Some cycles due in 2015

So you can be prepared, if you wish, here are some cycles due in 2015. One of them is gigantically important to both the political and financial worlds, so I hope my exposition is clear.

The first cycle is very easy to understand: something economically important really hits the fan every seven years. Going in reverse from here, seven years at a time:

  • 2008, start of the Great Recession, first real estate debt bubble pop;
  • 2001, recession begins as part of 2000-2002 internet/tech stock bubble pop;
  • 1994, worst year for bond markets in modern history;
  • 1987, the famed stock market Crash of ’87;
  • 1980, inflation, the “Misery Index”, start of a major recession that doesn’t go away for three years;
  • 1973, Arab Oil embargo, start of a major recession;
  • […] you get the idea.

The article at this link talks more about this cycle, including the note that the years in this seven-year cycle that coincided with an Autumn solar eclipse (1931 and 1987) had particularly strong events; and 2015 does have two solar eclipses. Again, from the article at the link:

In 1931, a solar eclipse took place on Sept. 12…Eight days later, England abandoned the gold standard, setting off market crashes and bank failures around the world. It also ushered in the greatest monthlong stock market percentage crash in Wall Street history.

In 1987, a solar eclipse took place Sept. 23…Less than 30 days later came “Black Monday” the greatest percentage crash in Wall Street history.

Some great forecasters think that March is a strong candidate for significant financial turbulence in 2015, and there is a total solar eclipse on March 20. And there is a partial solar eclipse on September 13, a better calendar correspondence with the events referenced in the quote above. So maybe we’ll get two strong events this year.

For those of you who believe what you read in the US media, perhaps you are wondering how we could get major financial problems when things are allegedly so “awesome.” Well, sorry to tell you, but even Goldman “doing God’s work” Sachs just admitted that the world economy has gone into contraction:

     It’s Official: Global Economy Back In Contraction For First Time Since 2012 According To Goldman 

(As a side note, Al Jazeera did a great video on true nature of Goldman Sachs. The link is here, but, if you are in the USA, the censors won’t allow you to view the video in the “Land of the Free” US, it’s only playable outside the US. A lot of that type of thing is going on these days. It’s a small part of what has dropped the US down to 49th globally in press freedom; see World Press Freedom Index Plunges – USA Now Ranked #49 Globally.)

If this seven-year cycle repeats in 2015, then I think we can easily predict what the authorities will do since it seems to be the only thing they know how to do when there’s trouble: print more money by creating more debt! But as explained in The deflationary wave intensifies, this strategy has become counter-productive and is locking the world economy in a deadly stranglehold.

Some realize all this and some do not. But this brings us to our second cycle: Martin Armstrong’s Sovereign Debt Big Bang. Here is a slide of Armstrong’s forecasts from a conference in early 1998:


(Source, from Martin Armstrong’s blog)

These major forecasts all came true. The only one left to go (2015.75 = September 30, 2015) is the Sovereign Debt Big Bang. What it says in that the tide will monumentally shift away from confidence in government bonds starting on September 30, 2015. Currently, confidence in government bonds is so high that people are buying them even with negative interest rates. The easiest way to understand interest rates is that they are the rental charge for lending someone money. So you rent someone $100 and you hope to get back maybe $103, the original $100 plus $3 of rent. But people are now buying government bonds even though they get back less money than what they lent to some government in the first place. They are paying governments to lend them money!

     16% Of Global Government Bonds Now Have A Negative Yield: Here Is Who’s Buying It

That was a few weeks back, at which point JP Morgan calculated that $3.6 Trillion worth of government bonds were paying negative interest rates. Some of the countries involved were Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark. In Denmark, because interest rates went negative, some adjustable rate mortgages are now paying interest to the people who took out the mortgage!

     In Denmark You Are Now Paid To Take Out A Mortgage

Now you might say: Why would anyone buy a government bond with a negative interest rate?!?! When I first said we should expect negative interest rates in More shackles readied for deploymentI did get a few e-mails politely suggesting that I might want to get checked for dementia. Here’s what was said:

The policy is that savers will soon be hit with negative interest rates…So people would have to pay the bank interest on their own savings. So if the negative interest rate were -3%, if you had $100 in your account, you’d have to pay the bank $3 in interest.

This is crazy. Most people alive today think governments never default on their debt.  But that’s just plain wrong. Here is a chart showing country debt defaults going back to 1800. And this chart only shows those countries that have defaulted at least four times, the rest are not shown. Note that the list includes supposed stalwarts like Germany:


(Chart sourcefrom The Economist.)

