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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.... 2010
December 14, 2010 Southern Barter Hosts Basketball Night
December 7, 2010 Jack Schacht�s Is Up
November 23, 2010 Economist Sees An Age Of De-leveraging Upon Us
November 16, 2010 Online Barter Network For Artists & Designers
October 19, 2010 IMS Holiday Barter Expo�s Announced
October 12, 2010 Small Business Loans Now Easier To Obtain
October 5, 2010 Universal Currency Sets Trading Record
September 28, 2010 IRTA Extends Convention Offer To October 8
September 21, 2010 Savers Penalized By Low Rates of Return
September 7, 2010 Barter Workshop Scheduled
August 31, 2010 United Nations� Huge Multi-Billion Dollar Barter Program
August 24, 2010 5,202 Restaurants Are Throwing In Their Dish Towels
August 17, 2010 For 1 Billion People, A Dollar-A-Day Is Survival
August 10, 2010 Ginseng�s Used To Pay Off Some Debt
August 3, 2010 What Really Matters In Life
July 27, 2010 U.S. Economic Recovery Requires Spending, Expert Asserts
July 20, 2010 NuBarter & Barter Brokers International Plan To Merge
July 13, 2010 Barbados Government Barters For 20% Ownership Stake In Four Seasons Hotel
July 06, 2010 People With Money Are Happier, Poll Shows
June 29, 2010 Number-One Obstacle To Retirement
June 22, 2010 UCLA Study Concludes Slower Economic Growth Ahead
June 15, 2010 Americans Slowly Rebuilding Wealth
June 8, 2010 Private Equity Manager Warns Of Liquidation Deluge
June 1, 2010 Gift-Tax Exclusion Good Estate-Planning Option
May 25, 2010 IMS Barter Makes Presentation At Small Cap Virtual Conference
May 18, 2010 �60 Minutes� Reports On Homeowners Getting Unshackled
May 11, 2010 Correction On April 27 Announcement
May 4, 2010 Barter On The Minds Of Business Owners
April 27, 2010 Bartercard�s Real Estate Site
April 20, 2010 Whitney Prevails In North Carolina Effort
April 13, 2010 Steak N Shake To Make Name Change
April 6, 2010 Michigan Trade Exchanges Report Membership Gains
March 30, 2010 Newly-Formed Assembly Of Barter Announced
March 23, 2010 ITEX New England Expands To West Coast
March 16, 2010 IMS Web Traffic Expanding
March 9, 2010 Too Many Garden Vegetables � Trade Them
March 2, 2010 Mergers & Acquisitions Funded With Less Cash
February 16, 2010 NATE Schedules Convention In �Happiest City� In America
February 9, 2010 Consumers Cut Back On Borrowing
January 26, 2010 One Of Europe�s Fastest Growing Airlines Signs Barter Deal
January 19, 2010 Looking To Learn The Barter Business?
January 12, 2010 IMS Barter Schedules Annual Shareholder Meeting
January 5, 2010 First Quarter Spending Looks Positive
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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 12/14/2010

Southern Barter Hosts Basketball Night

Kenn Flemmons, CEO of Southern Barter, will be hosting a unique event for his clients and their families on January 8, 2011, at the University of Arkansas Little Rock�s college basketball game. Planned are dinner and drinks, as well as reception and admission to the game. (Derek Fisher of the Los Angeles Lakers played his college ball for the University.)

Southern Barter is a member of

Good Thoughts �

�It�s more important to know where you are going than to get there quickly. Do not mistake activity for achievement.�

�Mabel Newcomer, American economist.

�Our greatest weariness comes from work undone.�

�Eric Hoffer, American writer and philosopher.

Holiday Cheer Waning For Small Businesses, Per American Express

American Express Company�s Open Small Business Holiday Monitor reports that only one in four small business owners plan to give their staff end-of-year bonuses, the lowest result in the poll�s history.

Small Businesses Doing Better From One Perspective

Good news on one front � fewer small businesses declared bankruptcy in the third quarter of the year. And the total for the year to date remains slightly below 2009.


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 12/07/2010

Jack Schacht�s Is Up

Jack Schacht, former trade exchange owner located in Chicago, built one of the largest and finest independent trade exchanges in the United States. Since selling his operation to IMSBarter, back some five or so years ago, he has moved into another ambitious endeavor. You can see what that is by going to his web site (above) where over 10,000 products are available. A portion of every purchase one makes goes to your selected charity.

Many Americans Still Doing Fine

One in 106 Americans is a millionaire according to a recent article in Investopedia. And 31% of the world�s �high net worth individuals� with a million in assets beyond their home live on this continent. Experts say the key to building prosperity is to be patient, and pay yourself first by setting some money aside each month. Begin to save at a young age and set goals and realistic plans�you do need a road map.

Shredding The Plastic Continues

TransUnion, a Chicago-based credit researcher says 8 million Americans have cut up their plastic. The recession is the major factor. There are now 78 million U.S. consumers who do not have a credit card.

The average U.S. credit card debt fell by more than 11% over the past year, and delinquencies declined by nearly 25%. Both of which are good signs.


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 11/23/2010

Economist Sees An Age Of De-leveraging Upon Us

Gary Shilling, a noted economist who predicted the demise of the housing market long before anyone else, has authored a new book, The Age Of De-leveraging. Essentially, Shilling says we will see a decade of slow growth and deflation. We�re not going back to the �salad days� of the �80� and �90s. People are in a savings-spree mode and therefore, he contends, big discretionary items such as cars, houses, cruises, etc., will drop in price. Excess capacity will be found worldwide in this new, changed environment.

Tradesource Barter Expo Scheduled For December 4

The Phoenix Convention Center is the site for the 24th Annual Tradesource Barter Expo. The event will run from 11am to 5pm on Saturday, December 4.

For more information call Mary Ellen Rosinski at (602) 996-1557 or go to

ITEX San Antonio Holiday Expo Slated For
December 2

This year�s holiday event will be held at the El Progresso Hall on Thursday, December 2, from 5pm to 9pm.

Further details are available by calling (210) 281-1111

Online Barter Network For Artists & Designers

A new online barter network that focuses on artists and designers is It promotes the trading of skills, space, labor and art objects. Monthly barter matchmaking events are also scheduled.

No Vacation For 33% Of USA Workers

The Rasmussen Reports contends that the United States has become a nation of workaholics, as 33% (one out of three) of workers haven�t taken any time off this year, and less than half planned to use all of their vacation time. (Of those who plan to take vacations, most don�t totally unplug from the office.)


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 11/16/2010

Online Barter Network For Artists & Designers

A new online barter network that focuses on artists and designers is It promotes the trading of skills, space, labor and art objects. Monthly barter matchmaking events are also scheduled.

Assets That Are In A �Bubble� Category (Besides Real Estate)

The president of the Minnesota Federal Reserve recently published a paper wherein he suggests other bubble assets are lurking out in the global economy.

Here is his list: gold, real estate in China, alternative energy, commodities, Apple Computer (AAPL), social networking, emerging stock market, small tech companies, U.S. dollar, and U.S. government debt.

West Coast & East Coast ITEX Holiday Trade Shows Scheduled

The largest barter holiday trade show held on the West Coast will be held at the Fairplex in Pomona (CA) from 9am to 4pm on Sunday, November 21. For further details call 800-400-4294.

The East Coast location for the ITEX trade show will be at Amarante�s Sea Cliff in New Haven (CT). For further details call 888-294-6393.

TradeAmericanCard Expo Slated For December 4

Saturday, December 4, is the date for the 35th TAC annual Holiday Barter Expo. The location will be the Business Expo Center, next to Angels stadium, from 10am to 3pm. For more information call 714-532-3500.


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 10/19/2010

IMS Holiday Barter Expo�s Announced

Twelve different Holiday Barter Expo�s will be held this year by IMS Barter. The first is scheduled for Saturday, October 16, in Chicago. The final one will be staged Thursday, December 9, in Las Vegas. All shows are open to the public.

For the complete list of cities and dates click here.

BizXchange Continues On Fast Growth Track

Seattle-based BizXchange has been named to the Puget Sound Business Journal�s list of Washington�s 100 Fastest Growing Private Companies, listed at #13. It�s the fourth of six consecutive years BizXchange has been named to the list.

For more information click here.

Advertising Industry Landscape Shifting Dramatically

The larger advertising agencies are feeling the competitive heat from small-shop advertising and marketing entrepreneurs. Tightened budgets have prompted many advertisers to scale back their needs and boost their reliance on freelancers, contracted for individual projects on an as-needed basis.

New York City (NYC) Attracting World�s Powerful & Wealthy

One of the country�s leading international attorney�s, NYC-based Edward A. Mermelstein (offices in NYC and Moscow), says foreign investors are channeling funds into the American market in hopes of cashing in on �American On Sale� before the deals have dried up.

