July 6, 2004
by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews
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"Out-of-the-Box" Thinking Looks Promising
CEO of Bentley Commerce, is busily bringing his online trading technology
to industries that typically haven’t been involved in barter.
One such effort revolves around the establishment of a barter platform
for bond and other financial instruments trading.
that the barter platform, already in place and known as PrimeStreet,
processed $50 million in bond trading and $1 million in fees in
its first month. Bentley, which set up the barter platform and assists
in the trading endeavors, will receive cash revenue from the PrimeStreet
exchange, after transaction costs of $250,000.
the trading of bonds and other financial instruments for trade dollars
takes place through PrimeStreet. These trade dollars are later used
to purchase other financial instruments and bonds.
parent company’s real-time credit processing is currently
used by over 60 financial institutions and more than 33 online finance
centers. The firm operates in the U.S. and Canada, with global expansion
Kamm, “Bringing online trading technology to businesses that
typically haven’t been involved in barter delivers new transaction
capabilities and profits to all participating parties. We expect
PrimeStreet and other enterprise level exchanges to continue to
drive Bentley’s growth and revenues in the coming months.
companies in various business sectors join our network, making it
more efficient for them and their participants to trade, so too
will the trade volume, velocity, and fees generated increase accordingly.”
Relocates To Florida
(OTCBB:BLYC) is moving forward with its cost reduction and restructuring
program. Gordon Lee, Bentley’s chairman, has resigned from
the Board and all management and consulting positions. His focus
will be on American Interactive Digital Channels Corporation, a
company he founded and serves as its CEO and Chairman.
Bruce Kamm has
announced that Bentley, a Florida corporation recently headquartered
in California, will be consolidating and moving to 9040 Town Center
Parkway, Bradenton, Florida...minutes away from the Sarasota-Bradenton
Bentley is placing
an emphasis on greater communication by adding interactive discussion
forums on its website. Shareholders, members of barter exchanges,
and others can post topics, questions, or suggestions for management,
as well as communicate with one another.
a toll-free telephone call management system is now available to
contact Bentley’s various departments (business development,
trade floor, technical support, investor relations and marketing)
and their personnel at (888) 281-2465. For more information: www.bentleycommerce.com.
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European Report Shows Huge Difference
Between USA & Europe
A pair of economists—Fredrik
Bergstrom and Robert Gidehag—have just concluded a study,
“The EU vs. USA,” for the Swedish think tank Timbro.
It found that if Europe were part of the United States, only tiny
Luxembourg could rival the richest of the 50 American states in
gross domestic product per capita.
admit that man doesn’t live by GDP alone, and that this report
misses the output in the “black” economy which is significant
in the European Union’s high-tax states.
But a rising
tide still lifts all boats, and GDP per capita in the U.S. was a
whopping 32% higher than the EU average in 2000, and the gap hasn’t
Higher GDP per
capita allows the average American to spend about $9,700 more on
consumption every year than the average European. The Swedish study
states, “Most Americans have a standard of living which the
majority of Europeans will never come anywhere near.”
But what about
equality? Well, the percentage of Americans living below the poverty
line has dropped to 12% from 22% since 1959. In 1999, 25% of American
households were considered “low income,” meaning they
had an annual income of less than $25,000.
very model of a modern welfare state—were judged by the same
standard, about 40% of its households would be considered low income.
In other words,
poverty is relative...in the U.S. a large 45.9% of the poor own
their homes. The average living space for poor American households
is 1,200 square feet. In Europe, the average space for all households,
not just the poor, is 1,000 square feet.
So what is Europe’s
problem? “The expansion of the public sector into overripe
welfare states in large parts of Europe is and remains the best
guess as to why our continent cannot measure up to our neighbor
in the West,” the authors write.
In 1999, average
EU tax revenues were more than 40% of GDP and in some countries
above 50%, compared with less than 30% for most of the United States.
