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November 7, 2006

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...11/07/06

400,000 Europeans Prefer Barter

According to a study by the European Security Transport Association (ESTA), most Europeans (62%) feel paper money is still king and favor its use over that of electronic payments.

And 64% of those surveyed believed that moves to reduce the use of cash in society would damage commercial and national life in their country. Yet an estimated 400,000 Europeans said they preferred barter rather than using conventional payment methods.

Industry Veteran Fred Hammer Acquires Another ITEX Brokerage

For three decades Fred Hammer has been providing his services to clients through various exchanges. Originally an independent owner, he moved his company into the ITEX organization in 1986 and has been operating out of his Carmichael (CA) office.

Hammer�s latest feat is the purchase of the other ITEX brokerage in Sacramento (Direct Business Exchange with over 700 clients) from Kristen Feuz. Hammer will operate both offices during November, with a focus on the annual Christmas Trade Show & Auction, and subsequently will consolidate operations into larger space at 3400 Cottage Way, Suite 101A, in Sacramento.

Bartercard Sells Australian Headquarters

Looking to repay all long term debt, Bartercard has sold, and will leaseback, its Australian headquarters. The sales price for the building was A$13,500,000. After paying off the long term debt, the balance will be used to finance further expansion in the UK and the UAE, and for working capital.

The company reported the building had a �net book value� of A$3,519,221, so the sale represents a �substantial� profit, and saves approximately A$1 million per year in capital loan repayments.

Baywatch Is Back On A Straight Barter Basis

The Baywatch TV show, all 109 hours, will be available to TV stations in the fall of 2007 under a 3-year term on a straight barter basis...advertising time in exchange for programming.

Litton Entertainment and Freemantle Media North America will be providing broadcasters the programming on both analog and digital tiers.

Regardless Of Your Beginnings, Huge Success Is Possible

Reinforcing the fact that one�s attitude and tenacity can get you to the top, is the story of Shirene Lopez. A day after her 14th birthday she started working at a Fountain Valley (CA) Del Taco restaurant, mopping floors and cleaning tables.

Now the 42-year-old executive has been named president of the fast-food chain. Del Taco, founded in 1964, operates or franchises more than 470 restaurants in 13 states.

Bull Market Sees U.S. Ultra-Wealthy Households Increasing

The number of U.S. households valued at $10 million or higher more than doubled from 1995 to 2004, to 530,000, according to the Federal Reserve. Money managers exclaim, �$10 million isn�t what it used to be!�

Much of the wealth is a result of a four-year bull market with stock indexes setting records. Of course not all stocks are created equal...case in point is the $100,000 a share price for billionaire Warren Buffett�s Berkshire Hathaway.

That stock is up 5,555 times since May 10, 1965, the day Buffett took control of the former textile company and the stock was selling for $18 a share. (By contrast, the Dow Jones Industrials Average is up about 13 times since that date.)

Buffet, Berkshire�s chairman, has long opposed a stock split on the theory that the high price tends to discourage buying by short-term traders.

Mexico Still Suffers From �The Bite�

Mexican officials have estimated that as much as 9% of Mexico�s gross domestic product is siphoned off annually to corruption. In 2005 that would have amounted to $69 billion, or more than the nation spends on education and defense combined.

One out of every 5 businesses in Mexico admits to making �extra-official� payments to win public contracts, speed government paperwork or skirt regulations, according to a 2005 report by the Center for Economic Studies of the Private Sector in Mexico City.

The average Mexican�s most frequent brush with the system is la mordida, or �the bite.� Those are small bribes...tips and other extracurricular handouts that public servants and others squeeze out of the citizenry to perform routine functions.

Pre-School Embraces �Red Paper Clip� Barter Strategy

Moreton Hall Pre-school in Bury St. Edmunds, England, is following the barter idea of the 26-year-old Canadian Kyle MacDonald of Montreal which was introduced to the world when he started with One Red Paper Clip and over a series of 15 barter moves acquired a house.

The staff, children, and parents aim to follow a similar strategy to help raise �70,000 to pay off their school debt. The barter idea was the brainchild of the pre-school committee fund-raiser Liz Fordham. Within 3 days the paper clip had become champagne.

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. . .)

Artist Pension Trust Barter�s To Provide Financial Security

A pension program created by the Artist Pension Trust (APT), has been created to provide artists with long-term financial security in exchange for their works of art.

The premise is unusual. Selected artists pool their works, contributing 20 pieces over 20 years in exchange for receiving an income stream as the trust sells the works.

APT was established three years ago by New York-based Mutual Art, Inc., an independent company formed to develop new financial service products for the art world. It now has regional trusts in New York, Berlin, London, Los Angeles, Beijing and Mexico City, with more planned.