He noted the recent purchase of a NYC home for more than $44 million by Mexico�s billionaire Carlos Slim, as well as Russian billionaire (and new owner of the New Jersey Nets NBA team) Mikhail Prokhorov who has established a business base in NYC. Over the past two years Mermelstein has arranged hundreds of deals for foreign buyers.

Oakley Provides Sunglasses To Chilean Miners

The famed eyewear, and later sporting equipment, Oakley is at it again. As noted in earlier editions of the Tuesday Report, founder Jim Jannard who launched the company with $300 in 1975, routinely used barter to promote and build his company�s cach� in the marketplace. (One of his first efforts saw the company providing star athletes like Michael Jordan with a nice supply of Oakley sunglasses.)

Oakley, now owned by Luxottica, provided high-performance wrap-around sunglasses ($180-a-pair Radar Range sunglasses*) to the 33 Chilean mine workers who were being pulled to the surface on Wednesday (10-13-10), after 69 days stuck almost a half-mile underground.

* The donated Radar sunglasses with black iridium lenses, usually used for high-performance sports designed to specifically minimize ultraviolet light, were needed to avoid retina damage because of the sudden change in lighting after so much time underground.


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 10/12/2010

Small Business Loans Now Easier To Obtain

The $30 billion Small Business Job Act just signed into law should make getting a bank loan easier because it is earmarked for small community banks and credit unions. And that money is available for SBA guaranteed loans where the federal government guarantees 90% of the loan.

Plus, the one big change in the law is the expansion of the SBA�s micro-lending programs from $35,000 to $50,000. (The typical micro-loan is $13,000) The SBA micro-lending is at an all-time high ... in the past 12 months the agency approved $16.84 billion for 54,826 small business loans.

New Employee Hiring Greater Among Large Firms

The National Federation of Independent Business�s Optimism Index reports that only 8% of small business owners plan to increase staff. By contrast, 31% of larger firms plan to hire, according to the Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Survey of leading U.S. companies. (Both studies were released in September.)

New Trend In Workforce

For years demographers warned that the aging of the Baby Boomer generation would cause talent shortages and force companies to beg Boomers to return in some capacity. Guess what? Since the economic downturn a new trend has suddenly emerged, which sees many employees now planning to delay retirement.

By one government estimate, 93% of the growth in the U.S. labor force from 2006 to 2016 will be among workers ages 55 and older.

Day Spas Popularity Still Growing

Less time and less expensive services push the growth of day spas. The International Spa Association (a trade group) reports that since 2007, day spas added 4,564 locations to now total 16,300 nationwide. And hotel owners added 465 spas to number 1,810. In the same span of time destination spas in the U.S. fell to 79 from 80. (Destination spas typically charge $5,000 and up for a one week stay.)

Selected trade exchanges around the country have day spas as members.

Amazing Technology Keeps Expanding

The world�s fastest computer, announced by Japan a few days ago, is beyond comprehension. It is able to do 10,000 trillion (10 quadrillion) calculations per SECOND.

The K Computer, as it is known, will stitch together 80,000 processors, each equipped with eight cores for a total of 640,000 electronic brains. Such a machine can do remarkable things. For example, running a simulation of how a beating heart reacts to new medicine today takes about two years, but the new machine would cut the wait time down to two days.

It Only Happens Once Every 823 Years!

An interesting fact about October 2010 is that it has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays all in one month! This happens once in 823 years. These are considered �money bag� months, based on Chinese feng shui. Legend says pass the bags to 8 good people and money will appear.


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 10/05/2010

Universal Currency Sets Trading Record

The International Reciprocal Trade Association�s �Universal Currency� was used by trade exchange owners (for inter-trading purposes) in a record amount for the month of August, 2010. A total of $582,486 in goods and services were exchanged using the UC platform.

According to Ron Whitney, IRTA�s Executive Director, much of the credit for the heightened trading activity was due to UC�s international broker Patty Weston. Trade exchange owners, worldwide, who desire to know more about the UC program should call Patty.

For more information phone 321-397-2050 or e-mail

The Barter Network Supports Shriners Hospitals For Children

Winter Park (FL)-based Barter Network will again be providing advertising to support and publicize the annual 86th East-West Shrine Football Game, scheduled for national TV on January 12, 2011. The game showcases the top college seniors, and funds derived from the game benefit the Shriners Hospitals For Children.

Charity Giving In USA & China

Forbes magazine reports that China had 64 billionaires in US-dollar terms in 2009, second only to the United States which is home to 403 billionaires. These interesting figures also illustrated the difference in charity giving between the citizens of the two countries.

Chinese giving totaled $5 billion in 2009, according to China�s Ministry of Civil Affairs. And Americans donated $303 billion to charity in 2009, according to Giving USA, an organization that charts such information.

Foreigners Eyeing American Real Estate

One of Japan�s largest home builders and developers (Sekisui House Ltd.) has just acquired 500 acres in Texas, outside the city of Houston. The message they�re sending is: �We believe in the USA and in the growth of the real estate business.�

Reportedly multiple investors from Australia and Canada have visited the national Association of Home Builders� Washington headquarters in recent months, inquiring which markets (and where) are poised to recover first.

The New Normal On Investment Yields

Bill Gross, 66-year-old cofounder of PIMCO Investments in 1971, (and now the world�s largest bond fund with over $1 trillion assets under management) says conditions have changed and investors had better have more realistic expectations going forward. Gross asserts that the days of leverage and deregulation are behind us and much lower investment returns will be the norm.

In other words, look for returns of 2%-3% annually as the new normal, not the historical standard of 8%-10%. So if you�re putting away dollars for retirement, start contributing more or plan on retiring at a later age.


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 09/28/2010

IRTA Extends Convention Offer To October 8

The International Reciprocal Trade Association is extending a discount offer for their upcoming convention. It�s an effort to include as many attendees as possible for the association�s 31st International Convention being held in Pittsburgh, October 28-30.

To take advantage of a 25% discount go to for details and registration.

Radio Stations Can Enter Digital World With Barter Assist

It�s an $11,000 cost for a radio station to convert to HD Radio and it can be done on a bartered basis. Providing the conversion assist is Citadel Media and iBiquity Digital Corp., in exchange for media time on the respective station.

(Citadel Media is a content provider with 4,000 affiliates. They are owned and operated by Citadel Broadcasting.)

Travel Business Rebound Provided By Business Sector

Spending on airplane seats, hotel rooms and rental cars, among other tourism and travel expenses jumped 3% at an inflation-adjusted annual rate in the second quarter, while the economy as a whole grew only 1.6%.

Much of the increase is fueled by businesses which reduced employee travel during the darker days of the recession.

Commercial Real Estate Still Under Pressure

Like homeowners walking away from mortgaged houses that plummeted in value, some of the largest commercial property owners are defaulting on debts and surrendering buildings worth less than their loans. And even more landlords are expected to follow suit.

Of the $1.4 trillion of commercial real estate debt coming due by the end of 2014, roughly 52% is attached to properties that are underwater, according to debt-analysis company Trepp LLC. (As the economic recovery sputters, owners of struggling properties are finally realizing a big property value rebound isn�t imminent.)


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 09/21/2010

Savers Penalized By Low Rates of Return

The average return on interest-bearing deposit accounts slipped to less than 1% (0.99) in July, according to Market Rates Insight which tracks bank rates. It�s the first time its measure has dropped below 1% since the 1950s, when it began keeping such data.

As a result, the amount of money on deposit at U.S. bank branches fell during the first half of 2010 � which hasn�t happened in nearly two decades. This indicates that people are dissatisfied with how little interest can be earned from their bank accounts.

These ultra-low interest rates are penalizing people who paid down their debts and are now trying to save. It�s also punishing those who rely on the proceeds of their nest eggs to pay their bills.

Pre-IRTA Convention Trade Show Expanded

The Green Apple Trade Show scheduled for October 27, the day before the International Reciprocal Trade Association Convention in Pittsburgh, has registered another 18 exhibitors. The expansion is the result of added interest from attending trade exchanges desiring booth space for sales to attendees.

For more information on IRTA and their convention click here.

Home Improvement Store Says Barter Builds Loyal Customers

Every September for the past 10 years, Russ Christensen, the owner of 4 Seasons Home Crafters home-improvement store on Grand Haven Road in Norton Shores (MI), holds his annual �Swap-A-Rama� event.

He barters siding, windows, and home improvement work in exchange for boats, RVs, real estate and even cattle � bringing in new business. The results from this event is a whopping 250 home improvement projects per year.

New Auction Model Introduced

A new auction model, �Penny Auctions,� is rapidly becoming very popular in the United States and Europe. Discounts of up to 85% off retail price have been reported.

