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Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Cardinal Crisis - > Heavy Rains & Floods > Plus, Real Estate, Robo-Signers, ForeclosureGate, Mortgage Bonds & MERS: Brace Yourself For Shocking Revelations > Also, Robert Reich: Plutocracy A Threat To American Democracy? > Karl Denninger Speaks Out On Wall Street, Bad Banks & Illegal Foreclosures > And, Generation X: New Establishment About To Take On A New Decade > Mundane World Forecast: 2010-2015

The Cardinal Crisis

Protesters scramble during clashes in Lyon, France, October 19-20, 2010 as street confrontations has paralyzed France, now into its fourth week of mammoth general strikes & demonstrations against President Nicolas Sarkozy's plans to raise retirement age from 60 to 62, and the age to receive full pension benefits from 65 to 67. On Oct. 19 the French Senate delayed its vote for final approval of the reform but Sarkozy insists he will not back down. France faces a shortage of fuel as 12 oil refineries have been shut down by strikers, causing a run on gasoline. ->See live video of the cardinal crisis in France.
photos: Philippe Desmazes and Francois Lo Presti/AFP

Real Estate, Foreclosuregate & MERS:
Brace For Shocking Revelations

Robo-Signer Scandal:
The Maine House That Started It All


Karl Denninger on Wall Street, Bad Banks, Robo-Signing & Illegal Foreclosures


Generation X:
New Establishment Primed To Take On A New Decade


Robert Reich Asks: Is Plutocracy Threatening American Democracy?


Mundane World Forecast: 2010-2015

By Theodore White, mundane Astrolog.S

For several years I have been forecasting that historic times were on the horizon. I came to this conclusion long ago after reading thousands of astrological charts of astronomic positions of the future.

We have now entered that time in these Cardinal Crisis years.

In this edition of Global Astrology we look at the increasing heavy rains, and floods striking the world.

We also explore the Robo-Signing scandal, and the implications of the Bank and Real Estate Crisis and the threat to American democracy from robber barons and their minions.

Heavy Rains & Floods In 2010
Oct 19, 2010 -- The strongest cyclone in years to crash into the Philippines killed at least three people in early reports. The super typhoon left a wasteland of downed trees and power-line poles while sending thousands of people fleeing for safety in near-zero visibility. A retired Filipino general said bracing for the onslaught was like preparing for war. Super Typhoon Megi, racing across the northern Philippines, was forecasted to head next towards China and Vietnam, where recent floods unrelated to this typhoon have already caused deaths.

A roof is easily catapulted off a house by 200+ mile-an-hour winds as Super Typhoon Megi strikes Ilagan City, Isabela province, northern Philippines, October 18, 2010.

As Jupiter and Uranus remain conjoined by transit in tropical Pisces, I continue to urge all to be aware and mindful of the climate and weather.

The increasing levels of precipitation, storms and floods I predicted would be major climate news in 2010 continue unabated, worldwide.

The most recent events of late in the news links below:

Super Typhoon Lashes Philippines

Flooding Relief For Southern Minnesota

 Flood evacuations from super typhoon in Philippines
image: Nelson Salting/AP

Bus Swept Away From Floods In Vietnam, 20 Missing

Floods Claims Lives In Thailand

October 2010, floods in the Philippines
photo: Renzelle Mae Abasolo/WN

Sandbags, Flood Warnings Sow Confusion in Australia

Two-Thirds Of West African Nation Flooded After Heavy Rains

20 Villages Flooded And 14 Dead In Russia

Seven Million People Still Lack Shelter After Pakistan's Floods

Heavy Rains In Japan Kills 2, One Missing

China Races To Prepare For Super Typhoon

Death Toll From Indonesian Disasters Tops 400

Transits for the second half of the astrological year of 2010 continue to show heavy rains and floods throughout the world, as forecasted.

It has been and remains my contention that the world is undergoing major generational change as it is undergoing climate change.

This shift in generations sees the disasters created by the Baby Boomers piled high onto the shoulders of the incoming new establishment of Generation X, born in the 1960s and 1970s.

