Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The “Gone Fishing” Market

Source: Bespoke (Feb 27, 2017)
The latest example of zero volatility in the market comes courtesy of the S&P 500’s intraday trading range. Over the last 50 sessions, the S&P 500’s average percentage spread between the intraday high and intraday low has been 0.540%. Going back to 1983, when our database of intraday data begins, there has only been one other time where the S&P 500’s 50-day average intraday range was narrower. That was back in early February 1994 when the average range got as low as 0.539%, so the current narrow range is close to a record. But it gets even better.  Barring a big intraday move tomorrow (greater than 1% – an intraday range we haven’t seen since mid-December), the S&P 500’s average daily range will drop below the record low of 0.539% that has been in place for nearly a quarter of a century.

The Skyscraper Indicator 1790 - 2015 │ Elliott Wave International


This market sentiment indicator has a reliable history that goes back nearly 200 years!
It's sending a signal today that's as clear as it's ever been.
Source: Elliott Wave International (Feb 27, 2017)
 
Cycles analyst Edward Dewey (1895-1978) was the chief economics analyst for the US Department of Commerce when he developed the "Skyscraper Indicator" in the 1940s: It correlates human optimism to the number of high-rise buildings under construction. When people are very optimistic, they tend to express their feelings in massive construction projects, especially very tall buildings, because they have a need to build toward the sky! Since this extreme optimism is reached at major market peaks, in the economy, severe economic downturns usually follow; not just declines in real estate prices. The world’s current tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai (828 m), nicely illustrates this process: It was built as a monument to the Gulf emirate’s boom in the middle years of last decade and opened in late 2009, just as the emirate plunged into financial crisis.

Experts note the 18-year financial cycle was disrupted by the First and Second World War,
but returned to its former state in 2006 (HERE)

It doesn't need a prophet to tell where the next bubbles are about to pop: Of all of the world's skyscrapers under construction, China is home to 53% of them and since 2016 China's highest buildings exceed the 'One World Trade Center' (417 m) in New York by 200 meters. The boom is on though in mid 2013 the construction of the planned 838 meter Sky City in south-central China was halted by the authorities for not having a building permission. A similar craze for high rise has gripped South Korea and India. India just finished building two skyscrapers and has 14 skyscrapers currently under construction. However, having survived the Arab Spring miraculously, it is this decrepit royal kleptocracy in Saudi Arabia that is now decorating Jeddah with a 1,007 meter high 'Kingdom Tower'. Let's have a look at what happened during recent high times in different places: The construction of the Taipei 101 (508 m) began in 1999 and was completed in 2004. The duration coincided without the recession in the early 2000s and the tech bubble while in 2010 the completion of the Burj Khalifa coincided with the current global financial crisis. The Asian economic crisis, currency devaluation and speculation in stock and property coincided in 1997-1998 with the completion of the Petronas Towers (452 m), the tallest buildings in the world at the time. Now the 18-Year Real Estate Cycle will again be due to peak and pop around 2016 (+/-). See also HERE

Source: The Visual Capitalist (Feb 11, 2016)

DAX Cyclical Analysis │ Cyclic Vibrations

Source: Cyclic Vibrations (Feb 25, 2017)

Genetics are the New Eugenics │ F. William Engdahl

F. William Engdahl (Feb 22, 2017) - Last year, we had a series of mergers in the agribusiness’ GMO-corporations worldwide. This has created an alarming concentration of corporate power in the hands of basically three corporate groups. The first one is Bayer AG of Germany, which made a friendly takeover of Monsanto. The reason for this was that Monsanto became identified in the public mind as pure evil and everything bad about GMO’s, which was accurate. This became a burden on the whole GMO project. So, Bayer stepped in, which has a friendly image of an aspirin, harmless, nice company, but in fact is the company that invented heroin in the 1880’s and made gas for the ovens of Auschwitz during WWII. It's one of the dirtiest agribusiness companies in the world with a series of homicides and pesticides that killed off bee colonies and many other things that are essential to life and to nature. ChemChina - China State Chemical giant - for some reason took over Swiss Syngenta, which makes weed-killers. Then, Dow Chemicals and DuPont merged their GMO businesses together. So, we have three gigantic corporate groups worldwide controlling the genetically-modified part of the human food chain. As dangerous as the GMO crops are and the more they sell, it is becoming more and more obvious that they are the chemicals that by contract must be applied to those GMO seeds by the corporations. They demand that if you buy roundup ready soybeans or corn, you must use Monsanto (now Bayer) roundup.