For more information click here.

What Billionaires Are Buying These Days

In today�s business environment, according to Byron Wien, things are changing. And Mr. Wien should know, as he annually holds a summer meeting for fifty wealthy individuals including ten billionaires. At this year�s meeting Wien said the group was decidedly pessimistic.

So what are the billionaires doing with their money? They�re buying vacant office buildings, farmland, and African investments.

Poverty Is Prevalent In USA

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 54 million people (1 in 7 residents) living in poverty in 2009. Poverty is defined as a single adult earning $10,830 in pretax income, or earnings of $22,050 for a family of four.


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 09/07/2010

Barter Workshop Scheduled

Connecticut�s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is holding a 2-hour �Building Your Business With Barter� workshop on September 15, in Middletown. Cost to attend is $20.00.

Editor�s note: If such workshops were regularly held nationwide, we would see greater use of this versatile business tool by the business community.

New Trade Exchange Opens Up In Pueblo

Bob Hunter, a native of Pueblo (CO) who was a chiropractor in Northern California (and a member of a trade exchange there) before he and his wife retired to Pueblo, has launched the Southern Colorado Barter Club. Presently sixty businesses constitute the membership, but Hunter�s goal is a thousand members.

For more information e-mail Hunter at

Worldwide Surge In Barter Activity Is Noted

Paul Benson, the European managing director at Orion Trading (the corporate barter company of Interpublic Group�s Mediabrands), confirms, �In the past two years we have seen a surge in barter in the UK and around the world.�

Orion is the only global major agency-owned barter company with offices in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Mediabrands, the parent company, manages $30 billion in global media billings.

Economic Slump Tough On Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Fewer people are working for themselves since the recession began � self-employment fell 13% in August to the lowest level in eight years. There are now 8.68 million working for themselves. These figures indicate the economic slump isn�t supporting new entrepreneurs.


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 08/31/2010

United Nations� Huge Multi-Billion Dollar Barter Program

The United Nations� �Oil for Food Program� occurred between 1995 and 2003. It enabled Iraq to barter $46 billion in oil for needed staples like wheat, rice and other necessities.

Bill Gates Has A New Hero � It�s A Remarkable Story

Bill Gates was blown away by this guy and what he is accomplishing in the world. It�s quite astounding, and is one reason why the world continues to make progress despite the blunders of our politicians. Click here.

BizXchange Makes Inc. 5000 List Again

For the fourth consecutive year, Seattle-based BizXchange has been named as an �Inc. 5000� company by Inc. magazine, which annually lists the fastest growing private companies in the United States. This year BizXchange was listed #1093, a jump of over 2,000 spots from the company�s listing position in 2009.

For more information on BizXchange click here.

Greco�s Thoughts On Independent Restaurants Closings

Last week in our �From The Desk Of...� column we reported on the closures of many independent restaurants across the nation.

Thomas Greco Jr. provided us with his insights: �Regarding restaurant closings, I think there�s been a trend in recent years for restaurateurs to go for the upscale market � fancy, sometimes weird, dishes at inflated prices, and little or nothing on the menu for the less well endowed. The ones that will survive are the ones that provide lots of good, wholesome food at low prices that the unemployed, retirees, and families can afford. The �good, wholesome� part leaves out most fast food places, but their low prices will continue to draw the crowds.�

Small Businesses Held Back By Real Estate Bust

The collapse of the residential real estate market has greatly affected the small business community. Not only are about 20% of small business owners using (or have used) their homes as collateral to obtain financing for their companies, but 99% of the companies in construction and the real estate business are defined as �small businesses.�

(Small businesses are defined by their gross income or number of employees.)


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 08/24/2010

5,202 Restaurants Are Throwing In Their Dish Towels

Thousands of restaurants are closing their doors �in Southern California alone, nearly 1,000 more restaurants closed than opened during the 12 months that ended in March.

Nearly all the closings were among independently owned restaurants: small, family businesses that just couldn�t hold on as customers held back on spending � which has dropped about 20% from what was spent during the economic boom. (And, independent restaurants are not utilizing trade exchanges as much as they did 20 to 30 years ago in Southern California.)

Nationwide, the number of restaurants dropped in 2010 for the first time in more than a decade, falling 5,202 to 579,416 according to New York research firm NPD Group.

Gift Card Rules Updated � No Expiration For Five Years

The latest update on the Credit Card Act applies to retail gift cards for individual stores as well as cards with a MasterCard, Visa, American Express or Discover logo that can be used wherever those brands are accepted.

Balances now, beginning 8/22/10, cannot expire for at least five years from the date of purchase, or from the last date additional money was loaded onto the card. (If the physical card expires before then, you may get the balance transferred to a replacement card at no cost.)

When money is added to a card, both the new money and existing balance will be good for another five years. However, the new rules do not apply to reloadable prepaid gift cards and cards that are issued as a reward or through a promotion.


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 08/17/2010

For 1 Billion People, A Dollar-A-Day Is Survival

According to the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization there are now 1.02 billion people in the world existing on between one and two dollars a day. (In the last year alone, 146 million were added to that list.) These figures are a pretty staggering commentary on humankind�s desire to make the world a better place.

The Trillion Dollar Shortfall � Public Pensions

Look for a future class war growing between retirees, who were once state or municipal workers (with guaranteed monthly pensions & benefits), and the have-not taxpayers who don�t have generous pensions.

A study by the PEW Center on the states shows an estimated $1 trillion gap between what states promised workers in the way of retired pensions, health care and other benefits, and the money they have to pay for it. (Some economists say the problem is three times the figure that PEW suggests.)

Correction On Last Week�s First Story ...

One of our reader�s informed us that Czechoslovakia doesn�t exist any longer, since the velvet revolution in the early 1990s when they threw the Russians out. They are now two separate countries: Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Is Your Idea A Good One?

How can you tell if your new idea is a good one? Ask yourself this question: Does your community care? Everyone has a �community� of constituents � customers, users, readers, clients, etc. Share your ideas liberally. If your community engages with them (either for or against them), then you know you�re onto something. If they don�t look twice, you know that you either need to reconsider the idea or rethink how you communicate it.

National PR Campaign Slated For Made In USA Certificate/Seal

The TransMedia Group of Boca Raton (FL) has been retained to publicize �the seal that can heal.� The campaign will be designed to build a nationwide awareness that doing business with companies displaying the certificate (seal) will help the economy and create more jobs.


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 08/10/2010

Ginseng�s Used To Pay Off Some Debt

North Korea is proposing to make a trade of ginseng to Czechoslovakia, which will be used to pay off $500,000 of their $10 million debt to the eastern European country. (Ginseng is an herb with medicinal properties.) To Work With Small Business Owners

Are you a producer of a consumer product who�s looking for more distribution? and (Overstock�s b2b web site) is launching its �Main Street Revolution Initiative� which will provide local businesses with an avenue to national markets through its huge site.

For more information see the video about this program by clicking here.

U.S. Technology Founders� Average Age Older Than You Think

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were the exceptions. Most tech founders are not teen-agers, and twice as many start ventures in their fifties as they do in their early twenties. The average age of American tech founders is thirty-nine.

Foreign-Exchange Market Almost $4 Trillion In Daily Trading Volume

The global currency-trading business is expanding dramatically, according to key monetary authorities from around the world. The strong growth puts the foreign-exchange market on track to top a record $4 trillion in daily trading volume. The volume growth is a result of the volatility and the real end-users actively hedging their exposure.

Unger�s International Barter Exchange Celebrates 20 Year

Ron and Mary Unger, founders of IBE in Florida, have been serving the business community of Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties for the past two decades and are looking forward to many more years of service. IBE is a member of the National Association of Trade Exchanges click here.

For more information on IBE click here.

Barter Theatre Provides Tickets In Exchange For Volunteer Work

�Make a contribution (volunteer a day�s work) to your community and receive theatre tickets.� That�s the offer to the first 500 volunteers, from the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia.

Working From Home Continues Expansion

The Telework Coalition, a non-profit advocacy group, reports that some 35 million people work predominantly from home today, compared with about 20 million in 2000.


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 08/03/2010

What Really Matters In Life

Next time you�re feeling a bit low, or down and out even, think about Augie Nieto�s situation � your perspective will change quickly. Augie, 52, lives here in Southern California . He�s now into his fifth year (3 years beyond the norm) living with Lou Gehrig�s disease. He�s a former muscleman and fitness machine pioneer who put the Life Cycle into health clubs.

Being almost totally paralyzed hasn�t stopped him from authoring two books, although he typed them using only his toes. He also continues, untiringly, in his quest for a cure. He and his wife have raised a record $23 million for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, research. He�s excited about Molecule 00846, which has slowed the disease in lab mice and soon could be ready for human trials.

