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The weekly newsletter for everyone interested in barter--the world's most versatile business tool!

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June 19, 2001

Active International's Success Reported In BarterNews Cover Story

A corporate barter company started by two committed individuals, Alan Elkin and Arthur Wagner, has leveraged vision, commitment, and performance to create a one-of-a-kind powerhouse--the world's largest corporate trading company.

Now a global juggernaut with offices in fourteen countries around the world, you can read parts of their fascinating story online. See our home page.

Barter Industry Statistical Study Underway

Trade Exchanges And Corporate Barter Companies Urged To Cooperate With New Project

A group of interested barter industry members are meeting in Denver on June 27 to develop a methodology for computing industry statistics. (If interested in attending call Krista Vardabash at 716-424-2960.)

Information on the industry's growth and size is important to ascertain as the financial industry moves forward to embrace the commercial barter industry. Additionally, the media continually looks for such data when reporting on the industry.

Prior to the Denver meeting a survey is being disseminated industry-wide. If your barter company hasn't yet received a copy, please e-mail as soon as possible. The information compiled prior to June 22 will be a valuable assist at the upcoming Denver meeting.

This industry-wide effort is supported by the International Reciprocal Trade Association (IRTA), Crump Barter Services, and BarterNews magazine. It's expected that NATE (National Association of Trade Exchanges) will become involved as well.

Here And There. . .

  • Charles R. Lax, co-founder and general partner of Softbank Venture Capital in Massachusetts, says it's a different world today in the venture capital marketplace. "At the end of the day, the most important thing is that a dollar today buys what $3 to $5 bought 2-1/2 years ago."

    Lax contends that the only way for entrepreneurs to negotiate is to have multiple term sheets in front of them...and in today's market, they're not likely to get that.

  • Be careful who you listen could cost you: According to data over a four-year period from, an online investment information service, investors lost an average of 53% when they followed the advice of an analyst employed by a Wall Street firm that had led or co-managed a particular stock's initial public offering of stock.

    By contrast, investors lost just 4% when they took the suggestions of analysts whose firms had no underwriting relationship with the companies researched. (The so-called Chinese Wall that is supposed to separate a firm's analysis and investment-banking business has cracks.)

  • Connecticut-headquartered INT Media Group, which includes the and EarthWeb Network of 160 web sites and nearly 300 e-mail newsletters, has made an equity investment in Alistia in exchange for barter advertising.

  • Blockbuster and RadioShack are working on a barter-type joint venture. Blockbuster is offering space in its outlets, in exchange for RadioShack building "boutiques" and providing the inventory--digital videodisc (DVD) players, VCRs, TV sets, and cell phones. Sharing of profits and increased traffic were the motivating factors behind the new partnership.

  • It's shaping up as a dismal year for the hotel industry. Lethargic business travel, coupled with over building has driven occupancy down almost six percentage points to 73.1% in New York. The worst showing is in San Francisco where occupancy rates have plunged nine percentage points to 69.9% following last year's technology crash.

  • Ad-spending projections are dropping as well. This year's ad growth will be the slowest since 1991, which makes many people unhappy. But for corporate barter companies it's a good time to replenish their advertising inventory. Next year, with midterm elections and spending on the Winter Olympics, the ad business is expected to pick up.

  • Last year U.S. companies announced $789 billion in mergers and acquisitions through mid-June. At the same time this year, the U.S. has seen about $356 billion.

    History shows that M&A activity closely tracks the general level of exuberance in the stock market and confidence among business executives. When stock prices fall, confidence plummets along with the urge to merge.

  • France and Cuba renewed their "wheat for sugar" barter deal...over a 6-month period they will exchange $60 million worth of farm goods. Last year the two countries exchanged $160 million of their commodities.

  • Australia's Bartercard, one of the world's largest trade exchanges, has opened its U.S. office in Irvine, California. The state of California, incidentally, has passed France to rank as the world's fifth-largest economy if it were a separate nation! France has a gross domestic product (GDP) of $1.28 trillion, California is now $1.33 trillion.

  • Walt Disney Co., in an effort to boost attendance at California Adventure, is turning to its popular game show, "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire," and a new currency. Players accumulate Disney Points, which can then be exchanged for collectible shirts, hats, and pins at the new theme park.


We welcome your comments, questions, and observations.
? Copyright BarterNews 2003. Redistribution of BarterNews content expressly prohibited without the prior written permission of BarterNews.