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September 5, 2006

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...       09/05/06

Hewlett-Packard Creates “Tycoon Currency” To Stretch Its IT Resources

One of the most respected high-tech companies in the world has created their own currency to stretch company assets for innovation. The new Hewlett-Packard Tycoon currency will be allocated and based on actual use and need.

It’s a virtualized, market-based system for managing and delegating computer resources. Tycoon pulls a company’s IT (information technology) services into an abstract utility layer, and users can barter or bid for it within their own companies or among others.

It works like this: Within a company, employees are given a certain number of tokens per year to spend on computing resources. The more urgent a user deems the need, the more tokens he can bid for use of the equipment. Users who provide resources can, in turn, spend their earnings (tokens) for using resources later on.

Hewlett-Packard has been testing Tycoon since November 2004 at its Singapore offices and in several European locations. This summer a pilot project took place with a Scandinavian company. Engineers will use Tycoon to bid on access to high-powered computers needed for simulations.

H-P says marketing a commercial Tycoon won’t happen anytime soon because the technology represents a major shift in business processes. But in the future it’s expected to provide businesses that otherwise couldn’t afford high-powered computing, to be able to access leading-edge technology through Tycoon.

Joe Uva Featured Keynote Speaker In Chicago

Joe Uva, president & CEO of OMD Worldwide and president of Omnicom Media, will be the keynote speaker at the Broadcast Advertising Club of Chicago and the Chicago Interactive Marketing Association’s day-long program on September 21. The event will focus on the convergence of the broadcast and interactive platforms.

As president of Turner Entertainment Group Sales & Marketing, Uva developed integrated marketing programs and oversaw its barter and trade operations.

For more information on the event: http://www.chicagoima.org.

Travel Web-sites Growth Soaring

The online travel boom continues as the number of travel web sites has grown by 25% in the past twelve months. Over half of those global sites are located in the United States.

Here are the top five countries that host travel web sites, according to research by Internet Security Systems:

1. USA            (60.4%)
2. Germany        (12.9%)
3. Great Britain   (5.0%)
4. Austria         (4.2%)
5. Canada          (2.9%)
6. Other          (14.5%)

California, Twenty Other States Have Laws On Scrip Expiration

Regarding the inquiry on expiration dates for various types of scrip, electronic gift card and paper gift certificates, the state of California banned expiration dates for said items back in January, 1997. (See Tuesday Report dated March 14, 2000.)

Six years later, in 2003, new consumer protections were added in AB 2473. That bill required any company issuing a gift certificate to honor that certificate even if the firm filed for bankruptcy.

California passed another law specifically prohibiting expiration dates or service fees on gift cards sold after January 1, 2004. The only exception were cards that hadn’t been used in more than 2 years and with a value of less than five dollars.

(For further information on such matters one should consult with an attorney for the most recent and specific details on such expirations in your state.)

All back issues of "From the Desk...” can be accessed by clicking here.

(Please feel free to forward our newsletter to your friends and colleagues. We have a “box” at the end of the newsletter for your convenience. See you next week. . .)


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IMS Gobbles Up Nation’s Largest Independent Trade Exchange...Schacht & Varner’s NTA/ITA

In 2003, a BarterNews cover story (issue #61) was titled, “IMS Quietly and Methodically Is Building A Barter Juggernaut!”

The story began, “Don Mardak’s gentlemanly, at times reserved demeanor masks a competitive zeal and a will to win that is second to none in the commercial barter industry.” (Click here to read cover story.) 24-40covstory61.pdf

National Trade Association (NTA) and it’s subsidiary, Illinois Trade Association (ITA), in business since 1983 and the largest independent trade exchange in America, is joining forces with International Monetary Systems (OTCBB:INLM). IMS Barter will now possess a huge client base of 15,000 quality member businesses and over 22,000 cardholders.

Don Mardak, CEO of IMS, was ecstatic, “This merger of America’s two leading trade exchanges adds a whole new dimension to our company. NTA/ITA owners Jack Schacht and Joan Varner are two of the most respected people in the barter industry.

