Thursday, 26 September 2013

Iceland 2013-16

Icelandic art to make you think -do perfumes have colors? (see end of post for more details)
Iceland is only on my list due to its exciting period from 2008 (banks) to 2010 (eruption). It wouldn’t make the list on other criteria. So, with this forecast, it is rather a case of “I’ve started therefore I’ll finish.”
I probably won’t be going into as much detail as I do with other countries unless I see something very exciting again to report.
 I would also like to note that I am still starting all my forecasts from January 2013, even though much of the year has past. This is for completeness and to give a more solid foundation to the future forecasts.
The first thing to note is that most of the heavy configurations of the earlier years have now past. The situation is summarised here:
Briefly he says ; while countries such as Ireland and Greece, which handled their crises more conventionally, continue to struggle, Iceland looks like an economic miracle: the country that went over a cliff, hit the bottom, and bounced. Unemployment has fallen from its post-crisis peak of more than 9% to a relatively respectable 4.7%. Inflation, which once approached 20%, is now below 4% and is expected to keep falling. And after shrinking by around 10% in 2009-2010, the national economy has returned to a steady simmer, with growth in the region of 2% per year since 2011.
The first couple of months of 2013, were however still concerned with some of the historic issues. But a change was in the air, such a change in fact that the people seemed to want to go back to the conditions that got them into trouble in the past.
The elections in April therefore resulted in an upset to the status quo and a transfer of power more towards the right.
This was not too upsetting however and there were definite suggestions of most things settling down in the country. Other than  tentative discussions by the new government about EU membership and a return to whale harpooning after  a two year ban, not much of note has been happening at all in the country
 Indeed the most exciting thing was the brief idea that Edward Snowden would seek asylum there, which came to nothing.
Although there is little to suggest that  banking is still on the minds of the country, one suspects that there are occasional lapses into the subject and the resultant economic changes as not everyone is equally happy with the outcomes.
September is not expected to be eventful. But October  is likely to be more interesting, with restrictions being felt more keenly and some dissatisfaction being shown.
The dissatisfaction is likely to turn to disillusionment by November, but the general conditions are not too bad. There may also be discussions again about water issues such as fishing etc.
December is a mixed but not particularly noteworthy month
Similarly there is not much to remark about in January 2014. Although in February there may be some brief residual issues relating to the debt situation.
Certainly, in March there is a sense of restriction for the people and a little less stability.
April to July is a bit more eventful too. Once again there are issues relating to water and fishing, perhaps also to the currency. There is also some evidence that there may be the beginnings of some minor eruption at this time.
Although the themes continue into August and September, these months  look to be positive overall.
October and November are more mixed, with more emphasis on possible eruptions – or perhaps just heater discussions about economic matters.
December sees closure of the 12 year cycle which  created and destroyed the indebtedness. There is likely to be some disagreement between government and people about the way to proceed in future.
2015 is characterised by  a number of issues. There is an on-going low level sense of restriction in the country as a whole. Some hidden matters relating to communication etc might come to light, and there may be water, fishing or even climate issues to content with.   
The themes are in evidence from the beginning of the year.
In February there are some challenges for the leadership despite a drive for economic growth but again these may also be possible early signs of eruption.
The whole period from March to May seems to be the most likely for things to spill out. However if this means volcanic activity there is less evidence of the problems from smoke clouds which accompanied 2010’s.  Still it is a disruptive phase all round.
June’s events suggest a return to the discussions of December 2014 and the finalisation of that 12 year cycle.
July and August look excellent economically and politically.
September is a bit more dramatic, with the country perhaps being in the world spotlight for a while.
But this would be temporary as October is more internally focussed on the people.
The end of the year is   mixed again, with a return to the communication issues, the water/climate matters and the more tricky condstions for the government.
Some of the issues that have been creeping up in 2015 come to a head in 2016 in what might be rather disruptive ways.
There are restrictions from January, with crackdowns on some behind the scenes ( or perhaps illegal) activity.
Restrictions, and deceptions, seem to be there theme of the spring.
There is a brief return to the conditions of September 2015 in April, but things are more free flowing.
May is lighter in tone. But June to august sees much more drama, challenge to government thinking and a negative external image.
September therefore sees a lot of the things that have been brewing over 2014-16 coming to a head.  Hot water is an Icelandic theme and this is particularly the case now.
October is a mixed month – there are conflicting signals, all relating to the behind the scenes issues that were the focus earlier in the year.
 November is calmer but there is a now a once in a country lifetime shift to a new economic model perhaps based on the country’s natural resources.
 December’s events only serve to further emphasise the foregoing matters.
About the artwork

