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This Section Contains Commentary From Bob Meyer Which Has Appeared In Various Issues Of The Tuesday Barter Report.

 

From the desk of Bob Meyer.... 2007
 
December 18, 2007 Bartercard Trade Dollars Provide Assist For Children�s Centre
December 11, 2007 Trade Exchange Bartering Grows In Singapore
December 4, 2007 Southern California Second To Silicon Valley For Venture Capital
November 27, 2007 Europe Lifts Product Placement Restrictions
November 20, 2007 $2.1 Trillion Provided By Venture Capitalists
November 13, 2007 IMS�s Don Mardak Appears Weekly On Radio
November 6, 2007 NBC Sports Bartering With MSNBC.com
October 30, 2007 Former Barter Pro Now Excelling In Finance Business
October 23, 2007 IRS Reports Over $73 Billion In Like-Kind Exchanges
October 16, 2007 1031 Exchange Commissions
October 9, 2007 Barter Syndication Tops $3 Billion
October 2, 2007 Bartercard�s Annual International Sales Conference Honorees
September 25, 2007 InStyle Magazine, Celebrities Barter
September 18, 2007 MGM Mirage Barters For 50% Stake In New $1.2 Billion Las Vegas Casino
September 11, 2007 Teen Trades iPhone For New Car
September 4, 2007 Work + Genius = Formula For Today�s Wealth & Progress
August 28, 2007 Broadcast Barter Radio Networks Provides Syndicate Programming
August 21, 2007 BusinessWeek Lists IMS In Keiretsu Article
August 14, 2007 Advertising Industry Acknowledges Digital Format
July 31, 2007 BizXchange Recognized For Growth
July 24, 2007 Anheuser-Busch & Icelandic Glacial Complete Exchange
July 17, 2007 Giant News Organizations Barter Content
July 10, 2007 Currency Expert Tom Greco Speaks In China
July 3, 2007 ConocoPhillips Thinking Of Barter Strategy With Venezuela
June 26, 2007 Brands Matter
June 19, 2007 Reward Points Earned Through eBay
June 12, 2007 Clear Channel Expanding Globally
June 5, 2007 Electricity Becomes Barter Currency For Turkey & Iran Efforts
May 29, 2007 Meals For Additional Parking
May 22, 2007 ITEX Holds 25th National Convention
May 15, 2007 U.S. Economy Expected To Dampen Travel Demand
May 8, 2007 The Future�Look Eastward
May 1, 2007 E-Bay Has It All...
April 24, 2007 Foreclosures Shooting Upward...Yahoo Adds Them To Web Site
April 17, 2007 BizXchange Wins U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Award
April 10, 2007 "ITEX Jobs" Offers Real Value To Business Community
April 3, 2007 Lenovo Begins Olympic Push, Will Utilize Barter In Effort
March 27, 2007 Housing Woes Worries Cruise Lines
March 20, 2007 Kudos For Tiger Woods
March 13, 2007 Haddawy Authors Article On Barter For American Printer
March 6, 2007 Spa Overbuilding Looks Bullish For Barter
February 27, 2007 Luxury Home Prices Declining In California...With Some Exceptions!
February 20, 2007 Global Financial Assets Hit New High
February 13, 2007 Nordic Walking Manufacturer Barters With Instructors
February 06, 2007 Middle-Class Status Mushrooming
January 30, 2007 Hewlett-Packard Likely To Barter New Intellectual Property
January 23, 2007 New York City Taxi Cabs Offer TV
January 16, 2007 "Swap & Shop" Radio Show Celebrates 60 Years Broadcasting
January 09, 2007 Look For More Of These Organizations To Form
January 02, 2007 United Kingdom's Countertrade Deal With Saudi Arabia Is Astounding!
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From the desk of... 2007 From the desk of... 2006

From the desk of Bob Meyer...12/18/07

Bartercard Trade Dollars Provide Assist For Children�s Centre

Bartercard UK is one of the sponsors for a new centre for children with sensory and neurological conditions (difficulties that include autism, cerebral palsy and Down�s Syndrome). Bartercard members have already begun contributing trade dollars which has reduced the cash expenses for the Bibic Centre.

Americans Love Dining Out

� Americans spend an average of $390 billion a year in restaurants versus $364 at the grocery store.

� There are 303 million people in the U.S. and only 10% of the households have more than 5 people, versus 21% that did in 1970.

� The median, or mid-point, household income in 2005 was $48,200.00.

Travelers Checks Still Popular

We read so much about credit cards and the explosive growth of gift cards that we tend to overlook that travelers checks still hold a prominent role for the traveler. American Express alone sells $20 billion of these pre-paid travelers checks annually.

Because of the float on uncashed traveler�s checks, Amex earns interest on that $20 billion to the tune of millions. Talk about earning money on an financial instrument!

China Big Furniture Producer, Too

Toys, electronics, and now furniture. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, national consumption of office furniture from China has increased 34.3% this year over last year.

Builders Shed Land Inventory

Centex, the third largest homebuilder in the U.S., just wrote off $510 million worth of value on property it both owned and had options to buy. The company is also about to let another $450 million in land and options go up in smoke. Centex CEO Tim Eller explained, �We are navigating through one of the most challenging environments for the last 25 years.�

Bruce Karatz, head of KB Homes, says this is the worst he�s ever seen. And Lennar Corporation has sold 11,000 home sites in 32 communities (in eight states) for $525 million, less than the book value of $1.3 billion...thus eating the difference of $775 million.

Warren Buffett Still Likes Stock Market

Warren Buffett, appearing December 11 on CNBC cable-TV, said he was concerned about consumer spending and doesn�t expect Christmas sales to equal last year�s. He still likes the stock market though, and feels positive about it moving into the new year.

Mideast Oil Money Goes To Hollywood

Warner Bros. Entertainment has quietly struck a multi-billion strategic alliance with Abu Dhabi Media Co. It�s a new entity formed by the emirate to create feature films and video games, as well as to build an entertainment infrastructure in the region.

A New Twist In World Oil Supplies

The economies of many big oil-exporting countries are growing so fast that the need for energy within their borders will add new strains to the global oil market.

In some cases, the governments of these countries subsidize gasoline heavily for their citizens�selling it for as little as 7-cents a gallon, which fosters wasteful habits.

Indonesia has already made the flip. Within five years the same is expected for Mexico...the #2 source of foreign oil for the United States. Iran, the world�s fourth largest exporter, will soon follow.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...12/11/07

Trade Exchange Bartering Grows In Singapore

This year the BarterXchange brokerage saw its membership rise by 47% to 250 members. Transactions through the Singapore-based exchange topped $2.5 million, compared to $1.4 million last year.

Ozone Barter, another trade exchange located in Singapore, has a current customer user base of 300 members...more than triple last year�s count. Trade volume is approaching $1 million, up from $180,000 last year.

U.S. Mayors Concerned About Real Estate Recession

The U.S. Conference of Mayors issued a report on what they consider the worst U.S. housing recession in 16 years. They contend that property values will be driven down by $1.2 trillion next year and therefore will slash tax revenues by more than $6.6 billion. Many mayors expect the 2007/2008 real estate crisis will go down in the record books as the worst ever in U.S. history.

