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December 2, 2008

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...12/02/2008

Ad Week Publishes Excellent Article On Bartering Media

Articles about barter are being written about barter in all the media. Here’s an excellent one that Ad Week published on media trading. . . click here

Construction Loans Under Pressure

Soured construction loans continue to pile up on banks’ balance sheets in the recent quarter, as residential-development loans failed in even larger numbers. Data cruncher Foresight Analytics LLC, of Oakland (CA), estimates that construction loan delinquencies among all property types reached 9% in the quarter.

Electronic-Goods Manufacturers Take Action

The U.S. electronics industry last year spent about $13.8 billion to re-box, restock and re-sell returned products, according to a study by technology consultant Accenture Ltd. Defects aren’t even in the top three reasons for returns, surprisingly. (The primary reason consumers return products is because they didn’t meet expectations.)

The industry is now focusing on including more information on its packaging to help consumers avoid buying the wrong product.

New U.S. Listing Information...

Community Connect Trade Association
8501 Turnpike Drive, #105
Westminster, CO 80031
Ph: (303) 325-3038
Fax: (720) 559-2150
www.communityconnecttrade.com

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. . .)


BarterNews Teams With iTV Network To Air Weekly Barter TV Show

David Cooper, sales trainer extraordinaire and the founder of the iTV Network, is teaming with Bob Meyer, founder of BarterNews magazine, to present a weekly program about bartering on iTV Network’s barter channel.

The objective of the program will be to expand the awareness and use of barter by educating the millions of small and mid-size business owners, those who are yet to use barter in their business endeavors.

David Cooper has appeared at over 8,000 paid events since 1974 and 1,600,000 people have paid to see him speak. Bob Meyer began publishing BarterNews in 1979 and over the years has been acknowledged within the commercial barter industry for his contributions with numerous awards for his efforts.

For more information on the weekly iTV show see video at www.davidcooper.com/view/421.


IMS Barter Members Generate Record Numbers At Holiday Expos

In direct contrast to the cash economy, International Monetary Systems (OTCBB: INLM), a worldwide leader in business-to-business barter services, reported record attendance and sales volume at last week’s holiday barter expos held in Milwaukee (WI), Columbus (OH), and Rochester (NY). The expos are the first in a series of fourteen events held in IMS Barter marketplaces across the United States in November and December.

“We fully expected an increase in member attendance and trading, but even our own estimates were low. In the Milwaukee office alone, we reached $905,000 of sales in five hours of trading, and shoppers and vendors filled nearly 25,000 square feet of the Milwaukee Sports Complex,” declared John Strabley, executive vice president of IMS. “Using traditional barter-industry accounting, the combined total of sales and purchases was $1.8 million.”

Dale Mardak, IMS’ senior vice president, added, “We believe this is a direct result of the growth of the IMS Barter membership and the shrinking of the U.S. economy. We are proud to provide a way for so many people to still enjoy buying and selling in an otherwise gloomy economic environment. More and more businesses are realizing that when cash is tight, there is another currency they can use - the currency created when they barter their goods and services through IMS Barter.”

The company projects that the remaining expo events will yield similar results.

For more information on IMS go to www.imsbarter.com.


Attention Trade Exchange Owners. . .It’s GROW OR GO!

The magic bullet for growth is sales, always has been and always will be...yet the industry’s overall growth is anemic. Why? Maybe it’s because we’re not providing on-going education about our unique way of doing business. Knowledge is always a pre-requisite to taking sustained action.

And for those newcomers, the lifeblood of an exchange, awareness of and understanding about the value of trading is even more important.

If you expect prospects to come aboard and your members to be more active traders, but you are perplexed when the results are less than you desire...there’s a good reason. You must continually educate and motivate every month--month after month after month!

Such action is necessary because, let’s face it, more cash business, not trade, is of paramount importance to your members. You must break through this “cash only” focus and redirect their thinking toward barter. Although most exchanges don’t see the importance of doing so, many industry leaders are taking action and so can you.

As the owner of your own operation, there is an easy and inexpensive solution for moving forward...look into using The Competitive Edge newsletter. It’s a camera-ready, 4-page, professionally written, informational marketing tool...available in PDF format as well as print. So regardless of how you reach your prospects and clients, you will have the necessary vehicle.

Written especially for you, the busy trade exchange owner, I am certain it will be the best investment you ever make.

For more information about The Competitive Edge, and how it can benefit you click here.


ITEX Corporation Announces Credit Facility Increase

ITEX Corporation (OTCBB:ITEX), a leading marketplace for cashless business transactions in North America, has announced that the credit facility with its primary banking institution had been expanded.

