Gunmen kill a police officer in Northern Ireland
By John F. Burns and Alan Cowell Herald Tribune
Published: March 10, 2009
Two days after two British soldiers were shot and killed in Northern Ireland, gunmen opened fire and killed a police officer late Monday, news reports said, reinforcing a challenge to the authorities to maintain a mood of reconciliation underpinning a still-uncertain peace.
The killing came as the British prime minister, Gordon Brown, visited Northern Ireland to insist that the protracted peace effort beginning with the Good Friday agreement in 1998 could not be reversed, despite the death of two soldiers outside a British Army base in Antrim on Saturday. The soldiers were shot hours before they were set to depart for Afghanistan.
The Northern Ireland conflict provides an interesting opportunity to align it with the frame of reference of the economic cycle that I have presented in the past (DJIA/Gold Ratio). The theory is that during the expansion phase of the economic cycle we predominantly have peace. Most economies are growing, people are prospering, and happiness is the dominant mood. In contrast, during the contraction phase, the masses quickly and collectively become fearful and angry. This "shift in mood" leads to conflict. One the the commencement points is usually a "rekindled old fire". Northern Ireland fits the description very well. The chart below presents the model with the DJIA/Gold Ratio serving as the metric.
Now lets take some key events from Northern Ireland over the past 28 years and see how they align with the ratio through time. During the 80's and 90's many attempts were made for peace in Northern Ireland. This culminated in the signing of the Belfast or Good Friday Agreement that officially called a ceasefire in 1998. It's important to note that this agreement is reached practically at the peak of the DJIA/Gold Ratio. Unfortunately, it didn't take long for more terrorist events to occur. In August, 1998 An explosion in Omagh kills twenty-eight. The Real IRA, an anti-Agreement splinter group of the Provisional IRA, claims responsibility. Since the Belfast Agreement, a general decline in peace has occurred. The events of the past week indicate that more trouble could lie ahead. If one believes that mass social mood aligns with the economic cycle, than the chart and the forecasted trend might indicate more significant conflict lies ahead.