Overlaid on our puzzle, like mud frosting on a cake, is SARS--a quasi-epidemic, media-focused. SARS further separates the world, cuts off east Asia from the rest. So, fear of travel, partly due to aircraft-cabin air systems, divide people further. ··The UN is in limbo, with new staunch defenders, but opposed by the biggest boy on the block. Yet the UN holds an ace card (sanctions). ··The Iraq war is into a "peace phase" that is proving as intractable as the war phase, with emotions running as high as they were 8 wks ago. Children are dying in this peace phase, not from bombs, but lack of water/medicine. This will pass, but meantime it's life-costly & emotion-triggering. ··The divisions between people apply equally to the Iraqis, who agree on little, even within each subgroup. ··What is not realized, IMO, is the severe stress everyone on the planet has been under in this period!
Unlike other military actions, this one was dumped into everyone's living room (east&west) via TV where it couldn't be avoided. Unlike other conflicts, virtually every channel in most nations was locked onto first the UN, then Iraq, round the clock. The stress is unprecedented & the effects (conscious & subconscious) are yet to be realized. No one escaped it. It's going to affect decisions we make for some time, in stocks, bonds, travel, property, & hopefully spiritually. "A lot of kneeling will keep U in good standing." Our new motto: Prayers R Us.
Often in history, major changes occur by accident. It's just happened again. The world was bumbling along in a lumpy flow where everyone "knew their place." Suddenly the world's political axis shifted, just as our planet axis shifts every few thousand years. Eg, among many, China & Russia decided some old-fashioned hegemony was due as a superpower counter balance. For selfish reasons? Sure, every nation does. Their stance won't dissipate, IMO, unlike the German-French power play, which has a weak & temporary look. ··Here's a show-stopper: A Thailand govt minister says "China may be the future role model for Asia." Think on that. A Thai student told the press: "US preference for unilateral action is a world-worry." Things are a changing.
The current polarization is/can be serious & affect our personal lives. Be careful not to polarize yourself from friends, family, biz or nations. Don't cut off nose to spite face. Try to rise above it. Make allowances for those who differ. The Bible says forgiveness is the road back, as well as the road forward. World events look to get even more tense. Instead of blasting the ones who differ, try to sidestep the stress, which subconsciously attaches to your life, & the negative vibrations it sends out into society. Collective negativity is a proven reality (ditto collective positivism). Don't condemn the pro or anti-war camps or the pro or anti-US/Europe camps. They feel as strongly as U do. Don't presume they're blinkered & U have the pristine answers. Time has a way of changing the scenery & making a view look less than wonderful later on. Eg, 105 yrs ago (Apr 24, 1898), Spain declared war on the US. Shows U how things change. People change sides. ··To keep up your spirits (& those around U), maintain your sense of humour. I'll do my part in HSL. ··And stock up on tolerance. It's a jungle out there!
Some good geopolitical news was the marriage of 10 east European nations with the European Union. I've grumbled for years that west Europe didn't own Europe & had no right to exclude (or include) E.Europe. It should have been automatic when the Berlin wall came down. It's as if the US state of Maine was forcefully taken by Canada, but later Canada pulled out, would Maine have to beg the US to take it back? But EU biz selfishness prevailed, til now. Of course, the integration & adjustment of voting rights skirmishing now begin. Argh.
To offset that good news are the findings of some think tanks about war cycles. Typically, their findings are in the Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, where friend Marc Faber details the work of Toynbee, Dewey, Zahorchak, Richardson/Snyder & Kondratieff. I've been an arm's length student of cycles for 40yrs (I knew Edward Dewey) & find they lack precision, but if gingerly interpreted, can have some value. Faber agrees. He concludes we're entering a more hostile & bellicose world in years ahead. Somehow that's not hard to believe in light of recent events.
Faber conclusion: "War cycle is turning up. Increased int'l tensions in years to come will negatively affect stock valuations globally. Conflict increase will be positive for commodity prices, negative for int'l trade & bonds. Int'l capital flows will slow. In worst case: freezing of assets by some govts. US ill-equipped to finance global leadership, given rising budget deficit & gargantuan & growing current account deficit." I agree, even irrespective of war cycle.
And it further verifies my
categorization of Global Disconnect, which apparently
isn't due to end next week . It's largely a generation cycle.
When people running countries didn't take part in a major war,
they've no memory of how brutal wars are. Partly, it's economic;
shortages of oil, commodities, water. Faber says a major war
cause is mass hysteria or combativeness, which occurs at regular
rhythmic intervals. Cycles create the climate for wars,
but IMO it's wrong to think we can't find answers other than
guns. If so, we better start encouraging better quality candidates
to run for high office in every land. It's not good enough to
ignore the run-up political process & then just vote for
the least bad candidate. There are no great leaders today.
Guess whose fault that is?
The bigger picture shows strong European mkts (chartwise) & weak Asian mkts (SARS-wise & chartwise). It also shows the US$ rally I forecast died well before reaching my target. It's hard to believe the $, after falling from 110 to 98, could only rally to 102. And it's now around 97, having broken down from a symmetrical triangle pattern, with a target of 95 nearterm, & medium-term perhaps 92. This is major news as every nation has $'s & $-stks/bonds, so red ink is flowing & $-selling is coming from around the globe. My strong repeated advice over past year to switch to certain other currencies has paid dividends-both in higher yield & price! (See Currencies inside for guidelines) See Uncle's Notes for last minute forecasts ··In conclusion: "Read the Bible-It'll scare the hell out of U."
Lots and LOTS more follows for subscribers,
HSL is the original international newsletter, 39 yrs old & a gung-ho freedom fighter, gold advocate & stock/bond/futures mkt trading/analyst advisor. HSL is listed as #1 top performing newsletter over the past 12-months, by Hulbert Financial Digest. HSL also deals with where U should live & how (originator of "PT" strategy -- Practically Transparent).
HSL is heavy on geo politics, intelligence-guided health, trading stock/bond mkts, living everywhere & nowhere, contrary opinion oriented & chart laced. Harry Schultz has been in the Guinness Book of Records for 22 yrs as the World's Highest Paid Investment Consultant. You can get his advice for as little as US$246 for a 8-mos trial-peek subscription. Or normal 1 year price of US$332. Or a lifetime sub for just US$2,447. HSL is available via e-mail, fax, or mail. You can order here via credit card online. OR subscribe via fax or mail.
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