What Armstrong is saying–and he has been saying it since the 1990’s and has strong mathematical/historical models backing up his forecast–is that, near the end of this year, the world at large is finally going to wake up and understand the insanity of all this government borrowing. Not all at once, but relentlessly. They will see that most if not all countries are not going to pay back what they borrowed. They can’t. They don’t have the money. Greece is the first country to forthrightly admit it. One of the pompous Eurocrats threatened Greece last week, saying “If you don’t do what we say, Greece will go bankrupt.”  To which the Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis replied, “Greece is already bankrupt.”  (Straight truth! From a politician! Finally! Maybe that will become a trend!)

So what will this do to those who own all these government bonds? Who does own them anyway? For one, most of what is called capital at banks is government bonds. So there go the banks: no capital, insolvent. (Watch out for the upcoming bail-ins if you still keep money in banks.) Insurance companies and both government and private pension funds are huge holders of government bonds. So there goes insurance, and pensions. A well-placed German friend says that several European insurance companies are on the verge of bankruptcy. All of the assets of the US Social Security system, for example, are US government bonds: that’s all they own!

And somehow, the financial system has come to accept government bonds as collateral for other loans and bets. The $1 Quadrillion (that’s 1,000 Trillions) world derivatives casino market floats on a thin veneer of government bonds as “collateral” for these bets. Before the US defaulted on its debts in 1971 when Nixon said they were no longer payable in currency backed by gold, as previously promised, but now were backed by promises alone, collateral meant something real. For example, when you have a mortgage, your house is the collateral. A car is the collateral for an auto loan. But now in the financial world, someone’s promise to pay back a loan that they can never repay counts as collateral for even more loans. This is insane. Starting later in the year, a lot more people will start to understand that. That’s the nature of this Big Bang cycle. And there will be major repercussions. We talked about the demise of banks, pensions, and insurance. The derivatives collapse will take down all the brokerages and investment banks. So where will people get money?

Governments love to hide the truth about their historical defaults on their debt. Thus everyone is taught that the “cause of the Great Depression” of the 1930’s was the 1929 stock market crash. Total BS. The stock market crash wiped out stock speculators. That wasn’t a truly big deal. What took down thousands of banks were defaults on government bonds they and their customers were holding. Let’s look at that government bond default chart again. This time there is a red box around the worldwide wave of country debt defaults in the early 1930’s that wiped out thousands of banks and millions of savers:


Get it? That’s what’s coming up again, only this time it will be worse. Way worse. There’s been far more borrowing, far more leverage, and all of it is floating on paper and electronic currencies and promises. The link to reality–gold–was removed in 1971.


Now some people say all this unpayable debt can be wiped off the books in a debt jubilee, like they used to do in Old Testament times. Well that’s true. It can. The problem is that anyone who put money in a bank account needs to realize that they have loaned that money to the bank. It’s a debt of the bank, they owe you money. And your deposit is backed by government debt, not by actual cash. So, if there were a debt jubilee, no one would have any money in their bank account anymore. Same for businesses, so no business would be able to write a paycheck to anyone. ATM’s would not be able to dispense any cash. Credit cards would no longer work. All of the money in the world is someone’s debt to someone else. So a debt jubilee would mean there was no money.

So now, do you want a debt jubilee? Of course not. But we are going to get one anyway. Not on purpose. By accident. Starting in a big way later this year.

Why can anyone be confident that this is true? Well first, go back and look at the rest of the predictions on Armstrong’s slide from 1998. Second, it’s already starting to happen. Greece, Argentina, Puerto Rico–the dominoes are starting to fall. Japan is a financial basket case, there is no way they can repay their debts, and they have the second largest pile of government debt on the planet. The whole world has gone wild for debt!

Which brings us to a third “cycle of interest’ for 2015. What else floats on a sea of debt? Real estate prices! This cycle was described before here:

As examples, due to his real estate cycle work for the US, he was telling clients–in the 1990’s to give them ample time to act–to be out of all US real estate investments by February, 2007; that real estate prices would then fall from 2007 into 2012, then rise into 2015 in a snapback rally that would sucker a lot of people back into real estate, and then fall again through 2033.

Well here we are in the snapback real estate rally into 2015. So many have forgotten the 9 million US foreclosures and the 7 million US households that are still “under water” on their mortgages. All the signs of a bubble are back, though now some are already starting to dissipate as real estate prices in some of the bubbliest areas roll over:

     Southern California home sale volume for January slowest since 2008: The stalemate accelerates with Orange County seeing a monthly median price drop of $28,500.

