Thanks for the great response to the "Let's Make a Deal."
We were able to scrape up enough advance PR books to take care of those who responded. Some of you had your request in nearly before the blog finished posting! Looking forward to your endorsement blurbs! Hope you enjoy!!!
(Chicago): 1984: More and more often people, who have read either the printed excerpts from my travel journals or the actual journals, express a curiosity regarding the early days of Project C.U.R.E. Usually, their questions run something like this: "We know the story of how you and Anna Marie gave away your wealth and started life over again with a determination to help other people be better off. But the next scene has you in Brazil, getting emotionally hammered by the overwhelming need for donated medical goods to be sent into the developing countries of the world. How did you get from being a successful businessman and entrepreneur to being an economic consultant to the president of Brazil and his top government economists? And how did Project C.U.R.E. get started out of all of that?"
Let me see if I can help fill in some of the blank spaces. That period of time is crowded with lots of dots, and without some navigational help from someone who was there at the time it is nearly impossible to connect all those dots by meaningful lines.
After leaving Jackson Brothers Investments I closed my gates at our home and wrote an award winning book that was first published in 1982 titled, What'cha Gonna Do With What'cha Got? That project trained over ten thousand Christian leaders to return to their thousands of church and para-church constituents and train them in the ideas of basic economics and stewardship.
To a large degree, the success of our earlier business ventures in the Jackson Brothers Investments company had resulted from our ability to understand and employ the basic concepts of simple, old-fashioned counter trade and barter techniques. The fundamental principle underlying a successful barter transaction, and the basis for all successful free market endeavors, is that everybody in the deal must end up "better off."
Based on some of the barter and trade concepts that I had included in the book, What'cha Gonna do with What'cha Got?, I received a call from some folks whom I did not know. I guess they had heard that I had been involved in bartering and trading in the past, and they asked if I would be willing to travel to Chicago and meet with them. I agreed to be there.
On April 17, 1984, I showed up at the meeting held in the penthouse of the Ambassador West Hotel in Chicago. Their purpose for the meeting was to discuss concepts of international counter trade and barter that would result in increased market share for their different and individual businesses in Lesser Developed Countries (LDCs).
They wanted to bypass the manipulation and corruption of the dictators and their cohort governments, who were skimming revenues off the top of the countries' economies by means of exorbitant inflation and phony currency exchange rates. They also were aiming to learn about international legal concepts and experiences in order to avoid pitfalls in developing their own counter trade programs in the LDCs.
In attendance were some of the top leaders in US commerce and international business. I shared what I knew about the subject with the group, but as they began to discuss their experiences and needs, I began to listen very carefully. There was such a great need for what they were trying to accomplish in the global economy!
Many of the issues they were trying to work through reminded me of what Armand Hammer, one of my entrepreneurial heroes, had encountered as an international businessman. Creativity and ingenuity would be the answer to working around the greed, corruption, and bureaucracy of the Third World markets and governments.
About half way through the guarded sessions, I began to realize that I was not there so much because I had a lot of magic bullets to offer, but I was there because there were things being said and concepts being proposed that I needed to hear. My thinking began to change during and after that Chicago meeting.
Next Week: An invitation from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank
© Dr. James W. Jackson
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