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Lawsuit Settlement A Subtle
Barter (Marketing) Arrangement
Over the years
Microsoft has received approval to settle class-action lawsuits
by providing vouchers to consumers. In June, a Massachusetts judge
gave approval for a $34 million settlement against the company.
(Microsoft was accused of violating state consumer-protection and
unfair competition laws.)
give people from Massachusetts—who have purchased certain
Microsoft operating-system, productivity-suite, spreadsheet or word-processing
software—vouchers, which can be used to buy any computers
and software used with those products. In most cases the vouchers
are insufficient for complete purchases, so in effect the scrip
become a marketing tool for the company!
Also just announced
is a similar settlement of a class-action lawsuit in Minnesota,
where Microsoft consumers in that state will receive $174.5 million
you know that your classified ad gets one full year exposure in
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Speilberg’s Movie The Terminal,
United Airlines Scores Big With Barter Deal
movie director Steven Spielberg created the most famous product-placement
in screen history years ago in 1982, with Hershey’s Reese’s
Pieces in his movie, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.
But his movie,
The Terminal, starring Tom Hanks takes product placement
to new heights—as 90% of the movie’s product placements
are barter deals—where marketers barter products and other
help for exposure on the screen.
couldn’t ask for better product-placement opportunities as
movies centered around airline operations don’t come along
too often. The airline bartered for its part in the movie, in that
no cash was exchanged.
a major role in the movie:
• Catherine Zeta-Jones, Hanks’ love interest, plays
United flight attendant Amelia Warren.
• The first words in the film are a United boarding announcement.
• About 40 United employees from Los Angeles International
appear as extras.
• Also appearing are United 747 planes and Red Carpet Clubs.
• United has been advising DreamWorks (Speilberg’s production
company) for 18 months as well as providing employee uniforms, gate
signs and logos.
to United’s role, more than 40 other companies (Burger King,
Starbucks, Discovery, Nathan’s, Baja Fresh, and Auntie Anne’s
among others) built replicas of their restaurants and stores in
a 200,000 square foot former military hanger at Palmdale (CA) that
doubled for the transit lounge which Hank’s Viktor Navorski
character turns into his home away from home.
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is August 1 for advertising in the up-coming issue #63 of BarterNews,
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Husemann reports that Euro Barter Business is now providing services
in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland that include credit-line
insurance, barter factoring, and barter credit fulfillment guarantees.
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U.S. Supreme Court has cleared the way to give licensed Mexican
truckers permission to transport international goods in the United
States. The right to expand into our states was a provision in
the North American Free Trade Agreement. This means as many as
34,000 Mexican trucks could be in business north of the border...bringing
more competition for the U.S. trucking industry, and subsequently
lowering transportation charges.
annual shareholder meeting held in New Berlin (WI) by International
Monetary Systems (OTCBB:INLM) saw shareholders overwhelmingly
vote to re-elect two directors, to ratify the company’s
auditor’s, and to increase the company’s authorized
capital to 280 million shares of common stock and 20 million shares
of series preferred stock. These matters passed by affirmative
votes of 99%, 99% and 97%, respectively.
capitalists are making a comeback. In 2000 they invested $105.8
billion, but slid down to $18.4 billion in 2003. While nowhere
near the turn of the century high-water mark, the pace of investment
in new companies is definitely increasing. Dollars invested so
far this year are up 28%—from the year-earlier period—to
$11.3 billion, according to VentureWire. And there are still 919
venture firms in operation, near the 2001 record of 943.
returns in recent years, institutional investors appear as eager
to invest in venture capital as before, plus foreign investors
are now providing a new money source. Most recently Finland’s
government pension fund placed $125 million with Grove Street
Advisors to build a U.S. venture portfolio of 15 partnerships.
- In general,
outdoor advertising is a growth area in marketing, with spending
up 8% in 2003 compared with the prior year. TNS Media Intelligence/CMR
says that compares with increases of 1.8% for network TV, 5.8%
for national newspapers, 6.3% for consumer magazines and 13.4%
for local newspapers, and a decline of 5.4% for local-television