Radio Networks, home to such syndicated personalities as Rush Limbaugh, Dr. Laura Schlessinger and Casey Kasem. Sean Compton, VP of Programming for Clear Channel, is credited with making the deal after first approaching Trump in early March.

Terms were not disclosed, but Compton called it "a very big deal in the world of radio," adding, "to Trump, of course, it's just another deal."


Just off the press, issue #62 is now available! Get yourself a copy now! Orders are shipped within two business days. (Click on Order Form.)


Metlife Trades Sears Tower

Metlife traded the Sears Tower for a $90 million profit after owning it less than a year. The building was acquired by a group of New York real-estate bigwigs, who had been major investors in the World Trade Center.

The buyers made the trade—a maneuver known as a 1031 exchange—to defer taxes on the money they recouped from the WTC. By putting the money into a similar property they were able to defer taxes.

1031 tax-deferred real estate exchanges, i.e. traded real estate which is held for investment in office buildings, commercial or industrial property, apartments, or raw land, is big business. Now estimated to be some $30 billion annually. There are 7,000 specialists across the U.S., called real estate exchangors, who put these transactions together.

These real estate "1031" trades are just a part of the overall barter activity in many different areas that, together, amount to over a trillion-dollars-a-year way-of-doing business without cash. Aggregately, such direct trading activity dwarfs the amount of barter that occurs within the commercial barter industry.


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World's Richest Woman

Forbes.com has named the world's 10 richest women, many of whom are heirs to fortunes. A more impressive list is the women who are self-made.

Topping the roster of the world's richest self-made women is Doris Feigenbaum Fisher, who, with her husband, founded the GAP clothing stores in 1969. Her net worth is reported as $2.1 billion. Following her in the No. 2 spot is Oprah Winfrey, media entertainment queen, worth roughly $1.1 billion. Ranked third is Margaret Whitman, the Harvard MBA grad who made her $1.1 billion as CEO of eBay.


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Here & There...

  • UK-based think-tank Economist Intelligence Unit predicts that world economic growth is likely to be 4.7% this year, exceeding the peak of the technology-led boom of 2000. If true, it will be the fastest growth rate in 16 years.

    Although most regions of the world are experiencing faster growth, the U.S., China, India, and Thailand are expanding exceptionally quickly. According to the EIU, the one region which will continue to under perform is the euro zone with an expected growth forecast for the single currency bloc to be 1.6%.

  • Advertisers spent $54.5 billion on U.S. television advertising in 2003, according to TNS Media Intelligence, making it greater than any other advertising medium. In a sign that the advertising business is on the mend was the attendance at the recently held American Association of Advertising Agencies in Miami, which saw attendance jump by more than 32% over last year.

  • (China's $14.5 billion advertising industry is on course to become the world's second-largest ad market within a decade.)

  • 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!

  • One of The Los Angeles Times' lead stories on Sunday, May 2, was titled, "Home Sweet Windfall." The article pointed out that a growing number of Southern California homeowners believe the booming housing market has nowhere to go but down, and are thus selling and cashing out.

    (The median purchase price of a home in Southern California has nearly doubled in the last five years, making the region one of the nation's hottest markets.)

  • Hip businesses can now shoot for sales in a new way...interactive product placement in video games. Hoby Buppert, creator of Bawls Guarana (www.bawls.com) the world's most caffeinated soft drink, has bartered placements in exchange for promoting the game to customers.

  • Construction of speculative business parks, consisting of smaller office and industrial space, is taking off as developers are finding that small business owners are interested in ownership. Small business owners are a big, but often overlooked, group of real-estate users.

  • China's total stock market capitalization is $512 billion. The U.S. market capitalization of the NYSE is $17.8 trillion as of 3/31/04 is 30 times as large.

  • If you viewed the Kentucky Derby this past Saturday, you may have noticed another advertising medium opening up...patches on the jockey's uniforms. Top jockeys could see earnings from advertising escalating into the six figure range. (Other states—New York, California, Florida—already permit jockeys to wear ads.)


We welcome your comments, questions, and observations.
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