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Saturday, September 22, 2007

"Cycles: The Science of Prediction" by Dewey & Dakin

Here are some rough notes about Cycles taken from an economics book that was written in 1947. The book is called: Cycles: The Science of Prediction by Edward R. Dewey and Edwin F. Dakin. Published March, 1947 by Henry Holt & Co. NY. The book's very old and I assume that much information that's offered here that's been improved or is superseded but I'm starting with this. The writing is clear and the information is very exciting. Natural cycles as well as economic cycles are discussed.

First Lesson I learned about the nature of cycles is how crazy multiple Periodic Cycles running at once look as a whole unit. The authors show a simple 3 year cycle graph. Then they average a 5 year, 8 year and 17 year cycle into that graph and the sum total is a completely erratic looking line which no obvious pattern.

Second Lesson I learned is that in addition to the cycles which can show a basic up and down pattern on a graph there is a Growth Trend which makes patterns rise, level off, then (usually) fall. Different Industries show different Trends. Different "organisms" mature at different rates. Industry might show cycles very clearly as in terms of Production (Saturn, Mercury, Mars) and Consumption (Moon, Venus). Destruction (outher planets?) might not be as easily understandable.

Economic Cycles mentioned, Notes very rough:

The Most Reliable Economic Cycles: 3.5, 9, 18.33, and 54 years.

34-day Cycle (Market Days): Price of Raw Sugar

23-month Cycle: Textile Production

3 1/2 year rhythm (40 to 42 months) affects Security Prices, Business activity, Wholesale & Retail. Has a parallel in Solar Activity.

Close to 9 year rhythm that affects Prices. This is called the Juglar Cycle. Affects Wholesale prices, Security Prices, Pig Iron Production, Industrial Activity.

Juglar Business Cycles - written about in 1860 by a Frenchman, Samuel Benner, who studied the average yearly price of pig iron and found a 9 year cycle. He wrote a book called "Benner's Prophecies of Future Ups and Downs of Prices" and found the following cycles:
  • 9 year cycle: Price of pig iron / variation occurs every 3rd cycle
  • 5 1/2 year cycle: corn prices
  • 11 year cycle: cotton
  • 18 year cycle: financial panics / 1893, 1907, 1929 (within 2 years of pattern based on 1873)
14.8 year Cycle: Cattle Prices

14.8 year Cycle: Pepper Prices

18.3 year Rhythm: Affects Real Estate, Building & Construction, Marriages

33 year Cycle: Residential Building Activity, Retail trade, Consumers' Goods Production.

54 year Cycle: Wholesale Prices and War, Industrial Innovations. Multiple of 9 or 18 year cycle?

From the Chapter "Some Rhythmic Cycles in Natural Phenomena":

Biological Cycle: 9 2/3 years that affects Insects, Fish, Mammals, Man & Ozone.
Stock Market Cycle: 9 1/5 years that isn't related to this Biological Cycle.
Electrical Phenomena 9 year cycle that shows up in Tree Rings.

Have to be careful to understand reasons behind cycles. Are they forced from out side or inter-related?

"Two Harvard research workers, Carlos Garcia-Mata and Felix Shaffner, re-examined the Jevons studies and checked them; they ended with the conclusion that sunspot phenomena showed no correlation with agricultural production, but -- that solar phenomena showed a remarkable correlation with industrial production, business activity, and with stock market prices." (p. 142). Dr. Huntington in Mainsprings of Civilization: Cycles of human life and progress of civilization. Cycles influenced by 1) Weather 2)Physiological Processes and Reproduction 3) Human Psychology which is related closely with Atmospheric Electricity.

4 year Biological Cycle that shows up in immigrations and epidemics of small animals like lemmings, field mice and their predators.

35 Years - Bruckner Cycle in Weather in Europe. Discovered by E. Bruckner, an Austrian who wrote a book in 1891.

34 Different Weather Rhythms discovered by David Brunt, an Englishman who published a book in 1927.

7.47 year cycle for Drought found by H.P.Gillette. Multiply this by 3 for a 22.4 cycle which is close to the 22.3 year SunSpot cycle. Brunt found 7.50 cycle for Drought. Beveridge found 7.42 year cycle for Drought.

7.54 years cycle for changes in Barometric Pressures: H.H.Clayton

Emotions in Humans found to follow individual cycles from between 2 1/2 weeks to 9 1/2 weeks. Prof. Rex B. Hersey of University of Pennsylvania.

Disease: Deaths from Pneumonia and Influenza follow a 3 year rhythm (and a seasonal pattern).

Growth in Trees follow a 150 year pattern.

Flowers: Crocuses grow through consistent short 20 second spurts of growth followed by a small recoil.

Solar Phenomena: Sun Spot activity: 11.4 year cycles

Terrestrial magnetism: 11.4 year cycles

41 month cycle measured by Smithsonian Institute concerning the Solar Constant (amound of heat received on Earth). This is almost identical to variability in atmospheric electricity.

11 & 22 years: Sun Spot Cycles.

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