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The weekly newsletter for everyone interested in barter--the world's most versatile business tool!

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December 18, 2001

Please note there will be no Tuesday Report on December 25 or January 1.

We wish you a joyous holiday season and a wondrous new year!

Trade Limited Hosts Party For Its Stars

Every year corporate companies host lavish Christmas parties for their hundreds of employees. What better way of celebrating another year, and saying thanks for the loyal service, than hosting a ball or hiring a marquee.

Unfortunately, small businesses have the problem of wanting to enjoy a big party, but simply not having enough staff to do so.

Aware of this predicament, Trade Limited broker Malcolm Yates hosted a huge party for 500 people (members of Trade Limited), and then subdivided the tables to separate companies. That way everyone had the opportunity of hosting their own small business Christmas party, yet they shared the facilities on a grand scale.

"It's like an office block that subdivides the floors to different businesses. We simply subdivided the venue for separate party groups," explained Yates.

From sign writers to hairdressers, some 500 representatives of small businesses turned out for the event, which included a live band, comedy cabaret, carol singers, food and drink. The venue was decorated for the occasion, and everyone enjoyed the Christmas spirit.

Dynergy's CEO Made "Big Barter Bet" Early On

Dynergy is the "other" Houston energy company...more famous for its recent offer to acquire troubled Enron, then backing off as news of Enron's troubles continued to surface.

CEO Chuck Watson, however, has an interesting story as he's led Dynergy forward from the days when he took over a tiny company in 1985 with a $600 investment and a 10% stake that he acquired when he told the then slapped-together U.S. Natural Gas Clearinghouse, "Don't pay me a salary--give me 10% of the company." (In 1998 U.S. Natural Gas Clearinghouse changed its name to Dynergy.)

For Watson, who began his career as a lowly trainee at Conoco and then worked his way over the next 12 years up to sales director at Conoco before taking over, it was a fabulous trade. Today his stake in Dynergy is worth a cool half a billion dollars.

Magazine Advertising In Dumps, Especially Airline Publications

Only three major advertising categories--drugs, toiletries and cosmetics, and direct response companies publishing their own magazine--showed gains in November.

Taking major hits were the inflight magazines, i.e. Delta Air Lines' Sky Magazine saw a 39.7% revenue drop and a 41.9% drop in its number of advertising pages. US Airways Attaché in-flight magazine suffered a 19% drop in revenue and a 39.6% drop in ad pages.

Overall, according to the Publishers Information Bureau, magazine advertising revenue for November fell 11.2% to $1.6 billion, compared with the same month a year ago.

Tom Cruise Bartering For Stake In "Vanilla Sky"

Superstar Tom Cruise has a big stake in the new movie he stars in. Instead of taking a fee up front, he chose to barter for a percentage of the movie's earnings. (It's the same strategy used by Tom Hanks and other big stars.)

Realizing the payoff can be greater than a guaranteed up front fee, Cruise has been making a PR blitz across the country to drum up interest in the psychological thriller.

Here And There. . .

  • Veteran hotelier Juergen Bartels, CEO of Le Meridien Hotel Group (located in 55 countries), sees U.S. business travelers getting back to business in January, contending they can't hold out any longer than mid-January to begin traveling.

    "Business doesn't stand still," he points out, "the U.S. is the number-one business nation, and its business is business around the world. In all fairness, there'll be no justification for staying home beyond mid-January." Bartels' comments were taken from Business Travel News.

  • The world's population of people aged 65 and older is growing by an unprecedented 800,000 people a month, according to the National Institute on Aging.

  • The National Federation of Independent Business, a small-business lobbying group based in Washington, says a survey of their members predicts the recession is ending this quarter (4th quarter).

    Reportedly, entrepreneurs are stepping up their plans on hiring workers, adding to inventory and investing in capital equipment. (Most economists predict the recession will continue until at least the first quarter of 2002.)

  • Airborne Express and OfficeMax are working closely together and promoting each other to their respective clients. The trade-off includes Airborne-branded kiosks at the office-products stores and a Web site that will pitch OfficeMax products to Airborne customers.

  • 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 U.S. only.)

  • C.K. Prahalad, a celebrated University of Michigan Business School professor and author of Competing for the Future, says that although multinational corporations agree that the poor--the 5 billion people who earn less than $3,000 or $4,000 a year--aren't the business of business, they must now learn how to serve a less privileged class of people.

    Because leaving that group behind, as we're learning, can have dire consequences on a global scale. "You increase your risks if you go among them," Prahalad admits, "but if you don't, you increase your risks even at home."

  • Companies are shedding extra space with a vengeance. So far this year companies have retreated from 40 million square-feet of office space, which they are trying to sublet. U.S. office vacancy rates could rise from the current 13% to as much as 18% a year from now...that's the percentage it was in the recession of the early 1990s.

    But because companies are much leaner now and don't have any extra real estate inventory, the market will likely get back to normal in much less time than the six years it took to recover from the last recession.

  • 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 accounting debacle at Enron, which recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy-court protection, is the latest in a string of high-profile blowups for the accounting profession during the past several years.

    But good will come out of this as the Big Five accounting firms have pledged to develop recommendations by year end to improve corporate financial disclosures in some of the areas that blind-sided investors in Enron Corp.

  • And the Securities and Exchange Commission has threatened to sue companies that mislead investors with "pro forma" accounting, which typically makes companies' earnings look better by excluding certain expenses, i.e. costs associated with mergers and acquisitions, non-cash compensation, in-process research and development, and goodwill amortization. (The agency's message followed the bankruptcy filing of Enron.)

  • Pay cuts of 10% are taking place at various companies and being replaced by 10% stock awards...this is possible because cutting payroll expenses increases a company's cash flow. The affected employee can cash in the stock immediately or hold the shares.


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