“Their visionary leadership over the years has set new standards for all of us and has established a level of excellence that few have been able to emulate. We couldn’t be more pleased than to be associated with these two outstanding people. Both will work with us during the transition and will continue to share their wisdom with us in the future.

“From our perspective, NTA/ITA is the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ among our acquired trade exchanges. This transition will have a greater impact on our revenue and trade volume than any others have had in the past.”

Mardak also emphasized that in the acquisition he would be utilizing the personnel of NTA’s National Trade Division, which provides IMS Barter with an instant entree into the world of corporate barter, where larger transactions are consummated between manufacturers, major hotel chains, airlines and national advertising venues.

For more information on IMS: http://www.internationalmonetary.com.

Additional details regarding the merger can be seen in the form 8-K filed by International Monetary systems at: http://www.sec.gov.


Trade Exchange Owners...
Build Rapport & Empathy With Your Client Base!!

The most powerful marketing tool in the barter industry, The Competitive Edge newsletter, is a monthly, ready to use, professional 4-page publication...no work is needed! (Click here.)


Jack Schacht, Joan Varner Were Heroes To Nascent Barter Industry

After working all day to cover the bills, Jack Schacht would sit down at his kitchen table after dinner and work late into the night on his real passion—the barter business. Fighting continual fatigue and the financial needs of the new startup was a mental challenge.

Months later, Vasser-educated Joan Varner heard of the possible business opportunity with Schacht and arranged a meeting with him. It was a leap of faith when she courageously stepped up to the plate and invested the financing needed to jump-start the dream. Thus was born Illinois Trade Association (ITA).

What a unique partnership. Schacht, the ambitious dreamer with his sky-high aspirations and sometimes far-out ideas, was tempered by Varner’s level-headed, always practical, questioning and balanced approach. It was a match built on mutual respect for each other’s contributions...and it has thrived for 24 years.

For decades it was their “lead-by-example” philosophy, which built ITA into the largest independently-owned trade exchange nationwide, that inspired many struggling peers to persevere...staying the course on a roller-coaster-like ride in a young and struggling industry.

In addition, with their large member base, they routinely traded ITA based goods and services to their peers so they could enhance and improve their operations.

Schacht, an aspiring Shakespearean actor while in college, would regularly provide a motivational stimulation to attendees at the industry’s annual conventions. Along with his poignant observations and pithy advice was his upbeat, can-do attitude. “Yes it can be done, but you must catch the fire!” was always his clarion call.

Without a doubt the founders of ITA had an immense and positive impact on the barter industry. Much more than they will ever realize. These two progressive leaders now move onward toward the proverbial sunset, to enjoy the fruits of their achievements.

The industry thanks you, Jack and Joan, for your considerable contributions, and we wish you all the best in your future endeavors.


The following listings are a service to our readers. Please note that due diligence is advised in all of your business transactions...cash or barter.

Talk Radio Syndicator Willing To Barter Big-Time!

National Exposure On Full Trade

National Trade Association’s corporate trade broker Jill Halper has a contract with a major radio syndicator and can provide your company national (or regional) coverage on trade.

Several prominent, national radio talk shows, covering an array of topics, are obtainable. To build your company’s brand with this vast national exposure that’s available on trade, contact Jill Halper via e-mail at jhalper@ntatrade.com.


Steck Says New Alliance Doomed

In last week’s Tuesday Report we noted the alliance of Travelocity and Points.com. Peter Tucker then provided his analysis of the possibility of the commercial barter industry paralleling the alliance efforts. (http://www.barternews.com/points_com_unlocks_14_trillion_frequent_flyer_treasure.htm)

Herb Steck (ITEX broker) replied: This is simple math. A round trip ticket on American Airlines is 25,000 points. This equals about $112.50 at Amazon.com through Points.com.

Who would give up a round trip ticket worth up to $650 for $112.50 at Amazon.com? I see this whole system failing in a matter of months at these ratios. A 500% markup is a little too much.


Hotel General Managers

Here’s The Easiest $100,000 You’ll Ever
Bring To The Bottomline!

