From the desk of Bob
Advertising Industry Acknowledges Digital
news articles and stories of the last two weeks, the ad
agency business is changing and finally responding to the
shifts toward automation and a digital-centric focus for
Carat announced it would be merging its digital and
traditional business with the digital team taking the reins
of leadership, becoming the centerpiece for planning and
Publicis said it is shifting its business toward automation
and centralization of its planning and buying systems,
suggesting it is only a matter of time before all
advertising is digital.
Billionaire Says �Raise Taxes�
Gross, the bond king at Pimco, long known for his liberal
political stances, says today�s rich didn�t get rich simply
through pluck and smarts�they got there by taking risks with
other people�s money and through low taxes.
he acknowledges that American capitalism and free markets
have brought great benefits to society, he writes that �now
is the time, long overdue in fact, to admit that for the
rich, for the mega-rich of this country that enough is never
enough, and it is therefore incumbent upon government to
rectify today�s imbalances.�
From the desk of Bob
BizXchange Recognized For Growth
the East Bay Business Times �Fastest 50 Private
Growing Companies Award,� ranking 35th. The firm is a
business barter exchange with offices in the San Francisco
Bay Area, Seattle, and Dubai. (For more information see
�Site Sponsors� at top of page.)
BBX Offers Interest Free Loans
Exchange of Australia is offering interest free loans of up
to 30% for BBX listed real estate. The company reports
having over $60 million in listed properties on its books.
Spas Popularity On The Rise
Nearly half of
U.S. hotels and resorts now boast spas, up from 25% five
years ago, according to industry tracker Spa Finder.
Nationwide, these spas generated $2 billion in 2005, up from
$1.9 billion in 2003, as confirmed by the International Spa
Association�s latest data.
The entire U.S.
spa industry, which includes independent and day spas,
grossed $9.7 billion in 2005, up from $7 billion in 2003.
From the desk of Bob
Anheuser-Busch & Icelandic Glacial Complete
world�s largest beer company, Anheuser-Busch, is using its
distribution power to get into the water business. Like many
major companies this one has the earmarkings of an exchange,
i.e. use our services and we will take an ownership position
in your company. (In this instance it�s 20% equity in
Icelandic Water Holdings.)
agreement is a �win-win� in that the St. Louis brewer now
has access to a high-end natural spring water...enabling
them to compete in the fast-growing $11 billion U.S.
bottled-water market. Icelandic Glacial water is sourced
from the Olfus Spring in southwestern Iceland and bottled
$13 Million In Barter Deals Fuel Games
a cue from the Olympics where the bartering of products and
services now approaches a billion-dollars per event, the
City of Chicago�s Gay Games VII operated on a budget of $9
million cash and $13 million in barter...consisting of
supplies, services, and marketing.
Google Making Inroads In Selling Newspaper
November, Google started a program to sell newspaper ads in
50 newspapers. Today they have 225 papers participating.
Google takes bids online for advertising space in the
newspapers and relays the offers to publishers, who can
accept or reject them.
program helps publications attract spending from advertisers
that typically buy space on the Internet.)
From the desk of Bob
News Organizations Barter Content
consideration is a barter arrangement between the Financial
Times Group and cable news channel�CNBC. The Financial Times
would use video clips from CNBC on its web site,
In return, CNBC
would get access to Financial Times articles for its site,
Americans Love Cruising
Almost 60 million people have taken a cruise, since the
cruise industry began back in the 1960s. Today 8.5 million
people take a cruise each year, but it�s a market dominated
by U.S. residents as they account for 82% of the industry�s
global passengers. The market for first-timers is huge as
only 16% of Americans have taken a cruise.
Who Needs Cash?
more fumbling for some dollar bills when buying a beverage
on the airlines...just reach for the plastic. That�s the
word from more airlines these days as they move to accept
credit cards onboard.
the move for passengers convenience, or for operational
reasons? Consider the steps taken when accepting cash:
Flight attendants need to fill out a report and give the
cash to the lead flight attendant, who then must hand it
upon arrival to a gate attendant, who then takes it to an
audit room at the airport, where it awaits a pickup for bank
From the desk of Bob
Currency Expert Tom Greco Speaks In China
author of Money: Understanding & Creating Alternatives To
Legal Tender, made three presentations in China
recently, speaking in Beijing, Hangzhou and Shanghai. The
appearances were arranged by Sun Xi of Beijing Barter
International. Beijing Barter is a member of IRTA.
Kyle MacDonald Readies For International
25-year old Canadian blogger who traded a red paper clip�in
a series of 15 trades�for a $50,000 house in Kipling (Sask.)
will soon have his book (about his bartering experiences)
out, and then will embark on an international promotional
Volcker Worries About Private Debt
Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, who helped put an end
to spiraling U.S. inflation after taking office in 1979,
says it�s not government debt that worries him, but the
private debt that is being piled on private debt in an
increasingly leveraged situation.
New Tycoons Highlighted
Magazine�s annual ranking of the world�s most highly paid
fund managers shows that today�s rich keep getting richer.
five moneymakers in the hedge fund industry for 2006 are:
billion - James Simons, Renaissance Technologies
billion - Kenneth Griffin, Citadel Investment Group
billion - Edward Lampert, ESL Investments
million - George Soros, Soros Fund Management
million - Steven Cohen, SAC Capital Advisors
From the desk of Bob
ConocoPhillips Thinking Of Barter Strategy
ConocoPhillips is not settling for below market compensation
from the Venezuelan government on its $10 billion investment
in that country. Instead they exited the nation (and their
investment) so they could preserve their right to seek
strategy? Knowing that Venezuela has assets in the U.S.,
including refineries owned by the Venezuela state-owned oil
company (PDVSA�s Citgo Petroleum Corp.), the possibility
existed of swapping ConocoPhillips oil fields in Venezuela
for Citgo refineries in Illinois, Louisiana or Texas.
