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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.... 2008
 
December 23, 2008 IMSBarter Appears On CBS Evening News
December 16, 2008 TIME magazine Looks At Alternative Currencies
December 9, 2008 ITEX Holiday Barter Fair Pulls Sellers From Across USA
December 2, 2008 Ad Week Publishes Excellent Article On Bartering Media
November 11, 2008 Lasater Re-elected
November 4, 2008 Bartercard Thailand Looks For Bullish Growth
October 28, 2008 Australia�s BBX Temporarily Waives $65,000 Franchise Fee
October 21, 2008 Your Services For Room & Board
October 14, 2008 Entrepreneurs Look To Three Areas For Financing
September 30, 2008 Jet Blue Barters With Texas University
September 23, 2008 What�s New!
September 16, 2008 Oops!
September 2, 2008 Barron Sells Barter Connections
August 19, 2008 Record Month For IRTA�s Universal-Currency Use
August 5, 2008 Bob Bagga Getting Married
July 22, 2008 Bartercard�s Tony Falkenstein Inducted Into New Zealand Business Hall of Fame
July 8, 2008 World�s Largest Mall Is EMPTY!!
June 24, 2008 Ozone Barter Becomes BarterVista
June 17, 2008 Sino Fibre Signs Joint Venture With European Exchange
June 10, 2008 President�s Club Winners At 2008 ITEX Convention Revealed
June 3, 2008 Barter Deal Offers Food Security For Malaysia
May 27, 2008 Globalization Isn�t The Driver For Today�s Accelerating Change
May 20, 2008 Global Economy Is Soaring
May 13, 2008 What�s The Message Here?
May 6, 2008 Builders Use Barter To Pay Bills
April 29, 2008 ITEX San Diego Goes Green
April 22, 2008 Use Those Gift Cards
April 15, 2008 Ralph Lauren Barters To Become Official Olympic Team Outfitter
April 8, 2008 Former New Zealand Exchange Owner Amazed With Industry�s Progress
April 1, 2008 Global Carbon Market Undergoing Tremendous Growth
March 25, 2008 Trade Exchange (Barter Company) Offers Revenue Sharing For Referrals
March 18, 2008 Community Barter In Montana
March 11, 2008 Africa Barter & South Africa Business Hub
March 4, 2008 Bartercard UAE Hires Dubai-based Creative Agencies To Expand Presence
February 26, 2008 More Barter Sites
February 19, 2008 Russia�s Astounding Barter Deal With Iraq
February 12, 2008 Lance Armstrong Knows Barter�s Value
February 5, 2008 $41 Trillion To Be Spent On World�s Infrastructure
January 29, 2008 Bartercard & BBX Working With New Australian Business Directory
January 22, 2008 Buckle Your Seat-belts For Impending Downturn
January 15, 2008 Why Countertrade Will Continue To Grow
January 8, 2008 IRTA Works With IRS On Members Behalf
January 1, 2008 Offbeat Company Looks For More Barter �Partners�
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From the desk of Bob Meyer...12/23/2008

IMSBarter Appears On CBS Evening News

IMSBarter (OTCBB:INLM) was featured on the CBS Evening News �Weekend Journal� Saturday, December 13. Don Mardak, CEO of IMS, was interviewed as were several members of IMSBarter.

The program can be viewed at www.IMSBarter.com.

Daughter Of TradeAmericanCard Owner Receives Raves From Whoopi Goldberg

Allison Ames, daughter of Mike Ames (founder of TAC) and Sondra Ames, is the founder of Newport Beach-based Wonderland Bakery. Her gingerbread cookie was chosen the best from across the U.S. by Whoopi Goldberg on �The View,� a morning TV talk-show aired nationally. Within 30 minutes of the airing Wonderland Bakery had processed 700 orders.

For more information see http://www.WonderlandBakery.com.

Barter Party Organized By Women

The Boston Herald reported that women are shopping from their closets! HUH? Clothes-swap parties of a dozen women are meeting in homes to trade their �better stuff� for other niceties desired. Some women even purchase designer clothes at thrift stores (at huge discounts), then trade those clothes for something more desirable at the party.

10% Of Retailers Could Face Restructuring

Colin McGranahan, a retail analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., says potentially 10% of retailers could face significant restructuring, bankruptcy or liquidation in 2009. The International Council of Shopping Centers projects 148,000 storefronts will be shuttered this year by retailers of all types, including mom-and-pop stores, based on data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That would be the largest since 2001 when 150,000 locations closed.

Countries Barter To Solve Challenges

Worldwide food shortages mixed with a global credit crisis has some countries getting by bartering food for other essentials. Thailand, for example, one of the world�s largest producers of rice, is trading that foodstuff to Iran for oil. Iran was having difficulty getting the necessary letters of credit so they and Thailand agreed on prices and volumes, before bartering the exchange of the goods.

Saudi Arabia was finding difficulty getting paid on a cash debt from Pakistan, so to get paid the Saudi�s are following the strategy, �If you can�t get blood out of the turnip, take the turnips!� And the Saudi�s are doing just that, as payment is forthcoming in the form of various foodstuffs.

Blixseth Willing To Trade Caribbean Island For Gulfstream Jet Or Manhattan Digs

A barter deal with the U.S. government, wherein he received 100,000 acres in the Bozeman/Big Sky area, gave Tim Blixseth his start. He subsequently built an elite Montana ski and golf community with his now-former wife. (Bill Gates and his family were members.)

Blixseth later sold his share of Yellowstone to his ex-wife. Now he is looking to trade his private five-acre Turks & Caicos island, with a 30,000-square-foot-home, for $75 million of other valuable assets. He said he�s open to bartering his island for a Gulfstream G550 jet or a New York apartment.

Swiss Bank Pays Top Management With Junk Bonds Rather Than Cash

Top management at Credit Suisse Group will be receiving a substantial percentage of their 2008 compensation in forms other than the traditional cash-and-stock payment. This year they will be receiving junk bonds, mortgage-backed securities and corporate loans in a �Partner Asset Facility�...and they won�t receive a return on the PAF program for eight years. The move was necessary because the Swiss bank posted a $4.6 billion loss this year.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...12/16/2008

TIME magazine Looks At Alternative Currencies

TIME has published an extensive article on alternative currencies. Read about the growth of these currencies and their growing popularity...  Click here

Research Group Says Consumer Bartering Doubled In One Year

According to the American Research Group, a think-tank that talks to thousands of consumers every week to assay their spending habits and how they feel about the state of the economy, barter�s use is booming! The research group says 67% of consumers have bartered this year, compared to 33% in the fall of 2997.

Craigslist Barter Queries Growing

Craigslist reported that more than 150,000 barter queries pervade Northern California listings on the popular classifieds web site at http://www.craigslist.org.

Match-Value One-On-One Trading

Cynthia Eakin, an associate professor at Stockton�s University of the Pacific, says its legal to have matched-value trades without documenting anything. However the IRS requires barterers to list any profit made as taxable income. Eakin frequently gives lectures about bartering to her students.

Column On �The Daily Paul Blog� Looks At ITEX

A blog that is produced by Ron Paul devotees authored an article about ITEX CEO Steve White�s comments during his appearance on the Fox Business show. The blog writer was �given hope� because, as he stated, the use of barter and trade currencies will be desired by people, especially in these trying times, and will be very hard to control by the government.

SBA�s Loan Programs Changing

The U.S. Small Business Administration loan programs are being dramatically changed. Previously they were demographic-based, but now are geographic-based programs. Applicants are now being required to provide more information as well as mandatory attendance at technical and financial-assistance classes.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...12/09/2008

ITEX Holiday Barter Fair Pulls Sellers From Across USA

A business from Toronto was selling golf clubs, while a Florida-based jewelry retailer traveled to Ontario (CA) to make holiday sales.

Vendors took possession of the 200 available booths to move their wares. This Southern California Holiday Fair is the largest ITEX one held in the United States.

Steve White, ITEX�s CEO, flew down from Seattle to view the flurry of sales occurring at the Ontario Convention Center this past Sunday. Peter and Neita Brooks, owners of the San Dimas-based ITEX Inland Valley stage this ever-growing, impressive event every December.

To view a short video of this holiday fair click here.

U.S. Small Businesses Still Upbeat

Michael Alter, President of Sure Payroll Services, sent me his latest findings showing that although the stock market hit the skids, how we view the economy is based on our personal circumstances. And the small business marketplace in November was surprisingly optimistic.

To read the report see: www.surepayroll.com/scorecard/2008/november

�Stocks Aren�t Cheap Yet� Contends Pimco�s Bill Gross

Pacific Investment Management Company�s Bill Gross, the manager of one of the world�s largest bond funds, said stocks aren�t cheap when viewed in relation to the direction the market is heading...with more regulation, lower leverage and higher taxes.

Gross said he believes in stocks for the long run, but only when bought at the right price. He said 14000 for the Dow Jones Industrial Average is a stretch, since about 20% of bank capital is now owned by the U.S. government.

Sports Illustrated �Sportsman Of The Year� Believes In Barter

History�s greatest Olympian, U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps, is endorsing a new protein drink called PureSport. It�s hardly as well known as competitor Gatorade, but with Phelps� name behind it (along with fellow Olympic swimmers Aaron Peirsol, Brendan Hansen and Ian Crocker) the University of Texas spin-off is off to a dizzying start.

Last month PureSport hit the shelves at Chicago�s Sports Authority, one of a 400-store sporting-goods chain. Phelps and the other Olympians agreed to endorse the protein mix before Phelps earned his eight gold metals. The foursome took a 5% equity stake in the company in exchange for their endorsement.

Yahoo Barters With CBS To Lower Costs

Yahoo is plugging its Internet radio service into CBS Corporation�s webcasting network in a move driven by dramatically higher royalty for airing music online.

