October 14, 2008
by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews
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the desk of Bob Meyer...10/14/2008
Entrepreneurs Look To Three Areas For Financing
Small businesses are turning to angel investors, suppliers,
and personal credit cards as the financial crisis spreads to
Main Street and access to commercial loans becomes more
restricted. Today’s environment is such that smart
entrepreneurs will move toward more barter to increase their
sales and cash flow.
ITEX Arizona’s Holiday Barter Expo Date
Terry Brandfass reports this year’s Holiday Barter Expo will
be held at Brett’s Barn on Sunday, November 30, from 11am to
3pm. For more information call (480) 946-2929.
Office Space Now Available
Businesses are dumping office space at the fastest pace
since the months after the September 11 attacks, increasing
the financial stress on commercial real estate owners and
their lenders. Many of them are already ailing financial
Because real estate moves slowly, the financial turmoil of
the past few weeks hasn’t shown up in the numbers. Look for
bank failures and consolidations to be reflected in office
space availability later this year and in 2009.
Transaction Volume Increases For Barter
Catherine Cohen of Premier Barter in Arizona, reports that
her company’s transaction volume is up 114% for the first
half of 2008, compared with 2007.
Financial Woes Will Affect Ad-Spending
Automotive retail and financial services have already been
affected by the financial sector’s ills. Further declines
will be coming from credit-card and insurance company ad
spending, which is $9 billion a year in or about 6% of the
total ad spending.
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Capacity Crowds Expected
At IMS Barter Expos For Holiday Gift Buying
International Monetary Systems, a worldwide leader in
business-to-business barter services, announced the schedule for its
upcoming series of barter expos.
They are organized and directed by the IMS offices serving 50 major
markets. The expos are promoted to the membership as an excellent
way to spend their IMS trade dollars and network with other members
who may also represent new business to them.
“The annual expo concept is a constant in our industry,” affirmed
CEO Don Mardak. “Although IMS has invested significantly in
establishing our online barter marketplace launched earlier this
year, it will never replace the atmosphere of many members coming
together in one place to trade and network. Every expo is a powerful
event that the clients recognize as another benefit of their
the past, these holiday expos have generated considerable revenue
and trade volume, giving a substantial boost to the company’s
Upcoming event dates are as follows:
Saturday, October 18 - Chicago, IL
shows are open to the public. For directions and other information
contact the office nearest you.
Saturday, November 8 - Las Vegas, NV
Wednesday, November 12 - Columbus, OH
Thursday, November 13 - Rochester, NY
Saturday, November 15 - Milwaukee, WI
Tuesday, November 18 - Hartford, CT
Saturday, November 22 - Denver, CO
Saturday, November 22 - Wichita, KS
Sunday, November 23 - Santa Clara, CA
Thursday, December 4 - Toronto, Canada
Sunday, December 7 - Santa Rosa, CA
Sunday, December 7 - New York City/LI, NY
Date to be announced - Reno, NV
International visitors look for BARTER CONTACTS in our Global Barter
Section. If YOUR exchange isn’t listed see the forms on the lower
left of the page. (Click
Attention trade exchange owners...thousands of visitors every month
visit our BARTER CONTACTS section on our web site where we have
names & addresses of barter companies in the USA. If YOUR exchange
isn’t listed, or the information is incorrect, you can correct the
situation by using the forms to the lower left of the USA map. (Click
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Community Currency Prominent
At 2008 IRTA Conference
community currency movement is a globally based not-for-profit
program that has for many decades created and provided local
currencies that support community programs - such as elder care,
time banking, regional agriculture and local merchant loyalty. “The
community currency movement represents a significant element of the
modern trade and barter industry,” declared IRTA President David
Annette Riggs, a recognized leader of the community currency
movement, led the well attended and educational seminar titled
“Community Currencies and Sustainable Businesses.” Also on the panel
were Catherine Austin Fitts and Reiner Husemann.
Fitts provided ideas on how to connect more to the economic activity
within our geographic regions, and discussed the value of owning
more of the equity in our communities.
Husemann shared his knowledge about Complementary Currency systems
in Europe and the challenges they face. Reiner felt that although
these systems are much more prolific in Europe than in the U.S.,
they often have a shortfall in revenue and lack consistency of
available goods and services.
Also actively participating with the panel and providing insight
into their systems were community currency operators Robert Gallant,
Amy Kirschner, and Sharon Miranda. Gallant has worked with Highland
Valley Elder Care for many years and has been working on creating a
service and business exchange to serve that community and link it to
Kirschner has transitioned her work from a scrip based currency to
an online exchange that integrates community networks and
stakeholders such as local farmers and food distributors. Miranda
has been a community organizer in Ashland (OR), building an
extensive network of businesses and individuals interested in local
sustainability issues. She is now integrating an exchange into her
social network software.
panel and audience had a lively and interactive discussion about
these examples and others for the purpose of sharing knowledge and
experience. Riggs summarized the discussions by relating these new
systems and ideas to the practice of the trade/barter system so that
attendees could all take a step further towards expanding views of
what IRTA does and how the industry will evolve. “I feel that
community currencies could greatly increase their sustainability by
adopting certain funding elements of the commercial barter
industry,” she noted.
