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For six years running, it was voted Most Innovative among Fortune magazine's Most Admired Companies. Enron operated under the belief that it could commoditize and monetize anything, from electrons to advertising space. By the end of the decade, Enron, which had once made its money from hard assets like pipelines, generated more than 80% of its earnings from a vaguer business known as "wholesale energy operations and services." From 1998 to 2000, Enron's revenues shot from $31 billion to more than $100 billion, making it the seventh largest company on the Fortune 500. And in early 2000, just as broadband was becoming a buzzword worth billions in market value, Enron announced plans to trade that too. Then, the company went down as the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. corporate history.

Company Fundamentals

Enron was incorporated on the June 16, 1947, 9:15 am CST, in Houston, Texas* with a Saturn and Pluto conjunct its Leo Ascendant. It is apt for a company that metamorphosed its identity from a gas trader to a gigantic network of energy outsourcing and distribution network, to have a Gemini Sun and Taurus Moon. Pluto rising also meant that its identity underwent many fateful mergers and transformations over the years.

The Fixed T-square between a Moon-Mars conjunction, the Saturn-Pluto conjunction and Jupiter gives us the blueprint of Enron's staggering rise and meteoric fall. Fixed T-squares often suggest astute business capability and organizational expertise. In cardinal Tenth and Fourth Houses, the combination suggests a financially clever and ambitious organization. Jupiter in Scorpio can be a very shrewd and materialistic placement for a company. No wonder there were financial irregularities involved in the saga of Enron's debacle. The T-square gives the three aspects to the story-mergers, expansion and ambition.

Enron's Consolidation and Innovation

Jim Alexander, the former CFO of Enron Global Power & Pipelines, which was spun off in 1994, says about the company, "The common theme is hubris, an overweening pride, which led people to believe they can handle increasingly exotic risk without danger."

A classic case of overestimation of self-worth (Sun-Uranus conjunction in Eleventh House), unfettered arrogance and pride (Jupiter-Pluto square) is vested in the Enron saga. Enron's ambition was driven by its new technology systems and versatile operations, both characterized by the Sun-Uranus combination. Pluto's transit through Scorpio from 1984 to 1998 marked a period of unrivaled expansion and innovation for the company. This is peculiar, as in Enron's case the Fourth House is important not only from the point of view of Jupiter's magnanimous and rather shrewd presence, but also the opposition to the powerful combination of Moon-Mars in the Tenth and quincunx to the innovative Sun-Uranus combination in the Eleventh Houses. This promises an ambitious but rather irreverential (inconjunct) growth, driven by cutting-edge technology signified by the Eleventh.

Expansive Jupiter transited Enron's Ninth House from summer of 1998 to 2000, kicking off a prosperous and ambitious phase of overseas exploration, energy exports, telecommunications business and major thrust fueled by inflationary energy prices.

Power Crisis and Accounting Misdemeanors

Enron's huge investments in international pipelines and plants reaching from India to Brazil during 1999-00 and over-optimistic financial allocations reduced its profits drastically beginning near the end of 2000. This period is very crucial. Uranus hit 10 degrees of Aquarius to form an opposition with the Saturn-Pluto conjunction on the Ascendant. Along with earnings uncertainties came a more potent crisis. The partnerships, in which Enron had invested its capital, began to default on debt repayments and dues, a fact amply suggested by transiting Uranus in the Seventh House of partnerships and obligations.

Accounting and auditing were being manipulated bringing into stark revelation the importance of the Saturn-Pluto Leo presence in the Twelfth House of deceptions, deceit and secret machinations. The impact was to be stunning.

The Final Collapse

Enron's now infamous October 16 2001, press release-the one that really marked the beginning of the end-announced a $618 million loss, but failed to mention that it had written down shareholders' equity by a stunning $1.2 billion and Moody's was considering a downgrade of Enron's debt. On that day, the Moon and Uranus sitting on the Seventh House cusp made a final aspect to Jupiter and Pluto.

Incidentally, the catastrophe was building up when transiting Pluto and Saturn made a perfect opposition across the 13 degrees Sagittarius-Gemini axis, on the cusp of Enron's Fifth-Eleventh Houses. This aspect suggests revelation, restructuring and reformation. Pluto in the Fifth House with major oppositions can be a destroyer of all that is impure and improper.

By November 28 2001, with Uranus and Neptune present in the natal Seventh, the Dynergy deal ended. On that day Standard & Poor's downgraded Enron's debt below investment grade, triggering the immediate repayment of almost $4 billion in off-balance-sheet debt, which Enron couldn't pay. The collapse was complete.

The Phoenix Restructures Itself

Despite being overwhelmingly humbled, the Goliath seems to be alive and kicking. As Saturn proceeds on its unshakable journey towards Sun-Uranus combination of transparency and idealism, and Pluto keeps a silent watch from the Fifth House, characterized by business restructuring, Jupiter will move on the Saturn-Pluto combination in February 2003. That's the period when the negative will be behind the corporation and revitalization will start. We can expect a fighting comeback by Enron by June 2003 as a sunny Jupiter in Leo moves into Enron's First House. We definitely haven't seen the last of the phenomenon called Enron.

*Enron was formerly known as Lone Star Trading Company until October 1975. Later, it changed its name to Houston Gas Company, which merged with InterNorth, an Omaha based company in July 1985, finally christening the entity Enron corporation. The date of incorporation of the original entity is of paramount importance as it lay the foundation for its future exploits.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Fred Singh is an astrologer based in Mumbai, India. He is a business graduate who has been an astrology consultant for five years. He works through a system of innovations engineered by him and also through conventional modes of analysis. He has written extensively in magazines and newspapers about the theoretical and practical relevance of Western Astrology over other existing forms. He has a book on his radical theories and analyses in the pipeline.

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