Yahoo�s radio channel, called Launchcast, will combine with CBS beginning in February. Under the arrangement Yahoo will depend on CBS Radio to power Launchcast as well as sell all the ads on the service.

Barter comes into play as, in return for the helping hand, Yahoo�s high-traffic news and sports sections will feature some of CBS� top-rated radio stations, including WFAN in New York and KNX-AM in Los Angeles.

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

Ad Week Publishes Excellent Article On Bartering Media

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

Construction Loans Under Pressure

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

Electronic-Goods Manufacturers Take Action

The U.S. electronics industry last year spent about $13.8 billion to re-box, restock and re-sell returned products, according to a study by technology consultant Accenture Ltd. Defects aren�t even in the top three reasons for returns, surprisingly. (The primary reason consumers return products is because they didn�t meet expectations.)

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

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...11/11/2008

Lasater Re-elected

Gary Lasater, CEO of eValues (www.eValues.net) and a barter industry pioneer, won a citizens mandate for re-election to the Parker Town Council in Colorado. Parker is in the southeast Denver metro area, with a population of 50,000. The two other incumbents running were not elected.

$300 Million Real Estate Available On Part-Barter Basis

Mountain resort home sites as well as cabin and pedestal homes are available on a part-cash part-trade basis. The properties are located within fine communities in the mountains of northern Georgia.

For further details go to http://barterforrealestate.com.

Wonderland Bakery Promoted Voting With A Twist

Wonderland Bakery (www.wonderlandbakery.com), a specialty bakery and gift concierge in Irvine (CA), helped get the votes with �good taste� in the recent national election. Customers could purchase cookies depicting their favorite presidential candidate and political party.

Allyson Ames, founder of Wonderland Bakery, noted, �We have made thousands of politically decorated cookies since we received the 2008 California Business of the Year award in May from Senator Harman and Governor Schwarzenegger in Sacramento.

PepsiCo Considers Multiple Opportunities

PepsiCo�s CEO Indra Nooyl, an Indian-American, said her company considers as many as 30 acquisitions globally at any one time. She says it�s important as a company today to see yourself as a global citizen, making sure to understand the world around you.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...11/04/2008

Bartercard Thailand Looks For Bullish Growth

Continued above-average growth of 20%, to 1.2 billion baht, next year is expected by Bartercard Thailand. The company has 3,000 members and anticipates a 15% membership increase as well. Their present membership is about 1% of the 3.5 million small and mid-size enterprises in Thailand.

Hedge Funds Shrinking

According to Eurekahedge, a hedge-fund research company and consultants, hedge-funds experienced $44.5 billion of investment losses in September and $34.5 billion of investor withdrawals. Whereas, $10.5 billion of new money was received.

For the third quarter as a whole, hedge-fund assets shrunk by a record $210 billion, or more than 10%, an amount that exceeds the $194 billion that flowed into the industry in all of 2007. Aggregate hedge-fund assets now total $1.72 trillion.

Bank Of England Governor Anticipates Another Crisis

Bank of England�s Governor Mervyn King, anticipates another financial crisis between 2013 and 2018. According to King, human nature doesn�t change. Therefore future crises can�t be prevented, as memories dim and lessons learned will be forgotten.

Average Tech Entrepreneurs Are Aging

The Kaufman Foundation says the average tech entrepreneur isn�t a 20-year-old whiz kid, but 39 years of age. The average founder is now pushing middle age, with nearly five times as many founders over 45 as were younger than 25, when their companies got off the ground. These new entrepreneurs had plenty of time to learn on the job: On average 16.4 years passed since they finished school and started their companies.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...10/28/2008

Australia�s BBX Temporarily Waives $65,000 Franchise Fee

BBX CEO Michael Touma has announced the temporary waiving of its franchise fee due to the tightening credit market. (Terms and conditions apply.)

Trump�s Paperclip

Donald Trump�s paperclip, being traded by an economic professor in Missouri, has been traded numerous times as the professor strives to reach his goal of ultimately bartering the paperclip for a SUV.

To see the latest trade go to www.goldenpaperclip.com.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...10/21/2008

Your Services For Room & Board

Immersion Travel USA by Sheryl Kayne is a book about her travels and experiences. Included in the publication is specifics about where she traded her time and skills for various experiences, as well as room and board. Listings are included for the reader.

The Barter Company Expanding

The Barter Company (www.thebartercompany.com) announced the hiring of Randy Wolfe and Basil Bethea III. Both will be developing areas outside of greater Atlanta for the trade exchange. Wolfe will be focusing on Columbia (SC) as well as Charlotte and Greenville. Bethea will be working the Gulf Coast; where, as a lifetime resident of the area, he has worked in his family�s commercial real estate business.

ITEX New England Holiday Trade Fair

ITEX New England�s Trade Fair will be held Sunday, November 9, from 9am to 4pm at the Norwalk Inn, 99 East Avenue, Norwalk (CT).

For more information call 888-294-6393.

BizXchange Expands Barter Finance Services

The Seattle-based barter company is expanding its business-member finance services to those companies where bank financing isn�t available. BizXchange (http://www.bizx.com) will pre-qualify each member applicant for loans and lines of credit.

Criteria for a loan will focus on companies� size, the quality of the product or service they have to offer, and their appeal to other BizXchange members.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...10/14/2008

Entrepreneurs Look To Three Areas For Financing

Small businesses are turning to angel investors, suppliers, and personal credit cards as the financial crisis spreads to Main Street and access to commercial loans becomes more restricted. Today�s environment is such that smart entrepreneurs will move toward more barter to increase their sales and cash flow.

ITEX Arizona�s Holiday Barter Expo Date Announced

Terry Brandfass reports this year�s Holiday Barter Expo will be held at Brett�s Barn on Sunday, November 30, from 11am to 3pm. For more information call (480) 946-2929.

Office Space Now Available

Businesses are dumping office space at the fastest pace since the months after the September 11 attacks, increasing the financial stress on commercial real estate owners and their lenders. Many of them are already ailing financial institutions.

Because real estate moves slowly, the financial turmoil of the past few weeks hasn�t shown up in the numbers. Look for bank failures and consolidations to be reflected in office space availability later this year and in 2009.

Transaction Volume Increases For Barter Company

Catherine Cohen of Premier Barter in Arizona, reports that her company�s transaction volume is up 114% for the first half of 2008, compared with 2007.

Financial Woes Will Affect Ad-Spending

Automotive retail and financial services have already been affected by the financial sector�s ills. Further declines will be coming from credit-card and insurance company ad spending, which is $9 billion a year in or about 6% of the total ad spending.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...09/30/2008

Jet Blue Barters With Texas University

In exchange for advertising, Jet Blue will provide the University of Texas athletic department with tickets and vouchers for air travel. The University of Texas athletics will in turn provide video board animation advertisements for JetBlue at sporting events, which will include football as well as men�s and women�s basketball games.

Airlines have previously been sponsors for UT athletics...the Longhorn Sports Network had agreements with American Airlines and Southwest Airlines in the past.

Swap Your Clothes...Change Your Wardrobe

Looking to make a clothing change without spending a lot of cash? Check out these web sites http://www.bigwardrobe.com and http://www.whatsmineisyours.com.

Fifty Percent, Or More, Of Homeowners Income Going For Housing!

Fifteen percent of American homeowners with a mortgage (7.5 million households) are spending 50% of their income or more on housing costs, according to 2007 data released this month by the U.S. Census Bureau. That�s up from 7.1 million from the year before.

Scheduled Holiday Fairs

       San Diego ITEX Trade Show will be held Sunday, November 2, from 10 AM to 4 PM at Party Pals. Contact Charissa.novak@itex.net.

       On Sunday, November 23, Trade American Card will hold their 30th Annual Holiday Barter Expo. The affair will be from 10 AM to 5 PM at the Grove of Anaheim. Call (714) 532-1610 for more info.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...09/23/2008

What�s New!

The National Small Business Association conducted a poll recently among 500 businesses and found that forty-four percent had used credit cards to meet capital needs in the previous six months. And fifty-seven percent said their credit card terms had worsened over the last year.

Banks are gouging their small business customers because they need the interest for earnings, and they know that firms of modest size have nowhere else to go. Look for rising credit costs and interest rates on your cards, as well as credit tightening. Do we need any more reasons to put on our barter hats?

Holiday Fair Announced

The first Holiday Barter Fair has been announced, coming from Southern California�s BXI Inland Valley. It�s scheduled for December 7, 9 AM to 4 PM at the Ontario Convention Center in Ontario (CA).

For more information call the BXI Inland Valley office at (909) 592-7727.

Bartering Boards Established In Supermarkets

The Asda supermarket in the community of Colne, Britain, has established an innovative �bartering board� on its premises to help customers share their skills and cut costs by utilizing barter. Following shortly will be other Asda stores with boards in Tonypandy (Wales), Elgin (Scotland), and Einiskillen (No. Ireland).

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...09/16/2008

Oops!

BarterNews has been informed that the GrandLuxe Rail Journey, as reported in last week�s Tuesday Report, is no longer in operation as of August 29, 2008.

Small Business Owners Aren�t Political

Own your own business? Then you�re working too hard to be concerned about the coming election. That�s what the new Discover Card Small Business Watch survey reports. Furthermore, you don�t believe it matters much who gains the White House as the small business community, lacking lobbyists, lacks any power in Congress.

Looking For Flowers On Barter?

A new site, www.barterflowers.com, will provide flowers�up to $50�on trade. But over that amount it�s cash, plus all delivery charges are cash. They will accept several barter currencies.

Your House Or Your Business?

According to a study by Experian, the credit-rating service, business owners in financial trouble will sacrifice their homes to save their companies. The study of 2.7 million small U.S. businesses showed that the most severely delinquent business owners continued to pay their company�s bills, even as they skipped their mortgage payments.