Real Estate Outlook
of adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) that will reset later
this year and next year, raises the odds that real estate
mortgage defaults will continue to rise. About $515 billion
of ARMs are scheduled to reset this year, and an additional
$680 billion will reset in 2008, according to Bank of
America. Worse, roughly three-fourths of those loans are to
borrowers with poor credit histories.
Ants Aren�t Smart, But Ant Colonies Are
Individual ants lack brain power, but as a group they can
accomplish complex tasks, because animals tackle problems by
unconsciously exchanging cues with other animals. That
mechanism allows ants to forage for food and bees to select
a perfect-size hive.
military has used swarm theory to survey dangerous areas. In
one experiment, 66 robots were sent to locate six hidden
objects in a building, armed with simple instructions and
ways to share information. By individually pursuing basic
tasks and minimizing redundancies, such as avoiding rooms
that other robots already had examined, they found the
objects in half an hour.
Sam Walton Would Be Proud
never can foresee the magnitude of an idea. Wal-Mart founder
Sam Walton�s initial one would pale next to today�s
actuality...Americans, alone, collectively make 127 million
trips to Wal-Mart each week. As global expansion continues,
Wal-Mart expects to hit $500 billion in annual sales by
Global Economic Pop Coming?
�In the 16
months leading up to the election, the economy will be well
oiled and optimism high. Then the lights will go out to the
sound of a global economic pop.�
�Harry Aebischer on the U.S. economic outlook.
From the desk of Bob
doesn�t appear on company balance sheets, but it accounts
for one-third to one-half the stock market value of the
Fortune 500. One particularly important form of intangible
capital is brand equity.
Reserve economists estimated that by the late 1990s some
$250 billion of all corporate spending was devoted to
brand building. That�s about 2.5% of GDP spent trying to win
the attention and trust of consumers.
There�s A Message Here!
It used to be when
people got into financial trouble they would pay their
mortgage and let their credit cards slide. Not any more...at
least not for subprime borrowers.
A new study by
Experian, the Costa Mesa-based credit bureau and information
services company, shows that subprime borrowers are now
paying their credit cards first and getting behind on their
mortgages. This finding represents a significant departure
from conventional behavior.
invested and with prices dropping, their actions imply what
they think about the present real estate situation.
From the desk of Bob
Points Earned Through eBay
GE Money, General
Electric Company�s consumer-lending unit, is expanding its
partnership with online auction-site eBay to offer an eBay
Card holders will
receive one �reward point� for each $1 spent in purchases on
eBay and off-line. The points are redeemable for shipping
discounts and vouchers that can be used to pay eBay seller
fees or shop on its web site.
From the desk of Bob
Channel Expanding Globally
Outdoor strengthened its global reach last year inking big
deals in China, Japan and London, and beefing up its already
large presence in the U.S., Italy and France.
billboard titan went public in 2006, earning $2.9 billion in
Playing The Money Game
Wal-Mart will soon
be introducing a prepaid money card. It will be launched
with GE Money, a unit of General Electric, and branded a
The firm says that
the card is aimed at customers who do not have access to a
bank account. Not to mention ease of use or the
profitability of using prepaid cards.
From the desk of Bob
Electricity Becomes Barter Currency For Turkey & Iran
Turkey and Iran have agreed to expand their electricity
trade and build dams and gas- or oil-fueled power stations,
with a goal of expanding the capacity between the two
nations by 250%. The projects include upgrading exiting
power lines and building additional ones
Consulting Firm Sees Europe Overtaking U.S.
As World�s Growth Engine
While the U.S. is looking over its shoulder at China and
India, it is Europe that is going to surpass the U.S. as the
world�s leading growth engine within the next 20 years,
according to Victor Canto, founder/chairman of La Jolla
Economics, a leading consulting firm.
Spurred by competition from Eastern Europe, Ireland and
Spain, the rest of Europe is beginning to make major
economic strides. Canto expects Europe to pick up more steam
with the recent leadership shifts in Germany, France, and
soon in Britain.
He sees Europe at the same stage as the U.S. was nearly 30
years ago when President Reagan slashed marginal tax rates
from 70% to 35%, unleashing an unprecedented economic boom.
Community Barter Rebuilds Little League
In Tucson, Arizona, the baseball fields surrounding Mission
Manor Park had a unique history�it was the place where the
only team from Arizona went on to win the Little League
World Series, back in 1992.
Since then, the park had fallen into an eye-sore in a
community where many struggle to make ends meet. Leaders in
the community decided it was time to take action. They were
able to obtain a $5,000 grant on the basis that the
community would step forward to barter their time and skills
to upgrade the park.
Volunteers offered their time and skills. Tile workers and
plumbers refurbished the snack bar. Landscapers,
electricians, welders and painters tackled other tasks.
Still other baby-sat the children of these workers as they
Children and adults together constructed the blue fence in
center field that players call the batter�s eye. Many hands
were necessary to raise the 20-foot metal foul posts and
cement them into the ground. Then a cloth backdrop, that
helps players concentrate on the game instead of being
distracted by other park activities, was erected.
