By Theodore White; mundane Astrolog.S
After two years, the Banking Crisis continues to cause severe economic problems worldwide. In the United States, it has been recently reported that employers eliminated 4.2 million jobs in 2009 with a total of nearly 8 million people out of work now in early 2010. The European Union continues to be sluggish at best, and Japan's long economic woes have not abated.
I am also concerned about the future stability of China's economy, which I will forecast on extensively in the weeks and months ahead.
What I will say now is that unless there are tens of millions of healthy and happy consumers ready and willing to purchase Chinese goods - and right now there are not - then there is simply no way for China's overheated economy to continue growing at the rapid pace it has been during the last decade.
There is much for everyone to consider here, especially investors, who have put all their eggs into China's basket and have enjoyed wonderful profits over the last seven-and-a-half-years.
From the looks of global transits - those good years may have already come to an end. And, if this is the case, as I believe it to be, then it does not bode well for the global economy into this new decade.
In the U.S., the unofficial unemployment rate is near 26% with official rates listed at over 10 percent. These numbers continue to show that reality is not being faced by the generation that has been the establishment since 1993.
See - http://workingclassstudies.wordpress.com/2009/01/11/the-de-facto-unemployment-rate-2512/
See - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/wall-street
For instance, in early January 2010, it was reported that 8,000 people lost their jobs in the month of December 2009, but it was revealed that this number actually is over 85,000 people who lost their jobs in that month.
Politico's Mike Allen reports in January 2010 that: “Christina Romer, chairwoman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said Sunday that President Barack Obama was ‘subdued’ and ‘disappointed’ upon learning of Friday’s jobless number and said the administration favors further government action.
‘The sense that we need to do more is overwhelming,’ Romer told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s ‘This Week.’ ‘We know there are things that have been working in the Recovery Act that are expiring, like some of the provisions for longer unemployment benefits.
"Some of the state fiscal relief — I think that’s going to be critically important to making sure we keep making progress.’ … Asked about earlier administration estimates that job growth would begin by spring, Romer replied: ‘I think that’s still a very realistic estimate.’” Romer on CNN’s “State of the Union” called Wall Street bonuses “ridiculous” and “offensive.”
So what exactly is going on here?
"The theme for 2009 - well put by Chris Martenson - was extend and pretend," says author James Howard Kunstler. "To use all the complex trickery that can be marshaled in the finance tool bag to keep up the appearance of a revolving debt economy that produces profits, interest, and dividends, in spite of the fact that debt is not being serviced, i.e. repaid."
"There is an awful lot in the machinations of Wall Street and Washington that is designed deliberately to be as incomprehensible as possible to even educated people, but this part is really simple: if money is created out of lending, then the failure to pay back loaned money with interest kills the system. That is the situation we are in.
"The inertia displayed by our system - especially its manifest ability to keep stock markets levitating in the absence of value creation - is strictly a function of its size and complexity. It is running on fumes. I thought it would finally crash and burn in 2009," Kunstler says.
"The Dow Jones industrial average certainly fell on its ass last March, bottoming in the mid-6000 range. But then it picked its sorry ass off the ground and rallied back up again thanks to bail-outs and ZIRPs and really no other place to look for returns on the accumulated wealth of the past two hundred years, especially for large institutions like pension funds that need income to function. I'd called for a Dow at 4000. A lot of readers ridiculed that call. Was it really that far off?"
The sharp drop in the labor force is not merely an indicator of the real unemployment rate. It is a confirmation of the mounting hopelessness in vast stretches of the United States," says John Nichols of the Nation magazine.
Nichols points out that regions of the U.S., "particularly in California, southern New England, the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes States, where communities are being devastated by a federal auto-industry "bailout" that continues to encourage car makers to shutter factories in U.S. cities and to relocate production to Mexico and China."
Banks, run by a generational establishment that is out of control continues to rub salt deep into the wounds of the American public - giving themselves huge bonuses after their banks and financial institutions were bailed out by the American people.
The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission that has been established to investigate the causes of the Banking crisis is not expected to have much impact as they begin their meetings in January 2010, but its chairman hints that he will be very keen on making waves.