Slipstream Radio Available For Barter

A division of the Triton Media Group will launch Slipstream Radio. Based in Chicago, the new company will help terrestrial radio stations create customizable Internet radio stations online.

Triton will offer Slipstream to broadcasters and other content providers for a flat monthly cash fee or for barter.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...09/02/2008

Barron Sells Barter Connections

Ken Barron, who ran Barter Connections for the past 24 years, has sold his 1,000 member Newton Center (outside Boston) trade exchange to 59-year-old businessman Steve Romsey. The price was for a reported �just under a million dollars.�

For more information see http://www.barterconnectionsinc.com.

Alan Zimmelman Coordinating ITEX Regional Conferences

ITEX Executive VP Alan Zimmelman is on the road, working behind the scenes for the largest barter company in the nation. He will be in three different areas coordinating ITEX regional conferences, sharing his three decades of experience.

Bonanzle Is An eBay Alternative

If you are looking for an eBay alternative or wanting additional distribution for your wares, you will want to check out http://www.bonanzle.com.

Trading Collectibles A �Like-Kind Exchange�

We have often heard of like-kind exchanges for real estate investors, allowing one to defer capital-gains tax. Such exchanges can also be used with stamps, coins, gems, and other collectibles. The key is being an �investor� rather than a collector in order to benefit tax-wise.

To prove you are an investor, you must be able to show that you are tracking the ups-and-downs in the value of your objects. Thus, it�s a good idea to get appraisals on a regular basis and subscribe to journals that help you keep a pulse on the market.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...08/19/2008

Record Month For IRTA�s Universal-Currency Use

Trade exchange owners used the International Reciprocal Trade Association�s �Universal Currency� in the month of July to close $403,419.53 in sales. besting the previous best month�s record of $367,782.51 back in July 1999.

For more information on the Universal Currency system see: http://www.ucci.biz.

Steven White Gives Presentation At Technology Conference

Steven White has the honor of presenting at the 4th Annual Summer Technology Conference hosted by Security Research Associates, on Monday, August 18, 2008. The conference is being held at the Omni Hotel in San Francisco.

During the presentation, White will provide insight about the ITEX web-based trading platform, business strategy and initiatives. The presentation will also be broadcast live over the internet, and a replay will be archived in the Investor Relations section of the ITEX web site http://www.itex.com.

Over 80% Of Workers Saving Too Little For Retirement

According to the Hewitt Associates study, four of five workers save too little to maintain their lifestyle after retirement. The study looked at the projected retirement levels of nearly 2 million current workers of varying ages at 72 large U.S. companies and used actual employee balances.

People need to save from 10% to 12% of their income throughout their career to keep up the same lifestyle after retirement, the study reported. (Most people contribute an average of 8% of their income into savings plans.)

One-Third Of Homeowners Are �Under Water�

According to www.Zillow.com, about one-third of U.S. homeowners who bought homes in the last five years now owe more on their mortgages than their properties are worth. (For those who bought at the 2006 apex of the housing market, 45% are now under water.)

Zillow is a Seattle-based service that offers values on more than 80 million homes.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...08/05/2008

Bob Bagga Getting Married

Bob Bagga, barter industry veteran and co-founder of www.BizXchange.com, will be marrying Anita Ninan on Saturday, August 9, at the Hotel Del Coronado. (The famed hotel was the site for �Some Like It Hot� starring Marilyn Monroe.)

Australia�s BBX Offers Insurance On Cash-Blend Basis

Members of Australia�s BBX can now buy various forms of insurance (business, homeowners, etc.) with cash and trade dollars. Up to 30% of the premiums can be paid with trade dollars.

New Barter Site Announced

Jeff Henderson announces a new site designed for bartering. It�s a classified ads site (like Craigslist) that allows people to post barter items and services for free: www.barterzap.com.

This IPO�s Unbelievable Story...

Since its initial public offering (IPO) in 1970, Wal-Mart stock has increased over 5,300 times...turning a $10,000 investment into $57,000,000!

Had you invested $10,000 in Southwest Airlines in 1980, you�d be sitting on $916,000. While $10,000 in Dell, as recently as 1990, would be valued at $4.4 million.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...07/22/2008

Bartercard�s Tony Falkenstein Inducted Into New Zealand Business Hall of Fame

The hall of fame recognizes business leaders who have made significant contribution to New Zealand business over the past 200 years. Congratulations to Tony Falkenstein, owner of Bartercard New Zealand, who was inducted into the Fairfax Media New Zealand Business Hall of Fame by the Governor General.

 

For more information visit www.Bartercard.com.

American Travelers Liked By Many

According to www.gadling.com, the world�s most obnoxious tourists�after a survey of employees in 4,000 hotels in Germany, the UK., Italy, France, Canada and USA�were French travelers, followed by India and China.

The stereotypically obnoxious American tourist, out of 21 countries, got an impressive 11th place. Americans got the top spot for trying to speak the local languages the most.

Medical Missionary Uses Trade Dollars

Andrew Jerrigan, a trader for 15 years, is now a medical missionary in Africa. He accepts trade dollar donations through Marc Albano�s www.transmediatrade.com.

For more on Andrew Jerrigan�s work go to www.jerriganblog.com.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...07/08/2008

World�s Largest Mall Is EMPTY!!

A seven-million square-foot mall in China is an unbelievable financial flop. The South China Mall, located in the Pearl River Delta (China�s wealthiest region) opened in 2005 with space for 1,500 stores. Currently 12 are occupied�with a vacancy rate of 99.2%.

80-Year-Old Billionaire Says Today�s Economic Period Worst Of His Lifetime

 

Eli Broad, retired home builder in California, says this is worse than any recession we've had since World War II and he does not think the housing market will recover for years. He also sees a sharp rise in unemployment.

 

Broad contends that as home sales keep dropping, most of the equity people in the U.S. have built over the last twenty years melts away. As jobs disappear, defaults rise and the matter becomes worse.

Women Helping Women

Amy Swift, is Editor-In-Chief of Ladies Who Launch (www.ladieswholaunch.com), a national women�s organization which helps countless women across the country embark on their own careers and companies through incubator programs. Their national LIVE events and online resources have helped other women launch their own successful business.

Super-yachts Still Very Popular

The Luxury Institute and Camper & Nicholsons International�a yacht broker and charter company�found that new orders for yachts of longer than 130 feet are up 18% in 2008. There were 254 new orders for such yachts last year.

The report shows the astounding growth over the past decade for jumbo yachts. In 1997, there were just 241 yachts of 80-feet or more under construction around the world...last year 916 such boats were being built.

Interestingly, the biggest constraint to the industry�s growth isn�t the economy...it�s the staffing. The report says about 25,000 crew members are necessary for today�s super-yachts, but only about 15,000 currently work aboard yachts. Shortages of captains and engineers are especially acute.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...06/24/2008

Ozone Barter Becomes BarterVista

Ozone Barter has changed its name to Barter Vista. The company is focused in Singapore and the Asian region.

For more information see www.bartervista.com.

High School & College Graduates Want To Be Entrepreneurs

Half of all new college graduates now believe that self-employment is more secure than a full-time job. And with 80% of the U.S. colleges and universities now offering courses on entrepreneurship, 60% of Generation Y business owners consider themselves to be serial entrepreneurs, according to Inc. magazine.

Eighteen to twenty-four-year-olds are starting companies at a faster rate than 35 to 44-year-olds. And 70% of today�s high-schoolers intend to start their own companies, according to a Gallup poll.

IndyStar Publishes Barter Article

Stretching cash in an economic downturn is a popular idea. Examples here show how members of trade exchanges are avoiding dipping into cash reserves and taking out loans. (Click here.)

World Population Will Hit 7 Billion In Four Years

As the global community struggles with finding enough natural resources for today�s population of 6.7 billion people (we hit the 6 billion number in 1999), in a few short years we will hit 7 billion.

The first billion was reached in 1800, and it took 130 years to reach 2 billion. The U.S., presently with 304 million, is the third largest nation after China and India according to the Census Bureau.

Private Jet Fleets Expanding

Fast-growing private aviation company XOJet, started back in 2006 and backed by buyout firm TPG, is expanding with new secured financing of $2.5 billion. XO schedules about 1,000 flights per month.

NetJets, owned by Berkshire Hathaway, is the largest player in the private-aviation industry. With some 750 aircraft, they log over 1,000 flights per day.

cFrom the desk of Bob Meyer...06/17/2008

Sino Fibre Signs Joint Venture With European Exchange

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between Sino Fibre and German Barter Exchange. Both parties agree that German Barter Exchange (GBE) will become an affiliate of Sino Fibre.

GBE will act as a barter trade-making arm in Germany for the joint venture company, to promote Sino-European barter and to serve as a gateway to processing the transactions to and from China, Germany, and eastern European countries.

Basketball Hall-of-Famer Barters With Comcast SportsNet

Comcast SportsNet New England wanted the best, most-prominent �Laker� to serve as an on-air analyst before the first two games of the National Basketball Association finals. CSN used barter to secure the deal�trading two 30-second spots to Kareem Abdual-Jabbar, which he used to advertise his latest video product. 

Curry Ingredients Bartered For Plastic

In India an enterprising company is bartering with women�s groups, providing ginger and garlic to housewives in exchange for scrap plastics, which are non bio-degradable toxic killers.

Ladies Trade Cosmetics Via Internet Site

Ladies here is your chance to swap cosmetics that you own, but don't use, for ones other members have and you want. We�re talking about name brand cosmetics...the expensive stuff. Members are only responsible for covering the shipping costs for the cosmetics that they are swapping.