ITEX New England Trade Fair Slated

ITEX of New England will hold its Holiday Trade Fair on Sunday, December 16, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Location for the event is 707 Main Street, Monroe, CT.

For further information call (888) 294-6393.

McDonald�s Eyes Breakfast Crowd

McDonald�s Corp. wants all its 14,000 U.S. restaurants to open by 5 a.m., as Americans increasingly buy breakfast earlier. Presently, 75% or their stores open that early. The new goal is part of a broader plan to increase average-annual sales by $400,000 at each outlet, to an average of about $2.4 million per U.S. location by 2009.

Molokai Restaurant Owner True Trader

Kualapu�s Cookhouse on the Island of Molokai accepts cash or checks�but no credit cards. They also offer diners an option...one can barter directly with the restaurant, a meal for some time in the kitchen washing dishes.

Investment Fund Manager Sees Grim Outlook For Hedge Funds

Jeremy Grantham helped found GMO, an investment firm with $153 billion in clients� assets. He often takes a dim view of the markets, writing cautious commentary on economic bubbles, risky assets, and stock run-ups headed for a correction.

�Today�, Grantham says, �I have a feeling that I�m watching a very slow-motion train wreck.� He expects that in five years, at least one major bank will have failed and nearly half the hedge funds and a substantial percentage of today�s private-equity firms will cease to exist.

Plant Closure Provides Barter Site For Laid-Off Employees

When Cequent Towing Products closed a plant in Huntsville, Ontario, laying off 163 workers, it set-up an employment resource center to help those laid-off. The center includes a web site for assisting employees with job search support, writing resumes, and government applications such as Employment Insurance. The web site  (www.hiddenhitchsupport.com) also has a section where employees can barter for services.

Google Partners With States

Google is indexing information from state governments in its on-going quest to have the entire world indexed. Florida is the 6th state to partner with Google for its official web properties. As part of the deal, information is indexed from multiple state databases (like the Department of Environmental Protection), making it more easily available via web search.

The search giant has inked similar deals with Arizona, California, Michigan, Utah and Virginia.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...12/04/07

Southern California Second To Silicon Valley For Venture Capital

Southern California is starting to muscle out New England for second place as a magnet for venture capital. For two consecutive quarters it has topped New England. San Diego County is especially attractive to healthcare and biotechnology, and Los Angeles has an industry group different than anywhere else�information technology, media and entertainment.

Global Counterfeit Sales Reach $600 Billion Annually

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the International Anti-counterfeiting Coalition calculate that global counterfeit sales equal $600 billion to $650 billion a year.

Private Homes & Apartments Preferable For Some Travelers

If you�re spending most workdays on the road, and would prefer a private house or an apartment instead of a luxury hotel room (many do so they can entertain clients, especially if one�s hobby is cooking), there are two excellent and extensive web sites to check out. www.vrbo.com and www.homeaway.com.

Gift Cards Go Unused By Forgetful & Time-Strapped Consumers

Gift card sales have soared in recent years since shoppers see them as a quick and easy gift idea. Archstone Consulting expects sales of gift cards in the United States to jump 25% to $35 billion this holiday season.

But a survey released by the Consumer Reports National Research Center found that 27% of respondents who received gift cards for the holidays last year have not used them. Interestingly, this percentage is approximately the same for the use of scrip�a company�s currency in the barter marketplace.

U.S. Real Estate Bubble Information

A site full of statistics and commentary regarding the challenging real estate environment in the United States can be found at: http://paper-money.blogspot.com.

U.S. National Debt�s Interest Equals 9� Per Revenue Dollar

The national debt of the U.S. is $9.1 trillion. This year Americans will pay $235 billion of interest on that debt, which is 9� on every dollar of the approximately $2.5 trillion in government revenue taxes.

Consumer Debt Service Is Even Higher...14� Of Disposable Income

According to Fed statistics released in September, U.S. consumers are carrying a record $2.456 trillion in debt�NOT including mortgages. The flip side of consumers� record-high debt level is a pathetically meager personal savings rate.

The Commerce Department reports the personal savings rate, for all of last year, was a minus 1%...the worst showing since the Great Depression. The average family was spending 14.3% of disposable income just to service its debt load, according to the Center for American Progress.

Sovereign-Wealth Funds Projected To Top $12 Trillion

Sovereign-wealth funds, which are capital pools set up by governments to invest in foreign assets, are now worth between $2 trillion and $3 trillion, according to the International Monetary Fund. However, estimates from Morgan Stanley say they are set to top $12 trillion by 2015.

The Gulf States already boast the world�s biggest sovereign fund: the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), which is responsible for investing the Abu Dhabi government�s oil revenues. The fund holds more than $875 billion in assets. On November 26, 2007, ADIA invested $7.5 billion in Citigroup.

People In Poverty Can Become An Economic Powerhouse

Muhammad Yunus, 67, an American-trained economist from Bangladesh, won last year�s Nobel Peace Prize for his revolutionary approach to ending poverty. His concept of micro-loans (giving small sums to poor people to start businesses) is being adopted around the world.

Yunus says that half of the globe, approximately 3 billion people, subsist on $2 a day. By creating an income for them�through micro business loans� these people can become an economic powerhouse.

How so? Imagine if each of them bought one pair of shoes a year, or one shirt. You�d need 3 billion more shirts and shoes. More important than that, however, is the wasting of their talents and creative genius.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...11/27/07

Europe Lifts Product Placement Restrictions

Although product placements are banned in most European countries, they are legal on imported American TV shows. Thus, American broadcasters in Europe raked in $1.5 billion last year, in contrast to European broadcasters which earned just $31 million from product placement.

That is about to change. Last month the EU granted final approval to the AudioVisual Media Services Directive, which removes many restrictions on TV product placement. Member states will have two years to adopt the new rules. The law is expected to be a major boost for the European television industry.

Vendors At Seattle�s Pike Place Market Barter With One Another

Paul Vernano, owner of The Confectional at Seattle�s Pike Place Market, is the purveyor of creatively flavored full-size and mini cheesecakes. He says one of the great things about working in the market is that vendors will trade or at least have a �market discount� with neighbor vendors. (In various Southern California malls the same type of reciprocity takes place.)

Pizza Marketplace Growth Slowing

Pizza sales in the U.S. grew only 2.9% last year to $28.5 billion, according to Technomic, a restaurant-industry consultant based in Chicago. Pizza Hut had 18% of the market last year, while Domino�s had 11% and Papa John�s had 6.9%. In various markets across the U.S. the independent pizza store owners are using barter as a way to compete with the bigger pizza chains� ad budgets.

Hank Aaron Trading On Name & Reputation

Hall of Fame baseball superstar Hank Aaron has agreed to be a director with Sports Properties Acquisition Corp. The company to raise $450 million and operate a business in the sports leisure or entertainment industries.

Aaron, one of five directors, will receive 72,000 shares (around 2% of the company) for his participation in the new venture. He is not investing any of his own money in the firm.

Mega-Yachts Growing In Size

Showboats International reports that the number of yachts being built around the world has hit another record. There are now 916 yachts on order that are longer than 80-feet, with 33% of them longer than 120-feet. Industry experts say the biggest spenders are Russians, followed by Saudis, Europeans and Americans.