Nieto�s perspective on life reinforces that what matters isn�t what happens to you in life ... what really matters is how you react to what happens in your life.

Entertainers Move Into Barter Industry

Because their entertaining business (singing & band) had dropped off due to the economy, Donna and Bill Arnold have recently chosen an additional path in their business life. They�ve acquired an ITEX franchise in Pennsylvania.

Over One-Third Of New Jobs Are Temporary

So far this year the private sector has added 593,000 jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and a little more than a third of them, or 218,000, have been temporary jobs. The message: Employers continue to prefer the flexibility that temporary workers provide.

Top Consumer Complaints Are Related To The Economy

�Yes, it�s the economy, stupid� � that�s the story from today�s consumers. Bogus offers to save homes from foreclosure was the #1 consumer complaint last year. Others included complaints about aggressive collection practices, debt settlement, and other type of debt relief services and job scams. Virtually all were related to our struggling economy.

Continental Airlines Turnaround Was Employee Buy-In

Continental Airlines says the company�s turnaround was the result of their employees �buying-in� to the company�s changes. Continental instituted bonuses for perfect employee attendance, giving away fancy SUVs as rewards. While the car giveaway cost $700,000, the airline saved $70 million in sick leave. (The greater attendance enabled Continental to provide greater customer service and satisfaction.)


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 07/27/2010

U.S. Economic Recovery Requires Spending, Expert Asserts

Sy Harding, president of Asset Management Research Corp., says lots of cash not being spent will choke off the U.S. economic recovery. Harding reports that American households, afraid of the stock market and real estate, are sitting on almost $8 trillion in cash (in money markets and CDs).

Likewise, Harding says that corporations are not spending their cash flows on new factories and equipment. Instead they�re hoarding it. America�s non-financial corporations are sitting on $1.84 trillion in cash, the highest percentage of their total assets in almost fifty years.

United States Ad Market Compared To China�s

Interpublic�s media agency Magna Global reports that the U.S. ad market revenue will increase 3.4% this year to $138.9 billion, with Internet advertising growing 13% to $25.7 billion. China�s ad market is expected to grow 14.4% this year to $21.1 billion, with Internet growth up 25% to $2.5 billion.

India�s Largest Auto Builder Signs Interesting Barter Agreement

Tata Motors, India�s largest auto maker, will provide 1,800 new cars to the organizers of the Commonwealth Games. The cars will be used to transport officials and athletes during the 12-day sporting event. In exchange they�ll be receiving recognition and various advertisements in return. At the end of the Games the vehicles will be returned and sold as used cars.

Banking & Small-Business Disconnect Should Lead To More Barter Activity

An interesting scenario has evolved for the small-business owner these days, due to property (real estate) and equipment assets which are falling in value. Now, in addition to these assets banks are asking for additional collateral � cash � in the form of a certificate of deposit or an escrow account, that can essentially guarantee the loan in case of a default. How much longer will it take for the small-business sector to realize the immense value of using alternative, secondary currencies such as barter?


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 07/20/2010

NuBarter & Barter Brokers International Plan To Merge

Savannah (GA)-based NuBarter and Charleston (SC)-based Barter Brokers International have announced their tentative plans to merge by mid-August. NuBarter was founded in 2002 and Barter Brokers International started in 1994.

For more information on these two Southeastern barter companies, their area coverage and plans for the future go to and

The Barter Company Makes Extensive Upgrades To Web Site

One of the largest independent trade exchanges in the country is Atlanta-based The Barter Company. With 2,000 clients in the Southeast, founder and president Ric Zampatti has recently made an extensive upgrade to his company�s web site.

Prominent on the home page is a scrolling billboard with the latest news. Additionally there are six videos, showcasing specific examples of clients utilizing the services of the trade exchange to build their businesses.

To see it all click here.

They�re At It Again � Are You Surprised?

Wow. The financial institutions are wooing borrowers again who might not be able to pay. Yes, credit-card issuers mailed 84.8 million offers of plastic to U.S. subprime borrowers in the first six months of this year. That�s almost double the 43.2 million sent a year earlier, estimates research firm Synovate.

Venture Capital Money Drying Up

Many trade exchange owners remember the year 2000 during the boom, and the venture capital money that was being thrown at owners during those heady days. For example, in just the second quarter of 2000 an astounding $33 billion was raised by the venture capital firms. In the recent 2010 second-quarter, U.S. venture capital funds raised just $1.9 billion, according to research firm Preqin.


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 07/13/2010

Barbados Government Barters For 20% Ownership Stake In Four Seasons Hotel

The Four Seasons Barbados is restarting construction (in September) after the Barbados government agreed to guarantee a Caribbean bank $60 million construction loan for the 110-room hotel with 35 for-sale villas. In return for the loan guarantee the government received a 20% ownership stake.

TeleTrade International Announces Trading Volume

According to 39-year barter veteran Gary Lasater, CEO of TeleTrade International, his worldwide platform did a second-quarter trading volume of $33,368,716.

For more information click here.

Banks Selling Gold To Take Advantage Of High Prices

Banks are selling gold at a record rate, according to a 216-page report released last week by the BIS (Bank for International Settlements � the central bank for central banks). The international agency has purchased 349 metric tons of gold since December, allowing banks to raise a record $14 billion.

Facebook Creates Virtual Currency

Facebook is working with MOL Global, a Malaysian online-payment company, to sell �Facebook Credits� through prepaid cards. In essence the partnership makes the purchasing of Facebook Credits a virtual currency. The credits will be used to buy online games and applications on the social-networking site.

These credits will be able to be acquired through MOL�s network of more than 500,000 outlets, such as 7-Eleven stores and cyber cafes. As the virtual currency effort expands it will add value to the Facebook brand�s valuation.

Americans Catching Up On Bills

Good news � the number of consumers behind in their credit card payments fell to an eight-year low in the first quarter of 2010, according to the American Bankers Association. They report that a mere 3% are delinquent on their payments.


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 07/06/2010

People With Money Are Happier, Poll Shows

The Gallup World Poll surveyed 136,000 people across 132 nations from 2005 to 2006 and it shows that income is more highly correlated to happiness than previously thought. Essentially, the study concluded that money is an object that many (or most) people desire and pursue during the majority of their waking hours. And they use their financial success as a measure of overall success and a reference for how �good� their lives are.

That doesn�t mean money makes everything better. The study found that income had less correlation to the more emotional enjoyment of life, which include things like laughing, joy, and connections to family and friends.

You Have 168 Hours ... Per Week

Want to get the most out of life? Author Laura Vanderkam, a thirty-something Manhattanite, says you must begin thinking like a company, leveraging your core competencies and exercising clarity of strategic intent to achieve greatness. She urges parents to engineer relaxed evenings and to spend high-impact time with kids.

She attempts, in her book 168 Hours, to guide us toward a better awareness of time and how to manage it. We have more time than we think: Subtract 56 weekly sleeping hours (eight a night) and 50 hours for work and you still have 62 unscheduled hours each week. Of that, she reveals that husbands and wives talk to each other a mere 12 minutes daily!

Americans Optimistic About Personal Finances In The Future

The Pew Research Center�s Social & Demographic Trends Project reports that nearly a third �32%� of 2,967 adults surveyed in May said they had lost their job at some point during the current recession, which began in December 2007. Those surveyed, however, were optimistic going forward, with 62% saying they think their personal finances will improve in the next year. 

Growth Of Emerging Economies Good For USA

The largest of the world�s emerging economies (Brazil, Russia, India and China) have advanced their global GDP (global domestic product) share to 15% from 7% since 1995. And their relative economic expansion has come at the expense of Europe and Japan � but not the Unites States.

Fifteen years ago, the U.S. accounted for 25% of global GDP. Today it�s still 25%. Europe�s share however, has fallen to 21% from 25%, while Japan�s has plummeted to 9% from 18%. What�s more, this emerging market prosperity is advantageous as the emerging economies� increasing domestic demand(s) translates into a larger market for U.S. goods and services.



From the desk of Bob Meyer... 06/29/2010

Number-One Obstacle To Retirement

In a recent study commissioned by Scottrade, for 63% of Americans, debt was an impediment to retirement savings in 2009. And 61% of Americans expect debt to limit retirement savings in 2010. Strategies to climb out of debt include:

Stop borrowing;

Save first, especially if a company match for 401(K) contributions is offered;

Scale down your budget;

Plan for the unexpected � set up an emergency fund;

Plan for the expected � a yearly vacation, wedding, etc.