The term "eugenics" is not typically found in the mass media
today. Many think of it only in the context of the dark science
engaged in by Nazi Germany, or the sterilization programs in
mid-century homes for the mentally impaired. But in fact, the
concept of eugenics came back to the forefront in the early
1980's, with the advancement of genetic science. Experiments
like the Human Genome Project have now put a modern face on
eugenics - and in some ways, it is a far more dangerous face
than the old, evil countenance of days past. Today eugenics is
being dressed up and paraded before the public as one of the
'blessings of modern science' - the magic of genetic engineering,
which promises to put an end to disease, let parents customize
the gene traits of their children, and other supposedly benign
benefits of modern science.
Therefore, this is giving more corporate power to the GMO industry than ever before and that’s an alarming trend. They are putting pressure on the bureaucracy in Brussels. One example: there was a massive public campaign against the renewal of the license of the European Commission for Glyphosate. Glyphosate is the most widely used weed-killer in the world. Glyphosate is the main ingredient in Monsanto’s roundup. The other ingredients are Monsanto’s corporate secret, but the combination of them is one of the most deadly weed-killers. The World Health Organization’s body responsible for assessing genetic dangers made a ruling the last year that Glyphosate was a probable cancer-causing agent. The license came up for automatic renewal last year – a 15-year license. The EU commission for health was prepared to automatically renew it for 15 years. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which is responsible allegedly for the health and safety of European citizens, recommended approval based on a German study by the German Food Safety Agency that was simply lifted 100% from studies given by the private corporation Monsanto! So, the whole chain was corrupt from the beginning and all the information was rigged. In reality tests have shown that in minuscule concentrations, lower than in recommended levels in Europe and in the US, Glyphosate causes kidney disease, liver disease, and other illnesses that are potentially fatal. Now, Glyphosate has shown up in urine tests, in urban drinking water, in gardens, in ground water and so forth. And that gets into the system of childbearing women, for example, with embryo. It’s all in this!

The EU commission, despite a million petitions – this is a record setting - and despite recommendations from leading scientists around the world to not renew the license, made a compromise under huge industry pressure and renewed it for 18 months. Why did they renew it for that time? Because at the end of 18 months, they were told by Bayer and Monsanto that the takeover of those two giant corporations will be completed and Bayer is going to replace Glyphosate with another, likely more deadly toxin, but not so well-known as Glyphosate. So, they simply bought time. And that is just one example. This agenda of GMO is not about the health and safety; it’s not about increasing crop yields - that’s a lie that has been proven in repeated tests in North America and all around the world. Crop yields for farmers, using GMO plants, may increase slightly for the first 1-2 harvest years, but ultimately decline after 3-4 years. And not only that! We’ve been promised by Monsanto and other GMO giants that the use of chemicals will be less, because of these “wonderful” traits that GMO plants resist. In fact, the weeds become resistant and you have super weeds, which are 5-6 feet in a height and choke out everything. It’s a catastrophe. So, farmers end up using added weed killers to kill the super weeds. This whole mad playing around with the genetic makeup of nature is a disaster from the beginning. The real agenda of GMO, which I have documented in great detail in my book “Seeds of Destruction”, comes from the Rockefeller Foundation. It comes out of the 1920s-1930s Eugenics movement. The Rockefeller Foundation during the 1930’s, right up to the outbreak of World War II when it became politically embracing too, financed the Nazi Eugenics experiments of Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin and in Munich. Why did they do this? Their goal was the elimination of what they called “undesirable eaters”. That is called population reduction.

