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Bob Meyer

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November 27, 2001

Western-Style Capitalism Works In A Moral As Well As Business Context

Public relations executives from the International Communications Consultancy Organization (representatives from some twenty countries) met in San Francisco November 18 & 19 to respond to a changed world.

The industry challenged itself to persuade the world that Western-style capitalism "works in a moral, and not just a business, context."

Nn'emeka Maduegbuna, chairman of Corporate & Financial, a Nigerian public relations firm, cautioned, "Most of the developing world is still grappling with problems of hunger, illiteracy, disease... What are the multinationals going to do to help?"

"Show me a despot and I'll show you his multinational friends, that's the image," he disclosed.

Will the communication failure on the part of business and government change? There's obviously a need for a stronger communications push to emphasize the benefits of an economically and socially integrated world.

Barter To Play Role In Advertising Community

Before the American Airlines flight #587 crashed into the Queen's neighborhood, magazine publishers had expected travel companies to resume advertising sometime in the spring.

Now it's more likely to be another year before the turnaround. (The travel industry is on the verge of joining tobacco, technology, financial services, and retail companies in sharply scaling back advertising.)

At the recent IRTA convention, the session on media was most interesting because the attendees participated as well, sharing their recent experiences. Their message was this: regardless of the region they were from, an abundance of advertising inventory (print and electronic) was available and begging to be taken.

Consequently, the barter industry will play a role in the turnaround as the opportunity today to secure good advertising inventory (especially on trade) has never been greater.

Lewis "Spike" Humer Named President And CEO of ITEX

Melvin Kerr Becomes COO

ITEX Corporation's new CEO Spike Humer has been with ITEX for more than two years, having joined the company after more than twenty years as a business manager and corporate executive with other corporations.

He recently announced major cost saving strategies implemented by the company to immediately realign corporate expenses with current cash flows. "While we have a tremendous amount of work to do in the coming months, we remain confident and committed to the future growth of ITEX," Humer declared.

Melvin Kerr will take over as COO, the position Humer previously held at ITEX. Kerr has an MBA from the University of Chicago's School of Business. He brings more than seventeen years of hands-on management experience leading start-up, turnaround, transition, and high-growth corporations.

Here And There. . .

  • Investment bankers are struggling through one of the harshest periods in decades for initial public stock offerings. But selling stock in already publicly traded companies has been surprisingly easy.

    Known as "follow-on" deals, investors look to find situations where market values are already established and the company has an operating history. Such transactions can also be attractive to issuers, raising not only new capital but giving insiders an opportunity to sell some of their holdings.

  • Microsoft's "barter-type" billion-dollar settlement, i.e. agreeing to supply 14,000 of the poorest U.S. schools with computers, training, software and technical support in exchange for dismissing more than 100 private antitrust suits, was conceived by the lead plaintiffs' lawyers in the case.

    Lead plaintiff lawyer Michael Hausfeld concluded that helping schools and students was better than providing as little as $10 to millions of computer buyers.

    Kudos to Hausfeld, even if the settlement provides Microsoft's brand name and products an even greater presence in the nation's schools. (Microsoft's monopoly already is so pervasive that students would have to learn to use these products anyway in the workplace.)

  • Seen at barter fairs this year, more use of scrip by members of a trade exchange. Given as a perk, it's a terrific bonus which allows the employee a chance to shop for holiday gifts on trade.

  • The global war on poverty will be the strategy to ultimately defeat terrorism. And the World Bank estimates the cost to do the job will be about $100 billion a year (about double what is spent now). But poverty could be cut in half by 2015 if the US and other wealthy countries take action.

    Moreover, foreign aid isn't necessary it many cases. Instead, the debt owed by developing countries could be forgiven on the condition that sensible economic policies are followed. The elimination of trade barriers in merchandise trade could reduce the number of poor in developing countries by 300 million by 2015.

  • is undergoing a reorganization to reflect the growing importance of its international business. All of Amazon's new divisions now bear the "world-wide" prefix, i.e. worldwide services, sales and business development; worldwide platform architecture; and worldwide operations and customer service.

  • 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.)

  • Haim Saban, the 57-year-old entertainment titan who recently cashed out with $1.5 billion on the sale of Fox Family Worldwide to Disney, actually got his start when he cut a deal with TV studios offering free music for use in their cartoons. But he then negotiated for and retained the back-end rights--thus earning the royalties each time a cartoon with his music aired!!

  • And you think you have problems? The International Planning & Research Group indicates that 33% of the business software in the world is counterfeit--with up to 80% bogus in many markets! Revenue losses of $12 billion annually are the result. Countries with the largest dollars losses are the United Kingdom, Japan and the United States.

  • The commercial barter industry has many competent women owners running trade exchanges. Women now own 40% of all US businesses, this equates to 9 million businesses with 27 million employees and $3.6 trillion in revenues.

  • Frequent flyer miles earned in the first 20 years of the program totals 9.77 trillion miles. The airline industry has thus created, at 2 cents per mile, an $180 billion currency which is used not only for airline tickets but a myriad of other goods and services.

  • 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.)

  • Sign of the times: Telecommunications company Global Crossing is selling its IPC Trading-Systems technology business for $360 million...the same one they acquired in 1999 as part of a $3.8 billion stock deal for IPC's then-parent, IXnet.


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