Collect cash, as usual, from the guest accounts staying at your facility that require the use of professional AV services. And rather than shouldering your ongoing employee costs, or your current vendor’s cash agreement for AV services, here’s a much better alternative:

Work with a proven national vendor (a sterling 25-year track record) who will provide all of the AV services for your hotel on a 100% TRADE BASIS! (Payment to be in the form of hotel rooms and/or trade dollars.)

Your hotel’s annual AV billings must be a minimum of $200,000, and this offer is available only in the continental United States.

For a confidential introduction contact Bob Meyer via e-mail: bmeyer@barternews.com. (Please type in AV Services On Trade in the subject line of your e-mail.)

Attention Trade Exchange Owners:

If your member hotel(s) have a minimum of 10,000 sq. feet of meeting space and annual billings of at least $200,000 for AV services this is a great opportunity to earn substantial cash service fees on the hundreds of thousands of trade dollars your hotel member will be paying the vendor. Contact Bob Meyer at the above e-mail.

Top Bond Wizard Provides Sobering Longer-Term View

Bill Gross, CEO of Newport Beach-based Pimco, the world’s largest bond fund with $450 billion in fixed income securities, shared his thoughts regarding the housing market.

“To think that all the boomers have to do is sell their homes to pay for retirement and health care begs the legitimate question of ‘to whom and at what price?’

“If there are fewer X’ers and Y’ers to unload even their second homes to, rudimentary supply/demand curve analysis suggests prices must adjust downward to facilitate the transfer, incorporating the ability of immigrants and future first-time buyers to afford what now seem to be unaffordable starter homes.

“Similar logic applies to holdings of domestic stocks, bonds or any other ‘asset’ which boomers count on individually to fund their retirement needs, but which collectively must be unloaded to a smaller demographic of tentative buyers.”

Pimco’s Fed watcher Paul McCulley provided his short-term outlook:

“We are convinced the property market is going to continue to surprise on the downside, and the knock-on effect on consumer spending and job creation is also going to surprise on the downside.”


Get New Money-Making Ideas And Valuable Contacts!

You can obtain useful, informative ideas and contacts in every available back-issue of BarterNews.


Challenging Times Ahead For Radio Industry

A new analyst report suggests that radio is in for some tough times ahead. James Boyle, vice president and senior analyst for CL King & Associates (an investment research firm with offices in New York and Boston), paints a less than flattering picture of the radio industry.

“Why should the plunge radio stocks have taken the last 30 months reverse itself when the industry’s prospects haven’t brightened sufficiently? “All the trends are weak to disappointing, if not downright depressing,” he contends...and this from an analyst whose family has been in radio for 50 years.

Among the red flags pointed out by Boyle: Erosion. He suggests it is worse than industry observers realize and is accelerating. “Radio listenership is actually declining faster than analysts, investors and journalists thought.”

He says the rate of that erosion is inexplicably faster among women, which he points out is counter to conventional wisdom. “This is not a good trend,” Boyle notes.

According to his report, radio’s latest quarterly ratings book reported the worst year-over-year drop in the last 10 years, with listenership down nearly 3%.

Additionally, the industry’s traditionally strong advertising categories are cutting back. The CL King report says the telecom industry, for example, purchased 35% fewer radio spots in 2005 compared to 2004. The auto industry, another important buyer of radio, is also looking elsewhere.

“Too many of us have for too long kidded ourselves that the radio sector was, is, or is soon to be poised for a marked upturn,” Boyle admits in his report.


Our Web Site Has A Search Tool For You

Ever wondered if a certain topic, person, or organization has been written about on the Barternews.com web site? Now you can easily find out, as we’ve added a search tool. It will quickly give you the answer to your questions, in 3 easy steps that take about 12 seconds!

At the top right of the page, just under where you sign up for the Tuesday Report you will see a little Google box. It is where you can (1) type in the name of a subject, company, or person. Then (2) click the button www.barternews.com to search the site, followed by (3) hitting the search button.


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


We welcome your comments, questions, and observations.
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