Phil Angelides, a former California treasurer who is the commission's chairman, told the media last year that he has been active leading what he calls "a tough investigative staff" and "will not allow the proceedings to devolve into a typical blue-ribbon Beltway exercise in toothless bloviation."
The New York Times reports that, "More daunting still is the inquiry’s duty to reach into high places in the public sector as well as the private. The mystery of exactly what happened as TARP fell into place in the fateful fall of 2008 thickens by the day — especially the behind-closed-door machinations surrounding the government rescue of A.I.G. and its counter parties.
"Last week, a Republican congressman, Darrell Issa of California, released emails showing that officials at the New York Fed, then led by Timothy Geithner, pressured A.I.G. to delay disclosing to the S.E.C. and the public the details on the billions of bailout dollars it was funneling to its trading partners.
"In this backdoor rescue, taxpayers unknowingly awarded banks like Goldman 100 cents on the dollar for their bets on mortgage-backed securities."
Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich says, "The five largest remaining banks are today larger, their executives and traders richer, their strategies of placing large bets with other people's money no less bold than before the meltdown. The possibility of new regulations emanating from Congress has barely inhibited the Street's exuberance."
"But if Wall Street is back on top," says Reich, "the everyday lives of large numbers of Americans continue to be subject to overwhelming trauma, chaos and disruption."
That trauma continues into early 2010. Bankruptcy filings for the first nine months of 2009 were recorded to be up to 35 percent to 1,100,035 against the same period in 2008.
It has been estimated that the number of business bankruptcies during the first three quarters of 2009 eclipsed all of 2008 with individual consumer filings that totaled 373,308 during the third quarter of 2009 - up 33 percent versus the same period of 2008.
Nearly every economist says that mortgage and credit problems are worse in 2009 than in 2008 with a million new foreclosures during the third quarter of 2009, which is five-percent more than the second quarter, and 23 percent more than during the third quarter of 2008.
Foreclosures are not waning. Mortgage delinquencies with borrowers who are 60-90 days overdue increased for the 11th quarter in a row - a record - and reached a national average of 6.25 percent in the third quarter of 2009.
Delinquencies always precede foreclosures, and, compared to 2008, all mortgage borrower delinquencies are up 58 percent. This is happening while banks sit on properties acquired to avoid selling them back into the market and needing to book the losses.
The most stressed counties in America:
The effect of the global banking crisis has led to billionaires losing everything, with some committing suicide after the banking crisis reached its height early in 2009:
With so much wealth being destroyed by the likes of Wall Street, Citibank, Bank of America, AIG and other major financial institutions - Americans are only just now discovering that it may be a long time before the American economy recovers.
The transits of 2010 show that when the winter season in the northern hemisphere comes to an end that millions of people who have suffered as a result of the gambles of Wall Street and the big banks and investment houses are about to revolt.
The Cardinal Crisis transits of summer 2010 continue to concern me as they reflect strong anger that has been pent up over 2008 and 2009 exploding onto the national scenes of many countries.
I expect a second drop in the economy that will be called the "second dip" that will arrive by the spring of 2010, and that will feature a "W" drop that is the perfect storm of tight credit by banks, high employment, sinking home values, and anemic contraction of the business sector worldwide.
I forecasted this last year amid talk that the first economic stimulus would be enough to counter the crushing 2009 economic numbers. I now believe the Obama Administration is quietly preparing a second and a potential third stimulus package to stave off what clearly is a economic crisis that does not want to go away.
It has become very difficult for people to pay bills, rents, and their mortgages if they do not have jobs, and, for the year 2010, the business contraction, in my estimation, will not only continue, but deepen according to my astrological calculations.
People feel poorer, and economists expect that personal wealth will continue their decline in 2010. I expect home prices to depress even more, further exacerbated by a wave of nearly 7 millions homes expected to go into foreclosure over the next 18 months.
This means U.S. foreclosure rates will be well above historical norms into the middle of this new decade considering the huge inventories on the market. This is the perfect storm that has struck residential and commercial real estate, and the effects will be long lasting.
People are asking why housing prices continue to rise in the current climate when it is obvious there is overcapacity everywhere? The answer is that many Baby Boomer owners who are underwater on their mortgages need to sell out at higher prices to come out even, much less to make a profit and downsize themselves.