Community Currency Movement representatives were also present to
participate in forming the new Community Currency Council. The
Council Committee is chaired by IRTA Global Board Member Richard
Logie who has assembled a distinguished panel of Community Currency
leaders including Annette Riggs, Bernard Lietaer and Thomas Greco,
that will seek to work directly with IRTA to further unity and
sustainability within the movement.
(The above article was
submitted to BarterNews by Annette Riggs.)
Annette Riggs is the
Founder and Managing Director of the Community Connect Trade
Association. She has over 20 years of experience with non-cash trade
models such as corporate trade, complementary currency, and trade
exchange systems. She has in-depth knowledge of, and leadership
within, the $8 billion commercial barter industry and has applied
this expertise for the social benefit of communities and economic
Money-Making Reports Available From BarterNews
Mentor Capital, Inc., Proposes $120
Billion Claw-back Plan
By Chet Billingsley, CEO of Mentor Capital, Inc.
Wall Street, real estate and certain lending
professionals should disgorge $120 billion in bonuses and fees
fraudulently earned. These funds should be given to Americans on a
dollar-for-dollar matching basis for citizens that are willing to
make fresh investments to be held for one-year. This would stimulate
savings, investment and the economy, and provide lubrication for the
banking sector. It would appropriately punish greed and reward
prudent, frugal American families.
The average Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley,
Merrill Lynch, Lehman, and Bear Sterns bonus has been $250,000 per
year for their combined 175,000 employees, in addition to very
generous salaries. Together with other firms, the total annual bonus
is estimated at $90 billion. Each year, virtually all company cash
is swept into salaries leaving none for a reserve. These
self-avowed, world-class experts knew or should have known the
sub-prime or other real estate financings and their firms were
subject to risk and did nothing to provide for it. Their bonus
compensation was transferred under a condition of fraud and should
Like-wise, real estate professionals earned an
increasingly enriching 7% on growing transactions that ended up
being unsupportable. Fees from any transaction that went into
foreclosure or default should be disgorged. The look-back period
should be for four years, starting off at 100% giveback and falling
off at 25% per year. This give-back should apply to future defaults
and similarly apply to loan brokers or others down the chain that
derived a fee from the transactions. These fiduciaries knew or
should have known the risk and not allowed the transactions to
proceed. Other private recovery or lawsuits should not be allowed.
The fees earned on fraudulently represented transactions are
estimated at $30 billion.
The $120 billion should be returned on a
dollar-for-dollar investment matching basis to provide liquidity
that will jump start our economy. Any American citizen (not
corporations, partnerships, investment firms or foreign citizens)
will be able to receive a matching contribution (like many employer
matching retirement programs) when they designate that status and
buy a (i) One-year or longer CD, (ii) IRA investment that is new or
in excess of any regular contributions, (iii) Public Company IPO,
option or warrant exercise with a side agreement to hold for
The $120 billion will be awarded on a
first-come basis $100,000 maximum per person, and not exceed the
total claw-back. For banks to qualify to accept twelve month CD
matching funds they must extend payments for 50% of the matched
federal funds in an equal mix of months of mortgage extensions or
Looking forward, to promote greater
transparency and prevent similar problems of today in the future, it
is suggested that companies will report on all public communications
Mentor Rating: XYZ Corporation
D F C A A-
Earnings Debt Growth Size Reporting Executive
Portraying the key measures of a corporation in
understandable terms, people can choose for themselves where to
invest. Just as it helps us eat healthy food and avoid cigarettes, a
common investor label will improve financial decision making,
without government interference in the market. Mentor Capital has a
proprietary algorithm for comparing salaries of large to small
company executives and would be happy to make that available and/or
maintain the Mentor Ratings on a non-profit basis. We would suggest,
further, that any company with executive compensation greater than
1.0x would have to allow shareholders to appoint directors.
In a somewhat technical area, mark-to-market
accounting should be suspended immediately. For banks, it is the
equivalent of forcing a homeowner to cough up the decrease in value
of his house immediately rather than waiting out the downturn. Banks
should have that common sense option, also. Finally, and this is
just life, Secretary Henry Paulson should offer his resignation,
because he failed.
The above proposal, would create no new taxes,
have broad support in the American public, provide $240 billion in
liquidity, loosen up banking and investment, eliminate reactive
banking rules, keep teetering owners in their homes, promote healthy
saving, change out management at the top, and call the culprits in
our current crisis to the task of “paying the piper.”
The additional Mentor Ratings (we, of course,
like that name) are more easily understood than voluminous fine
print and reports that obfuscate true risk and reward. In addition
to clear disclosure, which we are confident the public would
support, and Congress, in their currently creative state, can surely
find a way to legally recover the fraudulent transfers by bankers
and brokers and return the funds to its citizens to invest.
Chet Billingsley is the Chairman & CEO of
Mentor Capital (Symbol: MNTR) that invests in hedge funds and
smaller companies. The firm has no debt and no exposure to the
financial, sub-prime or real estate sectors. Information on the firm
may be found at
(Disclosure: Bob Meyer owns stock in Mentor
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The Growth and Use of
Secondary Capital (New Money) Creates Unprecedented Wealth In
Today’s New Age Of Possibility
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?
have 70 free, informative and inspiring, articles for you in our
“Secondary Capital Section.”
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