The astronomical configurations of the 2010s clearly reveal that the challenges of the new decade will be a result of the destructive policies and actions of the previous generation which has been in denial of the facts of aging and the passage of time while neglecting the impacts on the near and long-term future.

We can see this through a myriad of events that opens the doors of revelations to show us how, and why the economies of nations have imploded after more than a decade of corruption, greed, and incredible levels of incompetence by a generation that simply should have known better.

My forecasts on the future, by revelation of astrological transits, shows that unless positive changes are enacted, that the next decade will open the doors to some rather harsh and bloody revolutionary sentiments under the aegis of a powerful Uranus-Pluto Square.

It is clear that the outgoing establishment has made quite a mess from A to Z on the alphabet.

With double-digit unemployment; crumbling schools; failed businesses; debt-laden banks; a political system in confusion amid an anemic economy; neglected infrastructures, and a destroyed commercial and residential real estate market, it does not take a rocket scientist to understand what has been going down.

So, let's take a look at the perspective of economist and former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich, who warns that a plutocracy is threatening American democracy?

The Cardinal Crisis
A Perfect Storm?
 By Robert Reich

It’s a perfect storm. And I’m not talking about the impending dangers facing Democrats.

I’m talking about the dangers facing our democracy.

First, income in America is now more concentrated in fewer hands than it’s been in 80 years.

Almost a quarter of total income generated in the United States is going to the top 1 percent of Americans.

The top one-tenth of one percent of Americans now earn as much as the bottom 120 million of us.

Who are these people?

With the exception of a few entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, they’re top executives of big corporations and Wall Street, hedge-fund managers, and private equity managers.

 Hedge fund billionaire John Paulson

They include the Koch brothers, whose wealth increased by billions last year, and who are now funding tea party candidates across the nation.

Which gets us to the second part of the perfect storm. A relatively few Americans are buying our democracy as never before.

And they’re doing it completely in secret.

Hundreds of millions of dollars are pouring into advertisements for and against candidates  — without a trace of where the dollars are coming from.

They’re laundered through a handful of groups.

 Republican political fund Operative Fred Maleck. A graduate of Harvard Business School, Malek earned much of his wealth in prestigious private-sector gigs, including positions at Marriott Corp., Sun Line Cruises, The Carlyle Group, Fannie Mae and Northwest Airlines. Washington Life included Malek in its Most Wealthy List issue which put him in its $200 million-to-$300 million bracket.

Fred Maleck, whom you may remember as deputy director of Richard Nixon’s notorious Committee to Reelect the President (dubbed "CREEP" in the Watergate scandal), is running one of them.

Republican operative Karl Rove runs another. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a third.

The Supreme Court’s Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Commission made it possible. The Federal Election Commission says only 32 percent of groups paying for election ads are disclosing the names of their donors.

By comparison, in the 2006 midterm, 97 percent disclosed; in 2008, almost half disclosed.

We’re back to the late 19th century when the lackeys of robber barons literally deposited sacks of cash on the desks of friendly legislators.

The public never knew who was bribing whom.

Just before it recessed the House passed a bill that would require that the names of all such donors be publicly disclosed.

But it couldn’t get through the Senate.

Every Republican voted against it.

To see how far the GOP has come, nearly ten years ago campaign disclosure was supported by 48 of 54 Republican senators.

Here’s the third part of the perfect storm.

Most Americans are in trouble. Their jobs, incomes, savings, and even homes are on the line.

They need a government that’s working for them, not for the privileged and the powerful.

Yet their state and local taxes are rising. And their services are being cut.

Teachers and firefighters are being laid off.

The roads and bridges they count on are crumbling, pipelines are leaking, schools are dilapidated, and public libraries are being shut.

There’s no jobs bill to speak of.

No WPA to hire those who can’t find jobs in the private sector.

Unemployment insurance doesn’t reach half of the unemployed.

Washington says nothing can be done. There’s no money left.

No money?

The marginal income tax rate on the very rich is the lowest it’s been in more than 80 years.