The bubble is stronger than ever in countries like Canada, Australia, and the UK. Unless people request it by sending me e-mails saying they want it, I’m not going to do a detailed post on real estate. I doubt it will change anyone’s mind, so it probably isn’t worth it. But when the biggest debt bubble the world–and perhaps the galaxy–has ever known pops, and governments are falling left and right, real estate prices will be hammered. And those falling governments will be desperately raising property taxes to try to stay afloat.

And anyone who agrees with people who say that “debt doesn’t matter,” like Dick Cheney from the right or Paul Krugman from the left, is going to get quite an education over the next few years. Actually, we all will. Which is good, in my view. Humanity badly needs to understand which actions have real value and which do not.

War cycle update

Those who have been readers here for awhile: Are you now getting the flavor of how these cycles unfold? As a valid cycle comes into play, people fall into line and play their parts. The so-called “great men of history,” who conquered regions and nations: were they simply pawns falling into a role, pushed and prodded by cyclic forces far greater even than their Icaran ambitions?

Since the Wheeler Cycle of War and Political Change was last discussed here, full-blown wars have erupted in Ukraine, Gaza, and Iraq. Fighting has re-emerged in Libya. Tonight, we hear that the US will be bombing in Iraq. These wars join the continuing wars in central and North Africa. And the posturing and saber-rattling by China, Japan, Viet Nam, and especially the US and Russia, continue to build.

The graph of the Wheeler Cycle has been shown before, but some readers have told me they don’t much like graphs. So, in text: The Wheeler Cycle was discovered in the 1930s and was further enhanced by its current keeper, Martin Armstrong. The cycle is based on data from all cultures from 600BC to the present. It says that there is major war or major political change every 25.05 years, which is every 9,149 days. Please analyze the following:

Wheeler Cycle Date Major War or Political Change Event Start Date Commencing Event
7/26/1914 World War 1 6/28/1914 Archduke Franz Ferdinand assassinated
    7/28/1914 War declared
8/13/1939 World War 2 9/1/1939 Germany invades Poland
8/30/1964 Viet Nam War 8/2/1964 First alleged Gulf of Tonkin attack
    8/4/1964 US bombs North Viet Nam
9/17/1989 Fall of Communism 11/9/1989 Fall of the Berlin Wall
10/5/2014 ???? ????

A careful reading of the above and a recall of the history of these events show that the forces for war and political change build and build as the cycle date approaches and then, within a month in either direction of the cycle date, an event occurs that is understood, either at the time of the event or later, as the start of a major world change.

So, we approach the center of the cycle on October 5, 2014. Regrettably, we see the forces of war building.

The worst part of this is: major wars begin around the cycle date, but the fighting generally builds to its greatest intensity four to six years after the start date. Think of the wars in the table above and this becomes clear.

Perhaps now you can see why I have been focused on the fact that people must now resist war. If this cycle is allowed to express itself without mass resistance from humanity, the default is horrendous. And this is up to people. Our “leaders” are leading us to war.

The current situation is exacerbated by the presence of another cycle pointed out by Armstrong: we are again approaching the focal point of the cycle of internal political unrest and revolution. One can see this playing out in Tunisia, Egypt, Thailand, Myanmar. One can see it in the internal politics of nations, where the dominant political parties are beginning to face formidable upstarts, and where, worldwide, more than 550 separatist groups are seeking freedom from what they consider to be tyranny.

And regarding the “great men of history,” I do look forward to a time when history is not the study of the Caesars, Napoleon, and Hitler, but rather the study of how Patanjali and Plato and da Vinci and Shakespeare and Blavastky and Aung San Suu Kyi and the Buddha and Jesus and many others shined the light of evolution, showing people new ways to comprehend, to express, to relate.

And I look forward to the study of history including the study of cycles, so that we are not their unwitting slaves.

And I look forward to the Wheeler Cycle being simply called the Cycle of Political Change as war is studied only as part of the archaic and primitive phase of human evolution.

What’s up with the metals? Part 1

First, a digression right off the bat: let me say that I hope everyone who is interested in the precious metals is doing their own research on this topic so that they can make truly informed decisions, especially since I am not a registered financial advisor of any type, these are just my views of the world. One of the best ways I know to become informed on the metals is to get the free e-mails issued by GATA, the Gold AntiTrust Action Committee. You can sign up for their e-mails here. They send out links daily pointing to the best articles about gold and related topics from across the web. OK, end of digression.

*  *  *

Since I was wrong last Spring about when gold would make its next move up, let’s look at the views of three very capable market commentators who were correctly bearish on the gold price during 2013, that is, they thought that the price would drop. They were right, and perhaps their analytical work will continue being right. So let’s look at what they are saying now, and throw in the opinion of the head of the largest gold refinery in Switzerland as well.

