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July 9, 2014

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 07/09/2014

Americans View Of Saving Sees Dramatic Change
 
The 2007-09 recession was the worst downturn since the Great Depression in the 1930s, and has wrought a similar effect on spending habits. In a recent Gallup poll, Americans said they preferred saving to spending 62% to 34%, the widest margin since Gallup began asking the question in 2001.
 
New California Law Accepts Alternative Currencies
 
A new law has been signed by California Governor Jerry Brown that will accommodate the growing use of alternative payment methods such as Bitcoin. Prior to the new law people using digital currencies, community currencies and reward points (Amazon's Coins and Starbucks' Stars), were in violation of the law but not penalized.
 
In March, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service said it would treat Bitcoin as a form of property for tax purposes, rather than currency, making it subject to similar rules as stocks and barter transactions.
 
Student Loan Debt Now Tops Credit Card & Auto Loan Debt
 
Topping a trillion dollars with no end in sight, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says student loans in the U.S. are now greater then credit card debt and auto loan debt. Middle-aged Americans — those aged 40 to 49 — are struggling the most with their debt payments; their delinquency rate (making no payments for 90 days) is 11.9%. That compares with a rate of 8.7% for borrowers of all ages.

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(The following articles were submitted by IRTA.)

IRTA Receives Favorable Opinion From California Commissioner

The global proliferation of Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies has caused many governmental agencies to review their financial code sections that relate to money transmission reporting requirements.

Since the FinCEN advisory was released last year, there has been great concern and confusion in the barter industry. Some state governments are reviewing their own codes. There is concern that such reviews might result in new code revisions that could be written in a manner so as to restrict, or even eliminate the organized barter business model in multiple jurisdictions.
 
In the spring of 2014, the International Reciprocal Trade Association (IRTA) became aware of the State of California's intent to revise their Money Transmission Act, (MTA), Financial Code Section 2000. IRTA initiated contact with the California Department of Business Oversight, (CDBO), and then submitted its position and explanation on why barter exchanges are not Bitcoin-like crypto-currencies, and as such should not be covered by the California MTA.

(Click here to read IRTA's April 25, 2014 letter to the CNBO.)  
 
On June 26, 2014, CDBO Commissioner, Jan Lynn Owen, and Senior Legal Counsel, Jennifer Rumberger, Esq. wrote IRTA to confirming "barter exchanges do not need to be licensed under the CA Money Transmitter Act."

Commissioner Owen and Senior Counsel Rumberger based their opinion on the following important points: 1) Since barter exchanges act as third party record keepers, they do not "receive money for transmission," 2) barter exchanges are not an "issuer of stored value," and 3) barter exchange trade credits are not redeemable for cash. 
 
(Click here to read the CDBO's June 26, 2014 opinion letter to IRTA.)
 
IRTA President Annette Riggs reiterated the importance of the CBDO's opinion regarding barter exchanges not falling under the California Money Transmitter Act by saying: 

"
IRTA was assured from FinCEN last year that their advisory on Money Transmitter reporting requirements was not intended to include the barter industry. The recent reviews by various states required us to pay close attention to how the state codes are being written. The response that IRTA received from the CBDO sets an important precedent and makes a clear distinction between the barter industry and the growing crypto-currency sector that is required to meet reporting requirements as Money Transmitters.

"All member agreements and methodologies that trade/barter exchanges use need to be in accordance with our status as third-party record keepers. The upcoming 35th Annual Convention in Cancun, September 25 - 27 will be a great opportunity to discuss this in detail and review the model contract that IRTA is revising to assure that exchanges do not compromise the legal status obtained in 1982 in the TEFRA Act."
 
(For more information on IRTA and the convention, see below.)

# # # #

IRTA Releases Cancun Grand Oasis Convention Program Schedule

IRTA has released its program schedule for its 35th International Convention, held this year at the beachfront Grand Oasis Resort & Spa on September 25 through 27. The convention schedule emphasizes new barter organization models, including cutting edge complementary currency systems and hybrid programs that are fast taking hold worldwide.

Additional seminars will focus on IRTA's deficit advisory positions, the latest developments in Bitcoin and crypto-currency rulings, the IRS's latest stance on 1099B's for pass-through entities, sales and broker training/techniques, plus managing real estate trade and other high ticket items.

IRTA's Executive Director Ron Whitney said, "IRTA has been very busy advocating for all segments of the barter industry, and the fruits of that pro-active advocacy work are readily apparent by the quality level of programming we have scheduled for this year's big Cancun convention.

"Our conventions are all about learning the latest trends and issues that effect our industry — there's no better place to access that important information than an IRTA convention. Plus, there simply isn't a better networking event in the business, with 120 to 150 attendees from around the globe congregating in Cancun. So plan on attending — you owe it to your business, your employees and your members!"   

(To review the IRTA Grand Oasis Cancun Convention schedule, click here, and to register for the convention, click here.)

For more information on the upcoming convention, contact either Executive Director Ron Whitney at ron@irta.com or 757-393-2292, or Project Manager Patty Weston at patty@irta.com or 407-951-6797.



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Local Community Interaction Key To Future Prosperity

 
Thomas H. Greco Jr., author of Money & Debt, A Solution To The Global Crisis, stresses that the world has changed and local community interaction is the key to future prosperity in today's unraveling economy. Greco, who has been a keynote speaker at IRTA's annual convention, says we're now in the early stages of "the great unraveling." And the means to restoring resilience to our communities is taking action.
 
There's a need to share, cooperate, and organize as never before — spend locally, save locally, and invest locally. Greco proposes we need to apply our dollar resources to projects that:

  • Make the local community more self-reliant.

  • Provide greater local security in food, energy, housing, water and other necessities of life.

  • Improve the overall quality of life.

  • Protect our savings against inflation of the dollar.

Greco also articulated that we must reduce our dependence upon banks and conventional money, by organizing private exchange systems that can be networked together to provide an interest-free and inflation-free means of payment while making credit reliably available to local productive enterprises.
 
Editor's note: In book, Money & Debt, he pointed out that the compound growth of debt would eventually exceed the capacity of the real economy to bear it.
 
For more information, see Greco's blog beyondmoney.net and his web site www.reinventingmoney.com.


The Growth and Use of Secondary Capital (New Money) Creates Unprecedented Wealth In Today's New Age Of Possibility

There are many forms of secondary capital — which can be defined as any financial instrument that measures and communicates value in a common language. Would you like to see and learn more about the many forms of secondary capital?

 We have 70 free, informative and inspiring, articles for you in our "Secondary Capital Section."

Check it out... www.barternews.com/secondary_capital.htm.


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