Thursday, December 2, 2010

Confluence of Crises - Dec Videocast

Highlights: Economic crisis, Social chaos & violence, Middle East / Korea crisis, Market volatility. A global mood "weather forecast" for December 2010.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Turmoil, Panic, and Gridlock – December 2010

The Grinch may very well steal Christmas this year. December is looking to be a month of crises: economic meltdowns and high market volatility; geopolitical situations at critical levels; widespread social turmoil and civil unrest; and governments whose leadership is sorely needed, found to be paralyzed in gridlock.

The natural world looks to be a big part of the headlines this month as well. Forecasted human perception of the natural world is full of extremes, including possibilities of increased volcanic activity in South America and major storms both in North America and Europe.

What is striking about all of this is that it shows up at all. This is a season where traditionally people want to focus on family and the holidays. However, this year, it appears that something could be unusual or shocking enough to provoke moderate panic responses on a societal level. This year, something is different. We began the year saying that in 2010 “the bill comes due, the party’s over.” The big consumption party, and the year, may be finishing up together.

The above is an excerpt from the December 2010 issue of MoodCompass, a publication of A New Story Foundation. To view the latest projections related to human perception of the natural world, see Earth Cycles.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Discord, Disasters, and Depression - Nov 2010 Videocast

Highlights: Global paradigm shift, Social chaos & violence, Middle East crisis, Market volatility, High impact natural event(s). A global mood "weather forecast" for November 2010.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Insecurity, Insolvency and Indifference - November 2010

Change is in the air, and projected collective mood indicates the beginning of a new paradigm. However, this approaching new reality may not bode well for the optimists. On a societal level, November holds a disheartening mixture of collective apathy, discord, despair, and intolerance. Such wide scale dysphoria is difficult to contain for long, and may result in some individuals or groups acting out in bursts of violence or other anti-social behaviors. Global leaders and governments, needed to keep the ever illusive recovery on track, as well as maintain a stable geopolitical environment, will likely find it difficult to accomplish anything of substance where cooperation is required. Things could even get more interesting should a less stable individual who also happens to be a head of state gets too caught up in the tide of antipathy.

According to projected collective mood and perception, there is high risk for terrorist activity as well as large impact natural disaster(s), especially in the first half of the month. With coffers lean and ammunition for economic remedies running thin, the clock continues to tick on an ever nearing market meltdown. There is continued discussion of a possible currency war, and such a scenario would fit well within the November “look out for number one” attitude. The next episode in the “new normal,” however it plays out, does not look pretty. Rather than a next chapter in global recovery, it may turn out to be the early stages of a systemic breakdown.

The above is an excerpt from the November 2010 issue of MoodCompass, a publication of A New Story Foundation. To view the latest projections related to human perception of the natural world, see Earth Cycles.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ready for a Greater Depression?

It's normal for markets to disconnect from collective mood at major turning points, especially when turning in a negative direction. This is exactly what has been occurring for the past month or so. However, the extremity of the current disconnect is quite unusual, and implies a vulnerability to destabilization in the markets unlike anything we have ever seen. Imagine the crash potential as a loaded spring, waiting for the slightest nudge to set it off. Anything could do it: a terrorist attack, geopolitical tension or escalation, a natural disaster, or even simply that the market is "overbought." Compare the current crash potential (see chart) to the crash potential just before the sharp September/October 2008 sell-off.

The likelihood of an extreme market sell-off, or crash event, before the end of the year continues. While it is conceivable that some artificial mechanism could continue to prop up the stock market, the most likely scenario, the path of least resistance, is for the pressure of this wide gap to be relieved.

Everyone has heard of the 1929 stock market crash. What most people don't realize is that the really big losses came after the initial recession and recovery-- the 1930's were the era of the Great Depression. While Main St. may have little remaining interest in the stock market directly, the growing spectre of a Greater Depression should at least give people pause. What will our culture of individuality and independence do in the face of 20% plus unemployment? Will we find the means to adapt to a period of chronic economic slowdown and decline? There is every indication that this is the direction we are heading. Ready or not...