Under President Dwight Eisenhower (who no one would have accused of being a radical) it was 91 percent.

Now it’s 36 percent. Congress is even fighting over whether to end the temporary Bush tax cut for the rich and return them to the Clinton top tax of 39 percent.

Much of the income of the highest earners is treated as capital gains, anyway — subject to a 15 percent tax.

The typical hedge-fund and private-equity manager paid only 17 percent last year. Their earnings were not exactly modest.

The top 15 hedge-fund managers earned an average of $1 billion.

Congress won’t even return to the estate tax in place during the Clinton administration – which applied only to those in the top 2 percent of incomes.

It won’t limit the tax deductions of the very rich, which include interest payments on multi-million dollar mortgages.

Yet Wall Street refuses to allow homeowners who can’t meet mortgage payments to include their primary residence in personal bankruptcy.

There’s plenty of money to help stranded Americans, just not the political will to raise it.

And at the rate secret money is flooding our political system, even less political will in the future.

The perfect storm:

An unprecedented concentration of income and wealth at the top; a record amount of secret money flooding our democracy; and a public becoming increasingly angry and cynical about a government that’s raising its taxes, reducing its services, and unable to get it back to work.

We’re losing our democracy to a different system.

It’s called plutocracy.

Speaking of Pluto, the planet, is now transiting tropical Capricorn where it will remain until the mid-2020s.

This planet will be squared by Uranus during much of the next decade of the 2010s. A remnant of the Cardinal inclinations which began in earnest this year, we have not seen the last of the Cardinal Crisis years, as I forecasted here on Global Astrology.

That Uranus-Pluto square pits the "plutocracy" against, well, everyone else, including the Middle class and the new poor, who have been assaulted from nearly every angle of their lives. 

I had previously forecasted that the rampant financial corruption and fraud which has been ongoing for over a decade would eventually return to bite into the asses of those who perpetrated it on the American public and world at large. 

If you think people are pissed now, you haven't seen anything yet

Believe it.

Wait until you hear about the massive corruption and fraud perpetuated against investors in the mortgage bond market.

In fact, that noise is just being sounded now, and the clock is most surely ticking, as forecasted here on Global Astrology.

I also warned that people who have nothing to lose often lose it, as trends forecaster Gerald Celente likes to say. He is correct.

People will contend harshly with those believed to have started, fueled and maintained the crushing economic and societal blows throughout the world as a result of the actions of Wall Street players, mortgage companies, banks, hedge fund moguls, their cronies and the politicians who serve them. 

The American public, like Rocky Balboa, may have been bullied and beaten on, but American families are still very much in this fight.

It isn't over yet, and according to world transits there is more to come. A lot more. 

As mundane astrologers like say, "what goes around... comes around."  

Let's take a look at one area where the widespread bullying and frontal assaults on hard-working families has been done by those who falsely believe they are above the U.S. Constitution - the law of the land. 

Those hedge fund players, the billionaire gamblers who made a mess of the U.S. economy are very worried. 

They should be. 

Writer Joshua Brown explains why: 

"The mortgage fraud cost estimates for banks are a bit like Quarterback Ryan Leaf – all over the place and without any accuracy whatsoever. 

We’re hearing estimates of anywhere from a few hundred million bucks to as much as $200 billion! 

And in the meantime, Bank of America (BAC) is telling us that they’ve found nothing wrong in their foreclosure process and that after halting all activity in 50 states, they are now back in business in half the country. 

There are currently 7 million foreclosures in the housing market that need to be worked through and any delay will be costly for large lenders like B of A. 

Should the states or the courts decide that many of these securitized mortgage-backed bonds are structured fraudulently (no one knows which mortgage is owned by whom), there is a possibility that the banks may have to buy them back due to a clause on most of this paper called the Put-Back

In the absence of anything even resembling a consensus on how big the costs of mortgage put-backs may be, the temptation is to simply say, Who Cares? 

Well, I’ll tell you who cares… 

For starters, how about hedge fund manager John Paulson

With a stake in Bank of America of 167 million shares, Mr. Paulson has about 2 billion reasons to care about how big their put-back exposure is. 

