On January 31 this year, Ben Bernanke replaced Alan Greenspan, who had been chairman of the Federal Reserve System for the past 18 years. Bernanke takes over under a T-square formed by Mars, Jupiter and Neptune, and a conjunction in Aquarius of Sun, Mercury and Neptune, all three conjunct the US Moon (the American people). Neptune rules oil.
Some of the biggest spikes in American stock market history have occurred in years when a new Fed Chairman took over: 1934, 1948, 1951, 1970, 1978, 1979 and 1988. A new Fed chairman has coincided with an average 211-point rise in the Dow. Ironically, Alan Greenspan took over right before the worst stock market crash in history, October 1987, but thereafter the market rocketed and his 18-year tenure coincided with the most dramatic bull market in history.
The big fear the Fed is charged to deal with is inflation. And the prime astrological indicator of inflation has been Neptune . More specifically, it is when Neptune forms hard angles to Saturn and/or Uranus that spikes of inflation have occurred. The latest great spike of inflation happened in the mid-1970s (Saturn opposite Neptune) to the early 1980s (Saturn square Neptune ). This was blamed on an oil embargo imposed by OPEC. The previous spike was during and shortly after World War II. Saturn squared Neptune in 1943 to 1946, and the two were conjunct during the early 1950s.
One of the worst spikes of inflation occurred in 1720 after the bursting of the South Sea Bubble and John Law's Mississippi Swindle Bubble, when Saturn in Scorpio opposed Neptune in Taurus. Another instance was following the American Revolutionary War when Saturn and Uranus created a T-square with Neptune.
As Bernanke assumes the reins of the Fed, Saturn in Leo will be tightening an opposition to Neptune in Aquarius. Peak danger periods for inflationary spikes will climax when this opposition makes exact hits: August 31, 2006, February 26, 2007 and June 25, 2007. However, inflation is likely to become an issue when Saturn, now moving retrograde, turns direct April 6 this year, and then as its opposition to Neptune rises like an ocean wave to crest in August.
Lost in Neptunian uncertainty right now is a new currency exchange due to open March 20 in Tehran, Iran to facilitate trading oil for euros instead of dollars. We can only speculate as to why this information has been withheld from the American public. How will Bernanke handle it? (For a full account of this Iranian exchange, go to: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CLA410A.html)
In the second biwheel combining the date of this new Iranian Bourse opening and the USA's chart, notice that the Bourse date's Saturn (frustrations, restrictions) as it applies to an opposition to Neptune, is also opposite the US Pluto (birth, death, transformation). And Neptune (uncertainty, deception) is within a degree of an exact conjunction with the US Moon (American pubic). Jupiter's square to Neptune continues, expanding Neptune's uncertainty. This very accurately describes what global financial insiders expect will happen: the American public, as indicated by the Moon, will be suspended in Neptunian uncertainty.
Bernanke is nicknamed “Helicopter Ben” because of a speech he gave in 2002. He said he'd be willing to drop money from a helicopter to prevent deflation. During a spike of inflation in the 1970s, investors lost big money to a rapidly devaluing dollar. Bernanke's seeming determination to inflate could bring another period comparable to the late 1970s.
Feared as much, if not more than inflation is deflation. The most recent deflation occurred during the great depression of the 1930s; the good bankers of the Fed were unable to prevent it. Nor has the Fed been able to control inflation, for during its 72-year-history, $1 has devalued (and/or inflated) to about $100. Still, it is the best—the only—manager of the economy we have.
By some measures, there has been a slow but steady inflation happening since medieval times, with spikes after Columbus and co. brought back tons of gold to Spain from the Americas. During this slow rise of inflation over centuries, it has been the unexpected spikes which have caused the most pain and chaos. That is why the opening of the Iranian Bourse March 20 is such a red-letter day.
But the Iranian Bourse is not the only monetary predator lurking in the tall grass along the road ahead. Historically, what leads into inflationary spikes is Neptunian misperceptions or delusions, which are then impacted by Saturnian structural disciplines, as these two archetypal energies periodically combine to seemingly test and spar with each other's powers.
“(The USA ) is not the same nation...,” proclaims Bill Bonner (1) “or the same empire...we used to know. It owes more money to more people and is less able to pay...Neither Democrats nor Republicans, neither liberals nor conservatives will admit it. They've all been in on the swindle. Fed budgets and budget deficits are a bi-partisan flim-flam. Together, the two parties have connived to add more to...public debt in the two Bush administrations than in all the administrations and all the Congresses that came before them put together...Much of this debt can be traced to the never-ending war in Iraq. It has already gone on longer than America's participation in World War I. And now two professors, one from Harvard and the other from MIT, put the cost at...as much as $2 trillion, or about $20,000 per homeland family.” (Other calculations put the cost at $27,000 per family and rising rapidly.)
That $2 trillion could have bought a lot of schools, health care and Social Security payments. The money borrowed by the government from banks (via the Fed, which is really a gang of chummy bankers, not a government agency). The most common way governments and nations deal with overwhelming debt is by currency devaluation and/or inflation: the $1 borrowed is thus repaid by $1 worth 50 cents.
Bonner continues: “Debt levels have soared: public debt, private debt, student debt, credit card debt, mortgage debt, and business debt. Still, many, many economists believe the nation is better off in 2006 than it was in 2000. Indeed, there are so many of them that if you laid them all end to end, it would be a good thing. That the nation is not the same as it was when George W. Bush entered the Oval Office, no one doubts.”
Those who see the economy as the best ever are mostly among the top 10 percent of the wealth distribution, for they have benefited from all this debt accumulation. It's the working class majority of the population who is stuck with the bill. Neptune seems to care not at all about debt; Saturn seeks to get rid of debt and restore balance.
By August we will know whether our nation's creditors are going be repaid with devalued money, and thus if the nation's majority of workers are going to be stressed by another spike of inflation, making tax collection more dicey, and making the US government's perpetuation of the seemingly unending “war on terror” cost effective.
“The American empire, circa 2006, is a grotesque and remarkable thing,” continues Bonner, inadvertently describing Neptune's present influence. “It has troops stationed all over the world and a military budget greater than all the rest of the world combined. The expense is worth it, say supporters; without it the world economy could not expand. The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist—McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the F-15, as imperial cheerleader, Thomas L. Friedman explains.”
Although Neptunian inflated dollars are not likely to slow the military-industrial complex, it can be expected to “Saturnianly” oppress the taxpayers who foot the bill, and the wealthiest 10 percent who are owed the dollars borrowed from the majority to pay for the American war machine. An inflationary spike will mean Bernanke and the Fed will have their hands full juggling lopsided monetary balls.
No wonder Neptune is so prominent for Bernanke's takeover of the Fed. Shortly into his reign, a 36-year cyclical opposition of Saturn and Neptune will be within orb—throughout most of 2006 and 2007. Neptunian deception, delusion and illusion best describe the Fed's function in American society. A new spike in inflation can throw the whole system out of whack and elicit cries for “controls”: interest rate hikes. By the end of 2007 when Saturn will have disciplined Neptune once again, whatever controls have been put in place by the Fed will appear to be working.
- Altered State of the Nation by Bill Bonner, The Daily Reckoning online newsletter .
- The Oil Plans of Iran by The Mogambo Guru, The Daily Reckoning, January 17, 2006.