NATE Sets Up Facebook Page

Gary Oshry, The National Association of Trade Exchanges President, announced that his organization now has a Facebook page for NATE and BANC members. Go to:

Billionaire Softbank Founder Looks Ahead

Japan�s Softbank CEO/founder Masayoshi Son, 52, with an estimated net worth north of $5 billion and one of Japan�s most famous entrepreneur�s who built the company into Asia�s biggest Internet group, recently spoke to thousands of shareholders and fans. He laid out his plans and bold targets for the next 30 years which includes a goal of being one of the world�s 10-biggest companies by market capitalization by 2040. It�s a goal he estimates would require it to be valued at $2.24 trillion (currently they�re valued at $30 billion).

To reach that goal Softbank plans to take stakes of between 20% and 40% in some 5,000 affiliated companies by 2040, up from about 800 such partnerships now. Laying out a broad management philosophy, Son said Softbank isn�t wedded to any single technology or single business model. He sees everything from eye glasses to sneakers being connected to the web ... glasses, he suggested, could accurately translate foreign languages in real time and then display what a person speaking a different language was saying with subtitles on the lenses.

Amanda Smith Joins ITEX Brokers Board

Long-time California ITEX broker Amanda Smith, (she operates in the Palm Springs and Temecula areas), has been named to the ITEX Brokers Association Board of Directors.


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 06/22/2010

UCLA Study Concludes Slower Economic Growth Ahead

UCLA�s Anderson School of Management foresees that growth for the U.S. economy will be slower than previous postwar recessions, due to fewer new-home purchases and lower spending by cash-strapped local and state governments.

Annual growth for 2010 through 2012 will be around 2.9%, compared to the average 5% rate during the recovery periods after the past eleven recessions since WWII. The report also noted that unemployment will fall only by 1% over the next two years to around 9%.

Sharon Connelly Named To NATE Board

Sharon Connelly, Vice President of Exchange Enterprises in Stratford (CT), will be on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Trade Exchanges (NATE). Ms Connelly, a 13-year veteran in the barter industry, stated she is honored to be selected to the board and looks forward to contributing and serving her industry peers through NATE.

For more information on NATE click here.

For more information on Exchange Enterprises click here.

Barter Network Announces Major Move

The Barter Network (TBN) has moved their Winter Park corporate office to a new standalone office building. Founded in 2004, Florida-based TBN serves 700 clients.

For more information on TBN click here.

Stunning Growth Of U.S. Federal Debt

The U.S. federal debt has increased dramatically in the past 18 months � from 38% ($5.5 trillion) of the nation�s gross domestic product in September 2008 to 59% ($8.6 trillion) in June 2010.

Alan Greenspan, former Fed Chairman, says the U.S. and most of the rest of the developed world is in need of a tectonic shift in fiscal policy. Greenspan believes it�s mandatory to see spending cuts, but no large tax increase, if the country is to turn itself around.


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 06/15/2010

Americans Slowly Rebuilding Wealth

American households� net worth is inching back. But economists say it�ll be 2012 or 2013, at best, before Americans� wealth will return to pre-recession levels. Net worth � the value of assets like homes, bank accounts and investments, minus debts like mortgages and credit cards � now amounts to $54.6 trillion. The pre-recession net worth peak was $65.9 trillion.

IMS Appoints Treasurer/CFO

International Monetary Systems has appointed David A. Powell as Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer. Powell is a CPA with 10 years experience in public accounting and more than 15 years experience in a variety of senior financial positions with a number of companies.

For more info on IMS click here.

Unique Promo For Spurring On Salespeople

For larger companies, playing-card decks can be customized with the face of different people within your organization. Imagine the trophy value of a deck of cards using pictures of the top salespeople, with a couple of jokers thrown in. This is one keepsake they would never throw away!

Company card decks are available through Corporate Incentives at (607) 724-6941.


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 06/08/2010

Private Equity Manager Warns Of Liquidation Deluge

Pete Briger of the Fortress Investment Group (he oversees Fortress�s $9 billion distressed-investment portfolio) recently gave a keynote address to his peers at the SuperReturn U.S. Confab held in Boston.

In his address Briger said the improved environment is, in effect, a charade, with everyone from central banks to large financial institutions �in cahoots� to boost lending markets and consumer confidence. He predicted the next five years will be an embarrassment of riches for high-end trash collectors like himself.

To underscore the scope of the opportunity, he posted a slide showing that financial institutions (AIG, Lehman Brothers, and others) have announced over $1.6 trillion of asset dispositions since the financial crisis. He concluded that there are $5 trillion to $10 trillion of distressed financial-asset sales to come.

Church Barter-Board Assists Congregation

Faith United Methodist Church in North Knoxville (TN) provides a barter-board for members to post goods or services they would like to receive and what they�re willing to give in exchange.

Hotel Industry Begins Recovery

The U.S. lodging industry is moving forward, according to an industry forecast from PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Hotels should be able to start increasing room rates in 2011, as hotels are starting to see an uptick in demand after two consecutive years of decline. Average daily room rates are expected to increase 3.5% in 2011.

Top Jobs In The Coming Years

The U.S. Labor Department�s 10-year forecast for demand, pay, and competition for more than 300 jobs in 45 categories has been released. Succinctly, in the coming decade engineering is expected to offer the fastest-growing area � biomedical engineering. Jobs in this field are anticipated to grow by 72%. (Health care dominates the list of the fastest-growing jobs, capturing 11 of the top 20 slots.)


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 06/01/2010

Gift-Tax Exclusion Good Estate-Planning Option

One of the best estate-planning options remains the $13,000 annual gift-tax exclusion. Anyone may give another person up to that amount per year in cash or property, free of gift taxes.

One partner of a married couple can double the gift and the exemption. So a couple with three married children and six grandchildren could give away over $300,000 a year, tax-free.

Legendary Investor�s Advice

Seth Klarman, president of the Baupost Group, an investment firm in Boston that manages $22 billion in assets, says one of the best ways to protect against a decline in purchasing power is to buy whatever is �out of favor, loathed and despised.�

He says forget about gold or other trendy hedges. His three private partnerships have returned an average annual yield of about 19% since inception in 1983 � and nearly 17% annually over the past decade when stocks were going nowhere.

Creditcard Issuers Charging More Than Consumer Credit Cards

Over the past six months, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Citi and Wells Fargo, have raised interest rates for new small-business creditcards offered on the Internet roughly six times faster than rate increases on consumer cards, according to, a consumer help site that tracks creditcard offers.

On average, interest rates for small-business cards were 13.7% higher in April than last October, while rates for consumer cards, on average, were just 2.4% higher.

IMS Annual Shareholder Meeting Scheduled

International Monetary Systems (OTCBB:ITNM) has scheduled its annual meeting for Thursday, June 17, at the Sheraton Milwaukee Brookfield Hotel. Shareholders as of May 7 will be eligible to vote on the business presented as well as the election of three directors.

For more information click here.

More People Thinking Of Owning A Business

According to a recent consumer survey conducted by the software-maker Intuit, about one in five people (17% actually) interviewed have actively worked on starting their own business in the past year. Intuit says the web has made it cheaper and easier than ever to turn your favorite hobby into a business.

College Grads Facing Tough Job Market

College graduates in 2010 are facing a tough job market. The vast majority of states in the U.S. had higher unemployment rates this past April than a year earlier, according to the Labor Department.

An Expanded New Business Deduction

The tax laws are constantly changing. For example the HIRE Act, passed in March 2010, raised the first year expensing limit for equipment purchases made in 2010 to $250,000. (The limit that had been set for 2010 prior to the new law change was $134,000.)

Profitable small businesses that need machinery, equipment, furniture and computers, can write off the cost in the year of purchase, rather than having to depreciate the cost over a number of years. Entrepreneurs should work with a CPA or other tax advisor to stay abreast of new deductions that will enable them to save on small business taxes.


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 05/25/2010

IMS Barter Makes Presentation At Small Cap Virtual Conference

International Monetary Systems� (OTCBB:ITNM) CEO Don Mardak presented the IMS corporate overview and company update, as well as a look into the future, at the Source Capital Group Small Cap Virtual Conference on May 18 & 19.

Entrepreneurs Very Cautious In This Economic Environment

The National Federation of Independent Business reports capital expenditures among small businesses are nearly at a 35-year record low (which was established in December 2009). Only 4% of business owners characterized the current period as a good time to expand facilities.

Such statistics indicate small business owners recognize the need to be cautious now. This economic crisis is far from over, so prudence is a virtue that entrepreneurs should strive for.

U.S. Home Prices Will See Gradual Recovery

A survey of 92 economists and analysts by MacroMarkets, expect U.S. home prices will begin a gradual recovery by next year. The analysts on average foresee home prices rising about 12% in the next five years, ending December 31, 2014

Federal Revenues Are Disappointing

The U.S. Government has forecast a $1.6 trillion deficit for the current fiscal year, which began October 1, 2009. In April, the Congressional Budget Office reported corporate tax receipts were up 8.9% to $77 billion. Individual income tax revenue was down 11.6% in the first seven months to $500 billion.