After the war, the head of the American Eugenic Society, who was a good friend of John D. Rockefeller, at the annual conference of the American Eugenic Society said: “From today, the new name of eugenics is genetics”. Moreover, if you keep that in mind – genetic engineering, the Human Genome Project and so forth – they all are scientific frauds. Russian scientists have proven that the entire Genome Project utterly disregarded 98% of the scientifically valuable data in favor of 2%  that was completely nonsense and a waste of billions of dollars. Therefore, they have been obsessed with the idea of how to reduce human population in a way that would not be so obvious as simply going out and carrying out mass-sterilization. Actually, they have done that in Central America together with the World Health Organization by giving certain vaccines that they cooked-up to have abortive effects. Therefore, the women of child-bearing age in Central America were given these vaccines against tetanus. The organization of the Catholic Church became suspicious because the shots were given only to women, not to men. And they found that there was buried in the vaccine an abortive effect that made it impossible for women to conceive and bear children. This is all covert population reduction. These are the Western patriarchs who believe they are the gods, sitting on the throne with great dignity, controlling mankind. I think they are a bunch of fools, but they have this agenda of genetic manipulation. It’s against nature, it’s chemically unstable. And I have to congratulate the Russian Federation that they had the courage and the moral concern for their own population to ban GMO cultivation across Russia. That was a step forward for mankind. I would hope that Russia will use its influence to get China to do the similar thing, because their agriculture is in dire need of some healthy Russian input. But this step by Russia to make a GMO-free agriculture is a great step for mankind.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Droughts and Floods vs Jupiter-Saturn Cycle and Lunar Declination Cycle

When the sunspot and lunar cycles coincide there are distinct rainfall peaks. The 18.6 year Lunar cycle
created flood years in Central Victoria in 1954-56, 1973-75, 1992-93 and 2010-11. The 2010-11 floods in
northern Australia reflected a peak lunar rain-enhancement cycle. This particular lunar cycle was strongly
enhanced by the closely synchronised 19.86 year Jupiter-Saturn Synodic Cycle.

Kevin Long (Jul 7, 2011) - Planetary and lunar cycles play an important part in shaping the climate, and also Australia’s flood and drought cycles are influenced by these forces. The Central Victorian rainfall records reveal that the 18.6 year lunar declination cycle and the 19.86 year synodic cycle of Jupiter-Saturn can each enhance or diminish average rainfall over prolonged periods resulting in extreme flood and extreme drought cycles. When these two cycles are closely in-phase with each other and are supported by the El Nino or the La Nina cycle, extreme droughts and extreme floods are likely to occur. This was the case during the early months of 2011 and enhanced by a very strong La Nina cycle during the preceding 9 months. Another major drought period is scheduled to occur around the middle of this lunar cycle (2020). 
 

The above graph shows the long-term rainfall record for Bendigo in Central Victoria, Australia. The Central Victorian climate is particularly sensitive to any changes in average air movements (air tides). This is due to the generally flat terrain of the area, which means the effects of the cosmic cycles are more prominent than in most other places in the world. This can be seen to occur with about 80% reliability during the last 66 years. The dominating effects are most obvious when a four-year rolling average line is used (thick line). The spacing of the recent droughts to flood periods appears to closely follow the “9.3 year rule” (i.e. half of the 18.6 year moon cycle). Peaks and troughs relative to the Bendigo’s long-term average of 544 mm are:

1944         Severe drought (284 mm)        
1954-56    Typical three years of major floods (average 737 mm)
1967         Severe drought (278 mm)        
1973-75    Wettest ever three year flood period (average 861 mm).
1982         Driest year on record (206mm)
1992-93    Two years of flood period (averaging 729 mm per year
2002         After 9 years of declining average rainfall, 2002 delivered only 271mm
2010         Eleven consecutive months of above-average rainfall set a new Bendigo record of 1061 mm.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Energy War over Syria │ The Geopolitics of Oil and Gas Pipelines

Major Planned Pipelines - Enlarge
The war on Syria is only unclear at first sight. On closer inspection, it becomes clear that fighting between mercenaries and government forces takes place only where important pipelines are running or planned. 

