Stocks & Commodities V. 25:4 (48-53): Interview: Bill Meridian And Those Long-Term Cycles by Jayanthi Gopalakrishnan

Stocks & Commodities V. 25:4 (48-53): Interview: Bill Meridian And Those Long-Term Cycles by Jayanthi Gopalakrishnan
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Stocks & Commodities V. 25:4 (48-53): Interview: Bill Meridian And Those Long-Term Cycles by Jayanthi Gopalakrishnan

Cycles theorist Bill Meridian began on Wall Street in a most conventional way, as a fundamental analyst at the Value Line Investment Survey, where he began to develop his work on cash flow. Then in 1978, he began to design computer programs to perform the number-crunching required to relate stock market movements to cycles.

By 1981, he had written a simple spreadsheet program in Lotus to calculate stock market cycles, followed by more sophisticated software. He has worked both the buy and sell sides of Wall Street, most recently spending 14 years in the Middle East as a fund manager and strategist.

He currently operates his own business from his home in Europe, traveling to Vienna, London, Tokyo, and Abu Dhabi for his clients. How did Meridian get started on cycles, anyway? Technical Analysis of STOCKS & COMMODITIES Editor Jayanthi Gopalakrishnan interviewed Meridian on February 6, 2007, via telephone to find out.

Q: Bill, what path brought you to where you are now in cycles research?

A: When I was a boy I read a lot about history, and then as a teenager I studied books on technical analysis. As a result, I was very aware of market movements during my college and graduate-school years. Technical analysis will take you so far, I discovered, but I liked anything that projected into the future, and that is how I first got interested in cycles in relation to the markets. It looked as if some of these historical cycles repeated. And that’s what got me interested.

Q: When you say these cycles repeated historically, did you recognize that a certain number of years would have similar patterns?

A: Yes. My old neighbor in Greenwich Village, George Lindsay, was the first person I discovered to write about this. He wrote a book called The Other History, and in it he pointed out there are numerous cycles. When you get numerous cycles overlapping, you get a major event. I wrote an article about it for the Market Technicians Association Journal, in which I explained what Lindsay did. Then I applied the theory myself and concluded that the United States would either become more isolationist or more internationalist in 2000–01. That article was repeated in the first new journal of the Foundation for the Study of Cycles, which is coming back into existence.

The cycles theory is pretty far-reaching, too. I lived for 14 years in Abu Dhabi, and if you read Sir John Glubb’s A Short History Of The Arab Peoples, he mentions cycles there. You would be surprised about how many cycles are 220 to 240 years long. Dynasties or whole civilizations or tribes have been in power for that one cycle.

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