Tom DeMark

The first analyst is Tom DeMark. Tom has been a trading advisor to the big institutions for decades. It’s rare for him to give his advice in advance to us commoners, though in his defense, he has published many of his techniques for those who wish to spend the time to learn them.

What DeMark said on December 16, 2013 about the metals is in the last minute of the short interview at this link. He said:

We’re looking for a huge move in gold next year, beginning next year. We think the bottom will occur with the tax loss selling this year.

So what he is saying is that, as soon as those who want to take trading losses on their gold positions for tax purposes (to balance off other gains they had) finish that activity, then price will begin that “huge move” up that his firm is expecting. His price projection, for a long time, for the downside in the gold price had been $1180. In the interview, he said they had revised that to somewhere between $1155 and $1180. The price went down to $1181.40 on the last day of 2013, the last possible day for tax loss selling for the 2013 tax year. That’s probably plenty good for meeting his price target, but we’d have to be institutional clients of DeMark to know whether he now thinks price might still move down to $1155. In any case, by DeMark’s famous work, the price low is already behind us or will be here very soon. There will be evidence below that JP Morgan may have been following DeMark’s advice precisely.

William Kaye

The second fellow who was right about the gold price dropping in 2013 is veteran money manager and former Goldman Sachs employee, William Kaye. Kaye repeatedly gave interviews in 2013 on King World News where he would point out movements of physical gold in the markets that indicated the next phase of price manipulation down by the Fed and the big banks would happen promptly. And it would unfold as he predicted. In this December 31, 2013 interview, Kaye said he thought the gold price could be manipulated down one more time in January, followed by a large, fast move up for the gold price to somewhere between $2,000 and $2,500 in 2014:

My guess is we are now looking at mid-to-late January of 2014 as a probable and absolute bottom, after which it is going to be difficult for sidelined investors to gain a position because gold and silver will then move very, very quickly in the other direction.  That is why most people are going to miss this move…

While all of the Western media is filled with anti-gold stories, China continues to buy virtually all of the available physical gold at these levels, and will continue to do so on any further price declines.  Also, the flow of gold into India has continued because of increased smuggling.  But none of the smuggled gold is being reported in the official import numbers.

One of the primary reasons this gold flowing into India is not being reported is because the politicians themselves control the smuggling rings.  The reason India has such a large current account deficit and a loss of confidence in the Indian currency is because of the bad government policies.  The people of India see this and so they seek refuge, as they always have throughout history, in gold…

As you know, Eric, I have extremely good sources and contacts in India because we’ve done business there for years. If our sources are correct, this year the gold imports into India are very close to 1,200 tons, which is a staggering figure.

On top of that, we have the Chinese importing a mind-boggling 2,200 tons of gold for 2013. That figure actually totals the entire global mine supply for all of 2013 outside of China…

You also have to remember that we have enormous demand from other countries around the world such as Russia, Brazil, just to name two…

Regardless, 2014 is going to be an extremely good year for the precious metals.  I believe we could easily see new highs in nominal terms in both gold and silver.  We may see $2,000 to $2,500 in gold, and $50 to $60 in silver, maybe even higher.  The bottom line is that 2014 will be the year that the cartel gets broken.

Martin Armstrong

Our third commentator is Martin Armstrong. The guy has done some of the best financial cycles work in modern history. As examples, due to his real estate cycle work for the US, he was telling clients–in the 1990’s to give them ample time to act–to be out of all US real estate investments by February, 2007; that real estate prices would then fall from 2007 into 2012, then rise into 2015 in a snapback rally that would sucker a lot of people back into real estate, and then fall again through 2033. (Yes, real estate folks, you read that right, a 26 year bear market in real estate that started in 2007.) A summary of that work published in 2009 is here, and a look at the chart from the first page tells the story very well:


To say that this was good advice, at least so far, would be quite an understatement. Also in the 1990’s, he told his clients that interest rates/mortgage rates would fall till January 2013 and then start an inexorable rise for many years to come. He was only off by six months, interest rates went to their lowest level in mid-2012 and have been generally rising since.

So the guy is very smart. But I don’t have a link to his site on the Thundering Heard home page because it is nearly unbearable to read him daily. Anyone else’s views on anything, he calls those opinions, and pelts them with ridicule and insults if they disagree with his own opinions, which he claims are not opinions, but actual facts.  His cycles work is fabulous, his knowledge of history is formidable, but when he strays from those, as he often does, you have to put your boots on and wade through it. That’s a worthwhile exercise, but you have been warned.

