Pete Kendall's Socio Times: A Socionomic Commentary

March 19, 2007
Fans Fight At New York Hoops Game
NEW YORK CITY -- There's March Madness, and then there's March Badness.

A wild melee broke out at a high school basketball game inside Madison Square Garden on Sunday night between high school students, police officers, and others in attendance. The fight then spilled into the streets, and at one point shots were fired, police said.

Fans got into a brawl with each other and police during the Public Schools Athletic League's AA division city championship game between Brooklyn rivals Lincoln and Boys & Girls.

Things eventually began to calm down, but the battle, as it turns out, was far from over. The entire episode started on the court after a hard foul was called.  Lincoln point guard Devon Petersen was then pushed by Boys & Girls' Frederi Nixon. However, Petersen went after Boys & Girls' Antonio Johnson, thinking he had shoved him. Referees separated the two players.

However, the incident ignited several fights in the stands. As more and more NYPD officers started showing up, the huge brawl spilled out into the streets, and the violence continued.

Police said shots were fired as the crowd moved from the Garden to Times Square, and then into a subway station, where cops and teens continued to clash.The NYPD called in reinforcements, including officers on horseback, on scooters and in riot gear.

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A Bear Market Bolt Strikes at the Heart of New York City
Category: NEWS
By: Pete Kendall, March 19, 2007

The good news in the bond pits this month was a ratings upgrade for New York City.  As usual, Standard & Poors’ lifting of NYC to A+ is a brilliant reflection of the past. For a look at the city’s future, go back and check out its run-in with bankruptcy back in 1975. We predict a return to those conditions.
The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, June 2005

Last week we got the following communication from JL, a subscriber/resident of Manhattan’s east side: “First time in memory that you had two major shootings on back-to-back days in Manhattan (Harlem then the Village).  NYC residents have pretty much become ever more complacent about crime and quality of life (and constant higher real estate prices) over the past 20 years.  Looks like it is ‘game over.’”

Combined with outraged claims of racism surrounding three indicted NYC police officers and a rising incidence of crime in big cities across the country, I had to agree that the shootings might be socionomically significant. I didn’t post anything, however, because two shootings does not a constitute a trend. But the contagious quality of the latest “Madison Square Garden Basketbrawl” has all the elements of a kick-off event in a good old fashioned, Big Apple bear market.

First, there’s the forum in which the spontaneous display of mass hostility occured, a high school basketball game at Madison Square Garden. Unlike more bearish sporting fare, basketball is not by its nature a violent game. In bearish times, however, “Basketball and The Bull Market,” a December 1996 issue of The Elliott Wave Theorist noted that basketball tends to produce more physical contact and fights --  on and off the court. In fact, our forecast for the next bear market stated, “Eventually, fans will turn hostile, and fights will be common.” No site is more central to the history of basketball than Madison Square Garden.

Times Square is another New York City landmark that EWI has previously shown to be highly reflective of the prevailing trend in social mood. Consider, for instance, its transition from a sleazy, crime-infested porn capital at the end of the last bear market in the 1970s to the entertainment and financial capital of the world today.

Now consider the progress of the “riot,” from the basketball court to the stands, Times Square and out through the NYC subway system, like an electric current flashing from one socionomic hot spot to the next. In the life of the city, it was a small thing. But, in time, it may well prove a significant harbinger. A New York City native points out that fights at high school basketball games were common back in the 1960s. This is certainly true as one article points out that high school basketball was banned from the Garden from 1964 to 1989. Of course, this is coincident with a bear market that ran from 1966 to 1982 in inflation-adjusted terms. As the Socio Times entry of July 20, 2005 noted, "New York City is social mood lightning rod. One way or another, a new direction in the trend always finds a way to express itself – usually quite immediately and forcefully – in the Big Apple."

Our New York sources also notes that back in more bearish times, it became common practice to separate the opposing crowds and post police between them. From 1989 through the 2007 city championships, however, the advance in social mood obviously reduced the enmity as games returned to the Garden and precautions against potential melees slackened. Sunday’s donnybrook suggests a come back now. New restrictions may curtail confrontations, but as the bear market emotions that fueled the explosion intensify, they will undoubtedly find other avenues of expression.  As JL notes, “I live smack in the middle of it all. Like the overall tone of politics/wall street/media/entertainment, culture in NYC is currently bouncing between the optimism engendered over the past 20 years and small but growing signs of discord.  I suspect this will play out in slow motion over the next 3 years or so, and surely real estate prices will reflect the situation on the ground.”

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There was a melee in December during a Knicks/Nuggets. A big brawl, a rare occurence that surprised fans and New Yorkers. A harbinger?.....P.S. I love your research/socio times.
Posted by: bill joseoh
March 19, 2007 04:15 PM

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