Why Study Cycles

A cycle is a rhythmic fluctuation that repeats over time with reasonable regularity. When it is sufficiently regular and persists over a long enough span of time, it cannot reasonably be the result of chance. And the longer a non-chance rhythm continues, the more predictable it becomes.

This theory can be applied to any life form to understand its nature and its predictable behaviors.

The following principles of cyclic behavior have been developed at the Foundation:

Rhythmic cycles are a characteristic of more than 500 different phenomena.

Cycles persist without change of period for as far back as there are data. After distortion, cycles will revert to the pre-distortion pattern.

Cycles of any period tend to have counterparts in other phenomena, and even in other disciplines.

Timing of cycles suggests a geographical pattern, regardless of phenomena.

Cycles of the same period tend to synchronize, or crest at the same calendar time, regardless of phenomena.

These factors suggest that the natural world is subject to powerful forces that trigger fluctuations in various phenomena. An identical rhythm in different phenomena implies an interrelationship, or common cause. The knowledge of predictable, repetitive patterns is a valuable tool in the scientific projection of many different phenomena.

While cycles have an ancient history, the science of studying modern financial cycles began over a hundred and fifty years ago in the early 19th century. However, serious study of financial cycles did not begin until after the American stock market crash of 1929. In 1931 the Department of Commerce assigned Edward Dewey the task of discovering the cause and underlying dynamics of the Great Depression. As Chief Economic Analyst for the Department Dewey had unprecedented access to resources and information. Dewey's work on understanding the Great Depression led him to his lifelong calling in cycles. He combined his enormous research in business cycles with research from leading biologists on cycles in nature and in wildlife. Dewey was astonished to discover that:

  • 1) Cycles of identical length were found in both disciplines
  • 2) Similar cycles from different areas reached their peaks and troughs at the same time.

The Foundation for the Study of Cycles