Now, just four months after obtaining the grant and
galvanizing the neighborhood, 46 teams and more than 600
boys and girls, ages 5 through 16, have witnessed a
From the desk of Bob
Meals For Additional Parking
Diner, an 80-seat busy diner in Danbury (CT), has only a
22-space parking lot. Patrons are forced to park on the busy
highway in front of the diner. Consequently, they lose
business because of the congestion.
recently concluded a barter deal with the owner of an office
building across the street, which will provide the diner
additional parking space in exchange for meals (scrip) at
the diner. Elmer�s now offers a valet parking service.
Barter Reaps Handsome Payoff For Mets Third
Mets� third baseman David Wright enjoyed an unexpected bonus
recently when Coca-Cola bought a company that produces
Wright signed on to endorse Glaceau�s flavored-water brands,
he opted for a 0.5% share of the company instead of cash.
When the company was sold for $4.1 billion, Wright�s stake
was about $20 million.
From the desk of Bob
ITEX Holds 25th
The largest trade exchange in the United States is presently
conducting their convention in New Orleans, which runs from
May 20 through May 24. This year�s theme is �Leading The
Way,� and the attendance will top 130.
Business Barter Exchange Sponsoring Rugby
Australia�s BBX has rejoined the Rabbitoh sponsorship
family, becoming the official barter exchange for the
Rabbitoh rugby team. This support enables BBX to network
closely with the other businesses that are involved with the
Las Vegas Occupancy Tops 93 Percent!
More rooms are needed...that�s the message for the Las Vegas
hotel market. The �City that Never Sleeps� has the highest
national occupancy rate, averaging 93.2% last year,
according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors
Authority. (That�s more than 30% higher than the national
Las Vegas is already the biggest hotel market in the country
with 344 hotels having 154,000 rooms. Plus, there are
another 60 hotels with 46,000 rooms presently in the
Shift In Advertising Industry Taking Place
Microsoft�s $6 billion purchase of Quantive, an online
marketing company, marks a tangible shift in the advertising
industry overall with the digital space slated to capture a
larger percentage of the $600 billion business.
�It has been discussed in theory for years,� noted a senior
analyst at Forrester Research. �But by trading so much money
in this space, the big players are betting the marketers
will follow, moving even more of their money away from
Is This A Sign That Market Is Peaking?
With the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 at their historical
highs, and individual borrowing to buy stocks breaking
records, it appears that the stock market may be peaking.
Margin debt for individual investors hit a record $296
billion in February, according to NYSE Euronext data. Before
this year, the record was $279 billion, set in March 2000
near the peak of the high-tech bubble...just before it
From the desk of Bob
Economy Expected To Dampen Travel Demand
According to CEO
Gary Kelly of Southwest Airlines, there is growing evidence
that the U.S. economy is slowing...which will affect travel
throughout the country. To head off flatter earnings
Southwest is installing new navigation technology which uses
satellites and onboard computers to plot more-direct flight
plans, avoiding wider turns and circuitous routes that burn
BBX Reports Two New Franchises
Australia�s fast-moving, publicly-traded BBX has announced
that master franchises for the Republic of Guinea and the
Republic of Costa Rica have been signed.
For more information see:
Ted Turner Nation�s Largest Private Landowner
The sometime eccentric businessman, and founder of CNN, has
a portfolio of 15 ranches in seven western states, totaling
two million acres. Acquired over a 30-year span, Turner uses
the land to raise bison and has amassed a herd of 45,000.
The bison herd supplies the steaks and burgers for his
restaurant chain...Ted�s Montana Grill.
From the desk of Bob Meyer...05/08/07
The Future�Look Eastward
balance of power in the manufacturing world is dramatically
swinging eastward. In the U.S., there are currently about 14
million jobs in manufacturing. In all G-7 countries combined
(USA, Canada, the UK, France, Italy, Germany & Japan), there
are about 53 million such jobs.
China alone, there are almost 110 million jobs in
manufacturing. A powerhouse, the likes of which we�ve never
seen before, is gearing up in Asia. And those Asian
companies will be eager to learn about the Internet to
connect with new markets...in our backyard.
1999, Intel Chairman Andy Grove said, �In five years, all
(major) companies will be Internet companies, or they won�t
be companies at all.� He may have been a touch optimistic in
his timing, but that doesn�t take away from the importance
of his message. To add to that, not only will many companies
be on the Internet but they�ll also have to become more
global...or at the very least be acutely aware of the global
Major Oil Companies Trade Assets
Occidental Petroleum Corp. and London-based BP will swap oil
and natural-gas assets. Occidental getting assets in Permian
Basin of West Texas and New Mexico, in exchange for giving
BP a one-third interest in the Horn Mountain property in the
Gulf of Mexico. BP will also receive a net cash payment of
$100 million from Occidental.
What�s The Cost To Play A Round Of Golf With
Beck, CEO of Beck Imports of the Carolinas, filled out the
threesome (playing with Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan) at
the Wachovia Pro Am in Charlotte (NC) on May 2. Beck�s
contribution was supplying the tournament with courtesy
From the desk of Bob Meyer...05/01/07
E-Bay Has It All...
According to eBay
expert Greg Kusch, the site has more than 212 million
There are over
1.3 million users who use it as their primary or
secondary source of income;
At any given time
50 million items are available worldwide;
Over 5 million
items are added every day;
A digital camera
sells every minute;
expensive item sold on its site was a Gulf Stream II Jet
for $4.9 million;
Only 8%-10% of
its users are sellers.
Google Signs With Nation�s Largest Radio Station
Google and Clear Channel Communications have signed a
long-term agreement that will allow the Internet search
leader to place advertising for its online customers on more
than 675 radio stations.