Social Security Taxes Going Up

The maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security tax will rise to $102,000, from $97,500 for 2007. Of the estimated 164 million workers paying Social Security tax next year, nearly 12 million (7%) will pay more as a result of the higher taxable maximum.

Between 50 & 100-Million People Joining World Economy Yearly

News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch is planning to expand the company�s recent acquisition�The Wall Street Journal�into developing markets such as India and China. Murdoch estimates upwards of 100 million people a year are joining the world economy...many of them from Asia. He anticipates that they�re going to need up-to-the-minute information about everything happening in their industry, anywhere in the world.

Murdoch is expected to make the Journal�s online edition free, so it can contribute to the development of the growing world economy. He told shareholders that providing free information will see 10 to 15 million people in every corner of the world reading the online edition, rather than the current one-million paid subscribers.

Title Insurance Industry Questioned In California

The $2.6 billion title industry in California has taken a lot of flack, with state regulators and consumer advocates alike pushing hard for regulation. The title industry is countering some of the criticism by unveiling a web site, www.clta.titlewizard.com, that for the first time allows consumers to see what the major title insurers charge for their policies.

By typing in a zip code or city name, Californians in need of title insurance can comparison shop...without having to register or pay a fee.

Wal-Mart�s Incredible Growth

Since Wal-Mart�s initial public offering back in 1970, their stock has multiplied 5,640 times...turning an investment of $10,000 into $56,400,000!

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...11/20/07

$2.1 Trillion Provided By Venture Capitalists

The annual revenues of companies that started or got a boost from venture capital over the past 35 years totaled $2.1 trillion, according to the Venture Capital Association. These companies employ 10 million people, 9% of the private-sector workforce.

Web Site For Borrowers

A site that enables people to borrow from one another, www.neighborrow.com, has an additional feature...one where the user can barter stuff and earn �neighborrow-bucks� currency.

Brad Pitts & Angelina Jolie Eyeing Wine Business

The latest celebrities interested in this romantic business are Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, who are looking at a winery in Southern France.

Other famous people who have done so are Sofia Coppola, Sting, Olivia Newton John, Ernie Els, Lleyton Hewitt, Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, and Madonna.

We�ve also reported on Joe Montana�s trading celebrity status for entrance into the wine business. (Click here.)

Alibaba Links Manufacturers With Buyers 

Alibaba.com�s recent IPO was a huge success, it was heralded as the biggest Initial Public Offering since Google. What is Alibaba all about? The company links small to mid-size manufacturers with overseas buyers, making it a popular place with eBay sellers who buy wholesale goods direct from manufacturers. The $1.5 billion raised in the IPO will be used to expand into Taiwan, Hong Kong, India, and Japan.

Interested In Having Your Own Interactive TV Station?

WiFi TV has launched a newly designed social TV web site, according to Tim Roland, National Sales Manager. �We are making it affordable for any business to have their own interactive TV station with as little or as much initial content as they want,� he explained. �If they have a webcam or a video camera, they are ready to introduce a larger audience to their products or services.�

For more information go to www.wi-fitv.com.

DVD For Inventors

Inventors and entrepreneurs struggling to bring new inventions to market now can access a new invention-marketing training DVD titled, �How To Successfully Market Your Product Idea.�

For more information see www.product-coach.com.

Everything You Wanted To Know About Auctions

Powering the auction industry is www.AuctionServices.com. It hosts 400 individual auctioneer domains, listing auctions by state and by category, in an auction industry forum. Additionally, they have articles on auctions to further your education in this growing industry.

International School Of Hospitality

The hospitality industry is a $100 billion a-year industry, worldwide. The International School Of Hospitality (TISOH) trains individuals for careers in hospitality and related industries. Its scope of training covers hotels, restaurants or clubs, cruise ships, tourist bureaus, convention centers or any of dozens of other operations.

For more information www.tisoh.com.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...11/13/07

IMS�s Don Mardak Appears Weekly On Radio

Don Mardak, CEO of International Monetary Systems (OTCBB:INML), is appearing weekly in live and taped interviews on �Steve Crowley�s American Scene� syndicated radio show. Two or three of these interviews usually run each week; several were broadcast live from the Money Show held in San Francisco this past August.

Steve Crowley is the former financial expert from �Good Morning, America.� On his current show he often has guests such as Steve Forbes, Joe Battipaglia, Tobin Smith, and other financial gurus. There are three million listeners per day on broadcast radio through Business Talk Radio affiliates, plus a huge audience on the Internet worldwide.

All programs are archived for two weeks at www.businesstalkradio.net...the business shows on the Talk Radio Network are offered on a barter basis.

�American Scene Radio� is at www.moneychannel.tv/scas.php.

IBM Unveils New Program Encompassing Barter Feature

IBM has unveiled a program that will give users of its System-2 main frames and System-P servers access to third-party certification. This certification can be used to get energy credits from either their state government or other trading partners.

The program involves Neuwing Energy Ventures, a financial services firm involved in the emerging business of energy efficiency certification. Neuwing will take 25% of payment in barter, i.e., Energy Efficiency Certificates (EECs) as its compensation.

Kayak.com Partnering With LateRooms To Offer More Hotel Deals

More deals on hotels are coming as www.LateRooms.com is working with www.Kayak.com, wherein Kayak users will have access to real time rates and availabilities from LateRooms� inventory.

LateRooms.com has a database offering 500,000 bargains across the U.K. and Europe. The company acts as a clearing house for unsold hotel rooms, and its range of accommodations is huge�over 15,000 properties from luxury 5-star hotels down to guesthouses, apartments, and B&Bs.

Facebook�s Incredible Deal With Microsoft

Microsoft�s $240 million investment in the social-networking web site Facebook values Facebook at $15 billion, or 500 times its estimated 2007 earnings of $30 million. To put such an evaluation in perspective, if you used the same evaluation on General Electric, for example, GE would have a market cap of $11 trillion...which is just $3 trillion short of the annual U.S. gross domestic product.

Travel Costs Will Rise According To Global Business Forecast

The American Express 2008 Global Business Travel Forecast says international business-class fares will jump 5% to 10%, and hotel rates 4% to 7% (5% to 8% on higher-end hotels). Three factors will create the rate increases - strong demand, tight capacity, and oil costs.

India�s Utility Eyes Coal In Power-Plant Barter Deal

India�s state-owned generation utility NTPC and Indonesian coal-miner PTBA are actively engaged in structuring a very large barter deal. The full significance is yet to be determined, but NTPC will take equity in the Indonesian firm�s coal acreage, in return for helping them set up a power plant in Indonesia.

Carson City Bartering Acreage To Secure Open Spaces

Carson City (NV) located in Douglas County, is intent on creating views and open spaces for its citizens. They will do so by securing rights on pasture lands, obtaining needed land in Douglas County by exchanging 1,722 acres the city currently owns.

Vietnam, North Korea Looking To Barter

The countries of Vietnam and North Korea have agreed to broaden cooperative ties, including the potential establishment of trading or investment joint ventures (JV), and the facilitation of countertrade.

Growing...Growing...Growing!

In October 2007, a Netcraft.com web-server survey identified nearly 143 million web sites, adding up to untold billions of web pages.

Flexible Staffing Use Is Swelling Worldwide Among Employers

Australia-based Hays is the world�s seventh largest recruitment-consultancy with 120 branches in 38 locations throughout Australia, New Zealand, and South East Asia.