Switzerland 2013-16

 There was only one thing that I could use as an example of swiss art- it had to be a clock or watch and for obvious reasons I have chosen an astronomical clock
It has taken me the best part of 6 months to get around to writing this. On the one hand I’ve been distracted by other projects and events, or perhaps it is because I find it hard to get a grip on the elements that make up the Swiss economy. But the main reason is probably that Switzerland is just not very interesting- I hasten to add, so any Swiss readers are not offended, that what I mean is that the country’s stability means there are few dramatic events to write about! Anyway, whatever the reason, I struggle to motivate myself to write about it and don’t feel I do it justice when I finally put fingers to keyboard.
There were some tricky events during the 2008-12 period, albeit with less dramatic results for the nation than elsewhere, but much of the conditions that contributed to those has now past. We are in a calmer environment, indeed there is some evidence that things are not just calm but also rather rose tinted.
 The first part of the year was characterised by improvement economic stats and a belief that the country is doing better than others.
 Generally the feeling by mid year was one of stability again, and even some excess optimism.  In July the six months stats did nothing to diminish this feeling
August brought some agreement with the US over the tax evasion issue. And September is also expected to be trouble free
October might see some curtailment of the optimism however. There may be some appreciation that perhaps the good times cannot continue forever, especially when external events impinge as they must.
November and December don’t seem to suggest much change to the environment though.
January 2014 might see the picture shifting though, even though the rose coloured specs are still on.
There is a new feeling of restriction as the country seems isolated, although that is probably something the Swiss rather embrace.
March in particular has a feeling of entering new territory and perhaps a taste of the longer term issues. Perhaps overseas events will create some concern now.
 May and June see a lightening of the cloud, but there are events now that might be the start of changes in the corporations and organisations of the country.
 Though this is quickly brushed aside for the moment by July.
The concerns of the first quarter return, however, in September and October, although more can be done to resolve them now that earlier in the year. Indeed there is a positive feeling that the country is starting a new cycle with decks cleared. But there is still a need to be aware of that there are long term issues which will have to addressed at some point.
November and December is a time of shifting in the background environment, setting the country up for 2015
It is notable that the tentative dates for completing the final settlement of the tax issues with the USA are set for 2015.
The situation does start to change in 2015. The picture becomes more mixed, with some unexpected upsets in the first two months which might cause some re-evaluation.
But it is really by March that a change becomes apparent. There is evidence that things have been built on weak foundations. There are the beginnings of potentially unsettling questions over property but also over some of the key industries such as pharmaceuticals and banking.  
May brings a shake-up, possibly including the government. However it must be emphasised that any disruption in the country is relative to the benign conditions that have preceded it and is not on the scale of events that have happened in other nations – Switzerland remains dull on balance
June through August see some reprieve. With the effect of the wealth in the country seemingly balancing out other problems
 It is really September when I think the greatest changes will occur.
 There is a return to a quieter environment in the last quarter of the year. But by this time things are likely to incorporate some notable changes in the way the country is managed.
January 2016 sees some quite extraordinary conditions. These certainly indicate change but are not necessarily negative. There is relative concord between government and people but there is also a need to re-establish some of the foundations of the constitution. There may be communications implications (either electronic or possibly ground ones such as railways).
 The changes are long term and don’t end after January but the focus shifts a bit. There is a lot of focus on leadership and how to effect change.
In April and May there is somewhat of a lull in the process, as the emphasis moves to elsewhere in the world.
June and July see a leap forward that is likely to be positive.
 Sept 2016 is a time when communication will be important but concrete developments in most areas will be held back due to inertia and disillusion.
 This mood seems to evaporate in the last few months and be replaced  through a series of sudden events by a drive for improvement. It is a time of technological evolution and this suggests that Switzerland can harness these constructively
2017 will see another shift, breaking the patterns of a 50 year phase, as there is a change in the status of financial assets.
Chart note:
I wasn’t entirely happy with my previous choice of chart for Switzerland. The results with the old chart weren’t terrible but they weren’t awe inspiringly good either. The real problem for me was the lack of an exact time for a country which is all about precision timekeeping and clocks.  So I have switched to the more modern but precisely timed chart. This also has the advantage of given Switzerland a Virgo Sun (which is difficult to contest!) and a secretive Scorpio ascendant.  But the final confirmation for me was that I finally, after many abortive attempts sat down to write this on 12th September- when I opened the book and saw the date for the later Swiss chart there was no longer any doubt; the universe had spoken.
12 Sept 1848, 11.12 am local time Berne (Book of World Horoscopes)