Monday, October 18, 2010

High Terror Risk Alert - Oct / Nov 2010: Video

High Terror Risk collective mood configuration appears late October - early November 2010. Technical presentation of mood cycles illustrates.

Friday, October 1, 2010

October 2010 – Tempers, Tantrums, and Twisters

People are sick and tired of bad news and empty promises. There is talk of an economic recovery and a recession being over, but things still look as shaky and uncertain as ever. They don’t trust their governments to fix things, but no one seems to know exactly what to do. As collective mood continues to sink, governments focus on stimulating “the economy” and encouraging consumption. With governments treating symptoms, and not the larger problems much too inconvenient to publicly name and face, their interventions only forestall the inevitable. The rubber band will surely stretch as far as it can possibly go. When it does finally snap, it will not be pretty.

With frustration high, and tempers fragile, watch for increasing frustration to be expressed in rallies and protests. There will likely be heightened interest in the subject of terrorism. The geopolitical scene could be tricky, as global leaders are caught in the same sea of frustration and impatience as everyone else. Key hot spots to watch this month are Iran, Venezuela, N. Korea, and Nigeria. China is more likely than ever to make any attempted diplomatic solutions through the United Nations nearly impossible.

So how might October’s unfriendliness show up in the natural world? With a lot of energy in the system, cyclones are a high risk, even at this late date in the season. Tornadoes and typhoons may not yet be done for the year in the northern hemisphere. The southern hemisphere is not likely to see the cyclones, but they could have their own version of storm to share in the global moment.

The above is an excerpt from the October 2010 issue of MoodCompass, a publication of A New Story Foundation. To view the latest projections related to human perception of the natural world, see Earth Cycles.

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Addendum-- Tempers, Tantrums, and Twisters in the News:

10/1/10: The Twister of 2010

10/2/10: Violent protests after Dutch outlaw squatting

10/5/10: Bible college student shot dead in dorm room.

10/6/10: IMF warns against currency wars. 25 NATO Fuel Tankers Torched.

10/7/10: Deadly blast hits famed Sufi shrine in Pakistan.

10/8/10: Man dressed in black with jack-o'-lantern opens fire at elementary school in Carlsbad, CA.

10/9/10: 8 year-old stabbed while playing video games by stranger.

10/13/10: Continuing French Strike, Unions vs. Sarkosy may result in fuel shortages

10/15/10: Greece: Police clash with protesters at the Acropolis.

Woman in anger management class stabs classmate

10/16/10: Thousands protest in both China and Japan over disputed islands.

10/17/10: Off duty police detective killed over parking space dispute.

10/19/10: Gunman, suicide bomber attack Chechnyan parliment

5 shots fired at Pentegon, shattering windows.

10/20/10: France in turmoil as strikes continue

10/21/10: Major N. California mall set ablaze by man w/ possible bomb.

10/29/10: North, South Korea soldiers exchange gunfire at DMZ.

More shots at Marine Museum in evolving sniper case.

Shooting at Walmart by ex-employee.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tempers, Tantrums & Twisters - Oct 2010 Videocast

Highlights: Social chaos & violence, Economic impatience, Terrorism Focus, Iran, Venezuela, and N. Korea issues. A global mood "weather forecast" for October 2010.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Stock Market Crash Alert: Fall/Winter 2010 - Videocast

Initially, markets should drop 20%; a 50% decline by year end is likely. Economic losses lead to further social deterioration. Technical presentation of mood cycles illustrates.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Market Crash Imminent

The S&P is now 300 points or 27% above where social mood would place it, and in the mean time, mood continues to deteriorate. This will not continue to go unresolved for long. While some of the economic numbers are showing modest improvement, foreclosure rates are increasing, the poverty rate is increasing, more people are permanently leaving the workforce, and there are no signs that this will be changing any time soon. Whether a new series of market crashes starts next week or next month, it is not far away. Such a downturn in the market could escalate the job problem and further add to social mood deterioration. Not a pretty picture.

This chart shows social mood trend modeled from published Moodcompass issues vs. actual S&P prices.