They report the number of employers utilizing flexible staffing approaches (temporary or contract workers, part-time staff, casual staff and job sharing) has risen from 65% in 2004 to 80% in 2007.

For more information go to www.hays.com.au.

Gazprom, Ukraine Reach Barter Deal For $2 Billion Debt

Russian gas monopoly OAO Gazprom has reached an agreement on settling Ukraine�s $2 billion debt for gas supplies. Ukraine is repaying the debt by transferring gas from underground storage facilities in Ukraine to Gazprom for further export.

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

NBC Sports Bartering With MSNBC.com

Looking to build a bigger digital footprint, NBC Sports put on its barter hat and cut a deal with MSNBC.com. In a multi-year barter deal NBCSports.com will provide MSNBC.com a sports news arm and will trade content with NBCSports�which figures to add millions of sport site surfers on the eve of the Super Bowl and the 2008 Summer Olympics in China..

The two companies will pool advertising and sponsorship sales efforts as part of the new relationship.

Best Graduate-School For Entrepreneurship Located In Southern California

The University of Southern California (USC) may have lost their No. 1 position in football, but in entrepreneurship it�s another story. Both the Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine, rated USC the best graduate program in the nation for entrepreneurs.

Over 900 colleges and universities completed surveys for this year�s ranking, up 30% over last year, which reflects the growing number of schools that teach entrepreneurial courses nationwide. The rankings are based on a survey of mentoring, experiential learning, curriculum, alumni successes, and career prospects for students.

According to David Bloom, associate dean at the USC Marshall School of Business, what makes them different is that their  entrepreneurs go out and start amazing businesses...both MySpace.com and SalesForce.com were developed from feasibility studies in USC classrooms.

Fall Conference Scheduled For USOBA

The United States Organizations for Bankruptcy Alternatives (USOBA) will hold its 2007 Fall Conference at Bally's Hotel in Las Vegas (NV) on November 12 and 13. USOBA (http://www.usoba.org) announces that Thomas Dakich, a mergers and acquisitions expert, will be speaking at the conference.

Subprime Meltdown Damage Predicted To Reach $4 Trillion!

Investment guru Peter Cohen estimates the subprime mortgage damage will likely total upwards between $2 trillion and $4 trillion. Basically, that�s because of the foreclosures on bad loans throwing more houses on the market. In order for the houses to sell�given the present lower demand�their sales prices must drop.

Assuming a housing value decline of 15% to 20% on the current $21 trillion valuation, Cohen�s prediction would be right on target.

Helpful Information For Small Business Owners

A blog by the Chicago law firm Chuhak & Tecson has informative and helpful articles for the small business owner. The blog aims to provide greater understanding toward preserving one�s business and for personal visions.

For further information see www.moneylawviews.com.

Vacant Homes In U.S. Hit New High

The Census Department reports that the number of vacant homes for sale rose 2.7% this year in the third quarter, which translates into 2.1 million homes. The number hasn�t risen above 2% since the government began keeping such records in 1965.

The China & Africa Connection

The largest bank in Africa, South Africa�s Standard Bank, sold a 20% stake to China�s Industrial & Commercial Bank last month for $5.6 billion...emphasizing the growing inter-connectiveness of the world.

China�s trade with Africa totaled $55 billion in 2006, and it is growing 40% annually because the Asian titan has an inexhaustible need for African minerals. To African countries, China represents not only a source of low-cost consumer goods, but also a provider of cheap loans and expertise. Chinese investment in Africa is also expected to ratchet up quickly from its moderate level of $10 billion in 2006.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...10/30/07

Former Barter Pro Now Excelling In Finance Business

David Johnstone, past president of the International Reciprocal Trade Association (IRTA) and former executive with Bartercard in Australia, is now the General Manager of a fast-growing finance company in Southport, Queensland.

After leaving Bartercard approximately twelve months ago, he became involved with PR Finance Group which has seen revenues grow from $40 million to $120 million in the past 18 months. Although the new endeavor is a lot of work and very exciting, Johnstone says he does miss interacting with the many fine entrepreneurs he met in the commercial barter industry from around the world.

Golfers....Barter Your Used Clubs

Callaway Golf is looking to barter with you. To do a trade-in and a trade-up for your used golf clubs such as drivers, woods and hybrids, iron sets, wedges, putters, and accessories go to www.callawaygolfpreowned.com.  

If you are looking for great prices on used golf clubs, golf accessories and apparel, check out www.westcoastgolfonline.com.

An Amazing $3.2 TRILLION Of International Currencies Traded DAILY

According to the Bank of International Settlements Triennial Survey of 2007, the average daily global turnover of the foreign exchange market is $3.2 trillion.

ITEX Member Generous

The Friends in Business Network, which accepts ITEX for membership, has donated 7,000 pounds of food to the North County Foodbank (www.northcountyfoodbank.org) during the past year ending October 23.

New B2B Web Site Is Launched

If your business has surplus assets, you may want to check out a new web site that has been launched in England where you can advertise surplus stock. It�s similar to eBay without the auction side.

For more information see www.writebuy.com.

USA World�s Largest Food Donor

Chuck Connor, Secretary of Agriculture, reports that the world�s neediest people remains the cornerstone of America�s food-aid policy. It continues to be the largest single donor to international food-aid programs, providing 55% of the world�s total over the last ten years.

Entertainer�s First Efforts Covered Via Barter

Teresa Brewer, who died recently at 76, made her public debut singing �Take Me Out to the Ball Game� on a children�s radio program in Toledo. She was paid in cupcakes and cookies from the show�s sponsor!

E-tailer Buy.com Uses Internet Show For Promoting Buy.tv

Aliso Viejo-based (CA) e-tailer Buy.com is launching a weekly half-hour educational and entertainment show for Orange County viewers, to initially promote Buy.tv...with plans to go nationwide by the end of next year.

The Buy.com show is similar to the company�s online TV program, which was launched on its web site in May 2006.

A Quick Look At The National Retail Federation

The National Retail Federation is the world�s largest retail trade group, representing an industry with more than 1.4 million retail establishments nationwide. More than 23 million employees, about one in five American workers, are represented. Sales for 2006 among the member establishments totaled $4.7 trillion.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...10/23/07

IRS Reports Over $73 Billion In Like-Kind Exchanges

According to the IRS, 338,500 tax-deferred �1031 exchanges� took place in 2004, the most recent reporting period statistics. The use of these exchanges has surged as investors (primarily real estate) have searched for legitimate ways to postpone taxes on big gains.

Like-kind exchanges in 2004 deferred more than $73.6 billion, which was double the previous reporting period.

4,000 Advertising Messages Daily

According to Gordon Hotchkiss, president of the marketing firm Enquiro, the average urban dweller is exposed to between 3,000 and 5,000 advertising messages every day. Settling on a middle number, that means that each waking hour you are presented with an ad every 14.4 seconds. (The frequency of this ad barrage has doubled in the past 30 years.)

Teresa Barrett Memorial Scholarship Fund Established

Spud Barrett Jr., founder of the Barrett Exchange National Marketing Session, has established the Teresa Barrett Memorial Scholarship Fund for worthy artists. His wife Teresa was a professional artist and a member of the Florida Tropical Weavers Guild.

