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November 6, 2001

Metro Trading Association's 23rd Holiday Event A Huge Hit...
With Patriotic Theme Stimulating Unity and Enterprise

According to founder Michael Mercier of the Metro Trading Association (MTA), this year's event, (which has been staged annually for the past twenty-three years around the holidays) was an enormous success for several reasons.

"First," he exclaimed, "we were up over 20% in business. But just as important was the spirit of the members who embraced this year's new attitude, which was building the economy one trade at a time."

Mercier Has Members Take Pledge

MTA's staff worked on a patriotic theme which included a 40 foot skyline of New York and a 15 foot American flag proudly displayed in front of the skyline. Mercier also said he led the attendees in taking a pledge (and also passed out buttons) that declared, "I refuse to participate in the recession."

One of many entrepreneurial trade exchange owners, Mercier said the events of September 11th reinforced his beliefs in the free enterprise system.

Herculean Efforts & More Costs Faced In Push To Identify Foreigners Who Overstay Visas

Some 350 million non-citizen visits each year provide a huge challenge to the United States. The sheer size of any resulting database is mind-boggling, as entry-exit database would grow by 700 million records annually.

To prevent fraud, border officials might need to capture facial biometrics or fingerprints--types of data that would eat up even more computer space--and collecting it would add to the waits at border-crossing stations.

Bottomline: The additional costs will mean more taxes or financing by the government, which in either case affects everyone.

Dwindling Tourism In Caribbean Forces Creativity!

The Caribbean Tourism Organization follows the $20 billion-a-year tourism industry, and they're very worried about their region because they are more dependent on tourism than any other place in the world.

(The bulk of Caribbean countries count on tourism to generate upward of 25% of gross domestic product. While a few, such as the Bahamas and Antigua and Barbuda, get around 50% of their income from visitor spending.)

Recently I had conversation with IRTA member and barter veteran Peter Tucker of CTEX, he says the travel business drop-off is staggering, up to 80% in some Caribbean regions.

On October 12, the heads of the 14-nation Caribbean Community agreed to join the private sector in underwriting an $18 million emergency advertising campaign aimed at the U.S., the United Kingdom and Canada. The ministers also are planning a "tourism summit" in December.

Meanwhile, tourism officials and hoteliers from the English-speaking West Indies nation are offering free one-week vacations to the men and women who responded to the suicide hijacker attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Here And There. . .

  • Federal securities regulators are laying out a new policy that gives public companies credit for coming forward to report misconduct, which could possibly accord them more lenient treatment in return. Is this an admittance that the SEC can no longer be a watchdog for a market that's just grown to large?

    The agency's acting enforcement director says, "crediting those who seek out, self-report and rectify illegal conduct is critical to achieving the SEC's goal of real time enforcement."

  • The National Venture Capital Association reports that the $273 billion of venture-capital pumped into US companies over the past three decades has created 7.6 million jobs and $1.3 trillion in revenue. Given that venture capital was less than one percent of US investment activity during the period studied, its impact is remarkable.

  • The Cato Institute, a research foundation based in Washington, DC, says that cultural factors exert an enormous influence on whether or not a nation achieves prosperity. In a new Cato Institute book, "Culture and Enterprise," authors Don Lavoie and Emily Chamlee-Wright, (both professors of economics) point out that some cultures are conducive to independent entrepreneurship, others to highly developed trust relationships, and yet others to habits of thrift.

    Rather than presenting different cultures as simply competing for allegiance or resources, "comparative cultural advantage" opens the possibility of gains from trade, a fundamental concept in economic discourse.

    The authors also tackle the morality of the market. While many argue that markets are inherently immoral, and some that they are simply amoral, Lavoie and Chamlee-Wright make the case that profitable business enterprise is fully compatible with concern for ethical behavior.

  • A new study by the Hospitality Research Group of PKF Consulting, says that the percentage of hotels that will be unable to cover their debt payments from operations will double next year...hitting 36%. Those properties will tend to be older hotels, poorly maintained and in less advantageous locations.

    Overall, PKF Consulting expects "next year to be a bit worse than this year." The hotel industry is presently experiencing the most precipitous drop in room prices and occupancies in decades.

  • Filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to full capacity is being seriously considered by President Bush. The underground caverns in Louisiana and Texas can hold up to 700 million barrels of oil, with about 545 million barrels now in reserve.

    The oil is expected to come from companies that drill in the Gulf of Mexico and pay the government a a form of a barter arrangement, the government is expected to opt for the royalty payment to be "in-kind payments of oil" which would, at 100,000 to 125,000 barrels a day for the next two years bring the reserve to near full capacity.

  • Trade exchange owners looking for an easy way to motivate their client base and stimulate more trade activity among their clients can obtain a copy of the 15-year-old, proven, informational marketing tool--The Competitive Edge newsletter. E-mail for a sample copy and details. (Be sure to include your complete mailing address in your e-mail...this is not an e-mail newsletter.)

  • The Small Business Administration says small firms pay more than larger companies to meet rules (government regulation). Environmental regulations and paperwork required for tax compliance are "particularly disproportionate in hitting small business" according to the report which was recently released.

    The report found that firms employing fewer than 20 employees face an annual regulatory cost of $6,975 per employee, nearly 60% higher than the per-worker cost at a firm with more than 500 employees.

  • Russia is bartering with North Korea, providing excess electrical power from their Khabarovsk region to North Korea--which faces a severe shortage of electricity. The barter payment is yet to be determined.

  • The countertrade arrangement where the rights to sell Russian vodka in the US in exchange for Pepsi (to be sold in Russia) was a huge story years ago. Now this out of Russia...

    The government has nationalized one of the country's most famous trademarks--Stolichnaya and Moskovskaya vodka and 41 other trademarks previously owned by a private company. (The Stolichnaya situation has its roots in Russia's helter-skelter privatizations of the early 1990s.)

  • Never seen a copy of BarterNews? Go to our home page,, and click through to the form for your free sample copy. (Due to shipping costs, offer available in US only.)

  • Underscoring the nation's obsession with the aftermath of the terrorist attacks is this information about CNN's "Lou Dobbs Moneyline," which follows the continual news about the attacks. Viewership has skyrocketed from 275,000 viewers at this time last year, to an incredible 1,403,000 now.


We welcome your comments, questions, and observations.
? Copyright BarterNews 2003. Redistribution of BarterNews content expressly prohibited without the prior written permission of BarterNews.