However, there are few buyers, and those who are looking to buy see the market in early 2010 and continue to sit on the sidelines.
Economists continue to say that housing stocks will continue to perform poorly in 2010, and, in my astrological calculations, this means that a very long recovery is ahead for the residential and commercial real estate markets that will not see substantial growth until about the year 2019.
The jobless recovery is a feature of a generation that is not only afraid of retirement, but that has been blind to the facts of life - which is aging. There is simply no way the Baby Boomer generation can continue to hold down the majority of younger workers by shedding millions of jobs which are needed for the country to recover.
I continue to urge that the retirement age be lowered to 55-57 years old, so Boomers who feel that they will lose their health insurance coverage if they retire can then do so, and allow younger generations to re-enter the jobs market to get the country out of the current economic depression.
The lack of jobs for those 50 years and younger is one of the reasons why wages remain stagnant, and why workers who do have jobs continue to be highly stressed - asked to do more with less, while the national spending rate continues to fall because people are afraid to spend the money that they do have excepting the basics.
According to my estimation, the true unemployment rate is about 26% - a shocking number which reflects the anger that is building and which will cause a major rebellion of citizens who have had enough with their lives being destroyed.
What is now becoming more noticeable throughout the U.S., and much of the world, is that people have become more frugal - pinching pennies. Even those considered wealthy have cut back on spending, and the American economy - 70% of it - depends on consumers who spend. That is not happening.
It is also estimated that at the end of calendar year 2009 there was a $4 trillion dollar pullback on credit lines by banks! This is a sure sign of economic depression.
Individuals and businesses say the current credit standards set by banks are impossibly high and choke off any kind of recovery whatsoever. The great majority of Americans - meaning nearly everyone - cannot borrow money in this climate, and this situation alone shows that the economy will not recover until it changes.
Anger, Fear & Challenges
Americans are very angry going into winter 2010, and this anger and fear of the future will most likely build into feelings of revenge against those considered to be the enemy, and if one reads who Americans believe this to be - it is the Banks.
Some people, like Howard Davidowitz, the building anger comes from these facts:
- An $8 trillion negative wealth effect from declining home values.
- A $10 trillion negative wealth effect from weakened capital markets.
- A $14 trillion consumer debt load amid "exploding unemployment,"leading to "exploding bankruptcies.
See - http://www.newsweek.com/id/215442
There is no doubt - all of this was started by the banks and it will end with the blood on the streets if the current depressed economic atmosphere is allowed to continue unabated.
See - http://www.globalchristians.org/tmk/tmk8_how_economic_injustice_is_producing_angry_people.htm
People ask - Why do my aspirations have to come down? Why is there a need to throw people out of their mortgaged homes and allow families to live in camping sites and in their parked cars?
Why is it necessary to deny businesses the fund they need to operate so they can hire workers?
Why is it necessary for Baby Boomers to take the jobs of college students and teenagers?
"2009 was the Year of the Zombie," says James Kunstler. "The system for capital formation and allocation basically died, but there was no funeral."
Kunstler says that "a great national voodoo spell has kept the banks and related entities like Fannie Mae and the dead insurance giant AIG lurching around the graveyard with arms outstretched and yellowed eyes bugged out - howling for fresh infusions of blood... er, bailout cash, which is delivered in truckloads by the Federal Reserve, which, is itself a zombie in the sense that it is probably insolvent."
"The government and the banks (including the Fed) have been playing very complicated games with each other, and the public, trying to pretend that they can all still function, shifting and shuffling losses, cooking their books, hiding losses, and doing everything possible to detach the relation of 'money' to the reality of productive activity."
People have had enough, and it is obvious that the world transits of 2010 feature a major transition from one generation, whose "angst" has caused what can only be called the Economic Depression of the 21st century, to a new generation, whose hands will be full working to clean up nearly 20 years of corruption and financial mismanagement that has drained trillions of dollars in resources from younger generations.
"But nothing has been fixed," Kunstler says. "Not even a little. Nothing has been enforced. No one has been held responsible for massive fraud. The underlying reality is that we are a much less affluent society than we pretend to be, or, to put it bluntly, that we are functionally bankrupt at every level: household, corporate enterprise, and government (all levels of that, too.)"