�This partnership with Clear Channel is a pretty big
statement that Google is in the radio industry to stay and
have a big impact,� noted Drew Hilles, Google Audio�s
national sales director. �Our advertisers that had not
relied on radio, will have direct access to Clear Channel�s
national distribution through easy-to-use interface.�
Although the majority of Google�s $10.6 billion in revenue
for 2006 came from internet ads, the firm has made previous
ventures into print, radio and television advertising.
Executive Housing 101
Century 21 of Canada did a survey of executive quality
housing in major cities around the globe. The survey found
that the following were the 10 most expensive housing
markets for executive homebuyers on a per-square-foot basis:
London - $2,683, Paris - $989, Seoul - $932, Calgary - $680,
Sydney - $614, Taipei - $521, Vancouver - $488, Athens -
$417, New York - $480, and Tokyo - $327.
From the desk of Bob Meyer...04/24/07
Foreclosures Shooting Upward...Yahoo Adds
Them To Web Site
Californians a week are losing their homes because they
can�t afford to pay the mortgage, up from 100-weekly a year
ago...providing fresh evidence that the housing market�s
troubles are nowhere near being over.
subdivided its web site to include a home foreclosure center
to help bargain hunters capitalize on the slumping real
estate market. Although accessing addresses of specific
troubled properties will require a subscription to
RealtyTrack, which contributes to the section.
Federal Government's Properties Mismanaged?
Government currently owns hundreds-of-billions of dollars in
real property assets. In addition the government owns or
manages one in every four acres of land in the U.S.
to the Federal Real Property Asset Management Initiative, it
is not clear how much of it is actually being used in an
efficient manner, or serves the needs for which it was
originally intended. As a result there is a great deal of
underused and unneeded real property within the Federal
Staggering Drop In Real Estate Investment
going into mutual funds that own real estate has plunged to
just $2 million, on average, from nearly $400 million a week
as recently as mid-February, according to AMG Data Services.
From the desk of Bob Meyer...04/17/07
BizXchange Wins U.S. Chamber Of Commerce
a barter company with offices in Seattle and San Francisco
Bay Area, has been honored with a U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Blue Ribbon Small Business Award.
sponsored by Microsoft adCenter, was designed to honor
businesses that showed excellence in a variety of selected
criteria, including financial performance and business
history, staff training and motivation, community
involvement, customer service and business planning.
Intellectual Property Provides U.S.
Government Big Payoff
States Government earns billions through the trading of
intellectual property. Trade in intellectual property can
involve patented and unpatented techniques, processes,
formulas, and other intangible assets.
additionally includes proprietary rights, broadcast rights,
and other intangible rights such as distribution, use, and
reproduction of general-use computer software.
transactions generate revenues in the form of royalties and
licensing fees amounting to billions of dollars per annum.
Google Launches Online Payment Service
Checkout is the name of the new online payment service,
recently launched by the internet-giant in the UK, allowing
it to compete with PayPal and other mainstream processing
Checkout will allow customers to register their payment
details once and make purchases from participating retailers
with just 2 clicks of the mouse. The Google service stores
the payment details in a central database, concealing the
credit-card number to prevent fraudulent transactions.
Washington Wineries' Prominence Growing
Washington Wine Commission is pulling in record sponsorship
dollars for this year's "Taste Washington." Nineteen
companies provided $162,000 to sponsor the 2-day event which
reflects growing recognition of Washington State's 200
are looking to attach themselves to what has become a high
profile event, as well as make connection with a very
affluent group of people. (Some 3,500 consumers will either
pay $85 for admission or $125 for VIP access.)
From the desk of Bob Meyer...04/10/07
"ITEX Jobs" Offers Real Value To Business
recent ITEX business agreement with Simply Hired--the world's
largest search engine for jobs (with 5 million listings)--will provide a real value to any business desiring
to place job listings and employment opportunities in the
cost for a 150-character, 30-day listing is available for
$10 ITEX. In the marketplace Craigslist charges $25 per day,
per listing. And prices vary from $450 to $275 for similar
additional information on ITEX Jobs, see the second article
following "From the desk of Bob Meyer..."
"It's hard to organically build
Mulcahy, CEO Xerox Corp.
acquisitions so commonplace in the business world? Because
it is hard to organically build distribution. Thus, Xerox is
looking to jump-start anemic sales growth by buying an
office-machines distributor, Global Imaging Systems.
Mulcahy says the $1.5 billion acquisition will help get
Xerox into the small- and medium-business market, where it
presently has no chance to bid on about 80% of all deals.
General Mills Following Hollywood & Silicon
licensing of ideas prior to a product-form has been the
strategy of both Hollywood and Silicon Valley, as they
leverage licensing rights for new ideas in dozens of
different ways (which subsequently build revenue streams).
General Mills, maker of Hamburger Helper, is following suit
by turning to celebrity chef Mario Batali (of Food Network
fame) and licensing two frozen pasta dinners developed by
ago General Mills decided to move outside its own
research-and-development group by forming a worldwide
"innovation network." Employees began collecting names of
scientists to call when facing technological challenges;
they also began attending international inventor fairs/trade
shows in search of new products to buy or license.
USA Wine Exports Soaring Amid Changes
exports, mostly from California, soared 30% in value and 4%
in volume in 2006...with California generating 95% of the
total. In Europe, where the U.S. makes more than half of its
foreign sales, exports surged 48% in value. In comparison,
Canada's increased 29%.
the growing business and to reduce freight costs of shipping
bottles, a growing number of producers have begun to ship
their finished wine to Europe in tanks for bottling and
distribution. There's also a trend toward using special wine
names and labels to appeal to European buyers.