At his next scheduled �Marketing Session,� scheduled November 12 - 13 in Las Vegas, Barrett has announced that any donation to the newly established fund will be accepted as one�s admission fee.

For more information on this unique trading place that uses exchange auction boards, call Spud Barrett (813) 996-5411.

New Web Site For Black Professionals

The Black Socialites launched a barter (trade) exchange on October 10, 2007 for black professional women, as well as black business leaders and college students.

For more information see www.richblackgirls.com.

Best Performing Hotel Searches On The �Net

A new survey of global users by 4Hoteliers.com (www.4hoteliers.com), found that meta-search engine www.hotelscombined.com delivered the best results when it came to available hotels�its service far out-performs other travel search aggregators.

New Online Advertising Auction Marketplace

An auction marketplace named www.AdBidCentral.com has recently been established to help advertisers and publishers buy & sell online ad space both in real time and in the future.

AdBidCentral�s marketplace purports to be fully transparent. Its platform handles everything from booking to transacting and reporting in one central location.

Association Of National Advertisers Breaks Attendance Record

The ANA�s recent convention, held in Phoenix, saw attendance at the conference jump 25% this year...with 1,200 attendees at the annual meeting which focused on digital marketing to the consumer. It was sold out for the first time in the organization�s 97-year history.

California Realtors Jumping Ship

The California Association of Realtors closed their annual convention in mid-October with a sobering message: it�s time to reevaluate, given the dire condition of the real estate market.

Reinforcing the angst in the state�s real estate picture was the projection by the trade group that 40% of the 500,000 licensed real estate agents in California will probably let their licenses lapse when they come up for renewal.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...10/16/07

1031 Exchange Commissions

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are working to finalize an exemption which may allow real estate brokers/agents to be compensated in the form of an advisory fee for referring clients to registered representatives who offer tenant-in-common (TIC) investments.

For additional information click here. http://www.weltonstreet.com.

Karen Hoffman Recognized With International Award

Karen Hoffman, former IRTA Executive Director (1998-1999), recently received the International Business Matching Award from eWomen Network at their international conference. As the co-founder of the St. Louis-based �City of Experts� organization, Hoffman regularly speaks on the subject of making strategic business connections.

Cities Make Barter Offers To Promote Art

Many cities across the U.S. have embraced a �Percent for Art� movement. Typically, cities ask or require companies to allocate 1% of their construction budget to buying or prominently displaying art, often in exchange for tax cuts or use of public lands. (City committees approve the potential purchases, while the owners are responsible for maintaining the art.)

Frequent Flyer Miles  � Marketing Tool For Realtors

United Airlines has a marketing program for realtors called �Easy Miles.� It�s where the purchase of frequent flyer miles for 3-cents per mile can be used an incentives. The customer/purchaser account is credited with the miles after the transaction closes and the realtor has been paid.

For more information see: http://www.myeasymiles.net

Barter Industry Smart About Acquisitions

Large ambitious acquisitions done outside of one�s industry are typically labeled �story deals,� but prove to be the worst performers when talking about acquisition value. But, as the barter industry knows well, the best deals are ones directly in the acquirer�s industry and that are largely based around cutting costs.

�Barter Member� Value Versus Hot Social-Networking Organizations

The value of a member belonging to a trade exchange is around $1,000, as recent sales indicate. It is interesting to note the value of other individuals in the social-networking world...$200 per Facebook user, $70 for a YouTube individual, and $50 that eBay paid for each of the Skype users.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...10/09/07

Barter Syndication Tops $3 Billion

Veronis Suhler Stevenson projects barter syndication for TV shows to ring up $3.19 billion in 2008, a 4.7% increase over this year�s estimated $3.05 billion.

Perot Moves Magna Carta

Texas billionaire (and barterer extraordinaire) Ross Perot acquired the famed Magna Carta document that laid the foundation for fundamental principles of English law in 1984, for $1.5 million.

Sotheby�s will subsequently auction off the document, which was signed by King John of England in 1215, and expects to bring Perot $20 million to $30 million. Perot owns the only private copy in existence. (The British government and some educational institutions in England own copies as well.)

Quote of the week:

�Even if you are on the right track, you�ll get run over if you just sit there.�

�Will Rogers

Major Retail Chains Aim To Increase Gift Card Sales

Archstone Consulting�s new study predicts sales of holiday gift cards will jump 25%, to a record $35 billion this year, as retailers become more savvy at marketing them (outside their own stores, at supermarkets and drug stores, for example) to time-strapped shoppers.

This year�s projected increase would follow last year�s record-breaking gain, when gift card sales surged 55% to $28 billion, according to the National Retail Federation.

Their popularity with the retailers revolves around the several benefits:

  Gift cards take up little floor space, yet can generate big sales.

  Plus shoplifting is less of a problem, because cards aren�t activated until purchased.

  Cultural acceptance has grown dramatically over the last three years.

The future of gift cards is the growing popularity of those issued by banks, because they can be redeemed anywhere.

Hide The Plastic...Consumer Debt Continues To Grow

U.S. consumers are carrying a record $2,456 trillion in debt (not including mortgages). And the amount of revolving credit, such as for credit cards, is growing at 6% annually. Now, with the recent lower interest rates (from the Fed cut), it�s possible the debt could grow even more.

Americans carry 1.2 billion credit cards and more than 44 million households carry balances on those cards of almost $2,500 trillion, that averages $8,025 month-to-month.

If you want to get off the credit card treadmill you will want to read this article. (Click here.)

http://www.barternewsblog.com/2007/09/19/use-barter-to-get-your-companys-debts-under-control/

Beer For Diesel Fuel

Delta Beverages of Harare, Zimbabwe, an operator of 14 breweries and a supplier to 9,500 retailers countrywide, has entered into a barter deal with a South African company. They will be bartering beer for an estimated 800,000 litres of diesel fuel. (Delta requires one million litres a month of diesel for its far-flung operations.)

Americans Want To Give Illegals A Chance

A recent June Pew Research Center poll found that 59% of Americans want to give illegal immigrants a chance to become citizens. There are 44 million Hispanics in America and one-quarter of them aren�t citizens. (Hispanics are the fastest-growing minority group in America, at 14% of the population.)

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...10/02/07

Bartercard�s Annual International Sales Conference Honorees

Kevin Dienhoff was honored for achieving 1,000 new member sign-ups (sales) over his illustrious career with Bartercard.

Vanessa Hawkins was presented with a prestigious award for breaking the Bartercard world sales record�47 sign-ups in one month.

For more information on Bartercard see top of page for �Site Sponsors� click through.

Matthew Moots Of Overland Park...85-Years-Old And Going Strong

Fired up at age 85, ITEX�s Matthew Moots is one of the �seniors� in the commercial barter industry. Not only has he been involved in formal trading (commercial barter) for 45 years, he�s made a living as a motivational speaker as well.

Moots, who grew up in Kirksville (MO), saw his dad butcher hogs and cattle, which were then traded with the local butcher and townspeople. This instilled in Moots the belief that trade could provide virtually anything a person needs.

Moots has a loyal base of clients in Overland Park (KS), which he cherishes. Many have become very good friends in addition to their business relationship...just the way it should be.

