IRTA’s flagship currency, Universal Currency has been offline for 24 hours. It’s a broken and bankrupt operation long past a crisis. In this post I explain how the IRTA Members (who are its ultimate owners of the currency) can resurrect it and rebuild the brand up to something of merit. It won’t necessarily be easy but it is simple. Having spent six weeks or so lancing the boils at IRTA, I’m trying to turn a corner with my blogging and commence offering constructive guidelines for nursing things back to health.
The ‘ostrich brigade’ in charge at IRTA can no longer pretend that nothing is wrong under their watch with Universal Currency. With Ron Whitney leaking information from the GETS Summary Report it is very likely that the facts will all be out in the open sometime soon. Good! IRTA Members will have their first real chance to see those facts and then the chance to fix the problems.
1. Who should act?
The first thing to recognise, is that the goons who got UC into the mess it currently is, will never in a month of Sundays be able to get UC out of it. Asking questions . . . trusting these guys to speak the truth . . . expecting them to confess . . . expecting them to know what’s actually going on . . . or even dumber, thinking that they might know how to fix it is just lunacy. They are clueless amateurs in charge of a powerful system of credit and it is THEIR greed and incompetence that have driven it right into the ground and beyond.
The IRTA Executive, specifically Ron Whitney (Executive Director) and Annette Riggs (President) have to be sidelined before anything constructive can occur. The head of the UC Committee also needs to be sidelined, probably all of the UC Committee too. Half the IRTA Board too (literally half) have serious conflicts of interest in the UC currency management. A hit-piece on one of the directors of the outgoing technology provider went out to UC Members. Crimes have occurred. A cover-up is under way and defensive actions will be occurring daily as Board and Committee minutes are furiously checked, altered, or even generated from scratch to cover peoples’ arses for their incompetence and administrative misconduct.
These people might know a lot of people, smile nicely, say the right words and have the positions of power and trust but they are crooked, play dirty, are out of their depth, have no hesitation in presenting fabrications or playing the player and not the ball.
IRTA’s lawyer would normally be the one to step in and work for and on behalf of the members, but in this regard, Carl Steinbrenner cannot be trusted . . . he supplied the confidential Summary Report to the perpetrators and I have a copy of letter to them where he has threatened GETS that IRTA will sue them if he distributes it. OMG! This is the LAWYER that GETS sent it to because of corruption and crimes and the lawyer threatens them? This is like making a complaint to the Police and then getting arrested for disturbing them in their lunch break. Spare-me-days!
So, Carl is either in on it all or he’s stupid. As I’ve mentioned previously, he has a conflict of interest as he also receives his income in UC credits AND has a credit balance in his account thus has a serious conflict of interest. According to Ron Whitmey, he also has a hidden account! The Members need their own lawyer to work on their behalf while they have a crooked leadership.
Members who think that they can trust the current lot, or that voting or talking or asking questions is the right way to address the matters are simply perpetuating the nonsense that currently exists. My advice is to get over the shock and go through the grieving process as quickly as they/you can, then to take affirmative, positive action.
The first point then is that (unless the leopard changes its spots) nothing less than a total removal of the current problem people from the equation will fix the matters. The members need to engage a lawyer to take back what is theirs legally and then take the matters into their own hands. Appoint a lawyer, or a corporate troubleshooter or auditor or WHOEVER to sort it out but do it ASAP!
Ample evidence exists to justify this form of action.
There are two actions interested or concerned IRTA/UC members should take:
1. Ask Carl Steinbrenner, Ron Whitney, Annette Riggs and/or any IRTA Board Member and/or the UC Committee for a copy of that Summary Report. Remember that the entire UC Committee voted unanimously to terminate GETS Technologies UC account so they will have all surely seen the Summary Report – nobody would take such a severe, high-profile and unprecedented act without having all the facts in front of them. IRTA’s website has a list of all their contact details. If they do not supply it to you then you will know that what I have said is true – there is a cover-up under way.
2. Simultaneously or following IRTA’s response, you and/or your lawyer should make a request to GETS Technology for a copy of their Summary Report. Should this happen, they will have to consider who their Summary Report should be released to:
- Who owns the report? [Clearly they do – it’s their work]
- Who owns the data? [The UC Members do]
- What should they do if they believe that a cover-up is underway by a corrupt leadership, perhaps even led by IRTA’s own lawyer?
The last question is crucial for if there are two or more lawyers claiming to represent UC Members interests, then who does GETS release it to? My guess is that they would have little choice but to comply with any request from any lawyer who claims to represent a UC Member.
Watch out for the current lot to fight tooth and nail to prevent the facts getting out there though!
2. Get the facts out into the public arena
Yes, into the public view – exactly! Nothing less will do now.
In many situations exposure runs counter to building credibility because people feel that bad news is not good for the brand. In this case however UC is IRTA’s flagship operation; there is a small membership in a small industry and opening the books BRINGS the desperately needed credibility back into the brand. Screaming “Oh dear! Mr Logie is all out to destroy us!” or “Dennis is a liar with an agenda” is just the worst thing for a brand in crisis.
