Where the astrology of the East meets the West
Welcome to the Fall of 2008 and the coming elections. Once again I am making my time honored prediction of falling oil prices right before the election. Low and behold, oil and gasoline prices are falling nationwide, even in the face of hurricane Hanna, hurricane Ike and in short order probably hurricane Tina. Itís remarkable, oil has dropped dramatically in just a few short months and those oil profits have lobbied to bring us yet another electoral candidate from oil-rich Alaska.
But that is not the Big Story for the fall of 2008. The Big Story is the Big Slow Down and the escalating Big Federal Bailouts in the private sector from Bear Sterns, and as I write, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the twin titan mortgage giants.
Fannie Mae, formerly the Federal National Mortgage Association, was created after the Great Depression to help every day people to buy homes. It was privatized in 1968, and recently, before itsí demise, reaped record profits for private share-holders and private management, very much like the fat financial final days of Enron before it suddenly collapsed in a historic accounting scandal. We all know the story. Profit and debt were deliberately manipulated so things appeared rosy when in reality they were rotten.
Itís happening all over again, and the companies and defaults just keep getting Bigger and Bigger, and now global in their reach. Only this time itís so huge itís threatening to take the economy down with it. In the new global economy we all seem to be in this together, not for the profit, but for the economic defaults and increasing debt!
In December of this year the planet Jupiter will enter the constellation of Capricorn. Capricorn is a business constellation and is ruled by the practical planet Saturn. Last year was a difficult time for business, as Saturn was caught up in the shadowy eclipse patterns until just May of this year, and the stock market has been down 20 percent since last year to remind us of this point.
For most of 2009, the planet Jupiter will be caught up in the shadowy eclipse patterns and will not emerge from them until the end of that year. Jupiter is the planet of hope and prosperity and currently he is still standing strong in his own constellation of Sagittarius. But, as he begins his transit of Capricorn in mid-December of 2008, he will be at his weakest in his sign of debilitation. The astrological indicators for 2009 portend a difficult time for business and the economy in general, as the shadows of the eclipses make it difficult to perceive what is really going on.
Jupiter was exalted in his most powerful constellation of Cancer, the sign of hearth and family, from the summer of 2002 to the summer of 2003, when all seemed onward and upward with the housing market and the economy. Jupiter hasnít even entered Capricorn and home prices are falling faster than they did during the Great Depression. This suggests that the housing crises will continue and deepen through the remainder of 2009. This will certainly heighten the risk to low and middle income families struggling to make ends meet, as well as the poor, the young and especially the old who must depend on subsidies from others in a difficult economy.
But when it comes to taking financial risk for profit in the private sector, private profiteers know unbridled risk is the fast track to the fast, fat paychecks. But when the risks fail, and the inevitable mismanagement is revealed, the federal government bails out these private profiteers with our public dollars, public dollars that could serve to bail out those individuals and families who have been hurt by the gaming of the financial system. It is transparent that we are privatizing profit for these gamers with little or no consequences to them, and socializing their losses with our public debt when they fail. Itís a win, win dollar for them and a losing dollar for us.
It is obvious it is time for government oversight and regulation in the private financial sector for everyoneís financial security, but before, not after the problems. Bail out the many losers in the public sector, the stockholders and families, who need our help during these difficult times, not the gamers in the private sector who put us there in the first place.
You can demand another New Deal for 2008 in light of the deepening financial crises by demanding competent government economic oversight to prevent future failures that are just waiting to happen. An ounce of gold in prevention is worth a pound of federal reserve note government bail outs.
Demand this of your regional and national candidates, regardless of whether they call themselves Liberals or Conservatives. Vote your pocket book and the economy, not the political labels, for election 2008.
The dates you selected for our wedding and reception couldnít have been more beautiful weather-wise and more joyous heart-wise. Everyone was happy, including relatives who came from afar. Your input is always so helpful, Dennis, a must when planning meaningful events of all kinds.
Erica Helm Meade, MA, CMHC