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June 8, 2004

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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Advertising Age Acknowledges Active's Clout In Media World

Active International, the world's largest corporate trading firm, with gross annual trading volume of approximately $1.3 billion continues to impress the marketplace.

Recently, Advertising Age magazine ranked Active as the 10th largest global media buyer. Active's clients include industry leaders and Fortune 1000 companies in the apparel, automotive, electronics, financial, food and beverage, health and beauty, retail, and travel industries.

Founded in 1984, Active acquires under-performing assets, including real estate, capital equipment, and surplus inventory at up to full wholesale or book value, in exchange for cash and/or a trade credit used to offset operational costs. Headquartered in Pearl River (NY), Active is an employee-owned company. For more info: www.activeinternational.com.


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Restructuring Takes Place At Bentley Commerce

Bentley Commerce Corp. (OTCBB:BLYC) expects to reduce current operating costs by approximately $1 million annually due to restructuring and consolidation of its operations. Additionally, CEO Bruce Kamm says they have terminated a number of employment and consulting contracts.

At a special meeting of its Board of Directors in Los Angeles, the company introduced a wide range of management procedures and financial controls, and inaugurated a trade exchange advisory board.

Bentley chairman Gordon Lee resigned as CFO, treasurer and secretary. Bruce Kamm, CEO, will serve as interim CFO and treasurer. Robert Schumacher, President and COO, will serve as corporate secretary.

Bentley Advisory Board Named

Named to the Bentley Advisory Board, in addition to Bruce Kamm, is Joe Crump of Bentley's Crump Barter Network, Alan Mink of AAA Barter, Steve Webster and Ralph Meranto of Alliance Barter, Rae Ann Paulson of Puget Sound Trading, Larry Usner of Louisiana Barter, and Steve Merrill of New Market Networks. For more information: www.bentleycommerce.com.


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A "Thank You" To Herbert Teichmann & His Montreal Team

BarterNews received an e-mail from Herbert Teichmann, founder of COMTEX Trade Exchange in Montreal, Quebec, (www.comtextrade.com) informing us that all of his nearly 1,000 clients received the following message via e-mail:

"Did you know there's a magazine called BarterNews, 'the official journal of the reciprocal trade industry?' Editor Bob Meyer publishes a variety of useful articles on the industry, news on deals happening between major companies, etc. The BarterNews mission statement is, 'to provide...readers...with a storehouse of information, ideas and contacts.'

"The latest issue (No. 62), includes an awesome article by Susan Groenwald, who takes a look at the commercial trade exchange industry after 23 years in the business. She concludes by saying, 'the ultimate goal is NOT necessarily to have more companies use barter, but to help companies be more profitable.' I share the same concern.

"If you want to read more, you're welcome to get in touch with me; I'll be happy to send you a copy of the article. It gives a great idea of the challenges I'm confronted with every day in my work at COMTEX."


BarterNews issue #62 is now available...get yourself a copy now! Orders are shipped within two business days. (Click on Order Form.)


Is Economic Reform Key To Middle East Change?

For the last three years, about $60 billion annually in long-term direct investment from foreign corporations has poured into the developing countries of Asia. At the same time, the developing countries of Latin America and the Caribbean have received more than $30 billion a year. As for the poor countries of the Middle East, they've taken in barely $6 billion a year.

Today (Tuesday, June 7), President Bush is presenting his Greater Middle East initiative to a meeting of the Group of 8 nations at Sea Island (GA). That initiative is about providing greater educational opportunity for societies in which half the people are younger than 20 but at least a third of the population is illiterate.

The initiative will also promote movement toward free elections and more open economic systems in the Middle East, home to 5% of the world's population. A chief aim is to "establish the conditions that make it attractive for money to come back to the region, as well as new money to come to the region," according to U.S. Undersecretary of State Alan P. Larson.

The ultimate goal is to turn the region into an Arab common market, which will draw capital from all over the globe, and at the same time create a large local business class, which can pave the way for a series of peaceful Islamic democracies. It's a distant dream today. But 60 years ago, when Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, few were predicting a bright future for Europe.


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Micro-Multinationals—A New Trend Underway

Venture capitalists from Silicon Valley, famous for funding technology's leading edge, are now pushing the companies they fund into becoming "micro-multinationals," i.e. a company that from its inception is based in the U.S. but maintains a less-costly, skilled work force abroad. (The VCs are also prodding young companies in which they already own stakes to move in this direction.)

The key, according to the VCs, is not just labor cost but greater productivity, in that when engineers in the Valley are going to sleep, those in India are waking up. In short, technology companies are looking at globalization as a natural phenomenon without borders.


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Here & There...

• Kyle Lombardi, 15-year old son of Debbie Lombardi, president of Newington-based Barter Business Unlimited, www.bbu.com, raised $10,000 (cash and trade) over five months for the Connecticut March of Dimes.

• Barter Network Inc. (BNI) of Chadds Ford (PA) recently acquired The Barter Connection, a Chester County-based trade exchange. BNI's membership base will now total 1,250 businesses. For more information: www.bniusa.com.

• A survey by real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle of Chicago, reports that 80% of real estate executives for major companies said they were likely to increase their offshore call centers and computer services over the next five years. And two-thirds said they were likely to increase offshore back-off functions. Bottomline: outsourcing will slow the growth in demand for commercial office space.

• 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!

• Bear Stearns economist David Malpass is predicting another year of double-digit growth in global output, topping the previous-high of 11% in 1993, with total world-wide GDP soaring to $36.6 trillion.

And while China and India are still a relatively small factor in the world economy, accounting for less than 5%, their rapid growth has supplied impetus to the global recovery. They have given the world something Malpass believes it always needs...underdeveloped nations with pro-growth economic policies.

• It's only the second week in June, yet TradeAmericanCard in Orange County (CA) is promoting its Holiday Barter Expo scheduled for December.

• Michael Lewis, head of commodity research at Deutsche Bank in London, contends that by various measures oil isn't so expensive. Oil would have to climb to above $50 a barrel to match where it stood during the 1990-1991 Gulf War, in inflation-adjusted terms, he explained. "And relative to incomes, oil prices would have to rise to just over $80 a barrel to bring them into line with the 1974-to-1985 period," Lewis added.

• Michael Barone's recent book, Hard America, Soft America, says America is soft when it comes to running our schools but hard when it comes to making a living. America is hard because it relies on markets, selective colleges, and an ungenerous public welfare system.

Our children live in "Soft America," our adults in "Hard America." Exactly the opposite is true in many European countries, where, according to Barone, children go to difficult and competitive high schools. But then as adults, they live in a "Soft Europe" of long vacations, short work weeks, and generous unemployment and health benefits.

• While the bulk of TV ad dollars are still destined for broadcast networks, the gap is narrowing with cable channels making inroads in the scramble for advertising dollars. Advanced or upfront sales, where the networks sell about 80% of their advertising inventory, approximates $9 billion this year for the major networks (a bit less than last year), while cable channels have gained a $1 billion boost over last year's $5.4 billion in sales.

• A new law will throw China's retail and distribution sectors wide open to foreign investors, as it removes both long-standing restrictions and the threat of recently proposed measures to further hamper foreign investment. Beginning in December, foreign retailers can do business without Chinese partners and set up stores anywhere in the country.

• Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is a crucial gateway for international travel, not just to Asia but also to Europe. It's the busiest airport in the world, in terms of passengers beginning or ending a trip there (excluding connecting passengers).

The airport, rebuilt for the 1984 Olympics, is in dire need of modernization. And the hot new issue is a plan to build a costly central check-in facility more than a mile away from the boarding gates. The design is being touted as a new model for airport security.


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