Does he really believe this?
"The difference between appearance and reality can be easily seen in the everyday facts of American economic life," Kunstler says.
"Soaring federal deficits, real unemployment above 15 percent, steeply falling tax revenues, massive state budget crises, continuing high rates of mortgage defaults and foreclosures, business and personal bankruptcies galore, cratering commercial real estate, dying retail, crumbling infrastructure, dwindling trade, runaway medical expense, soaring food stamp applications..."
While all this was going down the major stock indices rallied, Kunstler points out. "What's not clear is whether money is actually going somewhere or only the idea of money is appearing to go somewhere.
"After all, if a company like Goldman Sachs can borrow gigantic sums of money from the Federal Reserve at zero interest, why would it not shovel that money into the burning furnace of a fake stock market rally? Of course, none of this behavior has anything to do with productive activity."
Kunstler says he believes that a strong tone of 2009 that was easily overlooked is what a generally placid year it was around the world.
"Apart from the election uproar in Iran, there were few events of any size or potency to shove all the various wobbly things - central banks, markets, governments, etc - into failure mode. So things just kept wobbling. I don't think that state of affairs is likely to continue. With that, on to the particulars."
World Transits of 2010
For years now, my contention about the year 2010 and the new decade we have now begun was how unwilling the current generational establishment has been to adapt to change and leave the ideologies of the late 20th century behind during their time in power since the early 1990s.
Choices and decisions which could have easily been made and acted on for pennies on the dollar over the last two decades were cast aside in favor of rampant ideological warfare, widespread corruption, greed, personal satisfaction and generational careerism while the real world demanded vision and leadership.
Now it teeters on the edge of rebellion. Some may ask, "perhaps this is what they wanted all along?"
What the world transits of 2010 show is a major transition year that will determine, in large part, what the overall tone and tenor of this new decade will be all about. From my astrological calculations of mundane transits, the news is not good if many things do not change for the positive.
The main problem is that the old ideologies have simply outworn their usefulness. These ideologies and the ideologues who promote them - from the economic to the youth to religious to the climate to political wars that has defined the behavior current establishment - must go the way of the dinosaur if the world is to progress into this new century without all the baggage that has been holding it back.
Global transits show that the spring, summer and autumn months in the northern hemisphere will be strong in 2010 - particularly, the summer and fall months of the Cardinal Crisis transits.
During the months of July, August, and September 2010, we see a series of world transits that show that 2010 will indeed be a year of major changes and transitions:
The economic numbers of December 2009 will feature more bad news about expected poor holiday sales along with sad news featuring public stress as the unemployment rate continues to rise.
The month of December ends with Mercury and Mars retrograde, and the quiet month of January 2010 ends with the second Saturn/Pluto square re-emerging after Saturn's retrograde in tropical Libra on January 13th.
Saturn will re-enter tropical Virgo by April 7, 2010, and will conduct its last transit in this sign before re-entering tropical Libra on July 21, 2010.
Still, the months of January, February and March 2010 offer people the ability to make changes to be able to withstand the coming tense transits of Spring 2010, and the onslaught of the Cardinal Crisis transits of Summer 2010.
This can be done by making small and medium adjustments that help to get one into the years 2011 and beyond, when the lives of tens of millions of people will be changed forever from the corrupt economic years of 1999-2009 when wages stagnated.
What makes the period between spring and summer 2010 so important is the ongoing influences from Saturn's transit in Virgo and opposed to Uranus in tropical Pisces, which began in November 2008.
- The fourth Saturn/Uranus opposition on the Virgo/Pisces axis arrives on April 26, 2010 and the fifth, and last, exact opposition by July 26, 2010. This fourth and fifth Saturn/Uranus opposition features intense ideological battles between people, and within organizations - between old, staid, and unyielding forces to new, fresh, and unique forces reflecting the generational change that is now underway worldwide.
- The Saturn/Uranus opposition features strong, and inconsistent attitudes from those who seek personal freedom at all costs against responsibility. This is the "old" against the "new" where relationships that are needed for personal security is threatened by the inconsistent attitudes and behaviors of the old. This includes new and old ways of doing things.