MakeUpAlley.com (www.makeupalley.com) allows members to read product reviews or write a review on the products they have used. Interested parties can participate in forums and meet other members, so as to know the people that one might want to trade with later. Membership is free and required.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...06/10/2008

President�s Club Winners At 2008 ITEX Convention Revealed

ITEX�s (www.itex.com) convention recently held in Las Vegas reported its new President�s Club winners. Here are the six brokers who had beaming smiles along with a brand new DELL laptop computer and earned plaques:

Ronnie Graham (Highest Cash Collections)
Duncan Banner (Highest New Member Enrollment)
Peter and Neita Brooks (Highest Net Growth)
John Castoro (Highest Cash CTV)
Shawn Christian (Rookie of Year)
and Jim and Carolyn Young (Brokers of Year)

In addition, Chris Christenson and Philis Santello proudly accepted their 2008 Brokers Choice Award at the convention.

Barter Articles Popping Up

Newspaper article about using barter in tough times appeared in Florida�s Sun-Sentinel on Tuesday, June 3.  Click here

Entrepreneur.com had an interesting article on how to slash startup costs by using barter.  Click here

Microsoft�s Ballmer Foresees No Print Media In 10 Years

In an interview with The Washington Post, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer riffs on the future of media, claiming that in ten years, all media will be delivered over the Internet.

�In the next 10 years, the whole world of media, communications, and advertising are going to be turned upside down � in my opinion,� Ballmer stated. �There will be no media consumption left in 10 years that is not delivered over an IP network. There will be no newspapers, no magazines that are delivered in paper form. Everything gets delivered in an electronic form.�

California Housing Prices Have Biggest U.S. Drop

California is the nation�s worst housing market, with housing prices falling 24.37% annual rate as of late April. (California has held this distinction since May 2007.)

Following California in April price drops are Florida at 17.11%, Nevada 16.61%, Arizona 15.78%, and Ohio 13.41%.

The best growth rate was Utah, up 4.13%, and Montana, up 4.12%.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...06/03/2008

Barter Deal Offers Food Security For Malaysia

Malaysia plans to build a stockpile of 500,000 tons of rice for food security, and is looking to import the staple from India. In exchange they will supply palm oil in a barter transaction.

Peter Chin Fah Kui, Malaysia�s minister of plantation, industries and commodities, told a conference in Mumbai he was likely to meet Indian Farm Minister Sharad Pawar to discuss the possible barter deal, as his country is in short supply of rice, their staple diet, and prices are rising.

Tradia Expands Network In Utah

CEO Matthew Humphreys reports that Tradia will have six full-time franchise operations in the state of Utah. This will be the first time a single group or company outside of Tradia Commerce Network has owned more than 2 of its franchises.

�We�re particularly excited about this expansion because our Utah franchisee is a dedicated and professional organization that brings excellence to our company and the barter/trade industry,� affirmed Humphreys.

For more information on Tradia see http://www.tradia.net.

Barter Those Toys You No Longer Use

Toy Swap (http://www.toyswap.com)is the perfect web site for anyone who has old or new toys that are no longer wanted or played with, and that can be swapped for old or new toys that other Toy Swap members have available for swap with you. Membership is free and required.

Barter Your Skills For One You Need

Do you have a skill that you want to swap in exchange for a skill that someone else would like to barter? SwapaSkill (http://www.swapaskill.com) is a web site for individuals who possess a ability such as artistic, musical, engineer, plumber, electrician...or just about any type of talent that you can think of. Basic membership is free, but there are some costs associated with membership upgrades if you so choose.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...05/27/2008

Globalization Isn�t The Driver For Today�s Accelerating Change

Many people (and companies) around the globe are struggling to adapt to change, which is accelerating. A McKinsey study suggests that today's leading companies�top performers in every industry�drop out of leadership at a rate that is four times greater than in the 1970s.

Years ago you could bust your tail to achieve success, then put your company or career on autopilot and face little risk of upset. That�s not true today. The paradox is that economic turbulence is increasing as the world prospers at levels unimaginable three decades ago.

Globalization gets the blame, especially in election years. But the real driver is technology: cheap processing power, cheap storage and cheap bandwidth. Cheap tech lets entrepreneurs around the world invade established industries for very little money.

If the first entrepreneur fails to storm the castle, a hundred more will follow. There is no shortage of capital ready to fund creative destruction, even with today's credit bottleneck. The only way to slow the rate of change and disruption is to repeal Moore's Law...and that will not happen.

I�ll Trade You My Drawing For Yours

No membership required at SketchSwap.com. Just draw something and once your masterpiece is finished submit your drawing, so you can receive a drawing that someone else has drawn. Personally, I think this is a neat little web site (http://www.sketchswap.com) even though there is not much to it. Sometimes simple is better.

Like Surprises? Swapping Files Might Be Your Bag!

FileSwap (http://www.FileSwap.com) enables visitors to swap computer files, photos, music, wallpapers, audio files, animated icons, videos or even PDF and text files, quickly and simply. Use the browse button to retrieve the file or files that you want to swap, then hit the swap button to continue.

After the file you have selected has been entered into the system, then you will receive a random file that someone else has submitted. Yes, it is kind of like playing the lottery, but your chance of winning something interesting is far better than the lottery.

Remarkable Achievement For Ambitious Chinese

Last week�s announcement on our www.barternewsblog.com, regarding the China Commercial Aircraft Co. being established in Shanghai with a capitalization of $2.7 billion, is stunning.

The Central Government and the Shanghai Government are among the major shareholders as are China�s two main aircraft manufacturing and servicing companies�China Aviation Industry Corp. I & II.

While it�s too early to say when a Chinese-developed jumbo jet will be taking off, it�s yet another remarkable achievement for the ambitious Chinese people.

TV Product Placements Soaring!

Advertisers are concerned about viewers �tivoing� (erasing) their ads. As a result we�re seeing dramatic growth in the use of product placements.

The Nielsen Company reported that product placements for the first quarter of 2008 rose 6% on primetime programming for the eleven measured networks on broadcast. Overall, broadcast television placements rose 39%, while cable television was essentially flat at 1%.

There were 117,976 brand occurrences on cable and broadcast networks in the first three months of the year, according to Nielsen. The most prevalent type on broadcast television was �foreground,� which represented 35% of all product placements. On cable television, �wardrobe� placements were most common, accounting for 32%.

The top 10 prime-time programs on broadcast networks featured 15,404 occurrences in the first three months of this year-compared to 8,893 occurrences in the same time period in 2007.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...05/20/2008

Global Economy Is Soaring

Overall, the global economy has never been more encouraging. Consider that it has more than doubled in size over the last 15 years and is now $54 trillion. In the same period, global trade has grown by 133%.

We see commodity prices at 200 year highs, all a result of soaring global demand...more people eating, drinking, washing, driving and consuming.

Tom Brady Barters Time For Use Of Five New Audi SUVs

The New England Patriots� star quarterback has agreed to serve three years as honorary chairman of a bike ride sponsored by Audi that raises money for those with intellectual disabilities.

As part of the agreement, Patriots� offensive linemen Matt Light, Stephen Neal, Dan Koppen, Logan Mankins, and Nick Kaczur will get the use of new Audi Q7 SUVs for the next year.

Two Barter Sites For Book Lovers

Exchange used books with other BookMooch members and �get� the book(s) that you want in return. There is no cost to participate in the BookMooch community. Only pay for the actual shipping of the books that you agree to swap.

Swap paperback books, CDs and DVDs, with other members of Paperback Swap. Membership is currently free. Like with any swapping community, members are responsible for paying the actual shipping cost for the products that they have agreed to swap.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...05/13/2008

What�s The Message Here?

Only three countries in the world do not use the metric system...Liberia, Myanmar and the United States. For America to maintain it�s role in the world, it may be a good idea to think about joining it.

National Federation Of Independent Business (NFIB) Reveals. . .

�Recession fears are spreading and the economy is showing definite signs of slowing, even on Main Street,� confirms NFIB chief economist William Dunkelberg. The NFIB Index of Small Business Optimism rose 1.9 points in April to 91.5 (1986=100). Half of the gain was due to an improved outlook for business conditions 6 months out, and a quarter was from improved earnings trends. At the same time, rising prices are becoming a matter of serious concern.

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is the nation�s largest small-business advocacy group, established in 1943.

Financial Markets Worry Former World Bank President

Former World Bank president James Wolfensohn, now an advisor to Citigroup, is pessimistic on the outlook for financial markets. He believes that global bank losses from the credit market crisis could reach $1 trillion.

So far, financial institutions have reported $310 billion in losses resulting from the credit market crisis that began with subprime mortgages in the U.S. According to Wolfensohn there may be $1 trillion worth of losses.

His loss estimate is close to the International Monetary Fund forecast of $945 billion, and he notes that $1 trillion now represents a �consensus estimate� for the losses. The IMF predicts global growth will reach 3.7% this year, the slowest rate since 2003 and down from 4.95% last year.

The European Commission estimates that Europe�s economic growth will slow to 1.5% next year, thanks to the continuation of the credit crisis. That forecast constitutes a 29% decrease from the commission�s previous prediction of 2.1% growth.

Wolfensohn says the damage suffered by financial institutions surpasses any other episode he has witnessed in his 40-year career, largely because of the extent of the overhangs in financial markets. (Challenges to the major institutions are in terms of write-downs and impact on market capitalization.)

Torrid growth in emerging markets such as China and India will cushion the damage for the world economy. The IMF forecasts growth of 9.3% in China this year and 7.9% in India. Emerging markets have enormous internal growth and are expanding in other markets, such as Africa.

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  From the desk of Bob Meyer...05/06/2008

Builders Use Barter To Pay Bills

In Tampa Bay, Florida, one home builder is out of cash and paying his contractors with vacant building lots, because he has more lots than cash. (Some of the lots sold for $50,000 a year ago.)

