In early December, 2001 ZetaTalk stated that a Barter System would begin to replace currency, due to currency instability. By February, 2002 this was reported in Argentina. By February 2, 2009 the rapid increase in the barter system, worldwide, was being reported.
- Russian Maverick Backs Barter to Combat Crisis
February 2, 2009
- A maverick Russian businessman who blew his fortune on a failed presidential bid is convinced barter is back in vogue.
German Sterligov says his scheme to trade products online, unveiled as Russia faces its first recession in a decade, has already grabbed the interest of Uzbek cotton merchants, St Petersburg car dealers and leading truck maker Kamaz.
- Barter is New Medium of Exchange as Credit and Payment Systems Collapse
February 2, 2009
- In just the past week several pillars of the Fortune 500 have declared more than 75,000 layoffs worldwide. This is an indication that the global economic and credit crisis is getting worse, not better. Yet Americans remain optimistic that the crisis will blow over soon. Part of this optimism is based on their continuing ability to get what they want using a credit card, or paper money that carries no intrinsic worth. In other parts of the world this no longer works. High food prices and the credit crunch have forced some countries to revert to the ancient practice of bartering, a practice that is also seeing a revival in America correlated to the financial crisis. A recent article from the Financial Times reports countries from Malaysia to Morocco say they have reverted to the ancient practice of bartering for food, making deals to import commodities ranging from rice to olive oil.
Signs of return to the barter system are already appearing in the US. Caught in the grip of the credit crisis, small business owners are resorting to the barter system as a way to keep their precious cash in reserve. Frozen capital markets mean little new money is finding its way to Main Street. Loans to small businesses have fallen by 30 percent from pre-crisis levels, so cash is prized. Barter exchanges may be one of the few businesses to thrive in today`s environment. According to a recent New York Times article, barter exchanges range from publicly traded entities like International Monetary Systems and Itex Corporation to smaller companies like U-Exchange.com. Membership and transactions are growing at a rapid rate, with one exchange reporting a 70 percent increase in business since the beginning of the credit crisis. In the past, bartering involved the simple exchange of goods between one person and another. Today multiple parties can meet through online exchanges and accumulate credits that can be used against future transactions. Participants from around the world can participate. Hundreds of exchanges are available online. Bartering in the U.S. is estimated to generate more than $3 billion in business, and this figure does not include direct bartering between corporations. Some of the barter exchanges even offer credit to members who have been turned away by traditional lenders.
Websites like SwapThing.com offer swaps for $1. They have millions of items listed ranging from antiques and electronics to comic books. Sites like these make bartering seem like fun, something the kids might enjoy. Even on the individual to individual level bartering is on the increase. Watches, baseball cards, cupcakes and cookies, artwork, a journal entry, a bike and a dog were all accepted in a single day as barter for dentistry in Tupelo, Mississippi. In St. Louis, out of work contractors are eager to barter for basic goods and services that include legal counsel. A New York attorney has offered to prepare simple wills and healthcare proxies in exchange for getting his floors sanded and his house painted.
- Barter has Replaced the Cash Economy for many Argentines
Time, by Peter Katel
- Buenos Aires, the "Paris of Latin America," these days looks decidedly Third World. Of course the broad boulevards, late 19th-century buildings and teeming cafes downtown may suggest European gentility. But ten miles away, in the working-class suburb of Quilmes, merchants are hawking everything from homemade turnovers to new and used clothes, custom carpentry, haircuts and fresh produce. The shell of the old Bernalesa metal works has been turned into a massive market, whose four-foot aisles are so jammed that thousands of men, women and children can barely make their way over the dirt floor, past rickety stands of unpainted, unfinished wood this in a country where shopping used to mean going to the supermarket, or the mall. ... Street protests have toppled four presidents in two weeks, but Argentina's 21st-century Great Depression is deepening. And it's driving tens of thousands of people to the "National Barter Network," centered at Bernalesa. Last month alone, the network expanded from a half-million to 640,000 families. Here, and at 600 other markets, they're trading goods and services for creditos, which can then be used to purchase other goods and services. "If you don't have any money, this is the only way to survive," says Irma Gonzalez, 46, a who lost her legal secretary job three months ago and is planning a barter-market clothing business. ... Some municipal governments, including the town of Gonzales Chaves in Buenos Aires province, are accepting eggs and chickens as tax payments, using them to feed poor families. The future? "Argentina can become one big barter club," says chemist Horacio Covas, a barter network co-founder. Indeed, the only economy that's growing in Argentina right now is the prehistoric one.