Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Big Picture, part 5

In the last post, we established that the Renaissance period was a Grand Supercycle degree bull market advance. The next task is to look at the Late Middle Ages period to see where it fits within the larger picture.

Many historians see the Late Middle Ages as a period of advancement in human civilization, and most have the period dated at 1000 - 1350. Again, the key here is that the economy follows the stock market. There are also a number of socionomic indicators that provide clues to characterizing the period.

Upon examination of the period, there are already a number of issues with trying to characterize the Late Middle Ages as a bull market advance:

1 -- The Crusades took place from 1088 - 1254. Religious persecution is associated with big bear markets, not bull markets.
2 --  The Hundred Years War started in 1337 and ended in 1453. Wars are associated with bear markets of at least primary degree, and a war lasting 100+ years is too big to be associated with a Grand Supercycle bear market. A war of that magnitude only results from bear markets of Super Millennium degree or larger.
3 -- There is no blow-off top at the end of the period. Grand Supercycle bull markets always end in a blow-off top with a bubble lasting 20 - 30 years.
4 -- The size of the gap between the rich and the working class during the period is not consistent with a bull market advance. The gap between the rich and the working class widened throughout the period, whereas in a true bull market, the gap between the rich and the working class narrows during the first wave, remains narrow with a strengthening working and middle class during the third wave, and then the gap between the rich and the working class widens during the fifth wave.
5 -- Banks started collapsing in 1294. Bank failures occur in bear markets of Cycle degree or larger, never during bull markets.
6 -- When the economies of European nations peaked, there was no blow-off or bubble. Instead, there was a resumption of decline to greater depths than before.

With all of those issues in mind, the Late Middle Ages would actually be considered a bear market rally within the Dark Ages. The bear market rally would have begun in 1254 and ended in 1294, taking on an expanded flat pattern.

The Dark Ages preceded the Renaissance. In terms of wave counts, the Dark Ages, which lasted over 1000 years, is clearly too big to be a Grand Supercycle bear market. Given its immense duration, the Dark Ages is best labeled as Ultra Millennium wave ((II)), that is, an Ultra Millennium bear market.

Here's our updated picture:

Ultra Millennium wave ((I))      c10000 BC - 337,    Neolithic Revolution to Roman 
Ultra Millennium wave ((II))      337 - 1400,            The Dark Ages
Ultra Millennium wave ((III))     1400 - 11000+,       Modern and Future Civilization

Super Millennium wave ([1])     1400 - 4400+,         Modern and Future Civilization
Millennium wave ((1))               1400 - ???,              Modern Civilization

The Modern Civilization period subdivides into Grand Supercycle waves as follows:

Grand Supercycle wave [I]       1400 - 1720,     Renaissance
Grand Supercycle wave [II]      1720 - 1784,     Major Depression
Grand Supercycle wave [III]     1784 - 2000,     Industrial and Technological 
Grand Supercycle wave [IV]     2000 - ???,       Major Depression
Grand Supercycle wave [V]      ???  -  ???,       Biotech and Nanotech Revolutions

The good news is that we are not in a dark age.

We now know our current position: Grand Supercycle wave [IV] of Millennium wave ((1)) of Super Millennium wave ([1]) of Ultra Millennium wave ((III)). We are in a Grand Supercycle bear market. This means that we are in for a pretty lengthy corrective period, and that a major depression is in progress.

Some hard times are going to be coming our way as the bear market progresses. The number one message of the Elliott Wave Principle is that while we do indeed go through hard times, there is also reason for hope and perseverance in the face of hard times, knowing that in due time, the correction will be completed and a new bull market, Grand Supercycle wave [V], will start.

Knowing that we are in a Grand Supercycle bear market, the next post will involve taking a closer look at the period to assess how the bear market has unfolded so far and what the ultimate expectations are.

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