In this post I describe the effect of the shockwaves that are reverberating throughout the barter industry as a result of my string of blog posts revealing fraud, deception, nepotism, a defamation case, a shonky secret deal with Bartercard, and more emanating from IRTA, the International Reciprocal Trade Association. It’s been a rollercoaster ride for some within IRTA and unfortunately it is likely to still go further downhill before it comes to a screeching halt.
In the last month I have broken a string of stories relating to the barter industry, starting with comments on the future of barter, moving into the dodgy Bartercard/BPS Technology Prospectus, IRTA’s secret shonky deal with Bartercard the widely recognised bad-boy of the commercial barter industry, then into IRTA’s incredibly naive handling of their conflict of interest with the Bartercard/Satachi debacle, then the very serious revelations of total mismanagement of the Universal Currency that shows outright fraud and attempted deception incredibly right up until today!
This rollercoaster of a ride has some people spellbound as day after day, I have presented devastating facts (and opinions) – enough to generate a steady stream of tips, advice, feedback and assistance via my tipline. Here are what some of the shockwaves have achieved.
First-up is GETS. They’ve taken a major hit, and I guess you could say that they are the first casualty of my revelations. For years they have been simply the supplier of technology to IRTA’s Universal Currency. Sure, Richard Logie spent a bit of time on the Board of IRTA but they bumped him – they claim that he had a conflict of interest; he claims it was a hatchet job because he asked too many of the wrong questions – whatever! In the last month though he and his partner Linda Sim have been in the hot-seat as I’ve brought pressure to bear on them, questioning them on how they could claim to be ethical people if they were profiting from a commercial arrangement where I claimed that their client was gaming the system. Once that their own audit found, “concerns over many aspects of the account conduct and activities of Universal Currency Inc”, it was simply then a matter of time before those shockwaves took their toll.
Second-up is Bartercard. At this stage their IPO has gone VERY quiet. I would have thought that if they were into party mode with a couple of dozen millions in the bank we would have heard about it by now. My call at this stage is that the score is BLOGGER:1 BARTERCARD:0, but as I said I don’t actually know. [UPDATE: It appears as though BPS have pushed their date out to 4 September 2014 but there is different data in different places. ASX says August; A Forum post says September] The tipline reported that they had pre-subscribed. I considered that a very real possibility with a very short 4 week IPO but hey a deal’s not a deal until the money is in the bank, eh? Bartercard is facing two ASIC investigations that I know of into their dodgy Prospectus. I suspect that both investigations might have some legs assuming that ASIC actually bothers to investigate anything. That’s NOT a good look. Their key man in the UK just has to go, sooner or later, it matters not. His conduct over the Satachi thing will I am sure result in litigation proceedings. You can’t screw over a competitor the way they did and expect to build an entire nationwide operation from scratch with those skeletons. Whatever it takes to settle, I’d be trying to find it and get into Satachi’s hands before it goes too much further!
Third to get wind of the shockwaves will be the IRTA Executive and Board.
IRTA’s Executive will be in crisis mode. They will think that my blogging is personal [it’s not BTW], but they will also know that I never give up and that I’m extraordinarily creative and resourceful when on a mission to find the truth. They saw me find all the facts relating to their nemesis Daniel Evans and then stictch them into a coherent picture that nailed the Ormita fraud to the wall. They saw me take incredible heat with false accusations and more but was fearless to push through, do the right thing and pay the price.
They will know too that no matter how hard they try to hide things, or put out personal rumours about my motives or personal beliefs, or try to delay the inevitable, that eventually those shockwaves must affect them, personally. You can’t just hide accounts, and break the ByLaws to help your friendly Board Members and expect to get away with it forever
Fourth are the members – of Universal Currency and of IRTA. Some are really riled up and wanting to terminate their membership, set up another organisation, ask questions at the upcoming Cancun conference.
There is a high cost to playing with fire if the forest catches alight. How many people have got turned off IRTA as a result of my revelations? I know of one dude up in Canada who was actually advised to join IRTA because UC would be good for his trade exchange who even cancelled a sales appointment with the Executive Director because of my blogging and now wouldn’t touch them with a bargepole unless they got their sh*t together. He’s an avid reader of my blogging, even pinging me a note asking if I was OK because I missed one day without his “fix”. The shockwaves for IRTA will have horrendous consequences and they will compound for every day that goes by without an audit, a solid ‘dealing’ to the currency problems and some good old honest decision-making.
