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Back to the 1920s? Uranus returns and sub-prime lending warnings

by Roy Gillett

Written 2008

Being reminded by a colleague of the German hyperinflation of the 1920s made both of us hurry to the Google search engine for dates and indices. We discovered that the German Wholesale Price Index rose from a base of 1.0 in July 1914–just before the outbreak of war–to 2.6 in January 1919, 12.6 in January 1920, 14.4 in January 1921, 36.7 in January 1922, 2,785 in January 1923 and 726,000,000,000 in November 1923. By mid 1923 workers were being paid three times a day. Even if they rushed immediately to the shops they would most likely be empty. As the economy collapsed there was not even sufficient paper or printing capacity to create the money.

This reached its climax around 24th November 1923 when Uranus went direct at 13degrees 39 of Pisces. Exactly 84 years later on 24th November 2007, the same planet went direct at 14 degrees 46 minutes of the same sign. During he months leading up to the 2007 moment, the US sub-prime lending crisis led to uncertainty in the banking system and difficulties in Britain of Northern Rock.

Of course, these circumstances in 1923 were special to the beleaguered post First World War German state. Today, the organisation of the world economy is very different, much more integrated and responsible. Or is it? Certainly we do not have hyperinflation of cash notes in circulation, yet is the spectre of constant expansion of credit that we are battling with artificially low interest rates radically any different? Is the effect of such credit on the inflated value of property all over the world no more that a sophisticated way of pretending we can base our economies on constant expansion of services and the production of ever more possessions? Fundamentally how different are we today, when instead of printing money we record debt?

Uranus in Pisces may well encourage the view that we can invent financial schemes that achieve the impossible. In the 1920s, Neptune in Leo combined to encourage rampant world-wide speculation that built up to the 1929 Wall Street crash and the consequent 1930s Depression years. Today, Neptune is in the much more serious and scientific opposite sign of Aquarius and has been mutually receiving Uranus in Pisces. Hence the skilful manipulation of the market and the expansion of access to trading by more and more people via the internet. Indeed, it could be argued that for the 21 years or more since the London Big Bang introduction of electronic trading, it is the new money and new derivative instruments that have kept the financial markets not just afloat, but expanding rapidly.

Big question, can this introduction of new money or ways of hedging and offsetting continue indefinitely? Big problem, Pluto is leaving Sagittarius and, through 2008, establishing itself with Jupiter in Capricorn. The over-optimism that has encouraged us to use our Aquarian technological brilliance to find ways to expand, consume and speculate to death is in its very end days. Quite simply, we cannot go on as we are. The financial ingenuity will have to give way to realism – especially with Saturn now in Virgo. The consequences of our consumption of raw materials and energy will have to be faced–with or without nuclear power.

Furthermore, the time of new obsession with new inventions, symbolised by Neptune in Aquarius and Uranus in Pisces, is running out. In the summer of 2010 their mutual reception will start to end, accompanied by a dramatic T-square between Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto on the cusps of cardinal signs. By January 2012, not even Chiron will be left in Aquarius. As the world economy and political infrastructures respond to these astro-events, the room for manoeuvre will become ever more restricted. Delusions of grandeur, not taking the right action, getting around problems will no longer be options. Accepting the reality of personal responsibility will be all there is to guide us.

While the main thrust of all this is two to three years in the future, it is important to develop a deep understanding of the changes ahead right way. For this will enable us to separate good from bad ideas about the future and to determine what and who are worth following.

2008 is a transition year, where enough of the over-optimistic residue of the past remains (especially during the summers months) to enable us to play down the likely impact of our worries. We have become so technologically brilliant surely we will invent a solution; find a way around our problems. Not so! What will make us feel most at ease in 2008 is sensing we have a realistic grasp of the future that takes account of imminent astro-cycles. We understand what got us into our predicaments and have a radically realistic and refreshingly different way of answering our problems. We could make a start by being guided by people that understand the very root cause of our problems and have fresh, radical ideas as to their resolution.


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