- The opposition reaches across the personal and professional, and is particularly seen operating within established institutions - where established figures will be under great pressure to retire because of poor decisions, corruption, and bad management that has defined their tenures, while new figures prepare to discover just how much of a mess has been hidden from plain view as they enter as the new establishment.
Jupiter & Saturn are always Business planets in mundane astrology and both planets will be in opposition relative to the Earth for 2.5 years from 2010 to 2012. This reveals that polarization will persist in the business and corporate sectors over the next several years until the old establishment that caused the mess is removed from positions of power so a true recovery can actually begin.
World transits of spring 2010 into early summer 2010 are quite powerful. There are increasing economic, social and political protests in the cities as people, now into their second and third years without jobs, and with the economy still reeling from the collapse of residential and commercial real estate - have clearly had enough.
It is important to clear schedules for spring & summer 2010 because the global energies will simply be too strong for some people to handle. The influences of the Cardinal Crisis transits show many people will want action immediately, and, because of the length and depth of the Banking Crisis, emotions are sometimes strong, and hard to contain.
The second half of 2010 contains some of the most powerful world transits witnessed in some time and indicates a need to restrain from emotional outbursts and gathering in large groups, though this will not stop many from doing just that.
I advise those reading this to prepare in advance for the powerful time next year - as 2010 will go down as one of the historic years of the early 21st century. The economies of many countries will crash, and some governments will fall leading to a decade of revolutionary sentiment in many regions of the world.
Planetary Transits of April - September 2010
- April 6-7 - Pluto stations retrograde at 5-Capricorn
- April 7, 2010 - Saturn re-enters tropical Virgo
- April 26, 2010 - Saturn opposes Uranus (4th opposition)
- May 23, 2010 - Jupiter opposes Saturn (first time since 1990-91)
- May 27-28, 2010 - Uranus enters tropical Aries
- May 30th, 2010 - Saturn stations direct motion
- June 5-6, 2010 - Jupiter enters tropical Aries
- June 6-7, 2010 - Mars enters tropical Virgo
- June 8, 2010 - Jupiter conjoins Uranus
- July 5, 2010 - Uranus stations retrograde at 0-Aries
- July 8, 2010 - Jupiter turns North in declination
- July 11, 2010 - New Moon total eclipse at 19-Cancer (not seen in N. America)
- July 21, 2010 - Saturn re-enters tropical Libra for good
- July 23, 2010 - Jupiter stations retrograde
- July 25, 2010 - Jupiter Squares Pluto
- July 26, 2010 - Fifth Saturn/Uranus opposition
- July 31, 2010 - Mars & Jupiter turn S in Declination
- August 3, 2010 - Jupiter, retrograde, Squares Pluto again
- August 6, 2010 - Venus turns South in Declination
- August 13-14, 2010 - Uranus re-enters tropical Pisces
- August 16, 2010 - Jupiter Opposes Saturn
- August 20, 2010 - Mercury retrogrades in Virgo
- August 21, 2010 - Saturn Squares Pluto
- September 8, 2010 - Saturn turns South in declination
- September 8, 2010 - New Moon at 15-Virgo
- September 8, 2010 - Venus enters Scorpio
- September 8-9, 2010 - Jupiter re-enters tropical Pisces
- September 12, 2010 - Mercury stations direct
- September 14, 2010 - Pluto stations direct
- September 14, 2010 - Mars enters Scorpio
- September 19, 2010 - Jupiter conjoins Uranus in Pisces
- October 8, 2010 - Venus stations retrograde in Scorpio
I have advised my clients to expect 2010, as well as the entire decade of the 2010s, as major years of change in their lives. Those who will be successful will be individuals and groups who are creative, energized and see the economic crisis as an opportunity to forge a new vision for the early 21st century - unfettered by the constraints of the ideologies of the late 20th century.
Most generations last as the establishment for 17-18 years, after which they become senior citizens. The Baby Boomers entered power in 1992-93 and now, by the year 2010, they are at the end of their time as the establishment.
The year of 2010 will therefore feature major transition shifts from one generation to another with the backdrop of economic crisis that forces old interest groups into retirement and new groups into positions of leadership.