Wine Institute also reported huge potential in Asia. Sales
to Singapore soared 68% by value last year, Hong Kong rose
19%, and China jumped 53%.
From the desk of Bob Meyer...04/03/07
Lenovo Begins Olympic Push, Will Utilize
Barter In Effort
Computer maker Lenovo Group expects the 2008 Beijing
Olympics to propel it onto the world stage. With 500 days
still to go prior to the Summer Games, the company has
launched an Olympic roadshow and daily Olympic-countdown
spots on state-run China Central Television.
Lenovo secured Olympic sponsorship rights in 2004 for $65
million, payable in cash and trade. One of the "in-kind
payments" will be the set-up of 12,000 PCs that will play a
role in everything from scoring to ticketing.
Ad Agencies Must Act To Integrate Digital
The message going out to the ad industry from its clients
is: figure out how to better integrate digital media or you
will lose business. More and more clients are already
demanding digital, and they will gravitate to agencies which
can provide it.
In short, no matter how talented an
agency's creative team
or how well the client's management likes the firm's
executives, the agency is of limited value unless it
embraces digital media.
Definition Of Economic Health Is Changing
With the changing demographics (68 million aging
baby-boomers) taking place in the U.S., the old indicators
of economic health aren't as important as they once were.
For decades we reliably counted on unemployment figures and
the stock market...but soon they will be replaced in
importance by health care and pensions.
From the desk of Bob Meyer...03/27/07
Housing Woes Worries Cruise Lines
the world's largest cruise line, is concerned that the
softening housing market, along with high energy prices and
interest rates, will hurt sales to low-income consumers and
crimp sales of its shorter, cheaper trips to the Caribbean.
This would also mean more inventory availabilities for
Success = Knowledge + Action
Purcell of The Barter Business Exchange in North Carolina,
sent an e-mail recently:
for all of your information. I have signed on two
restaurants since I have started reading over the restaurant
section on your site."
2007 CEO Survey Reports #1 Business Challenge
to the 2007 Management Action Programs Quarterly CEO Survey,
conducted by Vantage Research, today's top CEOs say finding
talented, quality hires is like searching for a needle in a
haystack. Twenty percent of the executives report that "hiring talented
employees" is their biggest
Definition Of "Rich" Has Changed
Securities and Exchange Commission has redefined what it
means to be rich. According to the SEC a "rich" investor
needs to have investable assets of at least $2.5 million,
excluding equity in any homes or businesses. (This enables
one to be eligible to sign on a hedge fund's dotted line.)
huge jump from the current requirement, which says
individuals must have a net worth of at least $1 million,
including the value of primary residences, or an annual
income for individuals of $200,000 for the previous two
years or $300,000 for couples.
From the desk of Bob Meyer...03/20/07
Kudos For Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods has agreed to play host to a tournament in
Washington (DC), honoring the military over the Fourth of
July and to pay for a new learning center in the Washington
Venezuela's Oil Bartering Different Than
Over a decade ago, back in 1994 to be specific, Mexico was
able to put together a huge $50 billion multilateral bailout
package with the help of the U.S. to stabilize the sudden
devaluation of the Mexican peso. It was Mexico's oil,
however, which was the key ingredient making the package
Today in Venezuela, President Hugo Chavez is also using oil
as a tool. But given the country's 10.3% economic growth,
the situation is quite a bit different than was Mexico's. In
this case the nation's oil is payment to compensate "Big
Oil" companies, because Venezuela is nationalizing all
outside oil interests. Oil is also being bartered for
purchases of food products from various Caribbean nations.
Major League Soccer Selling Ad Space On
Soccer will be the first major team sports league in the
U.S. to showcase ads where viewers can't miss them--on the
fronts of players jerseys. No major American sports league
permits prominent advertising on team jerseys, though the
practice has long been accepted in Europe, Asia and Latin
Major league soccer clubs will own jersey rights and keep a
majority of the revenue...a marked change for the
11-year-old league, which in the past has conducted most of
its business through a central office and pooled sponsorship
Highly-charged Art Market Changes How Game
The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles has 15,000
photographs in its collection, having spent $20 million to
build one of the best photography collections in the world.
But today, even Getty's deep pockets aren't enough to get
the works they want.
That's because a supercharged art market has bid up typical
prices for individual fine-art photographs from about $1,000
in 1984 to 50 times that today! Plus many of today's buyers
can't be counted on to loan or bequeath their works to
To cope, the museum's photography curator Weston Naef is
forming unusually close relationships with collectors. In
exchange for advising them to purchase works he
believes will become very valuable, he hopes that eventually
the works will make their way into the Getty as loans or
Serving An Underserved Market Makes Sense
Dallas-based Pizza-Patron had a plan for attracting a new
client base. It tried accepting pesos, as payment for
orders, on a two-week trial basis...causing much uproar. The
firm now says it is making its pesos policy permanent, as it
focuses on serving an underserved market--the Latino
The 60-location pizza chain has most of its restaurants in
Hispanic neighborhoods and each manager must be both
bilingual and live nearby.
From the desk of Bob Meyer...03/13/07
Haddawy Authors Article On Barter For
Chris Haddawy, Sr. VP for BizXchange, and a
18-year veteran in the commercial barter industry, authored
the "Trading Up" article which appeared in the February
issue of American Printer.
Haddawy's focus was to show printers how they
can cash in on barter by stressing the importance of
calculating the cost of the printer's trade, as well as
rules for successful bartering.
For more information on Haddawy's company go
Bartercard Sponsorship Announced
Bartercard has signed a major sponsorship
deal, with the Harlequins Rugby Club in the UK, for a
reported £190,000 trade pounds.
