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June 21, 2005

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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Bernard Lietaer Scheduled Keynote Speaker For IRTA’s 26th Annual International Convention 

Currencies Expert Will Address Attendees On World Expanding Cashless Trading

The theme of this year’s IRTA Convention, to be held September 22-25 in Orlando, is “Uniting People & Standards In A Cashless Trading World.” The Friday morning kick-off will open with international financial expert and currency authority, Bernard Lietaer.

Lietaer has a distinguished and varied background: He’s the author of The Futureof Money: Creating New Wealth, Work and A Wiser World. While at the Central Bank in Belgium he co-designed and implemented the convergence mechanism (ECU) to today’s successful euro currency system. During that period he also served as President of Belgium’s Electronic Payment System.

He co-founded one of the largest and most successful currency funds in Belgium, where he actively traded currencies worldwide, as well as wearing the hat of General Manager. Additionally, Lietaer was a professor of International Finance at the University of Louvain in Belgium and is currently a visiting professor at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado.

Lois Dale, President of the International Reciprocal Trade Association, was enthusiastic about IRTA’s expanded focus. “This is the first convention ever that IRTA is welcoming different currency holders from around the world—be it reciprocal trade, barter exchanges or community currencies—to participate and build relationships. New vistas will be opening up for attendees in this truly exciting endeavor.”

IRTA’s Treasurer Bob Bagga added, “Lietaer has a knack for explaining complex money ideas in simple, understandable terms. He shares a unique vision of barter exchange systems becoming stronger and more collaborative with other systems of alternative trade. His vast experience and in-depth knowledge promises valuable insight and new ideas on how our industry can make it all happen.”

Krista Vardabash, IRTA’s Executive Director, was succinct in her summary. “We wanted someone to open our event with a message that barter exchanges are an important part of a global economic movement towards non-cash systems. Lietaer will expand our attendees’ thinking with his message that exchange operators are an important part of the big picture.”


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International Monetary Systems Creates Corporate Barter Division

A natural and obvious progression has taken place with IMS’ Continental Trade Exchange, now one of the largest barter company’s in the world. They’re moving forward by officially creating a corporate barter division.

Unlike their retail barter network, which works with smaller businesses and professionals, corporate barter involves manufacturers, distributors, hotel chains and larger companies. Recently IMS has processed two higher-valued transactions with major distributors totaling $700,000.

CEO Don Mardak explained, “Our CTE barter system now serves 14,000 cardholders. Adding the dimension of corporate barter transactions is the next natural step. Inasmuch as we have a substantial infrastructure in place, we are in a position to successfully distribute the products of these corporate clients through our network.”

For more information go to: www.internationalmonetary.com.


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Follow-up On Last Week’s Digital Billboards Article

Regarding our story last week titled “Digital Signs Make Billboards More Valuable,” Tuesday Report had several inquiries as to the cost. The state-of-the-art LED (light-emitting-diode) billboard displays cost approximately $400,000 each, and will dramatically change the outdoor-ad business as static messages can be changed every eight seconds.

Spending on out-of-home U.S. advertising, ranging from billboards to bus shelters, is expected to grow 26% to $7.1 billion by 2008, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. (Such numbers are leading Clear Channel executives to hold on to the lion’s share of its outdoor unit, earmarking only 10% for the IPO slated later this year.)


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Prestowitz’s New Book Suggests “ Asia Will Eat Our Lunch!”

Clyde Prestowitz is the head of Washington’s Economic Strategy Institute, as well as a former international executive for U.S. multinationals and the former noted trade negotiator in the Reagan Administration. He’s also the author of a new book, Three Billion New Capitalists, The Great Shift of Wealth and Power to the East.

The interesting and controversial book touches on may topics, including:

  • Governments have long been creating comparative advantages for their own economies, Prestowitz noted, but says U.S. policy makers have apparently forgotten this. (His examples: the federal government created Radio Corporation of America—RCA, launched Boeing and nurtured it with government contracts, and created AT&T with its genius pool at Bell Laboratories.)
  • The challenging of one of the most popular and soothing myths in Washington—that U.S. workers can compete with any in the world if given “a level playing field.” Prestowitz ways Western workers won’t be able to compete without accepting wage cuts, since in the area of labor costs China enjoys a “fifteen to thirty-fold advantage” over the developed world.
  • The premise that China and India, which together accounted for 75% of the world’s GDP before the discovery of America, are on a steep trajectory to regain their prominence. (Their governments will constitute an irresistible package that will soak up global investment due to the potential size of their markets, their endless supply of low-cost labor, the unique combination of many highly skilled but low-paid professionals, and the investment incentives offered.)
  • India is rapidly moving up the value chain with its emphasis on software and computer services, along with the processing of tax returns, medical X-rays, and the like. Surprisingly, there are already more info-tech engineers in Bangalore (150,000) than in Silicon Valley (130,000).
  • The value of “linkage” among technologies is another central theme. Japan, he points out, continues to understand the importance of the linkage concept while U.S. leaders seem not to.

But Prestowitz says there is reason for hope despite the U.S. government shortsightedness, because America’s technology is often the best, as are its universities. Also the U.S. leads in biotech, and it retains a unique entrepreneurial culture.


Every barter company in the world is listed on our web site, click through to our Global List of Barter Companies


CondoFlip.com Launches Site Catering To Real-Estate Flippers

Mark Zilbert, a Miami real-estate broker, has created a site for people who want to “flip” or resell preconstruction condo contracts. Initially the site will focus on Miami, which is estimated to have over 60,000 condo units in various stages of construction. But Zilbert says he plans to expand into Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Dallas, and Chicago next year.

CNBC-TV Names “Flipping Capital”

On June 20, CNBC-TV reported that Las Vegas is the “flipping capital” of the U.S. And flippers have played a key role in the rise of the real estate market, with some 11.5% of sales being flipped within 45 days of purchase. The question people in Las Vegas are asking is, “What happens when the flippers move on?”


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Here & There...

  • Don Mardak, International Monetary Systems CEO, says the company is “very proud of our employees who have been recognized as barter-industry leaders.” According to Mardak, IMS now has three Master Trade Brokers and eighteen Certified Trade Brokers on staff.

    Recently, at the NATE Convention held at the Chateau Élan near Atlanta, Donna Burlingham received special recognition as Certified Broker Of The Year, Johnny Eagle was named NATE’s Most Valuable Member, and Lisa Boudreau achieved the prestigious designation of Master Trade Broker.

    James Nooyen and Matthew Nelson passed the written examination to qualify as Certified Trade Brokers, and several IMS employees—Barbara Martin, Kim Strabley and John Strabley—conducted convention seminars. Also associated with IMS is NATE current president Debbie Lombardi and the association’s secretary Dale Mardak.

  • Can laissez-faire be a bipartisan affair? An “ardent Democrat” and economist who served in the Clinton administration from 1993 to 1997, thinks so. Paul A. London, the author of The Competition Solution, says it’s competition that rules the land. And this free-for-all is responsible, even more than sound money and lower tax rates, for the stunning recent outperformance of the U.S. relative to other developed economies, with their more-regulated and rigid business ways.

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  • If you've missed any of our weekly Tuesday Reports the past five years we have an archive of issues for you at the bottom of this week's letter...check it out!


We welcome your comments, questions, and observations.
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