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Week Beginning October 12, 2009

Review and Preview

Raymond MerrimanYou might say that Financial Astrology is giving a “red alert” signal. As stated in the past two columns, “(…we are in) another tight time band of heavily populated geocosmic signatures, in effect September 29-October 16… in those 18 days, there are eight important aspects. Of most importance, however, may be the translation of Venus to the Saturn-Uranus-Pluto T-square of October 9-15. But then a closer look at that period will reveal that the Sun will trine the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction October 10-16, while Jupiter ends its retrograde motion and goes stationary direct date on October 12.”

So what happened last week? Besides the fact that many stock indices moved higher while Gold posted an all-time high, Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize and NASA bombed the Moon. Jupiter and Neptune are still in conjunction and have correspondence to the theme of peace. Jupiter is going stationary direct within one degree of Obama’s Ascendant, corresponding with personal good fortune, recognition, or opportunity. It fits with the symbolism of astrology. But what is the symbolism of bombing the Moon? The Moon is a satellite of the Earth, and in the study of astrology it represents the home and family. In this sense, we could say that the Moon represents Earth and its human family, and the bombing could be symbolic of bombs on Earth. It is interesting to note that just prior to the Moon shot, the Indian Embassy in Kabul was bombed. The Taliban claimed responsibility. If there is a symbolic correspondence, it suggests the War in Afghanistan, between the USA (which launched the bombing of the Moon) and the Taliban, will escalate in the next year. It might become more serious than most analysts expect. The purpose of the Moon shot, according to NASA and the USA, was scientific in nature. The hope is to find water on the Moon for…. what purpose? To consider colonies there in the future? Excuse my naïveté, but it sounds a little like Iran’s claim of enriching Uranium for peaceful purposes. To astrologers everywhere, the bombing of the Moon is not a positive symbolism. But then again, that’s difference between astrology and science, which has no interest in symbolism.

In financial markets, equity prices rose around the world throughout the week. Once again, some made new highs for the year, such as the Netherlands AEX in Western Europe, the Russian MICEX in Eastern Europe, the All Ordinaries in Australia, and the Bovespa and Merval in South America. None of the other indices we follow made new highs – yet. If they close in the lower third of this week’s range without making new highs, then we have a case of intermarket bearish divergence in all regions of the world, within a geocosmic critical reversal zone.

Gold made a new all-time high last week, and Silver performed exceptionally well too, as the Dollar fell to its lowest level against a basket of currencies for the year. Corn prices took off last week, while crude oil experienced only modest gains

Short-Term Geocosmics

We are right in the middle of those two planetary translations referred in the opening paragraph. But as the market is rising, it appears it is more a function of the Sun trine Jupiter October 10 and Jupiter turning stationary direct on Monday, October 12. The translation of the Sun in trine to the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction continues through October 16. On October 14, Venus will enter Libra where it will remain through November 7. Crests can occur during that time frame too. The point is, there are several mixed signatures in effect right now. Some point to an imminent high and others could support a rally continuing throughout the month. The early part of this week is critical because of the Jupiter transits.

Longer-Term Thoughts

Last week I discussed potential political themes related to the 16-year transit of Pluto through Capricorn (2008-2014). There are also monetary and economic themes related to this passage. Let’s start with the idea that Pluto rules taxes, as proposed several times in this column as a major theme of the 32-27 year Saturn-Pluto cycle. With the waning square of these two planets fast approaching November 15 (and lasting approximately 9 months), the issue of taxes and their possible consequences on the economy will likely be a very sensitive topic. As outlined before, the entire waning phase of this cycle (opposition to conjunction, 2001-2020) is likely to see greater government spending, increased government and individual debt, increased budget deficits, higher taxes, and a stagnant economy that will see deeper and deeper recessions that are longer and longer lasting. The waning square between Saturn and Pluto is the midpoint of this down cycle, which means either 1) it is the bottom of the cycle or 2) possibly the major change within the cycle that will accelerate its economic down phase until it ends in 10 years.

Higher taxes are coming, and we could say that you read it here first. To quote from our column of December 29, 2008, just before Obama assumed office, “As we move from deflation to inflation, two things may happen, first politically and then monetarily. First, the new administration may raise taxes. Not income taxes, for that would be a violation of the campaign promise to reduce taxes for 95% of the population. That would be political suicide for Obama, just as it was for George Bush Sr. after the election of 1988. Obama will not make that same mistake (I don’t think he will, anyway). Instead we may see what Europe and other nations have already instituted, which is a consumption tax (VAT, or Value Added Tax). This allows Mr. Obama to keep his campaign promise. However, by creating a new consumption tax, the net result is to raise more monies to pay for the increased spending programs and give the appearance of tackling the out-of-control budget deficit. By the time all the numbers are added up, people may realize that their taxes just went up a lot more than if the income tax was raised.”

No one believed this possibility at the time. But now flash forward to an article titled “Mrs. Pelosi’s VAT,” which appeared in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal editorial page. It states, “… on Monday, Mrs. Pelosi (Speaker of the House of Representatives) mused publicly about the rising possibility of enacting a value-added tax, or VAT, as part of a broader tax reform. ‘Somewhere along the way, a value-added tax plays into this,’ she said…. Mrs. Pelosi is the second prominent Democrat to call for a VAT in recent weeks. John Podesta, an advisor to President Obama… called in September for a ‘small and more progressive’ VAT. Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Podesta argue that a new tax is necessary to address the nation’s exploding financial liabilities…”

Now, a tax reform that includes a VAT may not be such a bad idea, and possibly could be a positive step (under Pluto in Capricorn and Saturn square Pluto) towards reigning in the exploding federal deficit. The advantage of a VAT, or consumption tax, is that everyone pays, and it greatly eliminates the tax revenues that are lost by those who avoid, hide, or cheat on reporting their taxes. The disadvantage of implementing a consumption tax entirely in place of a progressive income tax is that it becomes an excessive hardship on those who don’t work or have much money. Today, that involves a lot of people. A positive solution might be a combination of each: that is, incorporating a VAT, but then lowering income and corporate taxes by a similar amount. That would fit the Saturn-Pluto concept of tax reform, and it would be a way to reclaim much of the taxes that are lost through unreported tax reporting or tax avoidance. The government would still be able to raise more monies to reduce its debt and/or pay for its programs.

However, simply adding a VAT, without any reduction of current income and corporate taxes – especially of small businesses, who are the key to turning around the dismal employment situation – is an almost certain way to guarantee another Great Depression. This would not qualify as a reform of the tax system, but instead would simply be a huge tax increase. It would be a way to guarantee that our leaders once again repeat the same mistakes of the past, falsely thinking that this time those same failed policies of the waning phase of the Saturn-Pluto cycle would produce a better outcome. They won’t. They can’t.

Cyclical outcomes are not inevitable. If you alter the activity – policies and choices — that were present in these cyclical downturns, you can alter the outcome of the cycle. Mr. Obama is fond of lecturing world leaders that they have a choice to make right now in regards to the future well-being of our planet. He and his Congress also have a choice to make right now regarding the economic security of this nation. If history is any guideline, he (they) will likely make the choice that leads to prolonged economic stagnation — again. But on the other hand, this president has been remarkable in his tendency to surprise everyone by thinking independently. He is capable of thinking “outside the box” and breaking away from this cyclical pattern of economic policy.

By the way, did anyone notice that the U.S. Dollar continued to fall to new yearly lows, and Australia’s central bank raised interest rates last week, most likely in a move to thwart anticipated inflationary pressures? This also pertains to today’s position of Pluto (as well as Jupiter and Neptune in conjunction).

To be continued…

© 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.