Creative Capital, Fractured Atlas Other Options

Another organization for artists is Creative Capital, which tries to supply the financial grounding as it applies the model of venture capital to the arts. Artists are given seed money for projects in exchange for a percentage of any profits. Since it has a stake in the project�s success, it offers artists support services such as strategic planning and workshops in managing finances.

The New York-based nonprofit has not only given out over $6 million to 242 artists, an average of $25,000 to $35,000 per project, it has also trained more than 1,000 artists in career planning, money and time management, and goal-setting at its workshops.

Fractured Atlas, a nine-year-old organization, is another group that provides a variety of support services to individual artists and arts organizations...perhaps most notably health insurance.

The group�s leverage enables 2,000 artists to benefit from large group rates on health insurance coverage. It offers eight health plans, ranging from $10 a month to $400 a month.

Could Your Home Be Used For A Movie Or TV Commercial?

If your home is chosen for a movie or TV commercial setting, the payoff can be much larger than cash fees of $1,000 to $15,000 a day. It all depends on a film�s budget, the length of shoot, and the owner�s negotiating skill.

Compensations have included everything from a fresh coat of paint outside or inside to an overhaul of the landscaping to a new deck added (with your permission). Film companies try to leave a home in the same condition as they found it�or better.

To get a leg up on the competition list your home with your local film commission, and ask for a list of location agencies. (Agencies act as agents for your house, aggressively promoting it in exchange for taking a cut of 10% to 30% from the shooting fee.)


Many Bed & Breakfast Inns Closing Due To Low Occupancy

According to Smith Travel Research, hotel rooms now stand at close to 71% occupancy. B&Bs, which depend less on weekday business travel, have occupancy rates closer to 41%.

With such occupancy rates, plus the costs to maintain the business coupled with rising interest rates it has been more difficult for innkeepers to pay the monthly mortgage and still earn a profit by renting rooms to seasonal and weekend guests.

So change is underway...and the traditional bed and breakfasts which have thrived for decades by promising to make guests feel like family are closing down. The dynamic is playing out across the country.

Behind the vanishing inns is a simple equation: Many B&Bs are worth more as properties than as businesses. The California Association of Bed and Breakfast Inns says seven of its members sold their properties last year, each to buyers planning to convert them into private homes.

The Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII) reports that the number of rooms in B&Bs and country inns decreased 11% in 2004 and now number 148,000. PAII was formed in 1988 and the trade organization estimates that the country�s 20,000 inns generate some $3.4 billion in business. Interest in B&Bs grew with the 1980s TV show �Newhart,� whose main character traded a career as a New York writer to become the proprietor of a Vermont inn.

Given the number of B&B rooms and their low occupancy rate, here�s a market the barter industry could help by providing a much-needed assist.


New Advertising Venue...Tables At Mall Food Courts

Thanks to Clear Channel Communication�s outdoor unit, table-top advertising in food courts is coming to malls around America. Already leading mall operators like Simon Property Group and Westfield Group are involved.

The advertisements are set into tables under clear plastic screens, safe from doodlers and spilled food. The space for the advertisement is three quarters of an inch (3/4�) deep, allowing room to display objects such a T-shirts or mobile phones.

Diners spend an average of 32 minutes in the food court, according to Los Angeles-based Creatable Media which came up with the concept, so diners will have plenty of time to take in the messages. Creatable has already lined up business from big companies like mobile-phone service provider Cingular Wireless and TV networks WB and Lifetime.

Creatable foots the bill for replacing table tops, it also replaces colored trays with clear ones. And the malls will get a portion of the proceeds, but they must ditch tray liners.

Advertising cost on the table tops is generally about three times higher than on paper liners in trays, which up to now have largely been the bailiwick of local advertisers

The tables are now in 63 malls, and Creatable Media CEO Vince Pierse has plans to deploy them in 200 malls by the end of 2007.
 

World Has Positive View Of China

China�s diplomats have spent the past 15 years pursuing a very effective �charm offensive� to build a positive image abroad. People-to-people contacts abound, with Chinese students filling universities around the globe.

Outbound Chinese tourists now outnumber those from Japan. China�s slogan for dealing with its neighbors is: mulin, anlin, fulin, which translates as: be friendly, make them feel secure, and help make them rich. It works.

A 2004 BBC poll of 23,000 people in 22 countries showed that 48% considered China a positive global influence�10 points higher than the U.S. Moreover, the survey showed that 58% of the respondents ages 18-to-29 had a positive view of China.


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.

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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.

Trade Exchange Owners...
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