Our Monkey missed the early fall in 2004, but found the bananas by year-end, and while a little extreme in '92, our index still tracked key market moves.

2004 Wood Monkey

The Wood Monkey lost his hold in the treetops early and by mid-May had fallen so far from the perch that the only way from there was up. It was clearly a year for paying peanuts and getting your money’s worth. Even if he’d tried to ape anyone else, by year-end, he’d only managed to change into the proboscis monkey and finish a nose in front of where he’d started, making monkeys of us all.

  • 4 Feb:  Facebook is launched.
  • 19 Mar: Shooting of Chen Shui-bian in Tainan.
  • 28 Jul: Chinese establish the Yellow River site in the Arctic.
  • 13 Aug: Opening of the Summer Olympics in Athens.
  • 21 Sep: Construction begins on the Burj Khalifa.
  • 27 Oct: Discovery of the remains of Homo Floresiensis in Indonesia.
  • 21 Nov: Crash of China Eastern Airlines flight MU5210.

1992 Water Monkey

The Water Monkey spent the first two months as the bathing ape, floundering around as if the world were a barrel of monkeys. Finally he got that off his back and changed into the grease monkey, got down to work and showed us his white tail tuft for two months. From June through November, he perfected the quadrupedal knuckle walking trick and went nowhere fast. He then lost that monkey grip in a nasty fall before finishing the year slightly higher than he began.

  • 27 Feb: Stella Leibeck spills McDonald’s coffee; awarded US$2.86m.
  • 9 Mar: PRC ratifies the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
  • 20 Apr: Seville Expo 92 opens.
  • 23 May: Italian judge Giovanni Falcone is murdered by mafia bomb.
  • 20 Jun: Estonia gets its own currency, ending the rule of the ruble.
  • 22 Jul: Pablo Escobar escapes from his luxury prison.
  • 3 Aug: Wang Hongwen from the Gang of Four dies.
  • 8 Sep: Japan sends troops abroad for the first time since WWII.
  • 18 Dec: Kim Young-sam wins the South Korean election.
  • 20 Jan: Bill Clinton is sworn in as the 42nd President of the USA.

1980 Metal Monkey

The Metal Monkey skidded in through the savannah and spent the first month poking ants’ nests on the ground. From April through December, he lost his tail and became the climbing chimp on the monkey bars. Resting at the top, there he turned into a blue monkey and got down about things for a month or so before finishing the year as the alpha male of the powder monkey troop.

  • 25 Feb: A military coup takes place in Suriname.
  • 4 Mar: Robert Mugabe elected Prime Minister of Zimbabwe.
  • 22 May: Pac-Man game is released in Japan.
  • 25 Jul: AC/DC release Back in Black.
  • 13 Aug: The base monthly wage in Taiwan rises to NT$12,365.
  • 10 Sep: Zhao Ziyang becomes the third Premier of the PRC.
  • 23 Oct: HK ends Touch Base policy for illegal mainland immigrants.
  • 20 Nov: Gang of Four trial begins in the PRC.
  • 8 Dec: John Lennon shot dead.
  • 20 Jan: The hostages from the US embassy in Tehran are freed.

1968 Earth Monkey

The Earth Monkey Dow slipped early in the year then found his nuts and rose, gibbon it was a different day and age, to heady heights not seen before in the world of man. From May through September, the sleeping monkey did not fall off the branch, and on waking headed for the canopy to enjoy the fruits of his liking from November on. But on the way up, he left his wrench somewhere and the following two years saw the Dow lose nearly half its value.

  • 30 Jan: North Vietnam launch the Tet Offensive.
  • 16 Mar: The My Lai Massacre.
  • 29 Apr: The musical Hair opens on Broadway.
  • 29 May: De Gaulle flees Paris after demonstrations against him.
  • 8 Jun: Chiang Kai-shek calls the CCP the origin of disasters in East Asia.
  • 27 Jul: End of Red-Guard power over the army in China.
  • 21 Aug: Soviet tanks enter Prague.
  • 11 Oct: The first manned Apollo mission blasts off.
  • 9 Dec: The first demonstration of the computer mouse.
  • 20 Jan: Richard Nixon inaugurated as 37th President of the USA.