Orange County Politician Wants TradeAmericanCard Dollars

Larry Dick, owner of Riddle Appliances, is a 20-year member of TradeAmericanCard and a Republican candidate for the 60th assembly district. The former councilman and water commissioner of Orange is actively seeking donations; he gladly accepts TAC trade dollars.

Homeseekers Barter �Their Services� For Space

For 20 years St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center in Baltimore (MD) has run a matchmaking service, helping Baltimore homeowners with extra space find people looking for a room to rent. They�ve made 1,180 matches�about 60 a year.

Homesharing can be a flexible arrangement. Homeseekers sometimes barter services in exchange for rent. The St. Ambrose Homesharing telephone is (410) 366-6180.

Economists See Banks� Balance Sheets Dropping $2 Trillion

At a conference sponsored by Brandeis University and the University of Chicago business schools, two economists and two academics estimated that about half the mortgages losses, or about $200 billion, will be borne by banks and other leveraged financial institutions.

For every $1 less in capital, a bank lends roughly $10 less. Thus the $200 in mortgaged losses, will lead them to shrink their balance sheets by about $2 trillion...lending less and selling assets.

South Africans Barter Real Estate

Property developer Ian Meyer�s web site is where real estate property listings will be given a minimum of 60 days global exposure. For more information see: http://www.propertybarter.co.za.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...04/29/2008

ITEX San Diego Goes Green

To help celebrate Earth Day on April 22, the ITEX in San Diego office decided to go green. Rather than printing 700 130-page directories for their members, they will now be e-mailing them instead. Not only is it more environmentally friendly, but it also allows ITEX to provide a more current listing of its local members. A new e-mail directory will be sent every billing cycle to their ITEX members.

San Diego ITEX web site is http://111030.itex.com/

Newspaper Ads + Internet = Sales

According to the Newspaper Association of America, new consumer research, conducted by Clark, Martire & Bartolomeo and commissioned by Google, found that among people who research products and services after seeing them advertised in newspapers 67% use the Internet to find more information, and nearly 70% of them actually make a purchase following their additional research.

BBX Trade Exchange Offers Real Estate Investments

Following a successful listing on the National Stock Exchange of Australia (NSX) in 2006, BBX Property Fund has issued a third prospectus to raise additional funds for property investment to add to their growing portfolio.

Investment in the Property Fund is open to the general public as well as members of the BBX exchange. The prospectus invites investors to apply for up to 2,000,000 Ordinary Shares and up to 8,000,000 B-Class Shares at an issue price of $1.00 each.

To apply for B-Class Shares, an investor must be, or apply to become, a member of the exchange thus being able to secure an investment that is tax effective, when used in conjunction with a self-managed superannuation fund. The company recommends that investors seek independent professional advice in this regard.

The BBX Property Fund is a licensed investment company established to invest in residential and commercial properties in the capital cities and growth centres of Australia and New Zealand.

Pies, Pork & Services Bartered For Homegrown Music

Bryan Moyer Suderman has launched something he calls community supported music. People who buy annual memberships in his company, SmallTall Music, receive regular deliveries of �fresh, homegrown, organic music.� Some members barter pork, pies, photography services, web site assistance and house painting as payment for their memberships.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...04/22/2008

Use Those Gift Cards

Bankruptcy laws do not require companies to redeem their gift certificates, and in an economic downturn you can be sure there will be more bankruptcy filings. So take action now...use those gift cards! (Some companies in bankruptcy will honor their gift cards, others suggest that gift card holders file a claim in bankruptcy court.)

2nd Home�Vacation Spots�Sales Dropping

Surprise, surprise. Speculators are continuing to exit the market with vacation home sales falling 30.6% last year (from 1.07 million to 740,000), according to the National Association of Realtors.

Internet Display Advertising Makes Big Gain

Banner ads and other display ads on the Internet saw big gains in 2007, up 15.9% to $11.3 billion. Ads on network TV dropped by 2% to $22.43 billion. Cable TV jumped 6.5% to $17.84 billion. Newspapers and radio both dropped, 5.6% and 3.5% respectively.

FedEx Sees No Sign of Economic Rebound

FedEx is a diversified transportation company that moves everything from documents to building materials through a network of planes, tractor-trailers, and delivery vehicles. As they move millions of packages daily they are a good barometer for the American economy. FedEx reports that it sees no signs of the U.S. strengthening its economy at this time.

Hilton Olympic Sponsorship Continues

Hilton hotels has renewed sponsorship of the U.S. Olympic Team, which will extend through the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, and the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London.

The renewal also encompasses the 2010/2012 U.S. Paralympic Team and the 2011 U.S. Pan American Team. Thus extending its long-standing relationship with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).

The agreement entitles the Hilton Family of Hotels�Hilton, Conrad, Doubletree, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hampton Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Grand Vacations, Homewood Suites by Hilton, and The Waldorf-Astoria Collection�to use the official hotel sponsor designation, and the U.S. Olympic Team and U.S. Paralympic Team logos in all advertising or marketing materials.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...04/15/2008

Ralph Lauren Barters To Become Official Olympic Team Outfitter

Ralph Lauren�s clothing line Polo has signed a contract with the U.S. Olympic Committee to provide outfits for the 1,500 American athletes to be worn at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, as well as other attire (wardrobes) to wear in the Olympic Village. Polo will be supplying their products as an in-kind payment for the Olympic sponsorship.

The Olympic deal will translate into millions in sales of Olympics-branded products that will be carried at Polo boutiques in the U.S. and on the company�s web site starting in mid-July. Department stores will also carry the clothes with 10% of the sales from the Olympics-branded products going to the USOC as royalty payments.

Goldman Sachs CEO Looks At U.S. Economy

Lloyd C. Blankfein, CEO of investment bank Goldman Sachs, believes the economy is in a recession, and won�t return to growth until the end of the year. He typified the economy as the worst in 55 years. On the upside he thinks the credit crisis, which has been hobbling investment banks for nearly a year, is 75% along toward a recovery.

Bartering DVDs & Video Games

SwapSimple.com makes swapping books, DVDs, and video games both easy and simple. List the books, DVDs and video games, simply by entering the UPC code that is printed on the item, or enter the ISBN number that is printed on the back cover of books into the swap listing tools. That�s it...SwapSimple will take care of the rest.

Exchange items with members who are included in your network free. Or pay $1.00 or $2.00 per trade, when swapping with members outside your network. Trades are backed with a 100% money back guarantee. Membership is free and required.

Ad Agencies Cutting Expenses

Concerns about the economy have some ad agencies and media-buying services doing a bit of belt-tightening. Actions taken include slowing the pace of hiring to keeping tight controls on salaries, and trimming various expenses such as not sending staff to award shows.

Advertising agencies have reported that many marketers (their clients) are frozen in fear.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...04/08/2008

Former New Zealand Exchange Owner Amazed With Industry�s Progress

Wes Davis, former owner of a New Zealand trade exchange in the mid-1990s, recently called our offices. He and his wife are now living in Northern California. Davis expressed his amazement when hearing the far-reaching changes that have taken place in the worldwide barter industry.

Barter Your Skills

Do you have a skill that you want to swap in exchange for a skill that someone else can provide? If so, there is a great web site for individuals who possess a skill�artistic, musical, engineer, plumber, electrician, or just about any type of skill imaginable. Whatever you�re looking for can likely be found at Swap-A-Skill (www.swapaskill.com) at one time or another.

Basic membership is free, but there are some costs associated with membership upgrades. Be sure to read the membership agreement, before signing up.

Love Baking? Check This Site Out...

If you are a person who loves baking fresh cookies, cakes and pies, then Bake Space (www.bakespace.com) is the perfect place to be, because its members swap cooking and baking recipes as well as share ideas. Membership is free and required.

Economy & Fuel Will Affect Your Airline Ticket Price

The slowing U.S. economy and surging jet-fuel prices have forced an international trade group to lower its outlook on airline profits for the second time in four months. Domestic carriers are expected to take the biggest earnings hit.

The International Air Transport Association on Tuesday said it expects profits for (both) domestic and foreign carriers to fall to $4.5 billion this year from $5.6 billion in 2007. Several months earlier IATA had lowered its forecast to $5 billion, from a previous estimate of $7.8 billion, due to higher oil prices and credit-market turmoil.

U.S. airlines� profits are anticipated to fall to $1.8 billion from an estimated $2.8 billion last year. �This could easily turn into a net loss should the current economic environment deteriorate further,� reported IATA.

Continually Cutting Interest Rates Bad Idea

One of the leading economists in the U.S., Brian Wesbury of First Trust Advisors, now says the government�s monetary policy is partly to blame for the ongoing malaise in the financial sector.

Non-stop interest rate cuts over the past few months may have created a perverse incentive for businesses to postpone activity, according to Wesbury. (He says that aggressive rate cutting has been ineffective.)

Without liquidity and capital, financial institutions and trading vehicles are in trouble.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...04/01/2008

Global Carbon Market Undergoing Tremendous Growth

Global trade in carbon dioxide emissions could reach 4.2 billion tons this year, a 56% increase from 2007, according to a report from Point Carbon, an Oslo-based research firm.

The report includes a survey of the carbon market in which more than 70% of respondents predict a global climate agreement by 2012. The global carbon market was worth $60 billion in 2007, an 80% increase over 2006. (The 2008 market is expected to be worth $92 billion.)

U.S. Very Cost-Efficient Place To Operate

The auditing and consulting firm KPMG reveals that the U.S. has moved up on the list of most cost-efficient places around the world to operate a business. The survey which takes place every two years reports that only Mexico and Canada were cheaper. Interestingly, all three countries are members of NAFTA.

Out-Of-Home Digital Forum Scheduled

The Forum, scheduled for April 23 at the Yale Club of New York (50 Vanderbilt Avenue), focuses on the advertising market, media buying, and planning for the burgeoning digital out-of-home video marketplace.