Lastly is the deafening silence of barter industry blogger Tyler Seamons. I tipped Tyler off on the first post and said to him that there was much more to follow but . . . silence! He slipped in a couple of ad hominem attacks on my blog comments, basically saying that I’m being a “big, bad meanie” and “it’s all just personal” towards his cobbers at IRTA but he’s pretty much irrelevant now with no constructive comment; nor even any coverage of ANYTHING I have raised. A couple of industry media releases from IRTA and Bartercard is the sum total of his blogging . . . plus of course his comments on my blog:
Baloney it’s not personal. It wasn’t that long ago that you were soliciting IRTA to be their consultant. It’s personal and it’s a grudge match, and its a fight you picked from the beginning. Facts aside, you’re trying to bully IRTA. It’s clear from comments like these “…share my ideas for not only getting UC back on track, but kicking some real life into it.” You’re making a power play.
The real issue with GETS is that it looks and functions like a software built in the 90s. What forward-thinking organization would want to stay with antiquated software? These pieces are all hatchet jobs. You should be ashamed. After all the good work you did with Ormita, this is crap.
The shockwaves haven’t reached Tyler yet, because he is being surrounded by IRTA fog, but they’ll hit as sure as the light of day. [Tyler, my tipline is revealing information that tucked away in the hidden data are more accounts than just the Bartercard one(s) that I’m also certain exists. Word on the street is that nepotism is rife within IRTA and while some are desperate to keep it quiet and pretend that it doesn’t exist at the moment, all this information will DEFINITELY come out in due course. That’s a promise!]
Tyler may change his tune when he looks at the facts. It’s easy to mouth off the words “facts aside” but what will he do when he finds that the people he is protecting with his ad hominem attacks on me are the very people whom he hates (and with a passion too)? Let’s hear what he thinks about people who deficit spend at their members’ expense:
If you have been following this website for very long, you know that I have a keen dislike for what I term barter industry pirates. To recap, barter industry pirates are exchange owners who steal the present value of goods and services available through their membership by using and abusing corporate credit lines, personal credit lines and secondary business credit lines with no intent of ever repaying those credit lines. Pirates spend trade they haven’t earned, increasing the trade credit in circulation, which usually brings pricing pressures, and starts the vicious cycle of price inflation inside a barter exchange.
Most of us in the industry have either experienced it or have seen it over and over again. There are some operating exchanges out there, that if you peered in to their books, you’d wonder how they manage to stay open.
and his advice?
I rigorously encourage the industry to self-police. If pirates bring too much attention to the industry, at some point there will be the day of legislation and regulation, and it won’t be pretty.
I agree totally with Tyler here but he continues with plenty more excellent commentary:
But also bad for the industry. Because pirates continue to steal the present value of goods and services from their membership.
We in the industry have skated along for decades because we’ve been able to say, “We are just the record keepers. We don’t and can’t police the value of our dollars!” Never mind that we have a bottom-line, last-buck-stops-here access to the value of our barter currencies…through not pillaging the value through deficit spending.
Barter exchange members may not see their trade dollars as a real store of value, like gold and silver historically are, but they do expect to be able to receive goods and services in somewhat equal proportions to the goods and services they exchange within the membership. So, in a real sense, to your members, your barter dollars are very much a store of value, or they feel that those dollars should be a store of value. It’s our responsibility to protect that store of value for our customers through only giving credit to worthy businesses, through credit line payback enforcement, and through zero tolerance policies for internal and corporate credit lines for exchange owners or employees. These three things will preserve the value of your barter dollar better than any other program, in my opinion.
I applaud any effort to curb industry use of internal credit lines. In a perfect world, no barter exchange would ever spend one more dollar than it earns through providing service.
We don’t live in a perfect world, but we can improve our industry by shaming and shunning those who would devalue their currency and rob their members blind.
Great words Tyler. Personal power-plays and self-interest aside, let’s self-police, shame and shun those people eh? Starting with IRTA and its overinflated Universal Currency, and Bartercard with it’s hyper-inflated currency!
Much much more to come
These shockwaves are still coming and will still continue to come. More legal action will be certain to follow. IRTA’s public liability underwriters are going to take a bath methinks. My gut feeling too is that criminal action is almost a certainty when the facts finally come to light and there will be a lot of soul-searching and hard decisions to be made for a long time judging from what I’ve seen so far.
How the h*ll can you run a currency $200k unbalanced and supposedly be the flagship Association of the industry talking about ethics this and ethics that and “prudent practices”? The shockwaves are only just starting to ripple the surface if you ask me!
Just think through the consequences of one very likely shockwave alone . . . IRTA having hidden any Bartercard account from the members, just at the time that Bartercard was attempting their IPO! Holy shmoly! Just that one would have “LEGAL” written all over it.
Not everybody has read the entire Barter Series – it’s way way too much for most people to cope with, but the people who matter to me have read the posts that affected them. That’s the important thing, and there is a permanent record of the events as they unfold so that for years to come people can look back and learn from the events of Q3 2014.
Standby while the tipline continues to ask me more about these hidden accounts, and a string of questions that can never be answered [except for a sword falling exercise].
The Barter Series
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