ITEX and U.S. Bank entered into an agreement to increase the maximum loan amount under its revolving credit facility from $1 million to $1.5 million, to lower the interest rate of the facility, to remove certain borrowing base limitations, and to extend the maturity date to November 30, 2009.

Steven White, Chairman and CEO, noted, “ITEX continues to position itself to take advantage of opportunities that may present themselves in the current chaotic financial and difficult business environment. Although there is currently no outstanding balance under this line of credit and we have no immediate plans to use it, we felt it prudent to increase our access to additional capital. We may use the line of credit to finance short term working capital requirements, initiate new revenue-generating projects or to pursue strategic opportunities.”

Timothy J. Flynn, Vice President of Commercial Banking for U.S. Bank, commented, “We are pleased with ITEX's continued financial performance and overall success during the last five years, and look forward to expanding our long-term relationship with ITEX Corporation.”

For more information visit www.itex.com.


* * ANNOUNCEMENT * *

25 Years Of BarterNews Issues Now In Digital Format

Welcome to the largest repository of barter contacts, strategies, and barter techniques in the world. All 64 issues of BarterNews now available in digital format at http://www.barternews-ezine.com.


Proposed Shareholder Control Act Urged By Mentor Capital CEO To Avoid Repeat Of Economic Crisis

(The following is an extension of remarks made by Mentor Capital, Inc., CEO Chet Billingsley, in a DEX.TV interview on the future solutions to the economic crisis given on November 19, 2008.)

Unfettered self-interest is at the core of the nation’s regrettable economic circumstance. Politicians curried constituent favor by pressuring for non-economic lending. Executives increased personal reward by making outsized bets with corporate assets. Winnings were substantially pocketed by management, without reserve for the inevitable organizational risk.

The nexus of the problem is that the boards of directors did not intervene to prevent these overreaching missteps. It takes considerable chutzpah to lean in against the well-parsed wishes of a Chief Executive. It is not surprising that, with few laudatory exceptions, boards are not up to the task. The norm is that directors are recruited, nominated, compensated and loyal to the CEO first, and to shareholders second.

Congress and regulators have attempted to protect shareholders by requiring that certain types of directors be included on major public boards. We have seen that directing the fox to recruit his responsible friends to guard the hen house has not, and will not, bring us safety. Congress is likewise limited as a political animal that would find it impossible to manage by optimal economics alone.

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, 80% labor cost at the U.S.P.S. vs. 40% at FedEx, a typical 30% toll for the troll, and the world-wide history of failed directed economies gives pause to any intelligent thought of government supervision, except by those egos eager to supervise.

Owners, on the other hand, are the one group that has sufficient vested interest to push back against any improper tide. Nothing quite focuses the wit and will like having a large sum of your own money on the line. The long-term solution to irresponsible risk taking with corporate assets, excessive executive compensation, insular boards, and a plethora of similar complaints is to align theory and practice.

Make directors, and hence, boards, wholly answerable to the shareholders, through the nomination process. Simply put, require directors to be nominated by real person shareholders, and allow only one directorship per person or related group in any one company.

This does not seem like such a change, but it is a seismic shift. It will cause lesser CEOs to no longer be kings in their castle. It will need to be legislated, but can proceed without more than token cost. The legislation would be as follows:

Proposed Shareholder Control Act Of 2009

In order to promote better corporate responsiveness to shareholder interest, the nomination of directors for any public company for all board positions to be filled after July 1, 2009, shall be by the following process:

1)   There shall be no fewer than three (3) directors,

2) For each director, two (2) nominations shall be required,

3) The largest shareholder may nominate one (1) director nominee, which may be themselves, if they are a natural person,

4) If not a natural person, the largest shareholder entity will direct the invitation to nominate to its largest natural person interest holder,

5)  Any one natural person may only be the designee to nominate for one public company at a time from each such entity in #4 above,

6) When the first nominee for director is submitted, the second largest shareholder will be asked to nominate one (1) director by the procedure above, repeated until all nominations are filled,

7) No person, or group of economically related persons, may hold or be nominated for more than one (1) directorship at any one public company.

The proposed Shareholder Control Act of 2009, will shift control to owners, rather than reserving it to managers under the supervision of regulators. Real owners of assets don’t take undo chances with their own money. Tapping this natural force of vested self-interest can and will prevent a repeat of the plethora of disastrous decisions that led to a wasting of untold economic value during these recent times.

We encourage Congress to pass the proposed Shareholder Control Act of 2009, immediately, to bolster confidence in the Nation’s long-term commitment to private ownership.

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 www.MentorCapital.com

(Disclosure: Bob Meyer owns stock in Mentor Capital.)


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