Digital out-of-home media is the fastest growing medium since the Internet. Now a $2 billion industry, it is expected to grow dramatically in the years ahead. Some industry pundits envision a $10 billion market within a decade.

General Electric Believes It�s Time To Take Advantage Of Price Adjustments

General Electric Co., among the country's biggest real estate investors using its own money, will soon be using other people's cash to invest.

In what some experts say is an adventurous move, GE plans to raise cash � $1 billion to $3 billion � from outside investors to begin investing in commercial real estate and other properties through newly established real estate investment funds.

GE will not be bottom-feeding for deeply depressed or foreclosed properties. The company�s strategy is to buy still viable properties at discounts of 10% to 15%.

Chapter 11 Business Filings Spreading In USA

Last year Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings for businesses hit a two-year high of 6,236, according to Jupiter eSources, an Oklahoma company that tracks the data. They report that the pace of filings has accelerated this year. As the credit crisis deepens law firms across the country are betting that bankruptcy work will be their most-promising avenue of growth.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...03/25/2008

Trade Exchange (Barter Company) Offers Revenue Sharing For Referrals

Bill Rosenberg, founder of BarterBing in Hope (RI), has instituted a program where members of his trade exchange can earn a percentage of revenue generated (by service fees) from new referrals they provide to the exchange.

Whitten Enjoying New Role In Life

Larry Whitten, a long time barter industry veteran with the Business Exchange organization, is now retired and enjoying his new role of grandpa. He says hello to his peers and reports that he�s enjoying winters in Florida and summers in Colorado.

Over $43 Million In Lender Offered At Los Angeles Auction

National Home Auction Corporation, a foreclosure and builder close-out auction company, completed another blow-out auction event on Sunday, March 16, at the Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown Los Angeles. The event hosted an energetic and diverse crowd of approximately 2,000 people looking to purchase their first homes, investment properties, and second or vacation homes. A total of 1,065 bids were made on 119 homes during the all-day event.

Older Internet Users Feel Web Advertising & Content Not Relevant

A recent BurstMedia survey of more than 13,000 web users 18 years and older, found that online content providers are not meeting the needs of all age segments. Not surprisingly, a majority of internet users 45 years and older believe online content is focused on younger age segments.

Overall, 52.0% of respondents believe internet content is primarily focused toward people their own age. Not surprisingly, says the study, younger respondents are most likely to say online content is focused on people their age. This is particularly true for the 18-to-24 year and 25-to-34 year segments.

Additionally, 55.7% of respondents 35-to-44 years perceive online content as focused toward their age segment. Few respondents 55 years and older say internet content is primarily focused on people their age.

Creative Television Marketing Will Take Over Telco�s Barter Syndication

Creative Television Marketing (CTM) announced today a major expansion of services to include commercial advertising sales with its agreement to represent Telco Productions� syndicated barter inventory. CTM will immediately take over all commercial advertising sales for Telco�s Animal Rescue, Dog Tales, and Missing...formerly represented by Tribune Entertainment.

U.S. Consumer Feeling Pinched

By the end of 2007, 36% of consumers� disposable income went to food, energy and medical care, a bigger chunk of income than at any time since records were first kept in 1960, according to Merrill Lynch.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...03/18/2008

Community Barter In Montana

Have a skill, a service, some goods or some free time you'd like to turn into �community money?� If you�re in the area, contact flatheadbarterhoursExchange@yahoo.com, or P.O. Box 3423, Kalispell, Montana 59903.

China Expects E-Commerce Boom

China has surpassed the United States to become the world�s largest internet market by number of users. The U.S. web population was 216 million at the end of 2007. China�s higher percentage of growth coupled with its 210 million Internet users at the end of 2007, leads estimators into believing it has replaced the U.S. as #1 globally.

E-Commerce is expected to be the next boom sector in China, as businesses take advantage of the mass market of consumers already online.

Google Eyes Display Ad Market

Tim Armstrong, Google�s president of advertising and commerce for North America, says the company would be �disappointed� if it doesn�t attain a �very significant position� in the display ad market over the next two years. Google considers YouTube as the �brightest light� for the company�s display-advertising potential.

YouTube Soon To Be On Television...

TiVo Inc. has revealed that it would deliver videos - from Google Inc�s popular web site YouTube - directly to television screens via its digital video recorders.

TiVo disclosed the service would be available later this year for high-speed Internet subscribers who have TiVo Series3 DVRs. It said that users would be able to log onto their YouTube accounts directly from their TiVo boxes.

Per Capita Income In Vietnam Growing

Last week we reported on the average global per-capita income. While some countries are obviously much higher than others, in Vietnam the economy has been expanding an average of 7.5% yearly since 2000. Their average per-capita income (84 million people) increased to $900 last year from $600 in 2005.

SwapStyle.com Where Cosmetics & Name Brand Fashions Can Be Bartered

SwapStyle.com describes itself as an online fashion swap party where you can barter, sell and buy fashion, accessories, cosmetics, shoes and lots more with people from all around the world at any time, day or night. It can save its members money on the name brand fashions and cosmetics that are normally purchased at retailers at high markups.

Members can also participate in forums and discuss the latest fashion trends and sales. Members are only responsible for paying the actual shipping costs associated with the items that they have traded or sold. Membership is free and required.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...03/11/2008

Africa Barter & South Africa Business Hub

Africa Barter (http://www.africabarter.co.za) and South Africa Business hub (http://www.sabusinesshub.co.za) are cooperating to expand barter awareness in that part of the world.

Dogbarter.com

We found this interesting site where classifieds and ads abound for dogs. (Click here.)

Where�s Your Shredder?

If you have only one shredder, it belongs in the kitchen. That�s according to a Staples study, indicating most junk mail ends up in the kitchen trash, not the office trash.

A Real California Housing Story

Stripped of all the realtors rhetoric that we see in the papers here in Orange County (CA), this real life situation reinforces today�s reality.

There was a real estate auction on March 1, less than 5 miles from where we�re located, in an equestrian community called Nellie Gail Ranch. The homeowner had previously hosted 40 open houses on his property over an 18-month period without a single offer.

At the auction he sold his five-bedroom, Mediterranean-style house in the Laguna Hills enclave for $900,000 less than his original asking price. The asking price was $2.09 million...the selling price $1.2 million. Five people showed up for the auction.

Internet Growth Linked To High-Speed Connections

By 2012, nearly 33 million U.S. households will have broadband services with speeds of 10 mbps or higher, capable of streaming high-definition video, according to a new Parks Associates� North American Broadband Market Update.

Many industry experts and economists see a direct link between faster internet connections and the growth of the internet economy. The country still has a way to go, however. At the end of last year, 5.7 million (9%) of U.S. broadband households, had reached the 10 mbps mark.

Global Per Capita Income $8,200

The latest missive from Forbes tells us there are 1,125 billionaires in the world now. Unfortunately, that leaves 6.5 billion or so of us who � according to the unfailingly accurate Central Intelligence Agency � have a global per capita income of $8,200, when using the dollar as a benchmark.

You may be thinking that Sierra Leone�s $530 annual per capita income brings down the class curve, but the U.S. average income is all of $37,500.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...03/04/2008

Bartercard UAE Hires Dubai-based Creative Agencies To Expand Presence

Bartercard UAE, the regional center for Bartercard�s operations in the Middle East, has hired Idea Spice and Content Syndicate with the intent of raising its profile and awareness of the Bartercard network.

Bartercard is looking to sell more franchises for the other emirates�Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah and beyond.

Barb Martin Receives Kudos From IMS CEO Don Mardak

International Monetary Systems (OTCBB:INLM) CEO Don Mardak lavished praise upon Barb Martin, the IMS National Sales Manager last week for her efforts in moving the company�s organic sales to new levels.

According to Mardak the efforts of the sales network will be the heart of the company�s future growth. (For more on IMS�s record month of January see the story found later in this issue.) 

Barter Seed Exchange Web Site

In Olympic, Washington, there is a barter/gifting-only seed exchange web site that is looking to build Olympia�s farming and gardening community...one seed at a time. Bartered classes, seeds, information, soil amendments and/or plants are found on this community web site (http://www.olympiaseedexchange.org).

Internet Yellow Pages Usage Growing

Internet Yellow Pages (IYPs) accounted for over half (51%) of all local searches online in December 2007, according to data from the Yellow Pages Association.

On average, 73 million searchers used an IYP each month in 2007, up 16% from the previous year. Meanwhile, print usage (use of the printed Yellow Pages), according to the Association, remained relatively unchanged from 2006.

Small Farmers Find Business Economics Challenging

For a look at how effectively forms of credit, deposit balances, and currency serve as a means of exchange when it comes to the ability of farmers to stay in business�and people being able to acquire food�visit  Click here .

iTunes Battles Wal-mart

Apple�s iTunes has become the second-largest music retailer in the U.S. behind Wal-Mart, distributing the digital music platform (which offers more than 6 million songs from major and independent labels) over the Web and via sales of its iPod portable music players.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...02/26/2008

More Barter Sites

Two sites found recently are www.teamuphere.com, which reportedly has 2,797 members; www.skillcycle.co.uk a social network for members to exchange skills and services with other members; and www.baitnet.com for fishing sites to barter links with one another. A Long Island (NY) web site for people who live near Nassau and Suffolk county areas is looking for sponsors, www.longislandexchange.com.

Norm Alvis Says Barter Business Is Booming

Norm Alvis of www.edaddywarbucks.com reports to BarterNews that he has done over $10 million in business already in 2008, including millions in barter funding for public companies.

Unique Financing Plan Guarantees Customers

A shop in Boston�Lionette�s Market�and the Garden of Eden restaurant, next door, have been owned by the Lionette family for two generations. (They sell fresh, locally-raised meat and produce.)