For more information go to http://401280.itex.com.

Google To Woo Ad Agencies

Google�s newly launched Creative Lab, hired former Ogilvy & Mather co-president Andy Berndt to help market products in a better way. He will also facilitate working with ad agencies in a way that is not competitive with them.

The company�s early strategy is to create industry vertical-specialist teams and develop intimate relationships with marketers at the CEO, CMO and CFO levels. Thus ensuring their participation at meetings when ad budgets are developed.

Google Now Provides Tools For Newspaper Ads

Google now is also offering tools to produce print ads that will help advertisers create newspaper ads. The free system lets advertisers enter information about their product or service, upload an image into an ad template, and send the ad to a network of 450 newspapers.

It�s another step onto Madison Avenue territory. Some agencies, indeed, are beginning to worry that Google intends to perform the creative task of designing ads too, after already expanding its ad-brokering services into traditional media (print, TV and radio).

Quote of the week:

�The best thing you can do is take the right decision. The second best thing is to take the wrong decision. The worst thing is not to do anything.�

�Franklin Roosevelt

Correction On IRTA Awards

It was brought to our attention that there was an oversight in our report on the International Reciprocal Trade Association�s awards.

Additional brokers who registered and passed the Certified Trade Broker program were Doug Fent and Renee Clevenger of NuBarter in Savannah (GA).

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...09/25/07

InStyle Magazine, Celebrities Barter

Not many readers know it but InStyle magazine often bartered with celebrities (to allow them into their homes), providing the celebrities with designer furniture and in some cases even home makeovers. InStyle would acquire the designer furniture from various furniture manufacturers who advertised in the magazine.

IRTA Unveils �How To Profit From Using Your Excess Capacity� Video

The International Reciprocal Trade Association introduced its new video to the attendees at its recent convention in Savannah (GA), September 9-11. The video is a generic professional presentation that can be used in a variety of ways.

This DVD was distributed to select IRTA members at the convention as a beta-test project to use in the marketplace, and then submit results and suggestions for final editing. The process should make the DVD available for general release within the next 60 days.

For more information see http://www.barternewsblog.com/2007/09/18/irta-barter-video-shows-how-to-profit-by-using-your-excess-capacity/

College Coach-Of-The-Year Benefits From Barter Arrangement

Rutgers College football coach Greg Schiano uses a helicopter in his busy and ambitious recruiting efforts, when viewing the local high school football players in New Jersey. The recruiting tool is courtesy of Liberty Helicopters, a Linden-based charter service, which barters the service for advertising.

Rutger�s athletics trades advertising with signage inside Rutgers Stadium for Liberty Helicopters, and promotional spots on coach Schiano�s radio show. (Greg Schiano was the 2006 consensus national college football coach of the year.)

ITEX Generates $14 Million Cash Fees

Steven White, CEO of ITEX (www.itex.com), the largest commercial barter company in the U.S., has processed more than $300 million in trade transactions over the past twelve months. With 1,000 (on average) transactions processed daily through 24,000 member businesses in the ITEX trading community, the company has earned $14 million in cash fees.

U.S. Ad Spending In Decline

For the first time since 2001, U.S. advertising spending has fallen for two consecutive quarters. For the first half of 2007, total spending was $72.6 billion. TV spending fell 2.4% to $31.6 billion, newspaper spending fell 5.8% to $12.9 billion, and radio fell 2.7% to $5.1 billion. Conversely, display ad spending on the Internet rose 17.2% to $5.52 billion.

Harvard Professor Views Barter As Valuable Assist For Underdeveloped Countries

Michael Kremer, a Harvard economics professor, and Tom Wilkening, a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, believe the governments of poor countries could arrange a very beneficial barter arrangement with more affluent countries and museums around the world.

Here is how it would work: Wealthy countries would foot the bill for excavating, protecting, and preserving underdeveloped countries� antiquities, in exchange for having the use of the local treasures for several decades.

The local treasures would then be leased by the poor country�s government to museums in the wealthy country, providing them with the rights to display the cultural artifacts on the condition that they return them after the contract expires.

The revenue generated from the lease could be spent by the poor country on pressing social needs, all the while keeping a legal grip on their antiquities...valuable treasures that were excavated and preserved at no cost to the poor country.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...09/18/07

MGM Mirage Barters For 50% Stake In New $1.2 Billion Las Vegas Casino

The MGM Mirage is trading 40 acres of a 78-acre parcel of land that it owns (valued at $20 million an acre) for a 50% stake in a new Las Vegas casino that will be developed by Kerzner International Holdings and Dubai World, a holding company for the Persian Gulf state of Dubai. The latter two organizations will each own a 25% share in the casino, which will be located in the north end of the Las Vegas strip not far from the CircusCircus.

Jeffrey Kaliel, Son of ITEX Superstar Salesman Art Kaliel, Married

In past issues we noted the outstanding success of the San Diego ITEX office and their top-producing salesman Art Kaliel. This past week his 29-year-old son Jeffrey married Debra Cook in New Brunswick, Canada.

Jeffrey is a lawyer with the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, DC. He served in Iraq in 2003 as an Army staff sergeant. A graduate of Amherst, he has a law degree from Yale.

The bride, 29, is a presidential management fellow and project manager for the President�s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief at the United States Agency for International Development in Washington. She graduated from Amherst and received a master�s degree in public health from Harvard. She served with the Peace Corps in Paraguay from 2001 to 2003.

Millions Of U.S. Entrepreneurs Work From Home

The U.S. Small Business Administration�s Office Of Advocacy reports that more than half of the nation�s 26.8 million small businesses are based at home.

Advertising Pays

Procter & Gamble is spending $7.9 billion, or 9.9% of the company�s $76.5 billion annual sales this year for marketing, according to research by Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.

In-Store Marketing Institute
Reports . . .

Marketers are expected to spend $20.4 billion on in-store and point-of-purchase advertising in 2007, reports Veronis Suhler Stevenson, a New York private equity firm specializing in the media industry.

Quote Of The Week:

�A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug.�

�Patricia Neal.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...09/11/07

Teen Trades iPhone For New Car

A 17-year-old hacker, George Hotz, who managed to unlock the iPhone so that it could be used with cellular networks other than AT&T has traded his reworked gadget for a Nissan 350Z and three 8GB iPhones. 

Hotz made the barter deal with Terry Daidone, co-founder of CertiCell, who also hired Hotz as a paid consultant.

Citigroup�s Real Estate Portfolio Massive

Does the average person have any idea of the magnitude (of wealth)  the world�s corporate goliaths possess?  Here�s a mind-numbing figure to get your mind around: Citigroup, a banking giant, has a global real estate portfolio which totals 92-million square-feet!

Homeless Centers In Oregon Accept Barter Services From Poor

The Sisters of The Road, a non-profit organization, have expanded their homeless center in Portland. The organization runs a caf� and provides mail and other services for the poor and homeless who pay for the food and other products with cash, food stamps, or barter.

Mergers & Acquisitions Will Set 2007 Record Worldwide

More than $3.57 trillion in M&A deals this year will mean an all-time record, according to Bloomberg News. International buyers are spending more on takeovers in 2007 than ever before, and the pace of foreign purchases ultimately might match the volume of domestic deals.

Bankers specializing in mergers and acquisitions will earn approximately $11 billion in fees.

