Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Winter Warning – DOW 1,000 is Not a Silly Number…

Ian Gordon of the Longwave Group specializes in studying the Kondratieff economic cycles known as Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. As you may know, Kondratieff was taken, held, and executed as a political prisoner for his beliefs. What happened to him is fascinating, let me distract you momentarily by posting a Wikipedia entry on the history of his life:

Nikolai Dimitrievich Kondratiev was born on 4 March 1892 in the province of Kostroma, north of Moscow, into a peasant family. He was tutored at the University of St. Petersburg before the revolution by Mikhail Tugan Baranovsky. A member of the Socialist-Revolutionary Party, his initial professional work was in the area of agricultural economics and statistics and the problem of food supplies. On 5 October 1917, at the age of 25, he was appointed Minister of Supply of the last Alexander Kerensky government, which lasted for only a few days.

After the revolution, he dedicated his attention to academic research. In 1919, he was appointed to a teaching post at the Agricultural Academy of Peter the Great, and in October 1920 he founded the Institute of Conjuncture, in Moscow. As its first director, he developed the institute, from just a couple of scientists, into a large and respected institution with 51 researchers by 1923.

In 1923, Kondratiev intervened in the debate about the "Scissors Crisis", following the general opinion of his colleagues. In 1923-5, he worked on a five-year plan for the development of Soviet agriculture. In 1924, after publishing his first book, presenting the first tentative version of his theory of major cycles, Kondratiev travelled to England, Germany, Canada and the United States, and visited several universities before returning to Russia.

A proponent of the Soviet New Economic Policy (NEP), Kondratiev favored the strategic option for the primacy of agriculture and the industrial production of consumer goods, over the development of heavy industry. Kondratiev's influence on economic policy lasted until 1925, declined in 1926 and ended by 1927. Around this time, the NEP was dissolved by a political shift in the leadership of the Communist Party.

Kondratiev was removed from the directorship of the Institute of Conjuncture in 1928 and arrested in July 1930, accused of being a member of a "Peasants Labour Party" (a non-existent party invented by NKVD). As early as August 1930, Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin wrote a letter to Prime Minister Vyacheslav Molotov asking for the execution of Kondratiev.

Convicted as a "kulak-professor" and sentenced to 8 years in prison, Kondratiev served his sentence, from February 1932 onwards, at Suzdal, near Moscow. Although his health deteriorated under poor conditions, Kondratiev continued his research and decided to prepare five new books, as he mentioned in a letter to his wife. Some of these texts were indeed completed and were published in Russian.

His last letter was sent to his daughter, Elena Kondratieva, on 31 August 1938. Shortly afterwards, on 17 September during Stalin's Great Purge, he was subjected to a second trial, condemned to ten years without the right to correspond with the outside world. However, Kondratiev was executed by firing squad on the same day the sentence was issued. Kondratiev was 46 at the time of his execution. He was rehabilitated almost fifty years later, on 16 July 1987. His collected works were first translated into English by Stephen S. Wilson in 1998 (see Bibliography).

Captivating story, and similar to how Martin Armstrong is being held today right here in the U.S.A. Of course much of Armstrong’s work is rooted in Kondratieff’s. The book, The Fourth Turning is also rooted in these cycles.

Ian Gordon at the Longwave Group understands these cycles and has written much about them. They asked that I share their latest work with you.

The first one that I’ll share was published in November and is called, DOW 1,000 is Not a Silly Number. It's a terrific read with many outstanding charts, I highly recommend that you spend some time understanding them. In particular the charts displaying historic price to earnings ratios and where we sit now are important. Pay attention to where the market would have to be in order to call it fairly priced. Hint – a lot lower than here.

Dow 1000 is Not a Silly Number

Gordon’s second article is called Winter Warning. There he shows his cycle chart that you may have seen before:

He then he goes on to describe Autumn as having ended in the year 2000 here and 20 years ago in Japan. Good stuff in this article too. Thank you to Longwave for sharing!

Winter Warning