The I.R.I.S. Chronicles - 1997 Predictions
Segment #2


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Originally posted on the Internet November 23, 1996.
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World-Wide Economic & Stock Market Projections
Segment #2


North American Markets:

As was stated in "The I.R.I.S. Chronicles for 1996", the international stock markets would set record highs in 1996 to end the year on scales never before reached. The New York Stock Exchange started the year off on a discouraging note and fluctuated throughout the spring and summer months making more than one investor nervous. The tone and advice for 1997 is substantially different.

The theme for 1997 is "Beware the Ides of March". Julius Caesar never listened to his soothsayer and history has shown that sometimes it's not the right thing to do. With that in mind, it is expected that coming in the mid-March 1997 period, investors are going to be taken aback when a majority of the institutional investors begin liquidating their portfolios in large numbers. It is expected that the markets could plummet in the range of 800 to 1000 points in a matter of less than two weeks during that period of time. The only thing that will eliminate a complete stock market burn out is that the computer stop trading will be activated constantly on a daily basis during this period which will reduce the daily record low levels.


Update: March 24, 1997


March 24, 1997 rang in the expected, new interest rate increase in the US after Alan Greenspan tries to stem the possibility of inflation in the US. Although a number of investors believe that the stock markets were prepared for the increase and the recent drops in the market are a comfortable hedge, investors are in for more surprises in the near future.

Up and till, July 15, 1997, rapid swings in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Toronto Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ will be constant reminders that Greenspan's preemptive strike at inflation was foresight which many investors did not take heed of.

Without a doubt, another interest rate increase will be announced before the July 15, 1997 date, but concerns are still very apparent that the Japanese yen that is constantly weakening, will cause additional disruptions to the market as a whole. Up to and including the July 15 th. date, it is expected that the interest rates in the US will rise and will level off at 5.95% and remain at that level until late September 1997 when a slow decline will take place to it's present level of 5.5% to close out the years end.

We cautioned many investors who invested in the financial markets to be wary about investments in insurance companies and financial institutions and that prediction is even more important than previously projected. With the adverse climatic conditions throughout the spring and summer in the US (extensive flooding, increased record moisture levels, tornadoes and the coming hurricane season) the insurance industry will be scrambling to pay off claims this year which will reach into the billions of dollars. Borrowing to support the payoff may not be as easy as it was in the past and many homeowners, particularly, may have extensive long waits to see their insurance claims being paid until the Feds step in to bail a few of the insurance and financial intuitions out of their mess.

Some will claim that the projected lows predicted for the mid-March period did not materialize but, a cautionary note is required here. Some of the recent major upswings (i.e. March 23, 1997 - +100 points DJIA) is not reflective on the true realities of the markets. As mentioned in the original projections many institutional investors would be liquidating their portfolios during the downtrend in mid to late March and it has been noted that many technology mutual fund managers, who have seen a dramatic loss in their portfolios, are doing just that. With the registered retirement funds flowing in during this period, many of these funds do not show the true conditions of their portfolios and it is expected that coming into the late August to mid-September period, a number of these funds will be bailing out of the markets to try to show a lower loss than what they actually are.

All in all, it is still very important for the small investor not to be dragged into the markets during this next five to six month period because the larger institutional and private investor vultures are simply waiting to take your money.

- End of Update - March 24, 1997 -


The commodity boards (Chicago, etc.) will be going crazy beginning with mid-February. Although there are still substantial grain reserves the commodity markets will reach record high future levels and options due to the adverse climatic situation of 1996 and the continuation of the adverse weather patterns into 1997. In fact it is believed that the US will experience weather patterns beyond the records set in 1996 for snow-falls, flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, and major fluctuations in weather temperatures during 1997. The US will not be the only country that will be affected by these conditions. For those who are purchasing futures in sugar, coffee and in Europe grapes or wine futures, you can be assured that for the growers it's best to set your future contracts up NOW and for the investors be extremely cautious on "long-term" future contracts in these commodities. The markets will begin on a low note in 1997 and even before the yearly weather projections are released a noticeable change in the markets will give the smaller investors an idea of where the world futures markets will end up in 1997. A number of investors will definitely get burnt in 1997 and many of them may even be forced into bankruptcy because they are not able to cover their margins.