12 Million People Took Cruises ...U.S. Passengers 78% Of Total

Cruise lines and their passengers spent $17.6 billion in the U.S. in 2006, with New York and Hawaii among the fastest-growing embarkation points for cruise travelers. Demand has slowed in the key Caribbean market, but the industry has seen potential for growth in Europe and Asia. While U.S. passengers play a dominant role in the industry�s travelers, only 17% of Americans have taken a cruise.

Corporate Jet Use Is In Dramatic Expansion

In 1970, turbine-powered planes such as corporate jets numbered 1,833. By 2006, that number had jumped to 18,058. And the FAA predicts another 10,000 additional corporate jets will begin flying in the next ten years.

On another note, commercial airlines ranked below the IRS in the University of Michigan�s most recent survey of American customer satisfaction.

Small Business Isn�t Small When It Comes To Statistics

According to Larry Kudlow, host of CNBC�s (cable TV) �Kudlow & Company,� small business in America makes up 50% of our country�s GNP and is responsible for 99% of the jobs in the private sector.

Hotel Rooms In Manhattan Up 40% Over Three Years

According to Smith Travel Research, the average room in Manhattan (NYC) has seen a big jump in prices�some 40% higher than just three years ago. The higher rates are a result of foreign visitors drawn to New York by the weak U.S. dollar. In addition, the supply of rooms has declined due to converting rooms to condominiums or other uses.

The occupancy ran 80% for the first four months this year and the average room rate was $231, far out-distancing Miami at $192 and Honolulu at $166.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...09/04/07

Work + Genius = Formula For Today�s Wealth & Progress

Labor Day in the U.S. was yesterday...when we honor the sweat and toil of our productive work force. But given that we are now living in the �information age,� in which knowledge and education are very necessary and important keys to success, maybe it�s also time we acknowledge and honor the genius of man.

For it�s the power of man�s mind to reason, invent, and create that has enabled the incredible progress and burgeoning wealth that we enjoy today.

Caribbean Tourism Is Dropping As Competition Heats Up

Overnight stays in the Caribbean is declining, last year down 2.3%, to 18.4 million, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization. The tourism industry is critical to the Caribbean, making up 16% of its overall economic activity, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council. (On smaller islands such as St. Lucia, tourism can account for as much as 50% of the economy.)

The fallout in travel to the Caribbean reflects growing competition from other areas around the world, including Asia and Central America, which are building beachfront resorts at a furious pace, posing a long-term competitive threat to the region.

The Bush administration has temporarily eased passport requirements for Americans traveling to the Caribbean. Travel accommodations to the Caribbean are available within the barter industry.

Mortgage Bankers Fault �Flippers� For Default Rise

Mortgages on properties that aren�t occupied by the owner � mostly investment homes � account for between 21% and 32% of the defaults on prime-quality home loans in Arizona, California, Florida and Nevada.

The four states were among the favorites of speculators during the housing boom. When the market was hot, many speculators bought homes hoping to flip them for a quick profit. Now that home prices have shown a turndown, that strategy is backfiring...with many investors simply walking away from their mortgages.

Economists at Goldman Sachs predict that home prices nationwide will fall an average of 7% both this year and next. (The forecast is based on the S&P/Case-Shiller national home-price index, considered the best such gauge by some housing economists.)

Private Currency Introduced In Hawaii

Bernard Von Nothaus, who launched the Liberty Dollar in the U.S. (1988) is behind a new currency being introduced in Hawaii. Called the Hawaii �Dala,� it will be backed by silver and each �Dala� is stamped with its face value and the amount of silver backing it.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...08/28/07

Broadcast Barter Radio Networks Provides Syndicate Programming

Broadcast Barter Radio Networks (www.broadcastbarter.com) was launched in 2004 by co-founders Matt Dubiel and Mike Noonen, veterans of the media game. Located in Westmont (IL), they create, produce and syndicate/barter radio programming.

Lack Of Strong Legal Identity Detrimental

About half the world�s population works in shadow economies. These people generally lack birth certificates, legal addresses, or deeds to their shacks and market stalls. In the underground economy, would-be entrepreneurs often face a tangle of bureaucratic requirements and high fees that discourage them from seeking legal status.

As a result, these small-scale business owners cannot obtain legal loans, enforce contracts or develop their businesses beyond a narrow sphere. Without a strong legal identity, the world�s poor stand only a slim chance of improving their lot, reports the United Nations commission on poverty.

Challenging Times In The Real Estate Marketplace

Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., report that since the start of the year more than 400,000 workers have lost their jobs at mortgage lending institutions.

At the same time U.S. banks and thrifts suffered the biggest increase in late loan payments in 17 years, as more homeowners fell behind on mortgages in June, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Big Increase In Blinks And Adlets

Clear Channel Communications says that miniature radio ads, spanning just a few seconds in length, are a hit in Hollywood.

(Homer Simpson�s unmistakable �Duh!� or �Woo-hoo� followed by the familiar tagline �Tonight On Fox!� for example, has been a popular two-second ad�known as a blink�for Fox Broadcasting.)

The blinks and adlets are slipped in between songs. Clear Channel launched the shorter ads in face of a slowing radio ad market. 

Windjammer Barefoot Cruises Having Tough Times

The Windjammer Cruises were built on barter...as owner Captain Mike Burke traded space on his ships for impressive 4-color ads in some of the most prestigious magazines in the late �70s and mid �80s.

The cruise line is in the process of being purchased from a family trust by an investment company�TAG Virgin Islands. Meanwhile labor disputes (reportedly the crews haven�t been paid for months) with crew members have docked two of the four ships owned by the company, stranding some passengers in Costa Rica and Aruba.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...08/21/07

BusinessWeek Lists IMS In Keiretsu Article

The word keiretsu describes a mutually supportive business relationship, typically between a group of corporations with broad power and reach or between manufacturers, suppliers, and investors. The term was used extensively in Japan after World War II, when strong banks invested in specific companies and encouraged them to supply discounted products and services to each other to promote mutual success.

As mentioned in the article, International Monetary Systems is a barter association which promotes buying and selling within its network as one of the benefits of bartering�using trade dollars rather than cash to purchase goods and services from other group members.

Other keiretsu supportive relationships include venture capital groups, cooperative business associations, and local networking groups.

Metro Networks Creator Selling California Ranch

David I. Saperstein, founder of traffic-and-news reports provider Metro Networks, is asking $75 million for his 125-acre equestrian estate located in Simi Valley, some 40 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

In the Tuesday Report of April 24, 2007, we reported that Saperstein�s wife Suzanne was awarded the couple�s $125 million Los Angeles mansion (45,000 sq. ft.) in a divorce settlement.

In 1999 Saperstein sold his company to Westwood One for $900 million in stock. Saperstein�s bartering of his media in Houston was legendary. As he expanded nationwide he acquired time from stations (in exchange for traffic reports) which he then bundled/syndicated and moved to national advertisers.

Wade Cook Sentenced To Seven Years

A U.S. District judge sentenced former investment guru, author and speaker, Wade Cook to more than seven years in prison, and ordered Cook to pay $3.75 million in back taxes on $9.5 million of under-reported income. (His wife Laura, who kept the books and admitted she created documents in an effort to evade taxes, received 18 months in prison.)