Mutual fund monster Bruce Berkowitz (Fairholme) has about 667 million reasons to give a damn (54 million shares held). 

Hedgie David Tepper of Appaloosa Management, no slouch himself in the “reflation trade”, has about 337 million reasons to care (27 million shares.) 

These three (3) investors make up the Triumvirate of the Reflationista Trade. These are the ultimate Don’t-Fight-The-Fed-ers. 

That they are all in the same trade, BAC, is not a surprise – it is the quintessential call option on housing and employment. 

But they may not have bargained for the foreclosure mess that has hit the media with the gale-force wind of 2007’s sub-prime storm. 

Whether or not this particular storm blows over – or spills over – is very much of interest to Paulson, Berkowitz and Tepper, make no mistake." 

You see, when anything is done, like planning a major scheme such as the hedge fund kingpins did years ago, securitizing mortgages into bonds they knew was bad paper, they failed to mind astrological transits

Remember, what goes around, comes around.

If they had been advised by a mundane astrologer they would have been told, "don't do it." 

Not that they would have listened, since all they see is $$ signs. 

But, the signs they should have been seeing were astrological ones. 

Foreclosure Expert Confirms Mortgages Were Pledged Multiple Times, But Not Actually Securitized?


Washington's Blog

The Document Problem Is Really A System of "Push-Button Fraud"

October 20, 2010 -- Yesterday, I showed that mortgages were fraudulently pledged to multiple buyers at the same time.

Today, foreclosure expert Neil Garfield (former investment banker, trial lawyer and board member of several financial institutions) confirms this, explains that the loans were not actually securitized, and the whole "sloppy paperwork" excuse is really an attempt to explain away a system of push-button fraud:

"The game was to move money under a scheme of deceit and fraud. 

First, sell the bonds and collect the money into a pool. 

Second, take your fees.

Third, take what’s left and get it committed into “loans” (which were in actuality securities) sold to homeowners under the same false pretenses as the bonds were sold to investors. 

By controlling the flow of funds and documentation, the middlemen were able to sell, pledge and otherwise trade off the flow of receivables several times over — a necessary complexity not only for the profit it generated, but to make it far more difficult for anyone to track the footprints in the sand.

If the loans had actually been securitized, the issue would not arise. They were not securitized."

 This was a mass illusion or hallucination induced by Wall Street spiking the punch bowl.

The gap (second tier yield spread premium) created between the amount of money funded by investors and the amount of money actually deployed into “loans” was so large that it could not be justified as fees.

It was profit on sale from the aggregator to the “trust” (special purpose vehicle).

It was undisclosed, deceitful and fraudulent.

Thus the “credit enhancement” scenario with tranches, credit default swaps and insurance had to be created so that it appeared that the gap was covered.

But, that could only work if the parties to those contracts claimed to have the loans. And since multiple parties were making the same claim in these side contracts and guarantees, counter-party agreements, etc...

The actual documents could not be allowed to appear, nor even be created unless, and until it was at the end of the road in an evidential hearing in court. 

They used [this tactic] when necessary “copies” that were in fact fabricated (counterfeited) as needed to suit the occasion.

You ended up with lawyers arriving in court with the “original” note signed in blue (for the desired effect on the Judge) when it was signed in black — but the lawyer didn’t know that.

The actual original is either destroyed or "lost." (See Katherine Porter’s 2007 study.)

In this case “lost” doesn’t mean really lost.

It means that if they really must come up with something that they will call an "original" - then they will do so.

So the reason why the paperwork is all out of order is that there was no paperwork.

There are only entries on databases and spreadsheets.

The loans were not in actuality assigned to any one particular trust, or any one particular bond, or any one particular individual, or group of investors. 

They were “allocated” as receivables, multiple times to multiple parties - usually to an extent in excess of the nominal receivable itself.

This is why the servicers keep paying on loans that are being declared in default.

The essential component of every loan that was never revealed to either the lenders (investors) nor the borrowers (homeowner/investors) was the addition of co-obligors and terms that neither the investor nor the borrower knew anything about.

