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Week Beginning November 9, 2009

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Raymond MerrimanThe Sun and Mercury left the gracious and accommodating sign of Libra more than a week ago, as they ingressed into Scorpio. Scorpio is a money sign, particularly related to debt, like its ruler Pluto. And what were the major news items last week in the USA? Election upsets, where “the economy” was most on voters’ mind. Also, according to the front page of Friday’s Wall Street Journal, Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut is “…readying legislation that would drastically redraw how the financial system is regulated… would strip almost all bank-supervision powers from the Federal Reserve and the FDIC…” Does this sound Scorpio? Does it sound like Saturn moving into a square to Pluto, and forming a T-square to the Sun-Pluto opposition in the chart of the Federal Reserve Board (created Dec 13, 1913, 6:02 PM, Washington, D.C.)? Saturn and Pluto can represent major regulatory reforms, especially in banking. And Pluto on the Fed natal Sun, and opposite its natal Pluto, can represent either the audit of the entity, as proposed by Representative Ron Paul of Texas, or the complete overhaul of the bank’s power, as proposed now by Senator Dodd.

World equity markets shrugged off these and other disturbing news items and instead marched upwards into the end of last week. For most indices, the lows were realized on Monday or Tuesday, after which prices rallied somewhat strongly right into the end of the week. There was big news in the Gold market too, as the yellow metal surged to yet another new all-time high, briefly crossing $1100 at one point on Friday. Silver, Crude Oil, and European currencies also rallied smartly after being down early in the week, but none made new cycle highs. In the case of Crude Oil, it sold off again sharply on Friday.

Short-Term Geocosmics

The translation of Venus in trine to the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction, October 28-November 2, seems to have corresponded with at least a short-term bottom in stock prices. As the transit parted from this translation, stock prices started to rally.

But now we enter a very challenging couple of weeks, as indicated by geocosmic studies. First the Sun will “translate” in a square aspect to the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction, November 10-15. At the beginning of that period, heliocentric Mercury will begin an 11-day trek through Sagittarius. And at the end of that period, on November 15, the first of three waning square passages between Saturn and Pluto will take place. That is a lot of powerful crosscurrents in effect at once, so don’t be surprised if traders and investors act fickle as this all unwinds at once. The “translation” of the Sun in square to Jupiter and Neptune can imply many confusing or even misleading reports, for Jupiter-Neptune in this configuration suggests exaggeration, rumors, and inaccuracies. The question will be whether these reports were intentionally leaked to create a problem for someone else. Whenever Jupiter and Neptune are both involved at once, there is a tendency towards “irrational exuberance,” false hopes, or hysteria and panic.

The possibility of exaggeration and irrational exuberance may be witnessed in extreme price movements of stocks and/or commodities, as implied by heliocentric Mercury transiting through Sagittarius. This oftentimes coincides with large price swings, in some markets more than others. But under this transit, what goes up sharply then comes down just as sharply afterwards.

And that sudden reversal may be the message delivered by the most important signature taking place next week: the waning square of Saturn to Pluto. Instead of “irrational exuberance,” this signature — combined with all the Jupiter-Neptune transits – could be more aligned with hysteria and panic. It all depends upon what kind of messages are coming forth from political and economic leaders regarding the world economic situation, or the threat of terrorism and escalated international tensions, perhaps caused over a furor involving nuclear programs and weapons of mass destruction. Don’t be surprised to see talks along these subjects cancelled by world leaders, and with that, some very heavy threats about the future, as well as another “wake up call” in the form of reversals by financial markets.

Longer-Term Thoughts

More signs of the forthcoming Saturn-Pluto waning square themes were in the headlines this week. On Tuesday, several states held elections and the exit polls showed the overriding issue on voter’s minds was the economy. Two states – Virginia and New Jersey – had elections for governors, and in each case the Republican challenger won against the Democratic incumbent. You might say that the so-called “Tea Parties,” revolting against the idea of higher taxes, is taking root. Yet in typical political fashion, the Republicans may be making too much of these results, and Democrats too little. It may not necessarily be a statement of opposition against Obama and the Democrats, as much as it is a statement against anyone who now holds an office. The American citizen is becoming increasingly wary of the way political leaders are dealing with the economy and their taxpayer dollars. Who can blame them, when they allowed banks and investment houses to dump all their toxic assets onto the government balance sheet during the Great Panic of one year ago, thereby practically guaranteeing that the government will go broke at some point relatively soon. This is an obvious theme of the Saturn-Pluto square playing out, where voters register their disapproval over the handling of the economy, deficits, and taxes. It happened in 1994 too, under the waxing square of Saturn and Pluto. A tax revolt took place then that resulted in the Republicans taking back control of Congress. Could it happen again in next year’s mid-term elections, as it did in 1994? The election results of Tuesday suggest that it could. But it could also be a wake-up call to the Democrats, and perhaps they (and Republicans) will realize that voters are serious about getting the economy back on track and people back to work.