Cook, a former cab driver, wrote three get-rich books: Wall Street Money Machine, Wealth 101, and Business by the Bible. He shut his operations down in February 2003, a month after his publicly-traded company, Wade Cook Financial Corp. of Tukwila (WA), filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...08/14/07

Advertising Industry Acknowledges Digital Format

Based on 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 planning.

Last week 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 buying practices.

Then 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�

Bill 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.

Although 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.�

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...07/31/07

BizXchange Recognized For Growth

BizXchange wins 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

Business Barter 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.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...07/24/07

Anheuser-Busch & Icelandic Glacial Complete Exchange

The 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.)

The 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 nearby.

$13 Million In Barter Deals Fuel Games

Taking 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 Ads

In 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.

(The program helps publications attract spending from advertisers that typically buy space on the Internet.)

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...07/17/07

Giant News Organizations Barter Content

Under serious 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, www.ft.com.

In return, CNBC would get access to Financial Times articles for its site, www.cnbc.com.

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?

No 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.

Is 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 depositing.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...07/10/07

Currency Expert Tom Greco Speaks In China

Tom Greco, 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 Barter Tour

The 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 tour.

Volcker Worries About Private Debt

Former 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

Alpha Magazine�s annual ranking of the world�s most highly paid fund managers shows that today�s rich keep getting richer.

The top five moneymakers in the hedge fund industry for 2006 are:

$1.7 billion - James Simons, Renaissance Technologies

$1.4 billion - Kenneth Griffin, Citadel Investment Group

$1.3 billion - Edward Lampert, ESL Investments

$950 million - George Soros, Soros Fund Management

$900 million - Steven Cohen, SAC Capital Advisors

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...07/03/07

ConocoPhillips Thinking Of Barter Strategy With Venezuela

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 international arbitration.

Their 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

A wave 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.

The 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

You 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 2010.

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.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...06/26/07

Brands Matter

Intangible capital 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.

Three Federal 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.

Having little invested and with prices dropping, their actions imply what they think about the present real estate situation.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...06/19/07

Reward 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 MasterCard.

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.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...06/12/07

Clear Channel Expanding Globally

Clear Channel 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.

The Phoenix-based billboard titan went public in 2006, earning $2.9 billion in revenues.

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 Visa card.

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.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...06/04/07

Electricity Becomes Barter Currency For Turkey & Iran Efforts

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 Fields

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 donated time. 

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 beautiful transformation.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...05/29/07

Meals For Additional Parking

Elmer�s 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.

They 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 Baseman

New York Mets� third baseman David Wright enjoyed an unexpected bonus recently when Coca-Cola bought a company that produces vitamin-water drinks.

When 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.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...05/22/07

ITEX Holds 25th National Convention

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 Team

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 team.

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 average.)

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 development pipeline. 

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 traditional advertising.�

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 burst.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...05/15/07

U.S. 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 excessive fuel.

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: www.ebbx.com.

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.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...05/08/07

The Future�Look Eastward

The 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.

Yet in 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.

In 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 competition.

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 Tiger?

Skipper 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 Mercedes-Benz cars.

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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 registered users:

  • 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;

  • The most 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.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...04/24/07

Foreclosures Shooting Upward...Yahoo Adds Them To Web Site

Nearly 900 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.

Yahoo has 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?

The U.S. 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.

According 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 Government.

Staggering Drop In Real Estate Investment Funds

New money 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.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...04/17/07

BizXchange Wins U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Award

BizXchange, 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.

The 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

The United 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.

It additionally includes proprietary rights, broadcast rights, and other intangible rights such as distribution, use, and reproduction of general-use computer software.

These transactions generate revenues in the form of royalties and licensing fees amounting to billions of dollars per annum.

Google Launches Online Payment Service

Google 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 services.

Google 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

The 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 wineries.

Sponsors 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.)

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...04/10/07

"ITEX Jobs" Offers Real Value To Business Community

The 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 business marketplace.

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 advertising on Monster.com, CareerBuilders.com and HotJobs.com.

For additional information on ITEX Jobs, see the second article following "From the desk of Bob Meyer..."

"It's hard to organically build distribution."

--Anne Mulcahy, CEO Xerox Corp.

Why are 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.

Ms. 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 Valley Strategy

The 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).

Now 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 Batali.

Two years 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

Wine 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%.

Due to 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.

The 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%.

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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 Media

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.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...03/27/07

Housing Woes Worries Cruise Lines

Carnival, 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 trading purposes.

Success  = Knowledge + Action

Molly Purcell of The Barter Business Exchange in North Carolina, sent an e-mail recently:

"Thank you 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

According 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 business-development roadblock.

Definition Of "Rich" Has Changed

The 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.)

That's a 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.

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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 area.

Venezuela's Oil Bartering Different Than Mexico's

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 possible.

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 Players' Jerseys

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 America.

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 dollars.

Highly-charged Art Market Changes How Game Played

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 museums

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 gifts.

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 customer.

The 60-location pizza chain has most of its restaurants in Hispanic neighborhoods and each manager must be both bilingual and live nearby.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...03/13/07

Haddawy Authors Article On Barter For American Printer

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 to: www.bizx.com.

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 sponsors."

Windsor Trade Moving Forward With Huge Barter Complex

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: www.windsortrade.com.

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 lost.

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.

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From the 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 the work.

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.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...02/27/07

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.

European 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 American.

Innovation is important because successful economies won't continue to rely on trying to wring more returns from today's goods, services and processes.

Trump, Trading On His Name, Scores Big In Hawaii

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.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...02/20/07

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 85%.

IBM's Worldwide Contest To Fund New Innovations

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 health-record systems.

Barter Plays Role In High-Fashion Modeling Industry

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.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...02/13/07

Nordic Walking Manufacturer Barters With Instructors

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 years.)

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 GE stock.

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.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...02/06/07

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 site: www.internationalmonetary.com.

Budera Aspires To Become Global Auction, Barter Site

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: www.budera.se.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...01/30/07

Hewlett-Packard Likely To Barter New Intellectual Property

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.

Subprime Lenders Retrench

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 to be:

Stocks         36.5%
Cash           20.5%
Gold           19.1%
Housing         8.8%
Bonds           7.4%

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.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...01/23/07

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 monitors.

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.

Here & There...

  • China and India, according to IBM Corp. Chairman/CEO Sam Palmisano, will be the epicenter of a massive economic and demographic shift.

  • Trade 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.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...01/16/07

"Swap & Shop" Radio Show Celebrates 60 Years Broadcasting

Down in 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 refrigerators.

Station 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 format.

IMS Holiday Expos Generated $2.4 Million Sales

Trade 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 soon.

Barter Deal Will Help Revitalize Downtown Miami

Two big real estate deals (land swaps) are expected to help revitalize downtown Miami and provide permanent parking for the Carnival Center for Performing Arts.

To 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 permanent parking.

Another Community Organization Forming in Provincetown

A church 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.

The 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.

Such 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

The U.S. 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 businesses.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...01/09/07

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 businesses.

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 like-minded contractors.

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 ads.

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 shop.

For more information on this grass-roots approach see: www.kcisca.com.

Editor's note: 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 Advertising

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.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...01/02/07

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 Franchise" 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."

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