Money and markets

‘A Nation of Enrons”

was in my inbox today. Those of us who follow astrology will not be surprised to read from the Motley Fool that the corporate culture is collapsing under the influence of Pluto (breakdown and transformation) in Capricorn (business, achievement, capitalism):

Half a decade ago, the entire nation was shocked when award-winning “innovator” Enron turned out to be little more than a cash-shredding pyramid scheme. The crucial failing for investors was Enron’s use of opaque, “mark-to-market” accounting. The problem comes when the market is batty (or doesn’t exist), so you instead mark your assets to a model, especially one that’s wrong, either because you made an error or because you based it on exceedingly generous assumptions.

In the end, we learned that Enron’s accounting was pretty much mark-to-fairy-tale, with the company booking enormous gains from assumed future profits on schemes (like bandwidth trading) that sounded great, but had little chance of producing anything besides headlines.

You might think we’d learned our lessons about fantasy accounting after Enron, but you would be wrong. Things actually got worse. The infection moved to the comfy-sounding “homeownership” market. Against a star-spangled, feel-good backdrop touting the “American Dream,” our recent mark-to-model mania tripped up a lot more than one big company. In fact, it swept through the entire banking world. (Bear Stearns (NYSE: BSC) is not the first to choke on lousy, poorly modeled mortgage-backed securities “income,” and I’ll eat a Miami condo if it’s the last.)

I’ve been reading articles about the slowdown of big mega retailers, and I’m wondering if the coming transformation of the corporate world might bring about the return of independent business (when Uranus in Aries squares Pluto in Cap 2010-2013). Perhaps it’s just wishful thinking, but it […]

By | 2008-03-28T20:08:00+00:00 March 28th, 2008|Money and markets|Comments Off on ‘A Nation of Enrons”

Billions of dollars down the drain

The United States has a history of valuing money over people. Pluto in the US (Sibley) chart is in the second house of financial wealth and resources, and the compulsive (Pluto) need to acquire could be its undoing. Transiting Pluto is square the Midheaven of the US chart, and this event will reverberate in Pluto’s natal house which in this case is the second house.

Not only are we spending billions of dollars in Iraq, but we’re also now spending billions of dollars to bail out failing banks, money that of course will be repaid by the taxpayers. And since Bush’s tax cuts have cut the tax rate of the wealthiest Americans, that burden will be shouldered by what is left of the middle class. :

[T]he Fed might be fighting yesterday’s war, when the problem seemed to be a liquidity crisis. The Fed first lowered interest rates to facilitate borrowing. No luck; long-term rates were immovable. It then made funds available to credit markets for very short periods on attractive terms. No luck; credit markets remained frozen. So now we have the offer of $200 billion of high-quality assets to replace those of lesser quality. Tune in after a few weeks to find out if this has significantly eased credit markets, or merely created a bit of euphoria in stock markets.

Meanwhile, the Fed’s critics are saying that the enemy is no longer liquidity, but the threat of insolvency. We have already had billions in write-offs, and hundreds of billions more of such “marking to market” is coming. So steep will these write-downs be that the banks will find they are bust – what they owe to depositors and creditors exceeds the value of their shriveled assets. Unless they can get more capital, say the […]

By | 2008-03-21T10:46:00+00:00 March 21st, 2008|Money and markets, Politics|Comments Off on Billions of dollars down the drain

The Funny Thing About Uranus and the Markets

(Please refrain from scatological jokes here!) On Monday the stock market rose over 400 points, the biggest single day rise since 2002, confirming the predictions of noted astrological money expert who, noting the falling markets at the New Moon which was conjunct Uranus on Friday, predicted for this week:

For this week, Venus will enter Pisces March 12, followed by Mercury doing the same March 14. More Pisces. More confusion and uncertainty. This is followed by Venus starting its translation to the Saturn-Uranus opposition, starting with its opposition to Saturn on March 15, and culminating with its conjunction to Uranus on March 28. The roller coaster may pause this week, but more steep slopes could be ahead March 15-28. Of course with the new moon conjunct Uranus this past Friday, a sudden and sharp rally is also possible, for it can be counted on for one thing: it does what most people do not expect.

The one thing you can expect from Uranus is the unexpected, making it impossible to make astrological predictions when Uranus is involved. The New Moon/Uranus conjunction was in Pisces where it is idealistic and compassionate but with a tendency towards delusion. The rise in the markets came about due to a huge infusion of cash (transiting Jupiter (expansion) forming a sextile to Uranus and the New Moon) from the Federal Reserve, acting with the European Central Bank, the Bank of Canada and the Swiss National Bank. I’ve read enough conspiracy theory to be very concerned when this kind of global banking cartel begins working to control the world’s financial markets, particularly as Pluto begins its travels through Capricorn, the sign of banking, financing, and large corporations.

The philosophy behind most […]

By | 2008-03-12T11:35:00+00:00 March 12th, 2008|Money and markets|Comments Off on The Funny Thing About Uranus and the Markets

The mysterious case of Societe Generale

Last week the #2 bank in France, Societe Generale, was brought to its symbolic knees after 31 year old trader Jerome Kievel caused a $7 billion dollar loss to the bank by setting up false accounts and transferring over $73 billion dollars in funds. Now the larger banks are circling, smelling blood. Kievel evidently pocketed nothing from these huge transfers of funds, which is even more peculiar.

One of the fears of conspiracy theorists is that a few central banks, and therefore a few “shadowy elite” characters, will control the global economy. Nothing spells Pluto in Capricorn more than a breakdown in the banking system, and the timing of this bank scandal just as Pluto enters Cap for the first time is extremely synchronistic.

Pluto also has a tendency to bring out secrets, and the laxity of oversight in the banking industry is beginning to generate some fear in the French populace and put the bank’s liquidity at risk. Kievel has suggested that there is no way he could have conducted such large scale trading without the bank having been aware of it, but as long as he was making money for the bank they turned a blind eye. This has rattled the nerves of all concerned

And so it begins! The journey of Pluto through the Capricornian world.

By | 2008-02-02T03:23:00+00:00 February 2nd, 2008|Conspiracy, Money and markets|Comments Off on The mysterious case of Societe Generale

Wild swings in the markets

As befits the waning days of Pluto’s reign in Sagittarius, optimism on Wall Street prevailed over the facts. “What has happened is the Fed is flooding the system with liquidity and eventually we should see some traction in the economy,” said Steve Goldman, chief market strategist at Weeden & Co. “And stocks tend to respond first.”

This strategy, which worked well while Pluto was in Sag and optimism drove the markets, will not work so well with the more pragmatic approach Pluto will take in Capricorn where facts and technicals rule over fantasy. After the cut in the Fed rate, investors’ optimism soared, only to be brought back to earth with the revelation that the US federal deficit has ballooned to 219 billion dollars.

I’m anticipating the next week to continue in this same fashion, but with Mercury’s retrograde turn on the 28th and Pluto’s entry into Capricorn that week, we are likely to see the contraction that has been a long time coming.

By | 2008-01-24T19:52:00+00:00 January 24th, 2008|Money and markets|Comments Off on Wild swings in the markets
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