Now the brothers Jamey and Robert, managers of the two entities, are making an interesting financial proposal to the South End community to improve their property.

Their plan: Locals who invest $1,000 will get a two-year stipend of $125 per week at the store�a total return of $13,000 in food. For $5,000 the investor gets a $55 weekly stipend for two years. A $2,500 investor gets a 10% discount on store items for two years.

Indonesia Looks To Barter For Military Equipment

Indonesia wants to barter for military equipment from Russia. They also want to establish a maintenance center to work on its Russian-built jets. The proposed deals should, according to Indonesia, also include technology transfer that will increase the production capacity of its own industry.

Harry Schultz Says Financial Tsunami Is Upon Us

Financial radical Harry Schultz says we�re in a derivative crisis and sees the real possibility for new records of hyper-inflation...besting those of the late �70s and early �80s. As inflation hedges he recommends art, commercial property that yields income, and farm land.

Cubans Hoping For Better Economic Conditions With Next Leader

Now that 81-year-old Fidel Castro is retiring (after nearly 50 years as the head of state), Cubans will no doubt expect the next leader to improve economic conditions in a country where monthly pay averages $15.

Yahoo Shareholders Can Expect More, If History Repeats

History isn�t on Microsoft�s side when it comes to its opening offer of $44.3 billion to Yahoo�s shareholders. In 63% of hostile approaches over the past five years, suitors have raised their initial offer. (According to data from FactSet Research Systems.)

Proxy fights waged as part of hostile acquisition attempts are far rarer. They represent less than 5% of all hostile takeovers since 2001, or 27 contests in all.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...02/19/2008

Russia�s Astounding Barter Deal With Iraq

Wanting to help Russian companies win contracts with Iraq, Russia has agreed to a most unique barter arrangement. In exchange for launching promising joint projects in the oil and gas and electric-power sectors, Russia has told the Iraq government, �we will write off 93% of what you owe us, or $11.7 billion of your $12.9 billion debt.�

Nearly Everybody Has Shopped Online�Worldwide

According to the latest Nielsen Global Online Survey on internet shopping habits, more than 85% of the world's online population has used the internet to make a purchase. That�s a 40% increase in the past two years. 

When the Nielsen Company conducted its first global survey into internet shopping trends two years ago, approximately 10% of the world's population (627 million) had shopped online. Within two years, this number has increased by approximately 40% to 875 million.

U.S. Small Business Owners Pessimistic

According to a report on CNBC TV (cable business network) the small business sector in the United States is at its lowest level since January 1991, after its biggest decline ever in the most recent survey conducted by National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). The report indicated there is little hiring or business investment taking place, which is a sure indicator of a downturn in the economy.

Donnelley Happy With Business.com Purchase

R.H. Donnelley�s yellow pages directory online business acquired Business.com in the 4th quarter of 2007 for $345 million...besting the New York Times and Dow Jones for the acquisition. And they�re convinced that Business.com will prove to be an important business partner for them, as the small business community expands its navigating of online marketing.

Yahoo�s Lost Deal

Microsoft�s pursuit of Yahoo and the potential buyout of $41 billion seems staggering. But just a few years ago, in 2001 Yahoo had an opportunity to buy Google. It occurred when Google�s co-founders Sergey Grin and Larry Page dined with former Yahoo CEO Terry Semel and discussed a deal. The Google co-founders wanted $3 billion to sell and Yahoo�s Semel felt the price was tool high. Google today is worth $162 billion!

Speculators Walking Away Which Is Bad News

According to Wachovia and Bank of America, as well as Fitch Ratings, half of the homes listed for sale in Las Vegas are vacant. Most of the homes were bought by investors/speculators. No longer an appreciating asset, they have little attachment to the homes now.

Walk-aways could lead to an insidious process, putting more downward pressure on prices, and in turn giving more homeowners an incentive to pack their bags and leave their keys in the mailbox for the bank.

Goldman Sachs Chief Economist Jan Hatizus estimates that by the end of 2008 some 30% of all outstanding mortgages (or 15 million U.S. homes) will be attached to negative equity�mortgages will be more than the homes they finance.

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

Lance Armstrong Knows Barter�s Value

Cycling legend Lance Armstrong just completed a major barter agreement with Richard Rosenblatt, the chairman of Demand Media. Together they are creating a new �for-profit� web site that DM will operate...the focus of the site will be on health programs and cancer research.

The barter component: Lance Armstrong (as well as his non-profit foundation) will receive equity stakes in the media firm. And Demand Media will retain all ad revenue created by the new commercial site.

Two More Newbie Barter Sites

Two more trading sites have hit cyberspace...www.GiveNTake.in and www.BegBarterorbuy.com.

Buy & Hold Pays Off For This Investor

Atlanta�s largest bank is shedding a large portion of its 43.6 million Coke holdings. Sun Trust Banks has a nearly century-old financial tie with the Coca-Cola Co. They took Coke public in 1919. Now they�re selling their shares to reap $1 billion!

Wristwatches Improve Restaurant Service

Waiters at some restaurants are beginning to use devices resembling wristwatches to improve customer service. The devices, part of a wireless system devised by ESP Systems, alert waiters when food is standing by or when a new table is ready, among other things.

Diners also have a device at their table for paging their waiter if they need anything. At the end of the night, managers are provided with statistics about each waiter�s service.

Warren Buffett Feels No Sorrow For U.S. Economy Turmoil

According to the billionaire investor Warren Buffett, the woes in the U.S. financial sector are poetic justice for the bankers who designed and sold complex investments that have since gone sour.

The head of Berkshire Hathaway, also known as the �Oracle from Omaha,� says the recent interest rate cuts mean that low-cost funds are readily available. He also thinks that the U.S. dollar will continue to slide until the country can rein in the huge trade deficit. But over time he believes the economy will do very well.

Forty Percent Of Web Users Viewed Newspaper Sites At Year End

According to the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), the average monthly unique audience figures for newspaper web sites grew by more than 3.6 million in 2007...a record year for the industry and an increase of more than 6% over 2006 numbers. Two out of five (40%) web users viewed newspaper sites at year�s end.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...02/05/08

$41 Trillion To Be Spent On World�s Infrastructure

According to a report on CNBC�s financial TV channel, some $41 trillion will be spent on the world�s infrastructure (bridges, roads, tunnels, etc.) over the next 25 years. The commentary revealed that both Egypt and Russia have more infrastructure plans than India or China.

It was also noted that in Egypt labor costs are cheaper than China.

Kudos To Campbell�s Soups

Over the last decade Campbell�s Soup has worked to raise the awareness for the ongoing issue of hunger in America. They�ve made direct donations of more than 35 million cans of soup to food banks and various hunger charities.

What�s Ahead For U.S. Economy

By most accounts the American economy is about to enter the 12th recession since WWII. The last came in 2001 following the attacks on 9/11 and roughly eighteen months after the dot.com-fueled stock market reached its peak...before its rapid decline through the bubble bursting.

Consumers are feeling less and less bullish about the economy, as evidenced by their more judicious spending.

Globalization Moves Politics Into World Of Continents

From Washington to Warsaw, policy makers are now taking into account the views and actions of countries that, until recently, held little sway on the international scene. The rise of China, the renewed confidence of Russia and the growing economic muscle of countries including India and Brazil, are shifting the center of gravity within global politics.

In Europe, the growing influence of China and Russia has provided a new spur toward integration as European countries come to appreciate the importance of scale in a globalized world. Furthermore, Europe's attempt to weld 27 disparate nations into one bloc is being imitated around the globe, from Asia to Africa, as countries experiment with new ways to maximize influence.

Global Assets Indicate New World Order Coming

A study by the McKinsey Global Institute shows that while $56.1 trillion, or more than one-third, of the world�s financial assets were held in the U.S. in 2006, the total held by emerging markets reached $23.6 trillion. And their assets are growing twice as fast as those in developed countries.

For those living in the developed world, there are clear benefits to this new world order. Capital from the emerging markets will cushion the blow of the current financial crisis on businesses and consumers. And continued growth in emerging countries will soften the effects of a possible recession elsewhere. Over time, the global economy is not a zero-sum game. Americans, Europeans, and Japanese can all prosper even as their share of the world economy declines.

Malaysian Government Seeks Self-Sufficiency Through Barter

Deputy Prime Minister Daruk Najib Razak has announced the establishment of the Malaysian National Price Council to create a national stockpile of commodities as a safeguard against the impact of rising prices.

Half of the nation�s human carbohydrate consumption comes from imported wheat, while all of the feed for the chicken, egg, and pork industries comes from imported corn. With producing countries banning exports of wheat and corn, there is an urgent need for Malaysia to abandon the normal monetary channels.

Instead they must resort to government-to-government barter trading to secure our imports of corn and wheat, without which the population of 27 million will face starvation. Malaysia can barter its palm oil with countries like India and China, in return for wheat and corn.

Bartering will allow Malaysia to undertake an immediate science program, rapidly increasing agricultural production with 21st century technology.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...01/29/08

Bartercard & BBX Working With New Australian Business Directory

Clickfind (www.clickfind.com.au), launched in late 2007, is a search engine and business directory that lists genuine Australian businesses. Every business listing on Clickfind must provide an ABN number.

Clickfind is Australian-owned and is based in Brisbane. The firm is a member of the Australian barter exchanges Bartercard and BBX.

For more information go to www.bartercard.clickfind.com.au or www.BBX.clickfind.com.au.

China�s Growth Impressive

China�s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose to 24.7 trillion yuan ($3.4 trillion) in 2007, from 22.1 trillion yuan ($3.1 trillion) in 2006. The U.S. GDP for 2007 was $13 trillion.