Small Nonprofits Can Be Stripped Of Tax-Exempt Status

An estimated 214,000 small nonprofits have not yet filed a form called 990-N to the IRS. Those that did not meet the May 17 filing deadline will now lose their tax-exempt status. Something they may not learn about until 2011, when they discover they have to pay taxes on donations that they previously thought were exempt.

The change in the tax code was made three years ago, requiring nonprofits that report $25,000 or less a year in income, excluding churches, to file the form. Nonprofits that lost their tax-exempt status can eventually get it back, after a long reinstatement process that also includes an $850 filing fee.


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 05/18/2010

�60 Minutes� Reports On Homeowners Getting Unshackled

On Sunday, May 9, �60 Minutes� featured Morley Safer exploring the growing trend in the U.S. that sees homeowners who can afford their house payments, choosing not to pay. Instead they are making the decision to �walk away� from their home because the valuation has dropped dramatically.

According to Safer, �The decision to walk away from the sinking home, by people who can afford to pay, is spreading like a virus.� There is now a web site ( that urges homeowners who are underwater to unshackle themselves from their mortgages and, for a fee, shows them how to default on purpose.

Full Job Recovery Expected By 2018

A Cal State Long Beach economist says the country may not return to pre-recession employment levels for eight more years. Joseph Magaddino, chair and professor of economics at the California university, noted that the country has lost 8.4 million jobs during the recession. So far this year, it has created about 600,000 jobs.

But with population growth alone, the U.S. needs 1 million new positions to just stay even. If 2 million new jobs are created each year, half of those will go to normal growth, leaving only 1 million new positions to be filled by those who are out of work. At that rate, it will be 2018 before we get rid of the deficit in jobs.

Tax Break For Employers Also Benefits Employees

Employers can make awards to workers valued as much as $400 a year for good attendance, safe driving, years of service, and so on. The criteria must be objective and fair, but the awards aren�t taxable to the employee and are fully deductible by the employer.

Trade Exchange & Business Network Sponsors Free Movie Night

�The Friends In Business Network� (TFIBN) is the marketing arm of the ITEX network in San Diego. The two entities are sponsoring a free movie night on the last Tuesday of every month.

For more information click here.

Correction On April 27 Announcement

In our April 27 edition of From The Desk Of..., we reported a web site where Bartercard members can purchase real estate. That site, we�ve been informed, is not operated by Bartercard.

The official Bartercard site, which has the real estate section, is


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 05/11/2010

Correction On April 27 Announcement

In our April 27 edition of �From the desk� I reported a web site where Bartercard members can purchase real estate. That site, we�ve been informed, is not operated by Bartercard. The official Bartercard site, which has a real estate section, is here:

Barter Software Changes Designed To Increase Trading

BCL Soft has released an update for their Barter 21 trade exchange management software. The new design�s goal is to increase trading activity within an exchange. Going against the norm, the new effort sees a substantial reduction in the number of categories thereby making each heading broader.

For more information on the Barter 21 software click here.

Women Gain In Marketplace, Politics & Financial World

History is rushing forward for women. Today more women than men are graduating from high school, college, and graduate programs in the United States. Consider that:

         Women hold 49% of all non-farm jobs and 51% of all management professional and related positions.

         About 40% of U.S. firms are women-owned.

         The number of women earning $100,000 or more tripled between 1991 and 2001.

         Women control 51.3% of the nation�s private wealth.

Online Coupons See Incredible Growth

Coupons made a comeback in 2009, according to a Nielsen report, as redemptions grew by 27%. However online coupons, saw a huge increase in growth � rising 263%! Retailers are increasingly using their web sites, in-store kiosks, and smart-phones to get coupons into customers� hands.

How Homeowners Can Earn Tax-Free Income

Homeowners who rent out their property for 14 or fewer days a year may pocket the income tax-free. The property doesn�t have to be a first home, but the exemption can be taken only once a year.

U.K. Automobiles Are Tops With Wealthy USA Consumers

According to the Luxury Institute, the United Kingdom-manufactured Rolls-Royce is the top-rated ultra-luxury vehicle brand among wealthy USA consumers. Tied for second place, in the national survey of 505 nationwide consumers with a weighted average-household income of $845,000, were Bentley and Maybach.


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 05/04/2010

Barter On The Minds Of Business Owners

A recent survey by Pitney Bowes showed that 33% of businesses would barter with their customers/suppliers/employees if their firm�s financial situation were to decline or remain flat in the next six to twelve months.

Only two categories barely nosed out the 33% bartering notation � both at 34% � which were laying off employees and changing the products/services offered.

BarterBook Seeks New Marketing Techniques

BarterBook is looking at new ways to market trade exchange memberships with the help of VirtualBarter�s software. BarterBook will resemble the look and feel of Facebook, the popular social networking site.

Members of BarterBook will have the option to refer friends to join the social bartering network, as well as providing products and services to barter.

For more information on BarterBook click here

For more information on VirtualBarter click here.

Riggs Likes Social Network Idea Too

Annette Riggs, Managing Director of The Community Connect Trade Association located in Westminster (CO), is looking to use social networks to spread the barter message virally.

For more information click here.

New Land Rush By U.S. Home Builders

Across the U.S., home builders are battling to acquire land lots in preparation for ramping-up home construction. According to Greg Vogel, chief executive of Land Advisors Organization, a national land brokerage firm based in Scottsdale (AZ), the best-located lots are commanding double what they would have a year earlier.

Builders are particularly interested in finished lots � land with improvements such as sewers and streets in place, allowing for homes to be constructed quickly.


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 04/27/2010

Bartercard�s Real Estate Site

The world�s largest trade exchange, Bartercard with headquarters in Australia, has a separate web site for real estate offers that its members can access. All real estate offered on the site must accept 20% of the sales price in Bartercard trade dollars.

For more information click here.

Lauren Pound New NATE Banc Broker

The National Association of Trade Exchanges� (NATE) Board of Directors has retained the services of Lauren Pound to provide the following duties for the organization: Banc brokering of the NATE Intercity Currency, convention planning, Sales Genie training, as well as providing assistance to the NATE Board of Directors.

Ms. Pound has a degree in Mass Communications/Public Relations from the University of Tennessee and Middle Tennessee State University.

For more information on NATE click here.

New �In-House� Corporate Barter Unit For Havas Media

Havas Media North America, the parent of MPG and Havas Digital, has established an in-house unit to handle corporate barter media deals. The new, yet-to-be-named unit was established due to client demand, i.e. clients needing to liquidate surplus inventories that can be converted into media.

Mike O�Hara, formerly senior VP of sales at Omnicom�s ICON International and executive VP of sales at Argent Trading, will be the managing director of corporate trading, according to Havas Media.


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 04/20/2010

Whitney Prevails In North Carolina Effort

Last week�s Tuesday Report exposed the possibility of North Carolina prohibiting attorneys from participating in barter exchanges (providing their services through a trade exchange) within that state. The commercial barter industry quickly responded.

Ron Whitney, the International Reciprocal Trade Association�s Executive Director, represented the barter industry arguing the matter in front of the Ethics Committee of the North Carolina Bar on April 15 and prevailed. The State Bar is sending the issue back to the sub-committee for further review and consideration. This will provide the barter industry another six months to refine arguments for ultimate success.

eValues Announces First Quarter Trading Activity

The trading activity for the first quarter of 2010 was a reported $14.2 million. For more information on the eValues system, designed for independent trade exchanges to run their day-to-day operations, e-mail


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 04/13/2010

Steak N Shake To Make Name Change

Texas investor Sardar Biglari is changing the name of his Indianapolis cheeseburger chain from Steak N Shake to Biglari Holding, Inc. Mr. Biglari has plans to diversify outside of the restaurant industry. You may remember that over a year ago Biglari fell short in a takeover effort to obtain ITEX � the nation�s largest barter company.

Trades Of The Month From 1999 ...

Salaries Traded For Stock

A handful of senior executives at Border�s Bookstore have traded their entire salaries and bonuses for stock options!

Airline Gates Exchanged

Continental Airlines has traded five of its terminal gates at LAX to United Airlines for several of their gates at Newark�s airport.

DreamWorks Secures Barter Deal With Wal-Mart

Instead of limiting itself to theater box offices, DreamWorks studio unveiled a novel marketing deal with Wal-Mart. Two movie ticket vouchers for their new movie Prince of Egypt will be included in Wal-Mart�s $20 gift packages with a storybook and CD of the movie songs.


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 04/06/2010

Michigan Trade Exchanges Report Membership Gains

The Detroit News had an excellent write-up titled �With Credit Tight, Firms Turn To Bartering.� Two well-known and long term successful Michigan trade exchange operators were quoted in the article.