The Canadian stock markets will enjoy growth throughout 1997 but, that doesn't mean that there will not be after affects from the fall-out on the US Stock Exchanges. Due to the substantial drops, especially on the Dow Jones Industrials and the NASDAQ exchanges, many US and foreign investors who invested heavily on the US exchanges and who hold stocks in foreign countries, such as Canada and the European markets will be forced to liquidate their holdings in these markets. For the Canadian investor who keeps one eye on the US markets and the other on the Canadian markets, you can be assured that there will be many great buys available due to the immediate drop in many Canadian stocks during the fall-out period.

This is the year to have cash readily available in your portfolio.

For those investors who are wise and not greedy, substantial amounts of profit can be derived this year, but it is our expectations that greed will cause the collapse of not only a number of investors but corporations as well.

Where does one become cautious? Be extremely careful in High Technology stocks throughout 1997. As had been predicted in the 1996 Projections, high technology would go through some major growing pains in 1996 but would end on a high note which is exactly what happened. But, the caveat here is that a major percentage of high technology stocks are over-evaluated and are ready to self-destruct. There are expectations that a number of new 1995-96 technology companies will close their doors after their first product reaches the streeets and after they find they have nothing else to offer in the public 1997.

European Markets:

If you really wish to lose your shirt this year then invest in the Foreign Exchange markets in 1997. A major trend will be noticed with the Japanese yen this year. Due to the large amount of foreign investments and the substantial losses which will be accumulated by those who have purchased and used the Japanese yen, the Foreign Exchange market will rapidly become known as the "Killer Markets". Ironically those who will suffer the most will be the stock brokerage houses who trade these markets. Too many of these independent houses and larger conglomerates will be forced to cover substantial losses and those who will not be able to do so, will see their fortunes go down the drain very quickly, and although it's not one of our favorite projections, we would like to remind investors of the after effect of the 1929 crash.


World-Wide Political Projections


Update: January 14, 1997.

Europe

Need one suggest that there will be a resurgence of volatility in Europe this year. Britain has experienced a renewal of bombing by the I.R.A. recently, letter bombs are frequent visitors to press corps world-wide, and the population as a whole is wondering if these types of terrorist activities will ever stop. The answer is "No".

It is expected that coming into the early part of May, France in particular will see a renewal of terrorist activities that they haven't witnessed since the Carlos Sanchez days. Marseilles will be the main target. This is just a reminder that terrorism is not dead and using this area as the cornerstone, those who wish to be recognized will adversely make an error and finally be caught.

Who are the culprits? It is my contention that the business industry who supplies armaments world-wide are in a position whereby they find themselves searching for clients. The only way to sell their wares is to set up a situation whereby the public begins to react against the government. Recently, world-wide, there has been an adamant stance to reduce hand-outs to armament dealers and with that in mind those companies who make their living dealing in death are finding themselves in a position of losing money, corporately. It is our contention that those companies who do deal in armaments are the ones who are funding those extreme supposed terrorist groups. Need it be suggested, but the terrorist groups who do have a cause are going to be blamed for the actions taken by those corporate identities.

Mossad, although there have been many limitations placed on your activities recently, you're falling down on your extracurricular activities. The German industrialist should have been taken down months ago.



Update: January 14, 1997.

The Caribbean

For all those snow birds who are contemplating a Caribbean Cruise this year, let me just caution you. This is not the year to take that trip of a life time. It is expected that coming into the early part of March, and due to the extreme weather conditions in the Caribbean, any cruise ship which is not prepared to face adverse weather will be subjected to a constant decision of whether to complete their voyage or not.

It is expected that the hurricane season will be substantially greater this year than last. Not to the numbers, but the velocity of the winds and turmoil which will be inflicted on the public. The Caribbean area particularly will face a wrath never before seen. Although it is expected that the hurricanes will be smaller in size than normal the internal velocity will be winds which exceed 150 miles per hour. These types of hurricanes are unknown as to their potential damage and the cautionary note here is that even the largest ship which traverses those waters will find out they are nothing more than little row boats weathering a storm.

With the above in mind, might I suggest to insurance companies to limit your liability on personal damages this year. This is not a period of time for "faint of heart" people and more important, damages will exceed any other record which has been established in the past. Not withstanding the warning, it is my contention that many insurance companies will fold because of the claims associated to the above and with that in mind, many mutual funds will be adversely affected by those companies withdrawing their funds all at once.


The I.R.I.S. Chronicles
Copyright 1996-1997 Earl Gordon Curley


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