The employment and payroll reports of Friday were not any help to the current leadership in Washington. The unemployment rate didn’t just hit 10%. It went to 10.2%, its highest level since 1983. But there is difference from 1983. That was coming out of the recession of 1980-82 and the unemployment rate was on its way down. This time it is on its way higher. But there are some interesting geocosmic correlates with 1983 too. For one, Jupiter and Uranus were conjunct then. They will conjunct again, three times, in 2010 through early 2011. Also, Saturn was in Libra 1980-1983 as the economy started to improve. Saturn just went into Libra on October 29. Saturn is exalted in Libra, and thus we may be on the edge of improving the employment picture in the U.S.A. If not, then you can be fully assured that the mid-term elections will not go well for the incumbents. But the combination of Jupiter conjunct Uranus, and Saturn in Libra, should bode well for the economy shortly. The only thing that could stop it is…. Pluto in Capricorn, being squared by Saturn in Libra. Or, in layman’s terms, for the government to take on more debt, and/or to implement new taxes, or increase the rate of current taxes. There is no need, really, for the government to increase taxes now. The Jupiter-Uranus cycle, plus Saturn in Libra, both suggest more people will be returning to work in 2010, which means more people will be paying taxes, and federal tax revenues will be increasing anyway. If the political leaders just let the cycle work out without their interference or overhauls of the current tax system, more and more people will continue to be employed over the next few years, and more and more tax monies will be collected by the government.

But here is another disturbing report that was reported in last Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal. Business bankruptcy filings increased 7% in October. “Through the first 10 months of the year, 74,832 businesses filed for bankruptcy, a 16% increase from the same period last year.” This too is part of the dark side of Pluto in Capricorn, and Saturn square Pluto, since Pluto rules debt, and Saturn rules loss. Somehow, Congressional and White House leaders have to figure out ways to help these businesses stay alive. Small businesses are the engine that boosts employment. But it is very difficult for them to make long-term plans (like hiring) when they are uncertain of what their tax rates will be. And if there rates are increased, it will be even harder for them to stay alive without laying more people off work. That of course means fewer people paying taxes, and even if you raise the tax rate, the total revenues received from taxes will go down as unemployment goes up. So, let’s hope politicians did indeed see last week’s elections as a “wake- up” call, followed by the sobering employment and payroll reports of Friday. The incumbents are doing something seriously wrong in the eyes of the voting public. The incumbents don’t “get it.” And if they don’t wake up soon, the mid-term elections will represent a serious purging, as Pluto in Capricorn promises. Of course if that happens, they will have plenty of time to figure out how and why they just didn’t “get it.”

© Raymond A. Merriman


Disclaimer and statement of purpose: The purpose of this column is not to predict the future movement of various financial markets. However, that is the purpose of the MMA (Merriman Market Analyst) subscription services. This column is not a subscription service. It is a free service, except in those cases where a fee may be assessed to cover the cost of translating this column from English into a non-English language. This weekly report is written with the intent to educate the reader on the relationship between astrological factors and collective human activities as they are happening. In this regard, this report will oftentimes report what happened in various stock and financial markets throughout the world in the past week, and discuss that movement in light of the geocosmic signatures that were in effect. It will then identify the geocosmic factors that will be in effect in the next week, or even month, or even years, and the author’s understanding of how these signatures will likely affect human activity in the times to come. The author (Merriman) will do this from a perspective of a cycle’s analyst looking at the military, political, economic, and even financial markets of the world. It is possible that some forecasts will be made based on these factors. However, the primary goal is to both educate and alert the reader as to the psychological climate we are in, from an astrological perspective. The hope is that it will help the reader understand these psychological dynamics that underlie (or coincide with) the news events and hence financial markets of the day.

No guarantee as to the accuracy of this report is being made here. Any decisions in financial markets are solely the responsibility of the reader, and neither the author nor the publishers assume any responsibility at all for those individual decisions. Reader should understand that futures and options trading are considered high risk.