You need to get the facts out there and do it in two stages – first release the summary of the information – then release the detailed information if people can’t/don’t play the game and cooperate.
This threat of exposure will shame those people who have been gaming the system into working to fix their problems constructively when the time comes to act (Point 4). Those in power at IRTA actually care about how they are perceived so the same forces that got them there can be used to get them to get their act together when the tables are turned and they are shown up for who they really are.
Fortunately this is all quite easy and can be done in short order. GETS has already done the work by going through the figures and highlighting things to look at. Every day that goes by is a loss to the credibility of UC and IRTA. Get it ASAP and then publish it quick smart.
The world needs to see:
- The true situation, and
- That the new UC manager is serious about fixing the thing in a transparent manner
A copy of the dataset should also be stored for posterity/security and for use in any future criminal/court action.
3. Digesting the facts … scratching out a plan
Shortly after getting hold of the facts, whoeever is charged with fixing the problem needs to digest those facts and develop a plan of action.
I’ve already done that in principle without even going into the details or seeing the actual/hidden figures. I have a pretty good idea of what the figures actually are from the System Health Check and from current trading data and it would go like this:
- Immediately unhide all hidden accounts and restore any deleted accounts. This will likely balance the system. If it still doesn’t balance, then audit the system and rebuild it transaction by transaction until it does. NOTHING meaningful can be done without a properly balanced ‘zero-balance’ accounting system.
- Identify the toxic and debt outside of the statute of limitations, and write it off, even if the Bad Debt Reserve Fund can’t cover it and goes under . . . get it out of the balance sheet once and for all. Leave collection and liability issues out of it just for the moment so whoever is trying to sort this mess out is able to look at current debt and current assets only.
- Kill all positive IRTA/Administrator balances obtained by fraud/misconduct and put them into the BDRF. If IRTA or any associated entity is gaming the system at the members’ expense, then this should be reversed, stopped and been seen to be done – transparently. Paying themselves $80,000.00pa to run the system is an offense and downright immoral. It’s just a scam that rips off UC Members so that individuals on the inside can benefit personally. Freeze all IRTA related accounts pending further investigation especially those that have received income from false figures.
- Compare account credits and debits and establish the required devaluation. If it’s more than a 10% devaluation keep the system offline and enter into emergency negotiations with the biggest creditors and biggest debtors. If it’s under a 10% devaluation, turn the system back on ASAP and just trade out but perhaps a short-term BDRF levy until back in the black.
4. Negotiating in a crisis
Should the UC currency be overvalued (i.e. CREDITORS exceed DEBTORS, and believe me that even with a cursory look through the data they certainly do in UC!) there are two options available – a devaluation (in which values are adjusted by decree) or an agreed plan to rectify matters without a devaluation.
The first thing to do is to communicate. There’s no need to post letters or get personal and so on. If one blog post can have 100 people view my website inside 24 hours then you can have a good portion of 120 people view one post and even respond to a simple questionnaire inside of a day or so, especially if they are motivated to do so.
Negotiations could go like this:
- UC is currently offline pending a review of operational performance that affects valuation of the UC$
- Initial indications are that we expect to have to devalue the currency by XX%
- If this is the case then your new UC balance/liability will be XX$
- If Members wish to trade out to avoid a devaluation, they can do so individually.
- In your case you would need to BUY/SELL/TRADE XX$ over XX period with an XX premium in order to prevent those losses
I’d ignore the inactive or small traders for the moment.
One phone call between the top creditors and the top debtors could easily break the back of the crisis. An agreement to work togther to help each other trade to get the currency moving, bring back equilibrium and to restore credibility should be simple because motivation to do something positive to help UC would be strong.
Self-interest is a strong motivator! ‘Use it or lose it’ . . . ‘Fix it yourselves or we’ll fix it for you’ and other firm but fair techniques could have the problem on the way to being solved in short order.
An important point in this all is that it matters less what is actually decided . . . what matters is that SOMETHING proactive is done to rebuild trust. It is faith in the currency that matters moving forward. Even a 50% depreciation can easily be accepted by the community if they can see that the currency was being mismanaged but now it isn’t. Even a 10% devaluation however could be a terminal act for the currency if the members do not trust the currency moving forward.
5. Generating opportunities
The next phase once the currency deficit has been dealt with should be to take the trading further. Failure to take the opportunities afforded from the restoration of the UC currency would be enormous lost opportunity.
A serious trader should revel in the opportunity afforded the negotiating power of working with the self-professed leaders in the barter industry. Fixing a few hundred thousand dollars in an exchange deficit should be a stepping-stone for active trade brokering at an international level. If I was setting UC up I would be looking at taking on an active trade coordinator to perform a brokering role and passing the order-taking roles onto technological systems and/or outsourced subcontractors.
I find it sad that Universal Currency has been run into the ground as it has. It sickens me that individuals with, to put it politely, ‘situational ethics’ can and have gamed the systems, but once the light comes on and the cockroaches scurry away or are squashed there is the possibility that Universal Currency could assist trade exchanges to develop their businesses and leap-frog others who do not participate in the system.
The Barter Series
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