Restaurant Trends To Expect In 2008

The snack attack�Restaurants are hoping that small portions, big flavors, and low prices will lure in hungry snackers. Mini burgers and wraps caught on late in 2007. From fast food to fine dining, restaurants may soon compete to create the fastest and most filling snacks.

Fine fast food�Fast food is going gourmet. Popular celebrity chefs are branching out with convenient, fast, casual restaurants that promise high quality food, fine cooking and bold flavors...all on a 30-minute lunch break. Bobby Flay, Rick Bayless, and Wolfgang Puck have invested in fast casual operations, bringing their unique culinary flairs to the masses. Expect more celebrity chefs to get in the mix this year.

Consumers Seek Information In Many Places Outside of TV

According to the BIGresearch latest Simultaneous Media Survey, the only way for people to keep up with the deluge of media options is to multitask with other media. Specifically, says Gary Drenik, President of BIGresearch, �TV's influence on consumers to purchase products declined, whereas new media options such as web radio, satellite radio, instant messaging, and blogging all increased.

�Consumers seem to be seeking information from digital platforms while TV has traditionally been viewed as a brand building medium, which isn�t providing the requisite information.�

Media that can target, be timely, and deliver value to consumers, such as coupons/direct mail, radio, yellow pages, newspapers and newspaper inserts, all increased in influence-to-purchase as consumers are looking to stretch budgets in a slowing economy.

Our Changing World

On Super Sunday something else will kick off besides Super Bowl XLII...the world�s largest focus-group study on television advertising, courtesy of a burgeoning online social network being propagated by consumer research giant Nielsen Company.

When the New England Patriots and the New York Giants take the field, tens-of-thousands of online users will take to their computer screens to rate the TV commercials running during the coverage of the game. It will be the first commercialized use of Hey! Nielsen, the online social community launched last summer with a goal of creating a new method for measuring social buzz and interaction around brands, media, entertainment, and sports properties.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...01/22/08

Buckle Your Seat-belts For Impending Downturn

The coming recession may be worse than the other two serious economic downturns that have hit the U.S. economy in the past 25 years, according to The Wall Street Journal. Three reasons why: the housing market is horrible, energy prices are very high, and the job market is weakening.

Ultimate Sales University Promises Results

The CEO of the American Basketball Association (ABA) and long time marketing whiz, Joe Newman, has put his passion for quality training in reach of everyone at www.UltimateSalesUniversity.com.

China Soon To Be Largest Web Market

The total number of internet users in China soared 53% to 210 million at the end of 2007, up from 137 million at the end of 2006. China is now just 5 million short of passing the USA. 

Gift Card Sales Continue Dramatic Growth

Gift card sales totaled $97 billion in 2007, up from $83 billion in 2006, according to data from the Tower Group and the New York Times.

Less attention by the media has been given to �breakage,� which is the money retailers get when gift cards are not used or leftover funds remain. Tower put breakage amount at $7.8 billion for 2007.

Gender Differences On Entrepreneurship

Discover credit card�s survey of 1,000 small businesses shows how different men and women are. In short, whether you choose business ownership to have greater control or more flexibility may depend on your sex.

Among female respondents, 32% wanted flexibility and 17% wanted to be their own boss. Men were more evenly divided: 27% wanted to be their own boss and 24% sought flexibility.

Also, 39% of male business owners think women have an easier time starting businesses, and 34% think men have it easier. Among women, 20% of small-business owners think men have an easier time starting businesses; 15% think women have it easier.

New Vacation Booking Web Site

Zonder.com is a new vacation-booking web site for home, condo and cabin rentals in North America, Central America and the Caribbean. They�re offering a 10% discount on bookings made before February 14, with a cap of $250 in savings per book. Use promo code �BeyondHotels� during checkout.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...01/15/08

Why Countertrade Will Continue To Grow

Barter done at its highest level is referred to as countertrade, offsets, counter purchase, and other names. Although the world is getting smaller in some ways, thanks to technology, countertrade is not going to disappear. Quite the contrary.

Countertrade will continue to grow because world trade is growing, and countertrade is an inevitable part of that trade. Because as developing nations become more involved in expanding world commerce, they will need countertrade to offset their lack of hard currency (U.S. dollar or the euro) to fulfill their needs.

Other factors that will effect the use of countertrade are technical knowledge, unemployment, and nationalism which often leads to protectionism.

Is $1 Million �Chump Change?�

According to some thinking, having a million dollars in net worth�including the value of your homes(s) and certain retirement assets�is chump change. Yet having a net worth of $1.4 puts one in the top 5% of Americans, according to the Federal Reserve. Interestingly, studies show that when asked how much it takes to be rich, people always give a number that is twice their current net worth or income.

Creative Thinking Adds Up

Salesbuzz.entrepreneur.com columnist Ray Silverstein gave �barter� a plug in a recent column titled, �Creative Thinking Adds Up.�

60% Of Small Businesses Advertise In Yellow Pages

Local businesses (6 out of 10) stick with old-school yellow pages to get new customers, according to a phone survey from AT&T Advertising & Publishing.

And an independent survey by research firm Kelsey Group finds that 61% of Americans say they turn to the printed yellow-pages listings to find local business information, while 13% say they use search engines.

World�s Third-Largest Advertising Market

The U.S., with its ad agency giants, holds first place in the advertising market, followed by Japan. In third place is China, with the possibility of moving into second place next year. Omnicom Group has recently bought a minority stake in Chinese marketing concern Shunya Communications Group. Omnicom also owns Icon-International, a U.S. corporate barter company located.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...01/08/08

IRTA Works With IRS On Members Behalf

In the last few years many of IRTA�s North American members (and other industry participants) have reported an increase in IRS civil penalties related to non-matching TINs (tax information number) and back-up withholding issues.

Recently, the IRS has stepped-up their enforcement efforts resulting in severe monetary penalties and bank seizures causing undue hardship for International Reciprocal Trade Association members and other third-party recordkeepers.

IRTA has maintained an excellent relationship with IRS and currently serves on the IRS Information Reporting Program Advisory Committee (IRPAC). Because of this special role IRTA holds with the IRS, they are in an unprecedented position to assist members in dealing with and avoiding these unpleasant penalty issues.

IRTA continually supports its members that are experiencing IRS/TIN reporting problems by providing guidance, updated contacts and regulatory information.

For more information on services and membership see www.irta.com.

Karmic Capitalist

Chip Conley, a 46-year-old Stanford MBA, envisions himself as a Karmic Capitalist. Why? His company, Joie deVivre Hospitality (www.jvhospitality.com), has boutique hotels that are niche- and life-style oriented...offering deep emotional connections with guests.

The 35 unique properties, that stretch from Napa Valley to Los Angeles, offer personality tests guiding guests to a hotel based on its style and persona�not price. Four years ago 80% of the company�s web driven reservations came from third-party (vacation/travel) sites. Since then that number has plummeted to 10% and falling, reflecting a reversal that indicates most patrons now coming directly to their site.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...01/01/08

Offbeat Company Looks For More Barter �Partners�

Young and ambitious, 36-year-old Damon Carson, the owner of an Americon icon�the kiddie ride  (www.kiddierideusa.com)�is looking for win-win trades on a direct basis as well as through trade exchanges.

Carson sells his kiddie rides to a diverse group of customers...from doctor�s offices to corporations for branding purposes, from car dealerships and collectors to homeowners, grandparents and others. Customization is available.

Contact Carson at (800) 448-6888 ext. 1, or email him at damon@kiddierideusa.com.

Bill Gross Sees Challenging Days Ahead In 2008

Californian Bill Gross, a billionaire and manager of the world�s biggest bond fund at Newport Beach-based Pimco, sees a mild recession in 2008 amid the worst housing slump in 16 years...and maybe even longer as the numbers come in. He contends the U.S. economy will grow as little as 1% on average next year. (Note: Such a prediction is extremely bullish for the barter business.)

In his December newsletter, Gross also pointed out that we are witnessing the breakdown of our modern banking system.

For more information see www.pimco.com.

Two Popular Travel-Search Sites Merge

With Kayak.com and SideStep.com merging, it promises to give consumers access to more comprehensive rates and availability data. The merger means the new company, Kayak, will be the fifth-largest travel site in search volume.

New Network For Massage Professionals

A worldwide community for certified bodyworkers, bodywork students, and bodywork enthusiasts is found at www.massageexchange.com. (This is not a dating site or a site for people seeking erotic activities.)

Venture Capitalists Zero-In On Clean Technology

The next big bet for venture capitalists is with clean technology, according to a survey by the National Association of Venture Capital. Some 81% of those surveyed think clean technology will be the investors� top pick in 2008. It�s estimated that from $20 billion to $29 billion will be invested in 2008, compared to $27 billion in 2007.

World Bank Looks At World�s New GDP

The World Bank is reworking global economic statistics for 146 countries with more-accurate rankings of economic might...comparing the cost of commodities in different nations. Under this new way of measurement, the global gross domestic product is $55 trillion. (The U.S. has 23% share of GDP, China has 10%, India 4%, and Russia 3%.)

Housing Slump�s End Tied To New Construction

Home builders hold the key to the U.S. housing slump, according to a group of economists. There are now 2.1 million vacant homes for sale, up from 500,000 at the beginning of 2006. Until the overhang is worked off, it�s hard to see the decline in home prices abating.

What would it take to work off the inventory of vacant homes on the market? Less homebuilding...about a million less homes being built annually for the coming year. With likely starts for the next year estimated at 1 million to 1.5 million, that means the answer to the housing slump would be home starts of 500,000. Not likely.

Here & There. . .

� Advertise your vacation rentals for up to 12 months at www.watermarkvacationrentals.com.

� Hotels and restaurants can buy direct from manufacturers through an online catalog at www.seatingexpert.com.

� Looking for a house to rent anywhere in the U.S.? Check out www.rentvine.com.

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