The marketing manager of Harlequins, Chris
Warren, affirmed, "We use Bartercard for a range of
services--everything from marketing, design and printing, to
buses to get the team to matches. And through Bartercard we've attracted some new
Windsor Trade Moving Forward With Huge Barter
March 27 is the day for a signing ceremony
between Sabah State Government, SEDCO (agency for holding
equity), and Windsor Trade Company, located in Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia. Facilities for the huge complex will include a
grain warehouse, hotel, a passenger and ferry terminal, plus
a commercial centre. The Sabah State Government will hold
20% equity in Windsor Trade.
For more information see:
A Meltdown Of Unparalleled Proportions
The $1.3 trillion subprime mortgage industry
has taken a violent turn seeing 25 subprime lenders exiting
the business--by declaring bankruptcy or putting themselves
up for sale. (And that's just in the last few months.)
Well-respected expert Jim Grant of Grants
Interest Rate Observer says as we enter what he calls
the "recognition stage," the market is starting to wake up
to the magnitude of the problem. In short, billions will be
CEOs More Positive Than CFOs
The Business Roundtable's quarterly report,
as well as Duke's Fuqua School of Business and CFO magazine's survey, all show that CEOs (chief executive
officers) are more bullish on the economy than their chief
financial officers (CFO).
Many CFOs said CEOs were naturally optimistic
and were even expected to be so. The CEO takes risks that
help the company grow while the economy is buzzing, and the
CFO keeps an eye on what may go wrong. Such a pairing might
be a potent combination for today's environment, which sees
an expanding economy loaded with uncertainties.
desk of Bob Meyer...03/06/07
Spa Overbuilding Looks Bullish For Barter
The nearly $10 billion spa industry is undergoing some
dramatic changes. The number of spas have grown 35% in two
years while the number of spa visitors has grown but 20%,
according to ISPA, the industry trade group. Consequently,
some operators are devising a new generation of treatments
that save on labor costs by getting customers to do more of
Savvy spa owners will seek the barter conduit for
incremental business...charging for full-service scrubs and
massages, rather than promoting the self-service angle
which, after all, you can do at home.
"It's not the darkest before the dawn, it's
the darkest before pitch black."
The above comment is by Kenneth Heeber, the top performing
real estate fund manager and co-founder of Capital Growth
Management. Heeber says we have a trillion dollars of
subprime mortgages in the marketplace, and that will cause
us to have huge defaults.
Gross Expects Fed Will Cut Interest Rates
Bill Gross, manager of the world's biggest bond fund, says
the Federal Reserve will lower its benchmark interest rate a
percentage point to 4.25 this year to avert a recession.
According to Gross, the growth of the U.S. economy at 4
percent is not enough to support an asset-based economy,
which has built-in costs of debt averaging 5+ percent.
From the desk of Bob
Luxury Home Prices Declining In
California...With Some Exceptions!
Luxury home prices in California, the nation's most
expensive real estate market, fell for the first time in two
years as potential buyers hold out for lower prices. Yet,
there is always an exception to the rule!
Actors Courteney Cox Arquette of "Friends" fame and husband
David Arquette, who stars in "In Case of Emergency"
purchased the four-bedroom, 5,500-square-foot house with 80
feet of beach frontage six years ago for $10 million. It's
now on the market for $33.5 million.
Wade Cook Convicted
Wade Cook, a taxi-driver turned investment adviser, was
popular in the mid-to late-1990s for his financial seminars.
Last week he was convicted of evading taxes on more than
$8.9 million he made selling stock and tax advice in his
best-selling books, tapes and CDs.
Business School Rates U.S. Most Innovative
A ranking by Insead, a business school based near Paris with
campuses there and in Singapore, said the U.S. is by far the
world's most innovative nation. Germany was a distant
second. The United Arab Emirates, ranked 14th, was the only
country in the top 15 that wasn't European, Asian or North
Innovation is important because successful economies
continue to rely on trying to wring more returns from today's goods, services and processes.
Trump, Trading On His Name, Scores Big In
Donald Trump is expected to pocket $70 million in the recent
sales of 464 new Waikiki Beach condos...income totaled $700
million in just nine hours. Trump, trading on his name, gets
a nice cut of the gross sales while his outside partners
shoulder the financial risk.
From the desk of Bob
Global Financial Assets Hit New High
A new study by McKinsey & Co. has been released which showed
the value of the world's assets, through 2005, reached a new
peak at $140 trillion. The figure was more than three times
as large as the total output of goods and services produced
globally that year.
Flows of assets across borders hit $6 trillion that year.
The report also indicated that of the savings which citizens
are willing to put outside their countries, the U.S. gets
IBM's Worldwide Contest To Fund New
IBM will be investing $100 million over the next two years
to fund business ideas generated by a worldwide innovation
contest, named InnovationJam.
Contributions, some 46,000, have come in from 150,000 people
from 104 countries, including employees of IBM and 67 of its
client companies. Submitted ideas are being placed into ten
application areas including real-time translation services,
three-dimensional internet-based technology, and electronic
Barter Plays Role In High-Fashion Modeling
The international economy is transforming the modeling world
as a glut of high-fashion models has changed the economics
of the industry.
With an influx of Brazilians, Russians and
Eastern-Europeans, pay has plummeted at the highest echelon
of fashion--the runway shows that feature top designers in
Paris, Milan and New York.
Today it's a client's market with models accepting low
salaries for the exposure, hoping it will lead to better
paying jobs in the future.