Monday, August 30, 2010

September 2010 - U.S. Chaos and Global Volcanoes

Helplessness and fear left unchecked will find “resolution” in hate and release in violence. Economic stagnation with no end in sight, media rhetoric that exacerbates fear and feelings of powerlessness, and high uncertainty about what lies ahead, all simmer together under increasing pressure in the social milieu.

In September, the region of the world with the highest likelihood of violent social eruptions is the United States of America. The initial release of steam from a pressure cooker can be quite intense. Initial violations of long standing social prohibitions can likewise be quite dramatic, and could take the form of isolated incidents of violence or property destruction, or on the more extreme end, could be expressed as anti-group or anti-government acts of terror.

Also in September, we can expect escalating geopolitical tension. A crisis involving N. Korea is probable, and a Middle East episode not unlikely. In the natural world, a parallel theme of eruptions and pressure release should not be surprising. Watch for volcanoes and earthquakes to make an appearance in this month’s headlines.

The above is an excerpt from the September 2010 issue of MoodCompass, a publication of A New Story Foundation. To view the latest projections related to human perception of the natural world, see Earth Cycles.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Global Destabilization - August 2010 Videocast

Highlights: Pervasive global destabilization, Widespread social turmoil, Elevated economic risk, Increasing geopolitical uncertainty. A global mood "weather forecast" for August 2010.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Global Destabilization - August 2010

There is an unusual destabilizing configuration that appeared briefly in April, May and June. This configuration of both entropy factors working together did not appear at all in the month of July. In August, however, it runs solid throughout the entire month. If July was the edge of the cliff, August may be the first few steps off of it.

Socially, global unrest should continue to increase with Asia being of particular concern. Geopolitical tension should be quite high with several hot spots ready to erupt or escalate at the slightest provocation. Again, Asia is a focal point. The fabled economic recovery continues to be extremely fragile. Will it be able to tolerate such an unstable global scenario?

The above is an excerpt from the August 2010 issue of MoodCompass, a publication of A New Story Foundation.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Major Event Alert: Aug 2010 Videocast

By mid-August 2010, major destabilizing events likely: public vulnerability spike, beginning of sharp market drop. Technical presentation of mood cycles illustrates.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Precipice of Economic Collapse - July 2010

Independence Day in the United States is usually a call to celebrate unity and to be thankful for freedom from tyranny and oppression. With the collective mood continuing to deteriorate, there is no room for such positive ideation. It is more likely that this 4th of July, the theme of revolution and revolutionary war will be emphasized. Civil unrest and protests in the United States should escalate this month. Outbreaks of violence are increasingly likely. In spite of the constitutional declaration, there is no “WE THE PEOPLE” in America.

Globally, the mood should also reflect anger and fragmentation. Geopolitical tension should be quite high, while cooperation among world leaders difficult to discern. The world economy is on dangerous ground, and increased discussion of an up and coming sequel to the “Great Depression” is likely. Investor panic and high market volatility should be expected. Will the globalization paradigm continue to survive? Or, if the trend continues, will global goods, services, and destinations, at some point, become a nostalgic memory?

The above is an excerpt from the July 2010 issue of MoodCompass, a publication of A New Story Foundation.

Civil War Strategies - July Videocast

Highlights: U.S. divisiveness expanding with violent outbreaks likley; investor panic and more talk of "Great Depression II;" increasing global unrest, violence. A global mood "weather forecast" for July 2010.

Friday, July 2, 2010

July is like June on Steroids

Look for this month's blog post (and MoodCompass excerpt) this weekend. In the meantime, think of July 2010 like June 2010 on steroids.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Protests, Violence, and U.S. Debt - June 2010

With a high Manic social mood configuration, global unrest should be extreme this month— violent escalations are likely.

In the economic arena, China and Europe had their turns at crises last month. In June, the economic focus is N. America. Worries about excessive U.S. debt, possible sell-offs in U.S. Treasuries and U.S. Dollars, and discussions of failing U.S. states may arise as the U.S. does its version of last month's European debt crisis.

