Shaking in the Stock Market

Shaking in the Stock Market: A Harbinger of Things to Come?

Yesterday, we witnessed a stunning drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average of over 1000 points. This was the largest point drop in a single day in the history of the market. Of course, the market has never been higher, even before September 2008, so the drop in points itself is not as meaningful as the percentage the market fell which was 6.6%. The market did not stay down, however:

Yet five minutes after the initial US market collapse, a wave of buying cut the losses in half. At one point the Dow came within 115 points of breaking even. The selloff resumed later in the day and the Dow ended the session with a loss of 588 points, or 3.6 percent. The S&P 500 ended down 77 points, or 3.94 percent, and the NASDAQ closed with a loss of 179 points, a decline of 3.82 percent. (


Worldwide, the shaking was the same: trillions of dollars in value were lost by investors. The volatility of the market evidenced panic around the globe. The biggest factor continued to be China whose economy has bolstered markets everywhere.   But the Shanghai Index has lost 40% since June. If the same loss occurred in America, there is little doubt that the apocalypse for equity markets would have come (40% of the 18,000 price index the Dow topped out at during this summer, would be about 10,500).

On Sunday, I caught wind of the stock market shaking. There were smart analysts saying we were going to have another “Black Monday” which referred to the drastic selloff that occurred in 1987.  Some were talking about storing water and food and that the collapse was imminent. Is the stock market ready to drop? Is the floor going to drop out from under the U.S. Dollar?

Combined with the fears of economic analysts, those of us who study Bible prophecy are looking for a financial shaking to occur. Author Jonathan Cahn has written a best-selling book The Mystery of the Shemitah. He recently provided a terrific video that warns of what is likely to happen—although he cautions that the Shemitah (a seven-year cycle) is a biblical pattern that doesn’t have to mean a stock market collapse, but it certainly meant that in 2001 and 2008 when in those year’s month of September, the bottom fell out and the stock market plunged to record-setting levels. Adding to the anticipation (or anxiety depending upon how you react to it), is the possibility that this Shemitah, which ends on Ellul 29 (September 13) is the beginning (probably) of the Jubilee year, which is the 50th year (occurring every 49 years—The Jubilee Year is also the first year of the next 49-year cycle). On this Rosh Hashanah, September 14, many authors assert that we will see particularly dramatic events transpire. The Jubilee Year is the ultimate “forgiveness of debt” in which properties were to return to their owners.  Then there is the fact that this Jubilee would be the 70th Jubilee, according to some researchers (the first Jubilee was in the promised land when Joshua and the Israelites conquered most of Canaan land—they never fully conquered the entire land). So the pattern established by these milestones suggests we may have enormous events happening during the next 12 months.

But is the Jubilee year destined to be bad times? Assuming that the last two Jubilees were in 1917-1918 and 1966-67 (on the Gregorian Calendar), the outcome for Israel was good times. Jerusalem was conquered by General Allenby and 50 years later, Moshe Dayan led Israelis to take place East Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.

The bottom line: We cannot know for certain what the dates hold for our future. But we know who holds the future. If the stock market crashes, it will likely recover. Remember that at the present time, the dollar remains the currency to hold. The national debt is ridiculous, but until China, Japan, and the U.K. divest themselves of U.S. Treasury bonds, the U.S.’ debt is financed. And today, the price for purchasing bonds fell… it stands now at under 2%. That means that the best price for investors in other countries to place their bets is in financing the U.S.’ debt. U.S. Treasuries are the best place to “hide”—at least for the time being. And those bonds are 10-years in length (usually). Would that we normal people could borrow billions at 1.9% interest for 10 years!

In my opinion, there is only one thing that can truly cause the U.S. stock market to crash—and that is a catastrophe of the first order. It would even take more than a 911 event. It would take a nuclear bomb going off in one or more U.S. cities. It would take martial law to be declared because of rioting in the streets. These things can happen, indeed, I believe they will happen—someday.

But for the time being, as my friend John Haller said in his sermon last Sunday, “Don’t freak out!” Watch closely. Don’t be surprised to see the stock market drop dramatically—maybe another 3,000 points due to the continued crisis in China. But remember, we who are capitalists believe that markets establish prices based on real value. And stocks have risen too fast over the past six years. A correction is in order. And that correction likely will happen around the middle of September. But it does not automatically mean the apocalypse is upon us. Look for other events to signal a real threat to the U.S. Watch what happens in Europe and in Korea. These foreign hot spots are the more likely catalysts for dramatic changes in the world—and great fluctuations in the stock market.

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