At New York's fashion week (in early February), most models
will make zero to $1,000 to walk down the runway. In lieu of
cash, many designers use in-kind trade...the models get to
keep their outfits.
From the desk of Bob
Nordic Walking Manufacturer Barters With
Greg Woser, the U.S. head of Leki, a Germany-based maker of
walking sticks and other outdoor equipment, is going after a
huge, overlooked market. People for whom regular exercise
has always been a challenge.
The company trains interested people in exchange for future
services, i.e. once trained they become class instructors to
groups or individuals. There is a fee to participate in the
class, and the company sells their students equipment.
(Nordic walkers use poles--priced from $35 to $200--similar to
those used by cross-country skiers, to propel themselves
forward on streets or sidewalks.)
NBC's Bob Wright Used Barter To Retain
Superstar Jerry Seinfeld
NBC Universal, owned by General Electric, is replacing its
63-year-old CEO Bob Wright with a younger more creative
executive, Jeff Zucker. (In 1989, Zucker was 26 and became
the executive producer of "Today", the company's most
profitable program and TV's most-watched morning show for 11
But Wright showed his creativity in the mid-1990s when he
masterminded an unconventional barter package to keep a then
restless Jerry Seinfeld on the air (and away from other
networks) by arranging for the comedian to receive valuable
Seinfeld, in effect, became the network's business partner,
and NBC secured both its image and billions of dollars in
profits over the years, by catering to the young, urban,
upscale adults whom advertisers most covet.
Philanthropy Pays Off
The public's opinion of Microsoft has reached new heights
replacing Johnson & Johnson as the best rated company in the
U.S., according to the Reputation Quotient survey conducted
by market-research firm Harris Interactive.
Respondents gave Microsoft very high marks for leadership
and financial results. But it was Bill Gates' personal
philanthropy that boosted the public's opinion of Microsoft,
showing how social responsibility is becoming an even more
critical component of corporate reputation.
Media Laws Down-Under To Change
Australia's 20-year-old media laws are set to change later
this year. The new rules will relax cross-ownership
restrictions and scrap foreign-ownership limits.
Consequently, international buyout groups and industry
chiefs are already jostling for pieces of the action.
From the desk of Bob
Middle-Class Status Mushrooming
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, McKinsey
& Co. reported that in just eight years there will be 500
million people earning $5,000 a year in China. (Today's
per-capita is $1,740.) That will mean a middle-class three
times the size of America's.
Across Asia the total will reach 950 million to a billion
people hitting middle-class status, according to McKinsey.
IMS December Trade
Volume Jumps 93%
International Monetary Systems (OTCBB:INLM) sales figures
for December of 2006 were dramatically higher than for the
previous year's month end...
Trade volume (one side of the transaction) totaled
$11,764,000 in 2006, versus $6,096,000 in 2005; gross
revenue was up 80% totaling $1,112,000 in ‘06, versus
$619,000 in ‘05. New client enrollments for December were
155 versus 87 for 2005, a 78% increase.
Further information on IMS can be obtained from their web
Budera Aspires To Become Global Auction,
The second largest auction site in Sweden wants to become
the second largest online auction site in the world. In 2007
they are releasing the English Budera.com, and Scandinavian
neighbors Norway, Denmark, and Finland are also planned for
and under construction.
The site offers auctions, fixed price selling, and barter in
the same place and environment.
For more information go to:
From the desk of Bob
Hewlett-Packard Likely To Barter New
H-P says a new chip architecture will allow this technology
to leapfrog three generations ahead of the industry's
current path. The company's new chip will be used in
communications and consumer electronics products, and could
be commercially viable by 2010.
The intellectual property termed "field programmable
nanowire interconnect" is likely to be bartered to other
chipmakers, perhaps in exchange for the right to use other
patents, according to Richard Doherty the research director
at industry research firm The Envisioneering Group.
Mortgage lender Network USA has stopped funding loans and is
exploring "strategic alternatives" for its wholesale
business lines. It's the latest sign of retrenchment as
stress among subprime lenders increases. In California, as
the sudden rise in bad loans continues, banks are contacting
delinquent borrowers within days after a missed payment.
Short sales--where a lender allows property to be sold for
less than the amount due and often forgives the remaining
debt--are increasing as well.
In Orange County (CA), a hotbed of real estate, a poll taken
showed that citizens believe the best investments for 2007
Hotel Industry Sees Bright Days Ahead
Hotel construction was up 47% in 2006, and the pipeline of
planned projects is nearing a record as occupancies rise and
room rates have increased sharply, giving the industry its
best three years in a quarter century.
The hotel business is outpacing all other construction
sectors and will add 116,000 new rooms in 1,087 hotels in
the U.S. this year, according to Lodging Econometrics, a
Portsmouth (NH)-based research firm.
From the desk of Bob
New York City Taxi Cabs Offer TV
Clear Channel Taxi Media; a division of Clear Channel
Outdoor, and NBC universal have partnered to air
entertainment and news content on New York City taxi cab
At least 5,000 taxis will air NY10, New York's Taxi
Entertainment Network, featuring exclusive content from WNBC,
NBC News and NBC Entertainment.
Bank Focusing On New Affluent Market
Wachovia Corp. has hired 100 bankers this year for its
private advisory banking unit, which was launched in 2003
and has since doubled in size.
The Charlotte (NC)-based bank is targeting doctors, lawyers,
small-business owners, and other affluent customers who are
steadily growing their wealth. People who have between
$250,000 and $2 million in investable assets.
The affluent market has been growing steadily over the past
several years according to research by Spectrem Group, a
Chicago-based consulting firm. Affluent households, or those
with a net worth of $500,000 or more, have grown from 9.1
million in 2002 to 14 million in 2005, according to the
firm's recently published report.
