The phones are running hot in the world of Barter following my expose of the shonky deal between Bartercard and IRTA and particularly the ongoing commentary and updates, what some recent visitor to the TIPLINE called ‘stunning’. In this post I detail the key people involved and their likely roles, political agendas and relative positions of power. I furnish my recommendations to each player and make predictions on the likely outcomes when the dust settles. I would note that there are more damning revelations just around the corner and people would be wise to hold off any direct action until the fuller picture emerges. It’s a rabbit warren of politics, deception and corruption.
The three Directors (Trevor Dietz, Tony Wiese & Brian Hall) are the ones set to gain the most from the shonky Bartercard/IRTA deal from the floating of their new company. Their personal stake/investment in the new business is revealed in the BPS Technology Prospectus. Basically as I see it, they are getting the new company to buy their own assets so they will be the only real winners. No matter the result of Bartercard’s trading into the future, they will win for they will have the [real] money. No matter what they say at the moment, their share price into the future, the future of IRTA, the success of their new business is all secondary, as far as I can see to their personal payout upon successful floating. Their ‘offer’ to assist IRTA in a time of a manufactured need to move software providers looks good on the surface but in reality it’s a con job on the IRTA Members. It’s simply a commercial transaction. I can’t predict the outcome of their IPO. If they get it through I’ll eat my hat, but good on them for fooling sufficient investors. Money is easily parted as they say! If I was issuing an IPO I would want to engage with detractors and answer questions. Their silence is deafening. This speaks volumes. Their problem is that the only way to address the material claims I’ve made is further lies and deceptions. They therefore have no choice but to keep up the flag, but duck for cover and protect their IPO as best as they can.
Bartercard’s Paul Bolte
Paul has a pretty good reputation in the industry. People don’t accuse him of excess humility but they also don’t accuse him of skulduggery. This may change very quickly if he has been found to be on the Board of IRTA when the shonky deal was made, and even more so if he was on the IRTA Software sub-committee at the time the deal was going down, AND even more if this was kept hidden from the Members. Because there is a great cloud of secrecy around his involvement, the processes for handling conflicts of interest and stunning silence from all parties, Paul’s reputation as the nice-guy within Bartercard is at serious risk. In some circles he’s now viewed as just as crooked as the others in Bartercard going back decades – a conman but with a smile, dare I say it! One of the first rules of politics is that you get your message out there hard and fast – FIRST. In this regard Paul has dropped the ball badly and will suffer in the longterm as a result. Unlike most others, if he’s done things wrong in his stint within IRTA, then if he fronts up and spills the beans to the IRTA Members and apologises he might just have the credibility from his past conduct to squeek through but mud sticks. If he does this after the IPO (or close to it) his words will mean nothing. If he jumps ship from Bartercard or speaks the truth in a timeframe that people can judge before they invest into Bartercard’s new operations then this may have some perceived value. Regardless of whether any doubt is justified or not, I think he’s toast.
There are two sides to the whole Bartercard/IRTA fiasco – the reality and the perceived reality. The IRTA Executive AND Bartercard have presented one side but as I have shown (and will continue to show) both entities have deceived the IRTA Members badly. Unbelievably, the Board has not even been permitted to speak thus far! Their story is yet to come out (in the public arena, that is). The reality is that they are divided (as well as being weak and ineffective) and are extremely vulnerable at present, personally, legally, politically and morally. They should be notifying their constituents as quickly as they can of their position in regards to the fiasco, and also their public liability underwriters forthwith (if they even have insurance). Charged with looking after the Members best interests, they have clearly dropped the ball, have been gullible and powerless in front of an Executive that have out-manourvered them, deceived them and used them. Those that were in on it all are even more highly exposed. Those that got used, kept quiet and stayed (regardless of how they voted) are clearly seen as being in it for their own good. As I’ve said before, those that break ranks and jump ship telling the world of the BS that’s going down inside behind closed doors are the ones that might save their bacon but it’s getting late for them now. Another week or so and they will be seen to be opportunists with no ethical spine. I expect IRTA Board members to peel off in due course, perhaps en masse, perhaps one-by-one as the heat gets too hot to handle. Hugging a corpse is deadly.
