Socionomists Matt Lampert and Alan Hall weigh in
The Socionomics Institute’s Matt Lampert and Alan Hall discuss the recent Cold War rhetoric that surrounded the U.S. presidential election. Learn what it — and the Elliott wave position of Russia’s stock market — say about the likelihood of more Russian aggression.
********[Editor’s note: The text version of this interview is below.]
Dana Weeks: Hello and welcome to ElliottWaveTV. I’m Dana Weeks, and today I’m joined by Alan Hall, senior analyst at the Socionomics Institute, and Matt Lampert, director of research at the Socionomics Institute.
Alan and Matt, one of the things that stood out in the recent U.S. election campaign was the Cold War rhetoric. What, if anything, does that tell you about the status of global social mood — and specifically, Russian social mood?
Alan Hall: Those are manifestations of global social mood, which is best reflected in the World Stock Index adjusted for inflation, which has declined over 50% in the past 16 years. That’s a long time to spend in a negative mood trend.
Russia has been in a negative mood trend since 2008, and the country is still well down in that trend — over 50%. We looked at daily Russian stock market movements and compared the history of the Ukraine conflict to those. We found recurring instances of peace treaties happening at peaks and conflicts happening at bottoms. In that particular conflict, the RTSI index was a really great indicator of what was probably coming up for the Ukraine conflict.
Dana: You have written extensively about Russia in the past in The Socionomist. For those who may not have read these pieces, or for those who have and need a refresher, can you walk us through what you wrote and the forecast that you made?
Matt Lampert: Russia has been a fascinating socionomic case study for the past decade. Back in 2007 Alan wrote a piece in Global Market Perspective called “Sizing Up a Superpower: A Socionomic Study of Russia” where he made a striking contrarian call. Back in 2007 Russia was a darling among western investors. It was included with Brazil, India and China among the BRIC nations that were seen as excellent emerging market opportunities for investors. Putin was Time magazine’s “Man of the Year.” In the face of this optimism toward Russia, not just here in the U.S., but internationally as well, Alan looked at the Elliott wave structure of the RTSI, the Russian stock index and said, “this is ripe for a top.” He forecasted a major decline, and with it would come a series of socionomic manifestations, including that Russia would try to recapture some of its boundaries that it lost with the demise of the Soviet Union; that it would become an adversary; and that it would regain its “outsider” image on the world stage.
Quite a lot of what has transpired in Russia since then has aligned with that forecast rather beautifully.
Dana: How do you gauge Russian social mood and its history, considering Russia has only had a stock market for approximately 20 years?
Alan: We took a really deep look at Russian social mood prior to the Russian stock market. Russia didn’t have a stock market until 1995, so we used a proxy index, the inflation-adjusted Dow Jones Industrial Average. It was amazing to see how Russian social behavior lined up really well with our proxy index for global social mood, essentially.
Dana: And what do you expect to see going forward? How bad will it get?
Alan: Well, if the long-term social mood trend is negative, if our forecast for that is correct, things are going to worsen. Russia is showing opposition not only to the U.S., but also to NATO countries. It’s building up forces along the borders of the Baltics; it is fielding new weaponry; there is the Syria conflict, which is essentially a proxy war. It’s sort of like, “Let’s avoid direct confrontation with the U.S., but let’s express this animosity via a proxy war.”
In fact, we have a piece coming out in an issue of The Socionomist detailing what we expect for the character of military conflict. We don’t think that the time is right for a World War III, but that said, there’s a lot of weaponry out there, and there are nuclear bombs; anything can happen. We’re really hoping that our forecast is correct and that nothing really spirals into major conflict.
Dana: Well, Alan, Matt, thank you so much for joining us today.
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