The situations in the Middle East and Korea are approaching critical levels. Successful resolution and de-escalation are urgent and crucial to global stability.

With the perception of nature reflecting chaos in Eastern N. America, more tornadoes are likely. Nature is perceived as destructive in the Far East. Because of this, a highly destructive event warning has been issued for Eastern China, Korea, and Japan for the month of June.

The above reflects highlights from the June 2010 issue of MoodCompass, a publication of A New Story Foundation.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Protests, Violence, and U.S. Debt - June Videocast

Highlights: Increasing global unrest, violence; U.S. debt worries; Middle East and Korea near critical; Far East high loss natural event. A global mood "weather forecast" for June 2010.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Fear, Hate, and Eruptions - May 2010

Tempers are high and patience is thin. Fear and uncertainty can only be held so long before they crystallize into hate. With people suspicious of their governments and each other, at some point government officials will begin to fear the people. Civil unrest should continue to increase on a global scale this month. There will be some point, perhaps this month, where governments will begin to take measures to insure against what is considered unacceptable levels of instability.

The month of May is a tipping point. The social mood configuration bears an uncanny resemblance to that seen in March 2009, except this time it represents a major change in trend to the downside. Whether it represents a major downturn for several months or for several years is yet to be seen. However, odds are that it is the latter. With the social mood continuing to sour internally, and the geopolitical situation becoming increasingly unstable, hopes for a sustained economic recovery could begin to look doubtful.

In addition to the high potential for social eruptions, it is likely that the natural world parallels, volcanoes and earthquakes, are in the news again in May. The highest likelihood for tectonic events is in the Americas; but the Iran/Iraq area is also a candidate. A highly destructive event of some type is likely for Far East Asia (i.e. E. China, Japan, and Korea) and/or Papua New Guinea.

As we watch the ramifications of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill unfold, we will be faced with visible evidence of civilization’s destructive impacts on the life potential of the Earth. Is it too far a leap to consider that humanity is not immune to the downturn in Earth’s productivity? Will we continue to look for props, patches and loopholes, or do we have the capacity to pause and consider a course correction while such choices still remain? If humanity and the rest of nature indeed have a shared tipping point, such choices would need to be made rather quickly, if at all.

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The preceding was an excerpt from the May 2010 issue of MoodCompass. (current issue viewable by research sponsors only; reprinted with permission of A New Story Foundation)

Friday, April 30, 2010

Fear, Hate, and Poverty: The New Global Pandemics - May 2010 Videocast

Highlights: Growing global unrest, economic "recovery" in jeopardy, Middle East and Korea risks increase, more volcanoes and earthquakes. A global mood "weather forecast" for May 2010.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

U. S. Distress, Middle East Instability, and Volcanic Eruptions - April 2010

Class warfare, racial slurs, and political ideologies at impasse; world stock markets climbing high while so many can’t find work or make ends meet. The tension is high, so thick you can almost touch it. Something, it seems, is ready to blow. The internal situations of several nations, including the United States, Iran, and Thailand could get fairly intense this month. A parallel in the natural world, almost a metaphor for the human experience, is tectonic pressure seeking release—and a global interest in volcanoes.

The United States shows a mood configuration for April, which if it were that of an individual, would be someone experiencing high anxiety, stress, and agitation. For U.S. society, look for the conflict of ideologies that has been polarizing the nation to escalate. The degree of tension in the U.S. may be disturbing enough that international investors seek alternatives to the U.S. Dollar and U.S. markets. There may also be a natural world metaphor for the U.S., as instability shows up in a tectonic event, most likely in the Pacific Northwest.

Iran’s social mood, if it were an individual, would be someone in deep emotional turmoil. For the Iranian people, this could indicate a period where loyalties are assessed, and those found to be disloyal to those in power to be harshly punished. The manic configuration in E. Asia indicates a good possibility that the situation in Thailand could degenerate into chaos. The manifestation in China may be more economic—concerns with inflation and economic bubbles.