Within three years Wachovia expects to have over 1,000 banks
working in its private advisory banking unit as it deepens
its share of the affluent market on both coasts.
and India, according to IBM Corp. Chairman/CEO Sam Palmisano,
will be the epicenter of a massive economic and demographic
Shows have bounced back even as the Internet continues to
penetrate business markets, as there is an increasing demand
among business executives for the sort of face-to-face
dialogue that trade shows can provide.
From the desk of Bob
"Swap & Shop" Radio Show Celebrates 60 Years
Murfreesboro (TN), the longest-running continuous radio show
on air is "Swap & Shop," a folksy 20 minutes of locals
calling in to barter and sell items ranging from chickens to
manager and owner Bart Walker says his operation is like a
high-tech back fence, in that it's locally owned and you get
to know the people. The station started in 1946 and has seen
a variety of formats, but eventually settled on the talk
IMS Holiday Expos Generated $2.4 Million
volume of $2.4 million (IMS reports only one side of a
transaction) was reported by International Monetary Systems
(OTCBB:INLM) for their recent holiday sales in various
company locations. These sales figures are expected to make
a record fourth quarter in 2006, which will be announced
Barter Deal Will Help Revitalize Downtown
real estate deals (land swaps) are expected to help
revitalize downtown Miami and provide permanent parking for
the Carnival Center for Performing Arts.
complete the deal the current downtown bus terminal, plus
cash, will be the payment for the land which will become the
site of a new high-rise (by the Charleville Development
Corp.) along with a 1,600-car garage for the anticipated
Another Community Organization Forming in
group, the Unitarian Universalists, is behind the idea to
create a local, legal barter currency that residents of
Provincetown (MA) can use to exchange skills and services.
program is based on the barter system that originated in
Ithaca (NY), where over 900 participants accept "Ithaca
Hours," the local barter currency aimed at promoting local
economic strength and community self-reliance.
barter programs keep the currency "local," which will be an
asset in Provincetown where people with various skills and
resources have little to do in the winter.
African American Entrepreneurs Flourishing
Census Bureau's most recent data shows some mind-boggling
changes taking place for African American entrepreneurs.
Their numbers grew by 45%, to 1.2 million between 1997 and
2002...the most recent statistics available. That number
compares with a 10% increase in the total number of
From the desk of Bob
Look For More Of These Organizations To Form
Industry vertical networks are a natural. In Kansas City
(MO), a group of contractors are forming to pool their
resources, create networking opportunities, and set
professional standards for their home-based contracting
The Kansas City Independent Service Contractor's Association
will be the place where tile setters, deck builders,
remodelers, painters, carpet cleaners, landscapers and other
owner-operators of similar businesses can come together with
The group plans to circulate a small newsletter which will
be publicly distributed by members, featuring articles on
topics of interest to homeowners that are written by members
about their own specialized areas of expertise.
Inexpensive advertising will be offered to members and
distributors with half of the proceeds being placed into a
common fund for the group's larger promotional events and
After-hours monthly networking meetings will be held in a
casual setting...a place for members to barter and trade
resources with other members, trade referrals, and talk
For more information on this grass-roots approach see:
A symbiotic relationship between such an industry network
and a healthy, reputable local trade exchange is a
natural...everyone would benefit.
Google Expanding Pilot Program For Print
Google will soon be rolling out the next stage of its print
publishing campaign. The effort will enable online
advertisers to purchase surplus print ad inventory.
So far Google has fared much better auctioning off ad
inventory for newspapers than magazines. (Newspaper ad sales
reportedly tripling the company's expectations.)
While the concept of ad brokerage is nothing new to
traditional print advertising, Google's focus on pure
automation and acceleration of the process is. Many in the
publishing business, however, see Google succeeding only in
the moving of remnant space and classifieds.
Print advertising is a "human" business...driven by passion,
emotion, and gut feeling. Ads for a specific
community-driven audience need to be a part of a
conversation. It remains to be seen if they can be
successfully concluded using only a mathematical algorithm.
From the desk of Bob
United Kingdom's Countertrade Deal With Saudi
Arabia Is Astounding!
A series of massive arms sales by the United Kingdom to
Saudi Arabia has been paid for by the delivery of up to
600,000 barrels of oil per day to the UK government.
Al Yamamah (The Dove) is the name given to the huge deal,
which has never been fully clarified, but has been described
as "the biggest United Kingdom sale of anything to anyone."
Al Yamamah prime contractor BAE systems revealed in 2005
that they, along with predecessor British Aerospace, had
earned £43 billion in twenty years from the contracts.
BBX Thinking Outside The Box
BBX, listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, announced a
record net profit after taxes of over $1 million in
September 2006. The company is one of the world's largest
trade exchanges and completed $146 million in trade
transactions for the 2006 financial (fiscal) year.
In the past three months BBX launched a "Win a
competition, valued at $65,000. Entrants answered in 1,500
words answers to four questions. (The winner could establish
the new franchise anywhere in Australia that didn't
compromise an existing one.)
Additionally the company expanded into two new ventures, BBX
Financial Advisors and BBX Money. Tim Creasy, CFO of BBX,
noted, "Offering financial planing advice is just one more
step in becoming a one-stop financial shop for our members."
Creasy elaborated, "With BBX Money, first-time home buyers
and property investors will have the opportunity to purchase
real estate with up to a 30% deposit, interest free. This
provides immediate equity, avoids high mortgage insurance,
and can be repaid in either cash or by the sale of inventory
on the BBX auction site."