It will be impossible for the United States to emerge out of economic crisis unless the 19% of all Baby Boomers who continue to run companies, banks, organizations, schools, and other institutions into the ground are forced out.
The generational "angst" of Baby Boomers has been like a dark cloud sitting over the world for far too long, and this "angst" is responsible for the banking crisis, and the resulting pain and hardships that have been ongoing since 2007 and that continues into 2010.
Though a few people are willing to discuss it openly, it nonetheless must be said that the Baby Boomer generation that has been the establishment since the early 1990s have failed the country, and, as a result, are now being seen as the generation responsible for the wars, debts, and economic crisis revolving around the world.
Many Baby Boomers remain in denial about their retirements. However, according to the transits, this will happen nonetheless in 2010, as workers who are in the 60s and early 70s cannot fuel massive economy growth because senior citizens are not spenders, but savers.
We can already observe that the savings rate of Baby Boomers is rising, but, it will not be enough to account for what is needed for retirement years.
The fact remains that the generation of Baby Boomers, who have been the establishment since 1993 have led the U.S., and the world, into an economic crisis the likes not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
"This generation cannot continue to remain in power because they were the ones who started the crisis," said a 40-something woman. "They will not lead the world out of it - but are leading it ever deeper into it."
It is essential that Baby Boomers who have worked for 30+ years to prepare for retirement without the fantasy of "eternal youth" that this generation has been deluded into believing for most of their lives.
Many Boomers must to come to terms with the fact that they are now senior citizens, but it will be impossible to recover decades of financial losses in 3-4 years. It simply will not happen.
After decades of believing that their youth would last forever, some Boomers are turning to the excuse of "ageism" as they seek for jobs that are usually maintained for younger workers. This mental denialism about the facts of life - which is aging - will not provide any comfort to Boomers who have not prepared for retirement; yet who had decades in which to do so.
Most Baby Boomers who have lost substantial equity strength in their portfolios because of the Banking Crisis of 2007-2010 will simply have to find other ways to prepare for their retirements that have been delayed because of a myth that they will be young forever.
The only way for Baby Boomers to make progress into the 2010s will be to accept the truth of what has happened to their savings, and to prepare for retirement in this new decade by going smaller, rather than the usual "big is better" that defined the Boomer generation in the 1990s and 2000s.
According to the world transits, tens of millions of Baby Boomers will be forced into retirements, like it or not. Moreover, the public sentiment, especially among younger generations, is not positive on the Boomers as a generation.
See ~ http://rantventrant.wordpress.com/why-baby-boomers-suck/
Those Boomers who realize this anger at their generation, and who accept it, will do better with younger generations than those Boomers who do not accept the realities of what has happened to their savings and the perspective on their generation by the new generation now coming into power.
The strength of the American economy to recover depends on the ability of the new generational establishment to spark this recovery with massive hiring and new energy that has a vision for the 21st century.
Last year, I forecasted that the Obama Administration would have to initiate a second large stimulus package in 2010 that seeks to get the economy back on a healthy track by the year 2011.
Now, in January 2010, we hear this:
See - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-reich/the-bad-job-numbers-and-t_b_416813.html
People will hear more talk of it this year. Without the second economic stimulus, the U.S. economy will continue to fall deeper into depression, and the anger of the American public will reach new, and frightening heights in the early 2010s.
However, it is the young - those 50 and younger, who spend, and in order for the American economy to save itself - it needs younger workers, executives, managers, entrepreneurs and leaders who are energized and above all - working - to not only revive the American economy - but to save it.
The challenges, choices and changes will be daunting. As one generation ages, and leaves power after 18 years as the establishment with a record so poor in managing the economy that the world has been brought to the brink of collapse, it will not be easy for the newcomers - Generation X - to know just where to start.
"Anywhere," said a 47-year-old executive who says he has had enough of the poor leadership of Baby Boomers. "There's so much work to do that it boggles the mind."
The year 2010 is that year when it all begins, and this new decade, according to world transits, shows us that as a new generation comes into being as the establishment, they will have to deal with the realities of the mess that was left for the world to clean up while also preparing a new vision for the second and third decades of the 21st century.
All Rights Reserved 2010 Theodore White
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