Kondratiev Winter and IL&FS Default

Nicolai Kondratiev was 46 when he was executed. Nikolai(sometimes written Kondratieff) died in 1938 in the Russian gulag. So who was he and why would he even be thought about today?

Kondratiev was a Russian agriculture economist who, while working on a five-year plan for the development of Soviet agriculture, published his first book, The Major Economic Cycles, in 1925. Over the following years he carried out more research during visits to Britain, Germany, Canada and the United States.

In his book and in a series of other publications he outlined what later became known as “Kondratiev Waves”. These were observations of a series of supercycles, long surges, K-Waves or long economic cycles of alternating booms and depressions or of periods of strong growth offset by periods of slow growth in capitalist societies. These waves or cycles were at the time calculated to last from 50 to 60 years, or roughly a human lifetime in those days.Kondratiev applied his theories to capitalist societies, most notably to the US from the time of the American Revolution. His undoing came in 1928 when he published his Study of Business Activity in the Soviet Union that came to much the same cycle conclusions for the Soviet economy that he had noted for capitalist societies. He fell out of favour with Josef Stalin, who saw his treatise as criticism. Kondratiev was arrested and following a series of trials he was banished to the gulag, where he died.

The four stages are of Kondratiev winter represented in the chart below

The fourth part “WINTER” reminds me of ILFS default. https://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/il-fs-tells-staff-financial-mess-due-to-rs16-000cr-stuck-funds-118091201070_1.html.

Like four seasons and four stages of Life which happens on clockwork , “WINTER” is the part of Kondatriev cycle which every economy goes through. Years of easy global liquidity by central bankers did not allow the debts to be purged, on the contrary more debt is taken for unviable investment creating systemic risks and when one part of this credit chain is broken it spills over to entire financial system.

One Comment

  1. Sir,
    Considering the current trade war and huge NPA and delay in decision making and project execution we can infer Indian Economy is going under Summer Phase, or on optimistic side it’s between Spring and Summer.

    Hence investment strategy could be as follow;
    50% – Real Estate
    30% – Stock
    20% – Gold
    10% – FD or liquidity cash

    Hope its correct considering the 5-7 years of horizon ?

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