Very long-term business cycles. A Russian economist, Nikolai D. Kondratieff, introduced the term in a series of papers in the 1920s arguing that “on the basis of the available data, the existence of long waves of cyclical character is very probable.” Kondratieff (1935) presented no theory as to why cycles of 40 to 60 years should be characteristic of capitalist countries, but he did associate various “empirical characteristics” with phases of his long waves, which he professed to find in France, England, the United States, Germany, and the “whole world.” According to his predictions, a long decline would have begun in the 1970s and continue until the first decade of the 21st century. People actually paid attention to such strange ideas.