Founder and president Mike Mercier of Metro Trading Association reports a 20%-plus growth in membership over the last year. He said that many businesses have been hit hard by the economy, and that�s especially true in Michigan. TradeFirst president Fred Detwiler divulged similar success with his company�s membership increases.

Book-Signing Debuts Barter Publication

Co-authors Karen Hoffman and Shera Dalin have introduced their new book, The Art of Barter: How To Trade For Almost Anything, at a launch party in Clayton (MO). Hoffman was a former Executive Director of the International Reciprocal Trade Association, and prior to that a trade exchange owner. Dalin was a former business reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The publisher is Skyhorse Publishing.

For more information, phone 314-503-6376.

India�s Film Producers Embrace Barter

In India small-film producers use �partner-like� marketing relationships with newspapers, broadcasters, radio stations and web portals. Through barter arrangements the producers trade the principal currency they have � the content of their film. Interviews, songs, sneak previews, and video footage are offered in return for contests, events, features, specials, and on-air mentions from the media companies.

Computers On Barter In Boulder

A new nonprofit organization, Boulder Community Computers (BCC), is bridging the digital divide for low-income families and reducing computer electronic waste as well.

The organization collects and refurbishes old computers; then makes them available on a barter basis in exchange for volunteer time spent at BCC. The Colorado-based organization also provides free computer classes and training for the Boulder County community.

For more on BCC click here.


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 03/30/2010

Newly-Formed Assembly Of Barter Announced

To date, after an initial meeting in Istanbul, an �Assembly of Barter Companies of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East� has been formed. The Assembly will elect officers when they are ready, but until then, each barter company owner will be a director of the Assembly and ipso facto a spokesman for the industry to his or her government and the public.

This directorate will be the government body with Sirri Simsek it�s elected chairman, and all members of the directorate will be privy to all information involving the industry and able to express themselves upon it. They�ve adopted the IRTA Code of Ethics and there appears an affinity in Europe to be associated with IRTA as part of a world barter federation. (See �World Barter Federation� article below.)

BizXchange Moves Corporate Headquarters

BizXchange president and CEO Bob Bagga announced his expanding company has relocated its North American headquarters to Bellevue (WA), as the need for larger space was needed. This was evidenced by new membership growth of 30% and a 77% increase in trade transactions during 2009.

BizXchange now has offices in Bellevue, San Francisco, and Dubai.

For more information on BizXchange click here.

Car-2-Go Expands Bartering Project

German automaker Daimler has expanded its barter enterprise that was initiated last November with the city of Austin (TX). The smart car-sharing pilot program is called Car-2-Go, offering on-street premium parking space in exchange for city employees� use of the vehicles. There is no cash involved.

Recent companies coming into the program include The State Preservation Board and the Texas Council on Competitive Government.


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 03/23/2010

ITEX New England Expands To West Coast

The Connecticut operation, now the largest franchise in the ITEX organization, has ambitiously expanded its operations across the country � all the way to San Diego. Jay Mininberg and Roger Boroway acquired the ITEX San Diego office from barter veteran Duncan Banner, who will now concentrate his energies on his new ITEX franchise in Wichita (KS).

Housing Prices To Change After Fed Actions

Dick Bove, a respected analyst with Rochdale Securities, projects that home prices will drop across the nation when the Fed stops buying mortgage-backed securities � which is slated to happen March 31. Bove doesn�t foresee a sudden change to the housing prices or mortgage rates, but over the longer term house prices will drop, he contends, as the housing market is less subsidized. Bove expects a price level to materialize that will be 10% to 15% below today�s prices.

BizXchange Introduces New Blog

A new blog is being posted by the ever-ambitious BizXchange. Titled �Barter Savvy� its goal is to educate readers about the business-to-business barter industry.

For more information click here.

Travel & Tourism Spending Drops

Expenditures on travel and tourism in the United States is decreasing. Fourth quarter spending for 2009 was down 1.3% from the year earlier, and off 5.7% from its third-quarter 2007 peak. The drop was driven by a 15.9% drop in spending on air travel.


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 03/16/2010

IMS Web Traffic Expanding

IMSBarter (OTCBB:ITNM) reports that in 2009, visits to its web site ( increased 35% over the prior year (2008). The traffic increase was fueled by the company�s nationwide membership accessing important account information, reviewing new offerings as well as shopping on their new online marketplace.

Independent Hoteliers Urged To Barter

Jody Merl, CEO of Innovative Travel Marketing, was interviewed last week by Merl explained in the interview how the hotel industry, particularly independent hotel operators, can barter for needed print media.

For more info on Innovative Travel Marketing click here.

Now This Is Growth!

Twenty-five years ago (March 15, 1985) a computer company in Cambridge (MA) registered the very first dot-com site. Today, about a hundred-thousand sites are registered daily!

Banks Write-Off Record Credit Card Debt

Recent articles in the financial papers reported how consumers were paying down their debts. Well, the actual figures paint a different story.

According to an analysis by Federal Reserve data, the bulk of 2009�s drop in consumer debt came about because banks were forced to write-off loans people failed to pay. Of the $93.2 billion drop in consumer card balances, $83.27 billion were the aforementioned required write-offs.


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 03/09/2010

Too Many Garden Vegetables � Trade Them

Growing vegetables? Have a surplus, more than your family can eat? Then you might want to check out a new web site where you can look into bartering your vegetables. On the site, listed under �Community� and �Friends� are a list of other community gardening organizations.

For more info go to

Mardak Interviewed On CNN Radio

Winston Edmondson, CNN Radio host of �Innovations At Work,� recently interviewed Don Mardak, CEO of IMS Barter. IMS Barter is a national barter company in the U.S. with over 20,000 clients, and has offices from coast to coast.

To hear the interview visit

Bastarache Advisor To Online Barter Company

Ray Bastarache, founder of Barter Network in 1985 and subsequently sold in 2000 to one of the barter companies, has become a member of a new advisory committee has formed. Bastarache was a former president of the International Reciprocal Trade Association.

Power Of Print, A $90 Million Campaign

Major magazine publishers have embarked on a campaign with a simple message that �Print rules!� Five leading magazine publishers will provide nearly 1,400 pages of ads through magazines including People, Vogue and Ladies Home Journal this year.

Backing the campaign are Time Warner�s Time Inc. Hearst, Advance Publications� Cond� Nast, Wenner Media, and Meredith. The ads were created by WPP�s Young & Rubicam.

The $90 million campaign figure is based on the public ad-rates for each of the participating magazines, and is the largest joint campaign effort ever by the publishers.

Entrepreneurs Continue Trimming Payrolls

The payroll company Automatic Data Processing reports that private-sector firms in the U.S. eliminated 22,000 jobs in January, the 24th monthly decline in a row. While employers of all sizes trim their work forces when the economy suffers, small firms adopt the strategy sooner and more aggressively as cash flow is paramount to a small business to keep its doors open.


From the desk of Bob Meyer... 03/02/2010

Mergers & Acquisitions Funded With Less Cash

A couple of decades ago in 1977, a big percentage (77%) of U.S. mergers & acquisitions were funded solely with cash, according to Dealogic. But beginning in 2009 and so far this year, cash is being used in only 40% of the deals. Instead paper, in the form of company stock, has taken over as the major means of funding M&A�s.

The most recent example is Schlumberger�s $11 billion takeover of Smith International, wherein Smith International is being paid in stock.

Buffett�s Insights On Economy & Healthcare

Billionaire Warren Buffett sees the economy recovering at a very low rate (his Berkshire Hathaway firm owns 80 different businesses). He says healthcare costs are a major drain on U.S. businesses, and needs fundamental reform because it�s not practical to continue to devote 17% of the nation�s GDP to health care. (Much of the world pays half that, or 9% of their GDP on health care.)

Wine For Buses

Winery owners in Macedonia have proposed to the government the desire to enter into a barter deal with the Ukraine. They�d trade a large surplus of wine reserves (accumulated due to the global recession) for the country�s needed purchase of buses.

Need More Funding. . .Check With Your Vendor

Strong relationships are vital in landing financing. That�s why more and more small business owners have been successful with a group they already know well � their vendors.

According to semiannual surveys from the National Small Business Association in Washington, between 22% and 29% of business owners relied on vendor credit to meet their capital needs between August 2008 and December 2009.

U.S. Corporate CEO�s Express Confidence On Recovery

The Washington (DC) Business Council�s confidence gauge climbed to 64.7 in February, the highest level in four years. (Readings greater than 50 signal economic growth.) The survey also found that 57% of executives had seen an improvement in their industries in the last six months, while about 61% expected gains to continue during the next six months.