Anyway, Armstrong is our third analyst who was bearish on gold all year, to the point where he called anyone advising buying gold during 2013 to be a fool, criminal, and worse. But all year, he has expected a Directional Change (his capitalization) for gold in this month of January, 2014.

So with DeMark, Kaye, and Armstrong, you have three very capable analysts who think this price downmove is over, or will be in over in this month of January. If I were a person with savings denominated in fiat currency, I would be jumping all over this opportunity. But of course, people need to make their own decisions. As mentioned above, getting the free e-mails from GATA is a great place to start. And no, they don’t sell your e-mail address to others.

So what does the head of the largest Swiss gold refinery have to say about all this?

     Alex Stanczyk: Physical Supply Never Been Tighter

I’ll let the article speak for itself:

Refineries in Switzerland are still working 24 hours a day to cast bars for China, sometimes having difficulties sourcing the gold…

We met with the managing director of the largest refinery in Switzerland and spend about two hours talking to him…Now, this gentleman we were talking to probably has a better idea of physical gold flow than anybody else globally. He sees what is coming from the mines, he sees what is coming from the UK, and all over the world, as well as where its going. He indicated the price didn’t make sense because he has got so much fabrication demand. They put on three shifts, they’re working 24 hours a day, and originally he thought that would wind down at some point. Well, they’ve been doing it all year. Every time he thinks its going to slow down, he gets more orders, more orders, more orders. They have expanded the plant to where it almost doubles their capacity. 70% of their kilobar fabrication is going to China, at apace of 10 tons a week. That’s from one refinery, now remember there are 4 of these big ones [refineries] in Switzerland.

…At this Swiss refinery there have been several times this year on which they were unable to source gold, this shocked me. They’re bringing in good delivery bars, scrap and dore from the mines, basically all they can get their hands on. This gentleman has been in the business for 37 years, he was there during the last bull market in the late seventies. I asked him when was the last time this has happened, that he was unable to source gold, he said never. And I clarified it, I asked: let me make sure if I understand what you’re saying to me, in the last 37 years you’ve worked in the gold industry this has never happened? He said: this has never happened.

When do think the price is going to rise?

“I’m not comfortable to put a time on this. What I do know is that we are on the threshold of a situation that has never occurred before. A squeeze is imminent, it could take 3 months or 6 months, but all I know is that it’s coming, and I know that with 100% certainty.”

What Stanczyk is talking about is shown on the next chart, which has only been updated through the end of October. Hong Kong has imported more gold from Switzerland in 2013 than in all prior years combined!


(Chart source: China Mainland Gold Import Accelerating )

Here’s a way to look at the overall Chinese gold imports from Hong Kong:


(Chart source: China Imports More Gold Via HK In 2013 Than 2011 & 2012 Combined)

And here is a chart of total Chinese imports from Hong Kong by month since Autumn 2011. And this chart doesn’t show imports from other sources or China’s own mine production, which is now the largest of all countries and which is keeping six large refineries busy in China. There have been reports (blatant lies is what they are) in the Western media that Chinese gold imports have been falling. Does this look like falling to you? Each of those numbers are tons.

China Gold Imports to October 2013 Gross

(Chart source: China October Gold Imports Surge To Second Highest Ever)

Despite strong government disincentives to buying gold in India, as we heard from Kaye above, the flow of gold can’t be stopped. Here’s a typical story:

     Smugglers smile as NRI carriers bring gold into country legally

It was evident last week when almost every passenger on a flight from Dubai to Calicut was found carrying 1kg (2.2 pounds) of gold…

This strong buying is a worldwide story:

     Scarcity of Gold in Mexico

Including Canada, Australia, and the US, as reported here by the Wall Street Journal:

Sales of gold coins are booming even as the metal’s price is falling…at mints and coin shops around the world, gold continued flying off the shelves…

Sales of Gold Maple Leaf coins by the Royal Canadian Mint surged 82.5% to 876,000 ounces in the first three quarters of 2013 from the same period of 2012. The Perth Mint, Australia’s national coin and bar producer, saw sales rise 41% to 754,635 ounces last year, while the U.S. Mint sold 14% more American Eagle gold coins than it did in 2012, along with a record amount of silver coin.

Even JP Morgan, big sellers of their own horde of physical gold earlier, which helped to drive prices lower, has been rebuilding their cache, perhaps guided by Tom DeMark’s work, or perhaps to simply be the manipulating elephant that they have been caught being in so many other markets:

     JPM’s Quiet Scramble To Refill Its Gold Vault

JPM Eligible

In Part 2, we’ll talk about how it is possible to have extraordinary worldwide demand for physical gold and still have a falling price.