Russia, the Western powers and the Gulf States are fighting for the best starting position for gas and oil supplies for the European market. France, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and the United States, in particular, are interfering in the distribution struggle without any reference to international law, while Russia's support to the legal Syrian government is fully in line with international law.  

Two of the most important oil markets are located in the Syrian cities of Manbij and al-Bab, both of which are located in the Aleppo province. These two cities are also the most important pipeline, the oil from Iraq - from Mosul and al-Qaim - transported to Syria as far as the province of Idlib

Territorial Control - Enlarge
The same Pipeline runs through the city of Aleppo to the oil market in Idlib. Whoever controls Manbid, has a great influence on the oil transport in Syria. The same applies to Aleppo, Idlib and al-Bab in the west of the country. In the east of the country the same oil transport line runs through Raqqa and Deir Ezzor. The oil that flows through this transport line comes from Mosul, via Sinjar to Deir Ezzor and a second strand from al-Qaim to Deir Ezzor. So far, Turkey has had no influence on the oil transport lines in the Syrian conflict. Through the capture of Manbidz, Turkey could assert its influence on the transport system in Syria. The current battle for Aleppo is called only from a basic decision-making battle: Aleppo is the last big city through which flows the country's most important transport line. Anyone who controls Aleppo controls the "key" of the pipeline. It is striking that the conflicts between the conflict parties take place, in particular, on the most important points of the transport lines: Raqqa, Deir Ezzor, Aleppo, Idlib, Manbidsch, Hasaka, al-Bukamal, Ain Issa and al-Bab. In Homs and Hama also violent battles take place. Previously, Palmyra was fiercely fought. These, in turn, are the areas through which the Qatar-Turkey pipeline is planned. The Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline supported and planned by the Russians should also be run by Homs. That is why Homs from the Russian point of view cannot be controlled by the Islamic mercenaries. 

The fog of war and the realm of uncertainty:
Russian
and US Airstrikes -
Enlarge
From the map of the air strikes, it is clear that the US airspace mainly focuses on the East and the Russian air strikes, especially on the west of Syria. While the control of West Syria is important to the Russians to prevent pro-Western pipelines, it is important from the US point of view that the prospect of pro-Russian pipelines - like the Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline - to prevent.

Another planned pipeline was originally to go from the Israeli Golan Heights via Damascus to Turkey. This pipeline would allow Israel to emerge as a gas supplier, provided the government is overthrown in Damascus. But Russia does not want any competitors in the gas market.

In connection with the pipeline routes, the planned "Kurdish corridor" is also critical. The Caucasus Strategic Research Center (KAFKASSAM) in Ankara reports: "The real objective of this corridor is to transport the Kurdish oil and gas from the Northern Iraq over Northern Syria to the Mediterranean by pipeline there. In addition, the US had planned to build another pipeline from the Persian Gulf to the Northern Iraq and from there via Northern Syria. Thus, both Iraq and Turkey should be brought to the West and especially to Europe on the energy market through both Turkey and Northern Syria. But the plan to found a Kurdish corridor fell into the water because the Russians intervened in Syria. Russia is opposed to this corridor because Europe is to be maintained as a customer of Russian energy carriers. Russia will under no circumstances give up its position on the European market." See also HERE + HERE + HERE + HERE


War as the continuation of politics and economic interest by other means.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Earthquakes, Moonquakes, Pandemics, and the Solar Cycle

Benjamin Deniston et al. (2012) - Several studies have pointed to a correlation between earthquake activity and the 11 year solar cycle, e.g. in 2011 Jusoh Mohamad Huzaimy and Kiyohumi Yumoto, two researchers out of Kyushu University, Japan, took the 4,108 large, shallow earthquakes from 1963-2010, and compared them with the phases of the last four solar cycles. What they showed was that for each magnitude range there were consistently more earthquakes during the declining phase of the solar cycle through solar minimum, when compared with the ascending phase through the solar maximum. This discrepancy was most pronounced for the largest earthquakes. 