From the desk of Bob Meyer...02/16/2010

NATE Schedules Convention In �Happiest City� In America

The National Association of Trade Exchanges will hold its 2010 national convention in America�s �Happiest city� � New Orleans. A city that has overcome the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and most recently has been celebrating the Super Bowl of their beloved professional football team, the New Orleans Saints.

The convention will be hosted by the Crescent City Trade Exchange.

For more information on NATE and the convention see:

Major TV Shows Use Barter/Cash Combo For Distribution

�The Ellen DeGeneres Show� is distributed on a cash-plus-barter basis, in that TV stations push cash but also give up a portion of commercial ad time in return for the show. DeGeneres� show averages over 3 million viewers, second only to Oprah Winfrey�s 7 million.

�The Nate Berkus Show� is also offered on a cash-plus-barter basis by Sony Pictures Television. (Berkus is a design expert who has been a frequent guest on the Oprah Winfrey show.)

Another Restaurant Encourages Diners To Barter Homegrown Goodies

Forage, the newest restaurant in Silver Lake (Los Angeles area), is encouraging diners to bring homegrown fruit and vegetables to barter for restaurant credit. Forage is set up like a cafeteria: diners select from salads, flat breads and ready dishes on the counter, then carry their tray to one of the tables in the back of the restaurant.

Media Exposure Mind-Boggling

Jerry Jones�s Cowboy Stadium, home of the 2010 NBA All-Star basketball game, received nearly $1.3 million in media exposure through 15 verbal mentions and another 72-seconds of specific coverage over TNT-TV on Valentine�s Day. This was in addition to the televising of the 2-hour event.

Barter�s Booming In Turkey

Mastafa Demir, director-general of the Istanbul Barter Exchange, reports that 40 barter companies have opened in his country within the last two years. (Total barter companies in Turkey are a reported 60.) According to Demir, the two major industries where barter occurs in his country are in the advertising and construction fields.


From the desk of Bob Meyer...02/09/2010

Consumers Cut Back On Borrowing

Americans have reduced their borrowing for 11 months in a row. The Fed said it was the first time consumer borrowing � before adjusting for inflation � had fallen for that long a period, since it began keeping track in 1943.

Since its peak in July 2008, consumer credit has fallen by $125 billion as households put their balance sheets in order.

The New Economic Reality For American Workers

According to The Wall Street Journal, there�s a new economic condition in America. Today 20% to 23% of U.S. workers are operating as consultants, freelancers, free agents, contractors or micropreneurs. And current projections see that number continually rising in coming years.

Business Owners Relying On Credit-Card Financing

A new survey by the National Small Business Association reports that 59% of respondents said they had used credit-card financing for their businesses in the past twelve months, up from 49% who said they had done so in a December 2008 poll.

Asset-Based Lending Also Growing

Asset-based lending, once considered a last-resort finance option, has become a popular choice for companies that don�t have credit ratings, a track record, or patience to pursue more traditional sources. (Asset-based lenders focus on collateral, rather than credit-worthiness.)

The Commercial Finance Association, an industry trade group, said asset-based lending, excluding mortgages, swelled by 8.3% to almost $600 billion in 2008. The association is still gathering data on 2009, but preliminary surveys show double-digit percentage increases in lending.

British Pub Bartering With Patrons

Drinkers at a Lincolnshire pub can now barter for their pints. The owner of the pub sees it as a way for his independent operation to compete with special offers at the larger chain bars, since he can�t compete on prices.

Carrots, dead partridges, dishwashing, and offers to help clean and decorate the pub have been among the bartered items.


From the desk of Bob Meyer...01/26/2010

One Of Europe�s Fastest Growing Airlines Signs Barter Deal

Turkey�s national air carrier, Turkish Airlines, has become the official sponsor of Spanish football club FC Barcelona. Half of the sponsorship will be paid in a cash advance, and a barter agreement covers the remaining 50% of the 2-1/2 year agreement.

The barter agreement will include team flights and billboard advertising inside the Camp Nou soccer stadium.

Restaurant Owner, Savvy Businessman

A newly opened restaurant in Decatur (GA), the Iberian Pig, is astutely using barter in a most intelligent way. Thus keeping much needed cash in their pocket. Owner Federico Castellucci was able to barter a little less than 50% of the opening costs. Essentially, financing the opening through future sales � new business � which will be sent to his restaurant by the trade exchange he worked with. The new business (from members of the trade exchange) will be used to pay off the barter loans Castellucci obtained to cover his opening costs.

Barter Used To Shore Up Barbados Four Seasons

In a bid to salvage jobs, the government of Barbados has agreed to guarantee a $60 million loan from a Caribbean bank to help restart the luxury Four Seasons resort development on the tiny island. In return for the guarantee the government will end up with a 20% stake in the project.

United States Drops In Listings Of �Most Free� Economies

The United States is losing ground to its major competitors in the global marketplace, according to the 2010 Index of Economic Freedom, released by the Heritage Foundation. Canada now boasts North America�s most free economy. Here�s a list of the best free economies in the world in descending order:

1)  Hong Kong
2)  Singapore
3)  Australia
4)  New Zealand
5)  Ireland
6)  Switzerland
7)  Canada
8)  United States
9)  Denmark
10) Chile

Next Time Ask

Test your negotiating skills next time you need a camera or a computer. There�s so much competition in this field, all you need to say is �I�m going to check your competitor� and you could get 10% off, or more.


From the desk of Bob Meyer...01/19/2010

Looking To Learn The Barter Business?

Bruce Makinen, founder and president of Business Trade Exchange (BTE) in Saginaw (MI), is looking for self-starting individuals who want to learn the barter business. Openings as �New Member Recruiters� are available with BTE. Contact Bruce at 1-800-83TRADE.

International Sellers & Buyers Meet Here, a China-based web site, puts buyers and sellers together. In November the search for second-hand goods saw a 113% year-on-year increase. Among the most wanted items were boats, cars, golf carts, and laptops.

Wealthy Investors Leery Of Professionals

A new survey of investors, those with $5 million or more in investable assets, conducted by Spectrum Group of Chicago found that investors now are managing 47% of their assets with no professional help. The investors may consult advisors but make their own decisions on about one-third of their money. They allow advisors to fully handle only 18%.

In other words, today�s ultra-wealthy are managing the largest parts of their fortunes themselves, entrusting the investment industry (wealth-management firms) with only 18� of every dollar. 

Pizza Entrepreneur Doing Just Fine

Papa John�s pizza-chain founder John Schnatter, 48, has purchased three units in a new condominium-and-residence complex (St. Regis Deer Crest Resort) in Utah�s Dear Valley for $23 million.

Schnatter started his pizza business out of a former broom closet in 1983. Various Papa John units are members of trade exchanges.


From the desk of Bob Meyer...01/12/2010

IMS Barter Schedules Annual Shareholder Meeting

International Monetary Systems (OTCBB:INLM) has announced that its annual shareholder meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 17, at the Sheraton Milwaukee Brookfield Hotel.

For more information on IMS see click here.

Megatrax Offers To Barter Programming For Inventory

Megatrax, a production music library known for its radio programming, has launched a barter alternative for its television and cable broadcast clients. They will be offering their libraries and additional services in exchange for commercial inventory.

Tradebank International�s Trading Volume Up 11% In 2009

According to Todd Gerry, Senior Vice President of Tradebank International, the company�s trading volume was up 11% over 2008, while new account sales saw a 57% increase over the 2008 period.

IRTA Introduces New Web Site

The International Reciprocal Trade Association (IRTA) has launched a new web site, using the latest open source technology based on a Joomia platform.

For more information on IRTA click here.


From the desk of Bob Meyer...01/05/2010

First Quarter Spending Looks Positive

The Research firm ChangeWave says the first quarter of 2010 will see a surge in consumer spending, as consumer sentiment and expectations have improved. Consumer electronics purchases will be the most significant catalyst of the improvement in buying activity.

Bottomline: The 90-day outlook is as positive and hopeful as any we�ve seen over the last two years.

Give A Day, Get A Night

Sage Hospitality of offering volunteers free hotel stays or 50% discounts at all 53 Sage hotels. Through March 31, people who complete eight hours of community service for a registered 501 � 3 nonprofit organization and bring documentation to the hotel can take advantage of the offer.

For more information visit

Gift Cards For Guns

In Los Angeles people lined up for the annual �gifts for guns� program. This years program garnered 232 guns, all of which will be destroyed. Supermarket and retail store gift-cards were provided in the exchange program. (Since the program has been underway there has been a drop in homicides.)

Major Real Estate Developers Offered Barter-Type Deals

Governors from states around the U.S. are contacting executives at major companies to convince them to �stay put� in the state, and for outsiders to relocate to the state.

In the barter-type packages offered are incentives consisting of millions in low-interest loans, sales tax relief, tax credits and outright grants for infrastructure improvements.




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