The two key players are Annette Riggs (Chariman) and Ron Whitney (Executive Director). Acording to word on the street, Annette wasn’t the Board’s first choice and only got the job by default due to a division in the voting and lack of willingness for anyone to step up to the mark. Her leadership style appears to me to be a mix between strong personalisation of issues and self-interest. Her style is one of coertion (or manipulation if you really want to get down and dirty) and nice-talk. Ron on the other hand has issues to protect his retirement income. While he knows a lot of people in the industry and puts in long hours, it’s not all for the good of IRTA (as can be seen in some of my blogging). Ron cannot and does not do anything without agreement with or instruction from Annette – believe me, NOTHING! They work together well as a team (for good or bad doesn’t matter they are an excellent team). Ron simply cannot survive this one however, period. His best way out is to turn on Annette and put the responsibility upon her as Chairman saying that he only did things under her instruction to save his bacon. This may actually be partially true. Annette will personalise all matters. She will play the player and not the ball; obfuscate; distract; talk about witch-hunts, betrayals, others’ agendas and anything but the facts and the true motivations behind the nonsense. I suspect that they will both go down together, fighting. There are others on the IRTA Board too who have been involved in the deal. I’ll blog about this later when I have more information that is more than gossip/heresay. Both parties have contacted me since the expose started. One was confidential and the other personal. I know and understand very clearly their attitude towards me and what I am doing with this series on Barter. I don’t expect to hear from them a lot again.
Most IRTA Members have been apathetic to date. This is a longstanding situation common to any Association where a small percentage are detractors, a small percentage are leaders and do-ers, and the bulk of the silnet majority stand to one side. There is however now eyebrows being raised across the entire industry and some of them are livid and ready to take action – serious action.
Barter software suppliers are the most pissed off. They see Bartercard leveraging themselves into a preferential position in the industry at their disadvantage. This is not just a simple case of big boy benefit . . . this is a case of THEIR Association which they have built up (Many of the IRTA Memberships in the last few years have come directly from referrals from these very software suppliers BTW) turning on THEM! Livid is too mild a phrase to describe some of their approaches. But other longstanding IRTA Members are more than curious. One I know of one member who asked for the minutes of the appropiate Board Meetings and was issued with a Non Disclosure Agreement hurriedly drafted by IRTA’s own layer just minutes before being sent to the member in question! They are not stupid and they can see the games and coverup for what it is.
Tyler runs a blog about things in the Barter world. On publication of the first blog post about the Bartercard IPO and the deal with IRTA, I informed Tyler of the post and advised him that there was much to follow. I’m intrigued in Tyler’s lack of response to corruption within IRTA and the shonkly deal with Bartercard. During my investigation into the conman Daniel Evans and his Ormita fraud, I was pleasantly surprised with Tyler’s feed from my stories, his own validation and questioning and I felt that he added value. Not so with IRTA. One would have to ask why there is not one word from him – neither links nor commentary of any sort. It may be that he has a commercial relationship with IRTA that he doesn’t want compromised, I don’t know but again, as with Bartercard, the silence is deafening.
I’m two weeks into what I perceive as an 18 month project. Clearly I’m a major player in this saga. I’ve planted myself right into the centre of the story, breaking it, pushing it with daily commentaries and thousands of words of [mostly] original thought and am expanding the subject matter daily as I move into bigger issues than the current one. I’m supported by an active Tipline that helps me keep up to play and (believe it or not) I play a totally passive networking role. Except for specific recommendations ALL my introductions are from people out there who come to me with a story to tell. Sometimes it is just – “Hey thanks for the good work” Other times it is a link or a copy of something they think will be helpful. Other times it is serious disclosure of something meaningful. Many of these contacts develop into working relationships where I will clarify things or validate other things so that I can be accurate and get the facts right. Sometimes I help others to think their issues through – usually encouraging them to calm down and not overreact!
I’ve shared my personal interest briefly in the past. Just for the record, my blogging in this series on Barter started with a post discussing my thoughts on the future of Barter. When the Bartercard Prospectus passed by my desk, I rolled this subject into the series and it was timely for me. I became aware of issues with IRTA in 2012 but never really bothered myself with them. Like many I had seen detractors’ information online and like many I never did anything about it. In November 2013 as I commenced my investigation into Ormita I saw more of the inside of IRTA and things started to make a bit more sense to me. I had always intended to explore IRTA (and the entire industry BTW) particularly in its strategy – how to achieve for the industry what the industry wants. That is a real interest of mine – setting vision and developing the strategy to make it happen.
I think that my political position is quite strong and will grow the more that people learn to trust me and see the deep thinking behind my blogging. In time I will be seeking financial support for what I do (at the moment it is all gratis to the industry) and I have many ideas ready to share to help people ‘make the world a better place’ through Barter and Alternative Currencies. My strength comes from integrity and resolve. I think and I care. I shoot straight and I am fearless. As the various players above play their politics, they will come and go, wheeling and dealing for personal benefit. I aim to be there at the end, doing the same as I’m doing today.
I’ve enjoyed writing this post. I trust you’ve appreciated the nuggets contained within too!
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