Percentage of shallow earthquakes by magnitude occurring during the solar minimum and descending half
of the solar cycle, or during the solar maximum and ascending half of the solar cycle. Analysis of the
last 4 complete solar cycles from 1964-2008, indicated by monthly average of sunspots.

The last decade, which contained the longest solar minimum of the century, also saw the most magnitude 8.0+ earthquakes and the greatest number of large volcanic eruptions for any decade over the past century. These relations should cause us to consider what types of similar activity might be occurring on other bodies of our solar system. Unfortunately, the best data we have is from the eight years during which we had operational seismometers on the Moon (1969-1977, left behind from some of the Apollo missions). During this operational window, out of the thousands of registered lunar seismic events, only 28 of them originated below the lunar surface (for example, not due to surface impacts by meteorites), and have been identified as “shallow moonquakes.” Their very existence is a mystery, as there are no active plate tectonics on the Moon. 

The decade by decade totals of “great” earthquakes (magnitude 8.0 and above), and large volcanic
eruptions, measuring a VEI 4 or greater (VEI = Volcanic Explosivity Index). Source USGS Earthquake
Hazard Program, Smithsonian Global Volcanism Program.

What is remarkable is that 23 of thoe 28 moonquakes occurred during the half of the Moon’s orbit when the near side of the Moon (on which the seismometers were placed) was facing a specific direction relative to the fixed stars, indicating a relationship not even to solar activity, but, as Yosio Nakamura, a world expert on lunar seismic activity and the author of the study says, to something originating outside of our solar system.

23 of the 28 moonquakes recorded from 1969 to 1977 occurred when the Moon occupied the half of the lunar
orbit in which the seismic network on the Moon’s near side faced towards a certain direction in the fixed
stars. This suggests a yet unknown influence coming from outside the solar system.

There is also long-standing evidence showing that the incidence of diseases fluctuates with the Earth-Sun relationship. The most well known of these fluctuations is the seasonal flu pandemic. None of the conventional explanations for why influenza flares up during the northern hemisphere winter (environmental humidity, vitamin D deficiency, etc.) has yet been validated, yet the seasonal variations are very real. Further, this cycle of seasonal outbreaks is also a cycle of the evolution of the virus itself, a phenomenon which has not been explained by the standard models of mutation and selection. This seasonal variation would seem to imply a relationship between influenza outbreaks and the location of our planet with respect to the Sun. In fact, looking beyond the yearly variations, the major flu pandemics of the past century exhibit an interesting pattern: the dates were 1946, 1957, 1968, and 1977, which imply a period of roughly 11 years, provocatively matching the sunspot cycle over this period. Taking this back farther, if we map the major flu pandemics against the cycles of sunspot numbers for the last 300 years we get the following plot. 

The 1946, 1957, 1968, and 1977 pandemics shown over the last 6 solar cycles.

Pandemics occur in clusters. If we connect the sunspot peaks, which indicate how solar activity changes from one cycle to the next, then we see that the pandemic clusters occur during periods of more active successive solar cycles. An initial hypothesis might be that such a correlation implies a relationship between some solar parameter, such as ultraviolet radiation, and influenza pandemics. Notable exceptions to this correlation — specifically, the cases where pandemics fall on years of sunspot minima — point to a causal agent on a grander scale. Researcher Yu Zhen-Dong has shown evidence that pandemics occurring during solar minima show a close coincidence with bright supernovae and other sources of ground-level cosmic radiation. This implies a galactic rather than solar driver of the phenomenon, with cosmic radiation influx from outside of our solar system as the main culprit, rather than incident solar UV radiation. That is, the changes associated with solar activity are likely rather caused by the Sun’s well-known role in moderating the influx of cosmic radiation into our solar system.

