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Bob Meyer

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Organized Barter Systems Growing To Alleviate Financial Stress

The current global recession has placed enormous financial pressure on every business sector, every level of government, and virtually every individual on the planet. The prolonged economic downturn has tested peoples� confidence in once-respected financial institutions and government-managed monetary systems.

The recent proliferation of barter exchanges, community currency systems, online barter sites, government sponsored trade systems and mutual peer-to-peer credit clearinghouses are proof of the validity of alternative capital systems� ability to provide meaningful alternative markets to allow businesses and individuals to maintain their status quo and even prosper.

China, France, Ireland and other countries are seriously examining the feasibility of launching their own government sponsored barter systems. On December 8, 2011, the City of London released a report titled �Capacity Trade and Credit: Emerging Architectures for Commerce and Money� with the goal of creating a barter hub of sorts for Europe in London. In the U.S. more than twelve states have legislation pending to create state currencies to serve as an alternative to the currency distributed by the Federal Reserve and commercial banking system.

�The barter and trade industry is justifiably receiving an enormous amount of attention now from both the public and private sectors as a viable solution to replace lost business activity caused by the recession,� says Michael Mercier, President of the International Reciprocal Trade Association (IRTA), the thirty-three-year-old advocate for the global barter and trade industry. IRTA ( anticipates a continued sharp increase in new private, quasi public/private and government backed trading systems in the next decade.

The U.S. government officially recognized organized barter via the Tax Equity and fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA) of 1982, which categorized barter exchanges as third party record-keepers and mandated that all barter sales were taxable events requiring the submission of 1099B forms to the IRS. Many other countries are now using the same approach towards organized barter for their taxation model, as they move towards final approval of their own barter and trade systems.

As the global recession continues, and with little optimism about a meaningful recovery happening anytime in the near future, all types of barter and trade systems will continue to flourish and provide much needed long-term financial relief to business owners and individuals alike. And when the global economy does finally take a turn for the better, organized barter and alternative currency systems will continue to play a meaningful role in increasing commerce and improving the bottom lines of businesses and consumers worldwide.

For more information please contact IRTA Executive Director Ron Whitney at 757-393-2292 or

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