The primary geopolitical hotspot for April is the Middle East—notably, Iran, Israel, and Syria. N. Korea could be an issue as well. As these scenarios play themselves out over the next few months, the effects on global trade, global markets, and global stability should be monitored closely. The most likely course is one of increasing volatility.

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The preceding was an excerpt from the April 2010 issue of MoodCompass. (current issue viewable by research sponsors only; reprinted with permission of A New Story Foundation)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

U.S. Distress, Middle East Crisis, and Volcanic Eruptions - April 2010 Videocast

Highlights: U.S. internal conflict intensifies, Middle East escalation, turmoil in Iran; chaos in Bangkok, heightened global interest in volcanos. A global mood "weather forecast" for April 2010.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Global Violence, Destabilization, and Disasters - March 2010

March is said to come in like a lion, yet along with the nascent Chinese Year, it makes its entrance in 2010 as a tiger-- and a ferocious one at that. The month begins with global tempers high and violence on the rise, as the mood factors indicate a period of global destabilization and violence. It is likely that concerns with civil unrest and even terrorism are at extremes. Worries about geopolitical escalation should be elevated as well.

By the second week of the month, geopolitical escalation could well become a reality. There are indications of concerns during this period with resource availability, and the price of crude oil and other commodities could rise accordingly. Hoarding is a possibility.

As the mid-month point passes, the collective mood indicates a safety-seeking preference; economic losses are likely to accelerate with steep market declines possible. Concurrently, the human perception of the natural world signifies a high risk for event(s) of which losses of life and property are probable.

As the month comes to a close, global leaders are likely to be in panic mode as they attempt to keep up with the extreme pace of unfolding events. The U.S. government also shows indications of being in a crisis mode as it tries to forge a way forward. There should be an attempt to assess losses during this final period and for markets to make their best efforts to stabilize. While valiant attempts may be made throughout the month to catch this tiger by the tail, it’s sure to be a difficult, if not dangerous venture.

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The preceding was an excerpt from the March 2010 issue of MoodCompass. (current issue viewable by research sponsors only; reprinted with permission of A New Story Foundation)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Economic Downturn, Natural Disasters, and Terrorism - March 2010 Videocast

Highlights: accelerating economic losses, social discontent, extreme interest in terrorism and global violence, and widespread natural "event(s)." A global mood "weather forecast" for March 2010.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

A New World Dis-Order - February 2010

In February, we begin to see a broad unraveling of the threads that hold the modern global system together. The Chinese economic bubble should finally begin to burst. In the West, social discontent runs high. International tension is extreme this month, and there are sides to be chosen. In the Middle East, look for Iran to go out of its way to display its military might to the rest of the world. The United States may be cornered into making a decision in the direction of aggressive or hostile action, as the rest of the world urges restraint. There is also a heightened interest in terror and terrorism.

To top it off, it may even feel like the natural world is against us, and what we need to maintain our way of life. Unseasonal weather may threaten agricultural outputs, or impede the continuance of business as usual. Tectonic events may encumber additional population centers besides the ones already hit last month in Haiti. It could be a difficult month to be a modern, globalized, civilized human being.

“When the next long term peak in optimism arrives, that will be the time to look for things to really begin to get bad!" (March 2009 MoodCompass, pg. 2). That peak occurred in January. This is evidenced by the ending of the stock market rally that began last March and the beginning of the next long decline—not only in the markets, but in economic, social and geopolitical stability. This is the new world dis-order, and should be for some time to come. If one has focused solely on amassing wealth in terms of dollars and property, one may be disappointed when much of their value is lost. Those who have been investing in relationships-- family and trustworthy friendships-- should find their investments substantially increasing in value over time; precious commodities that cannot be purchased at any price.
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The preceding was an excerpt from the February 2010 issue of MoodCompass. (current issue viewable by research sponsors only; reprinted with permission of A New Story Foundation)

Friday, January 22, 2010

China Bubbles, Western Discord, and the Iran Agenda - February 2010 Videocast

Highlights for February: China economic bubble bursts, increased civil unrest, Iranian military escalation, heightened interest in terrorism. A global mood "weather forecast" for February 2010.