Laith M. Karim and Marwa H. Abbas (2014):
The Relation between Influenza Pandemics and Solar Activity.
Pandemic influenza mapped against sunspot number and nova occurrences
(mostly flare-ups of our near neighbor Nova η Carinae) for the past 300 years.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Depiction of Time and Space out of Scipio's Dream

It is common to think of statistical graphics and data visualization as relatively modern developments in statistics. In fact, the graphic representation of quantitative information has deep roots, reaching into the histories of the earliest map making and visual depiction of astronomy, and later into thematic cartography and many other fields. The idea of coordinates was used by ancient Egyptian surveyors in laying out towns, earthly and heavenly positions were located by something akin to latitude and longitude by at least 200 B.C., and the map projection of a spherical Earth into latitude and longitude by Claudius Ptolemy (85–165) in Alexandria would serve as reference standards until the 14th century. 

Planetary movements shown as cyclic inclinations over time, by an unknown astronomer, appearing in a
10th-century appendix to commentaries by Macrobius on Cicero’s Somnium Sciponis. This is the earliest
known 2-dimensional charts (plotting time vs. celestial latitude; an apparent anomaly is that it appears to
show the celestial latitude of the Sun varying with time); the scribe used horizontal and vertical lines as
aids, resulting in a picture strikingly similar to modern graph paper as it did not become commonly used
before the mid 19th century, some 700 years later. This picture is a notable anomaly, as the earliest
comparable "graph" diagram do not emerge prior to the late medieval period, some 250 years after
this drawing was made. Source: Wikimedia.

Among the earliest graphical depictions of quantitative information is the above anonymous 10th-century multiple time-series graph of the changing position of the seven most prominent heavenly bodies over space and time. The vertical axis represents the inclination of the planetary orbits; the horizontal axis shows time, divided into 30 intervals. The sinusoidal variation with different periods is notable, as is the use of a grid,suggesting both an implicit notion of a coordinate system and something akin to graph paper, ideas that would not be fully developed until the 1600-1700s. In the 14th century, the idea of plotting a theoretical function (as a proto bar graph) and the logical relation between tabulating values and plotting them appeared in a work by Nicole Oresme (1323-1382), Bishop of Liseus, followed somewhat later by the idea of a theoretical graph of distance vs. speed by Nicolas of Cusa.

Sunspots and the Price of Corn and Wheat | William Stanley Jevons

William Stanley Jevons (1835–1882)
William Stanley Jevons (1835–1882) was a British economist and philosopher who foreshadowed several developments of the 20th century. He is one of the main contributors to the ‘marginal revolution’, which revolutionized economic theory and shifted classical to neoclassical economics. He was the first economist to construct index numbers, and he had a tremendous influence on the development of empirical methods and the use of statistics and econometrics in the social sciences. Jevons also analyzed business cycles, proposing that crises in the economy might not be random events, but might be based on discernible prior causes. To clarify the concept, he presented a statistical study relating business cycles with sunspots.

Daniel Kuester & Charles R. Britton (2000) - William Stanley Jevons summarized his thoughts on the effects of weather on economic activity in three chapters of his book Investigations in Currency and Finance (1909). An in-depth examination of these essays reveals some very interesting conclusions. In the first essay entitled “The Solar Period and the Price of Corn” (1875) he first investigates the striking similarity between the length of many historical business cycles and the length of the average length of the sunspot cycle. Jevons finds that the prices of most agricultural products vary dramatically over an eleven year cycle. He cites English agricultural price data from the years 1259-1400. The prices of wheat, barley, oats, beans, peas, and rye reach a relative minimum in the second year of the cycle, an absolute maximum in the fourth year of the cycle and an absolute minimum in the tenth year of the cycle before recovering in the final year of the cycle and the first year of the new cycle. There does appear to be a rather obvious and consistent trend in prices over these eleven year periods. Jevons discovers that the data (English wheat prices from 1595-1761) available to him in the Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations (1776) confirm similar although less marked trends in agricultural prices.

