Welcome to the Year of the Fire Monkey

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“In 2016 we will see a big slide in the world economy…The global economic situation will be terrible and lots of companies will be bankrupted….But “it’s a good year for people to give birth and to look for love….Babies born in the Year of the Monkey are regarded as very hardworking and lucky.”

Chen Shuaifu, chairman of the China Fengshui Association (on NBC News)

“The Year of the Monkey, 2016, in the Hsia calendar, is symbolized by two elements – with Yang fire sitting on top of metal. According to the cycle of birth and destruction, which governs the inter relationship between the elements, Fire conquers metal and so they are on the destructive cycle and have a fighting relationship. Normally such conflicting elements means disharmony. In particular Yang Fire symbolizes a straightforward and quick tempered person more ready to explode. So there will be international conflicts and clashes. However, it seems such conflicts may not be very violent and yang fire sitting on Monkey is also a symbol of the “Setting Sun” as Monkey is metal representing the west. So the yang fire is comparatively mild. Also yang fire people are known to lose their temper quickly but are honest and open at heart. So conflicts can be more easily resolved with compromise and concessions when the heat is cooling down after sun set.–Feng Shui Grand Master Raymond Lo

Throughout 2015 we had been suggesting a very tough 2016. The last Year of the Fire Monkey was 1956, the year of the Suez Crisis, when Israel invaded the Sinai Peninsula, Hungary was invaded, the first CND antinuclear demonstrations started in Aldermaston in the UK, and Cuban revolutionaries including Fidel Castro landed in Cuba at the start of the Cuban Revolution. The start to this Chinese New Year hasn’t been much better than the start to the Solar New Year in January 2016.  We are on target for 2016-18 at least to be part of a very large transition…

In Europe Deutsche Bank saw its stock collapse 11%, and catalysed a further sell off in banking shares. Credit markets continue to unhinge.

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In Asia Japan’s Nikkei fell over 5% today just over a week after introducing zero interest rates, confirming what we suggested last week in various reports that the Central Bankers have “feet of clay.” Basically they have lost control.

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In terms of geo-politics, Hong Kong has set the pace for this Lunar Year – there were riots in the Mong Kok area. Looking at the TV footage it looked pretty intense. At first when I saw it I thought it was from a South American country that is used to violence on the streets. so I had to do a double take. That said, when the “Umbrella Revolution” abated before, we said that nothing had been resolved and then tensions would flare up again. Hong Kong has one of the worst Gini co-efficients in the world so the youth are easily riled up nowadays, and there is tension towards Mainland China, especially after the bookstore incidents recently.

Also here in South Korea – there are endless programs about North Korea launching a satellite into space, which happened to fly over the Super Bowl, and how this is justifying importing more American technology.

Not to be beaten in geo-political crises, the chatter coming out of the Middle East is that Turkey and Saudi Arabia are considering invading Syria with ground troops. This could get very serious.

And of course, the US Presidential campaign continues. Given the lack of trust in the mainstream parties no wonder that Trump and Bernie Sanders have emerged. The US Presidential campaign will have more surprises in store for us.

“If anything concerns me at this pivotal moment, it’s not the revolutionary tremors of the youth. Given the Great American Trash Fire we have inherited, this rebellion strikes me as exceedingly reasonable. Pick a crisis, America: Child poverty? Inexcusable. Medical debt? Immoral. For-profit prison? Medieval. Climate change? Apocalyptic. The Middle East is our Vietnam. Flint, the canary in our coal mine. Tamir Rice, our martyred saint. This place is a mess. We’re due for a hard rain. If I am alarmed, it is by the profound languor of the comfortable. What fresh hell must we find ourselves in before those who’ve appointed themselves to lead our thoughts admit that we are in flames?….Under conditions as distressing as these, acquiescence is absurd.” – Hollywood, villagevoice.com

Throughout the second half of last year, people kept asking me “when will the crisis start” and my reply was always the same “it already has.” I guess the more intense period has commenced now. I think humanity will get through this and we will have an important opportunity to build a better society and economy. Follow our thoughts at the Emerging Future Institute – we will strive to touch on the deeper issues and explore possible trajectories from hereon for the planet.

One of my favourite lines in the Chinese Tao Te Ching is:

“The path into the light seems dark,

the path forward seems to go back,

the direct path seems long,

true power seems weak,

true purity seems tarnished,

true steadfastness seems changeable,

true clarity seems obscure,

the greatest art seems unsophisticated,

the greatest love seems indifferent,

the greatest wisdom seems childish.”

The Planetary Journey continues.

Welcome to the Year of the Fire Monkey.

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