Jevons does not discount other significant factors that might cause the rather predictable nature of these business cycles. Technological advancements, wars, and other factors independent of agricultural and weather cycles can and do exhibit great influence over the economic well being of a nation. Also consumer confidence or a lack thereof could cause significant variations in spending and employment. However, Jevons believes that these consumer attitudes may also be related to the sunspot theory and the corresponding droughts and bumper crops which may result. “If, then the English money market is naturally fitted to swing or roll in periods of ten or eleven years, comparatively slight variations in the goodness of harvests repeated at like intervals would suffice to produce those alterations of depression, activity, excitement and collapse which undoubtedly recur in well- marked succession.” Jevons believes that if it were possible to accurately predict the sunspot cycle and the corresponding bumper crops and droughts then it would also be possible to predict impending economic crises.

In the second essay “The Periodicity of Commercial Crisis and Its Physical Explanation” (1878) with “Postscript” (1882) W.S. Jevons continues his study. In this essay he attempts to find empirical evidence to support his claim that business cycles follow predictable patterns which can be tied to the length of the sunspot cycles. Jevons claims that the relationship between weather patterns and business activity display a stronger relationship in primarily agrarian societies such as India and Africa. This claim makes this subject more meaningful in studying the relationship between weather patterns and economic activity in arid and semi- arid lands.


One piece of empirical evidence which W.S. Jevons believed would strengthen his sunspot business cycle theory actually has weakened this theory somewhat in retrospect. “There is more or less evidence that trade reached a maximum of activity in or about the years 1701, 1711, 1721, 1732, 1742, 1753, 1763, 1772, 1783, 1793, 1805, 1815, 1825, 1837, 1847, 1857, 1866. These years marked by the bursting of a commercial panic or not, are as nearly as I can judge, corresponding years, and the intervals, vary only form nine to twelve years. There being in all an interval of one hundred and sixty five years, broken into sixteen periods, the average length of the period is about 10.3 years.” Jevons points out that it is reasonable for the business cycles to vary somewhat in duration as it is reasonable to expect that there will be different lags between droughts and economic downturns based on inventories available and on the variations in trade patterns and ability to obtain imports quickly.

Potentially the most troubling conclusion that Jevons reached was that a sunspot cycle and the corresponding changes in agricultural yield and national productivity would follow a predictable pattern of approximately 10.3 years. Most astronomers now believe that the sunspot cycle does indeed last approximately 11.11 years which is somewhat troubling and is something that Jevons’ son attempts to address. This potential difference in sunspot duration is a primary reason this subject has not been studied as much as might be expected. However the findings of García-Mata and Shaffner provide some credence to Jevons’ theory. “Summing up, we can say that from a statistical point of view there appears to be a clear correlation between the major cycles of non-agricultural business activity in the United States and the solar cycle of 11+ years.” These authors also claim that it is reasonable that there could be some variation in the duration between sunspot cycles and that there is evidence that these cycles do correspond with business activity.


Christopher Scheiner's 1626 representation of the changes in sunspots over time (1630, recordings
from 1611). Scheiner, a Jesuit astronomer, eventually published the definitive work of the 17th
century on sunspots, in which he accepted Galileo’s argument that sunspots "move like ships" on
the surface of the Sun. Scheiner and Galileo agreed that sunspots counted against the Aristotelian
doctrine of celestial incorruptibility. Earlier Jesuits had been open on this point. Clavius argued
for the corruptibility of the heavens after the nova of 1572. Scheiner here publicized the fact that
the Jesuit theologian Robert Bellarmine had argued for the igneous nature of the stars and the
corruptibility of the heavens even before 1572 on the basis of biblical exegesis and the tradition
of the Church Fathers. Cardinal Orsini paid for the printing of this lavish work (Rosa Ursina - The
Rose of Orsini
, 1630).

The third essay on sunspots and the business cycle was entitled “Commercial Crisis and Sun-Spots Part I” (1878) and “Part II” (1879) completed W. S. Jevons thoughts on the relationship of weather and business activity. In this essay he continues to discuss the existence of a solar cycle of 10.45 years as being wholly consistent with his findings and being a better predictor of economic variables than the now widely used duration of 11.11 years. Despite this potentially unfortunate conclusion Jevons elaborates on the potential relationship between solar and weather cycles and economic activity. He concludes that solar patterns should be studied to determine if a causal relationship does indeed exist between solar patterns and economic activity. If so, then policies should be enacted to reduce the magnitude of the contraction/recession parts of the business cycle. Jevons further elaborates on the importance of the solar cycle on consumer confidence and spending. “From that sun which is truly ‘of this great world both eye and soul’ we derive our strength and our weakness, our success and our failure, our elation in commercial mania, and our despondency and ruin in commercial collapse.” Jevons also finds more empirical evidence that corn prices in Delhi reach maximum and minimum in a similar eleven year pattern which has been exhibited in Europe. Once more this theory seems much more applicably to arid and semi-arid regions such as India.

Sunspot illustration from Scheiner's Rosa Ursina, 1630.
William Stanley Jevons’ son H. Stanley Jevons continued his work on sunspots and published “Changes at the Sun’s Heat as the Cause of Fluctuations of the Activity of Trade and of Unemployment” in Contemporary Review in 1909. He reissued it in a monograph entitled The Sun’s Heat and Trade Activity (1910) in which he further examined and elaborated on the subject. H. S. Jevons believed that his father had some excellent ideas in relating the sunspot theory to the length of business cycles although he does acknowledge some of the criticisms which have been leveled at the work W.S. Jevons did. He states that the sun’s activity has some effect on economic outcomes and while it is not the only variable which should be considered when formulating economic policy it is worth considering when formulating economic policy.

H.S. Jevons acknowledges that his father was in error when he claimed that he solar cycle would only last approximately 10.45 years. He claims that W.S. Jevons attempted to oversimplify his findings and he ignored some events which created economic booms and busts which had nothing to do with arid land’s agricultural productivity. This is what led him to the false 10.45 year business cycle predictor. However he found that wheat production in the United States displayed significant variation during the nineteenth century and reached its peak approximately every 11.11 years. He found a direct relationship between solar activity and wheat production in the United States. H.S. Jevons believes that the eleven year sunspot cycle is actually a combination of three shorter sunspot cycles which were just over three years in duration. There would be a period of drought approximately every 3.5 years and a period of cold damp weather approximately every 3.5 years. This great harvest would precipitate a trade boom according to Jevons. He finds data that suggest the production of pig iron and agricultural produce in the United States were closely related and followed the sunspot cycle closely. He also states that on occasion the business cycle will only correspond with two of these shorter sunspot cycles explaining the variation in business cycles between seven and eleven years. This can explain the error that W.S. Jevons did not understand about the variation in the length of business cycles. H.S. Jevons provides several suggestions as to how this information about solar activity can be useful. He believes that if output and therefore trade can be expected to decline in the near future that there should be wage cuts to attempt to ensure full employment. This suggestion is not reasonable today but if we are going to engage in interventionary fiscal and monetary policy the potential to predict shortfalls in productivity and potentially consumer confidence can have meaningful implications for expansionary monetary policies being enacted. This is particularly useful if there are actual psychological ties between solar activity and consumer’s attitudes which sounds far fetched but may occur. Jevons also recommends less domestic reliance on crops would reduce the variation in economic prosperity. While crop production is still important in many arid and semi-arid lands, this is not as meaningful to the economy as it was when Jevons wrote.