The “insurance” and other enhancements were actually cover for the intermediaries who had no money at risk in the loans, but for the potential liability for defrauding the lenders and borrowers.
The result, as anyone can plainly see, is that of the typical Ponzi outcome — heads I win, tails you lose
So the paperwork was carefully created and crafted to cover the tracks of theft.
Most of the securitization paperwork remains buried; such that it takes search services to reach any of them.
The documents that were needed to record title and encumbrances was finessed so that they could keep their options open when someone made demands for actual proof.
The documents were not messed up and neither was the processing.
They were just keeping their options open. So like the salad oil scandal, they could fill the tank that someone wanted to look into." 
Dr. Goebbels would be very proud of all you MBA boys. 

So, in reality, these corrupted bankers, their "servicers" and our hedge-fund moguls are about to get a very painful lesson, not only on astrological transits, but also on the importance of being earnest - compliments of our Founding Fathers and the American public. 

When will the financial community ever learn to read the U.S. Constitution? 

It is so much more than just a piece of paper. 

It is the law of the land.

See link below:


The Cardinal Crisis
"Sir, um... Foreclosure Central Has Just Been Knocked Out Cold."

NO, There's No Life At MERS

By Damian Figueroa

Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc (MERS) has a very long history. The beginning stages have remained a mystery until now. 

In 1989, Brian Hershkowitz developed the “Whole Loan Book Entry” concept while serving as a director for the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). 

In 1990, he first introduced this concept to seven different industry group; Document Custodian, Originators, Servicers, Title Insurers, County Recorders, Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE’s) and Warehouse/Interim Lenders. 

The reception was very positive and it was viewed as a very useful recording system to be used for how equity and debt securities could be identified and managed. 

In 1991, Mr. Hershkowtiz published Farming It Out in Mortgage Banking Magazine. His main discussion in this article is primarily about getting the opinion of the experts in the technology outsourcing service industry. 

In 1992, Mr. Hershkowitz published another article called Cutting Edge Solutions in Mortgage Banking Magazine. 

In this particular article he mentions the actual meeting that took place at the Mortgage Bankers Association of America (MBA) headquarters with many key players that are known today as some of MERSCORP’s shareholders, such as, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. 

In this meeting they discussed a “System” that will bring changes in mortgage records. 

Mr. Hershkowitz went on to become President and COO of LandSafe Credit, a leading settlement service provider that was a subsidiary of Countrywide. 

Mr. Hershkowitz also spent several years serving Countrywide in the areas of strategic planning and executive management. In 2001, Mr. Hershkowitz became Executive Vice President at Fidelity National Information Services (FNIS) and President of its mortgage and information services division. 

His responsibilities included management of the Company’s data offerings, including public records information, credit reporting information, flood hazard compliance data, real estate tax information and collateral valuation services. 

He left FNIS in November of 2006 to become Chief Executive Officer of Maximum Value Group, a consulting firm focused on providing advice to private equity and other market participants in the area of banking and mortgages.

The XXXXXXX-Files?

MERS has evolved into a totally different purpose today. 

Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of MERSCORP Inc., located at 1595 Spring Hill Road, Suite #310, Vienna, Virginia 22182. 

MERS was founded by the mortgage industry. 

MERS tracks “changes” in the ownership of the beneficial and servicing interests of mortgage loans as they are bought and sold among MERS members or others. 

Simultaneously, MERS acts as the “mortgagee” of record in a “nominee” capacity (a form of agency) for the beneficial owners of these loans. 

To ensure widespread acceptance within the industry, MERS sought to have security instruments modified to contain MERS as the original mortgagee (MOM) language. 

MERS began to change decades of business practices after the two biggest mortgage funders in the U.S. the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) and the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) modified their Uniform Security Instruments to include MOM language. 

Their approval opened the doors to incorporate MERS into loans at origination. 

Soon after, U.S. government agencies like the Veterans Administration, Federal Housing administration and Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae), and several state housing agencies followed both Fannie/Freddie to approve MERS. 

More than 60 percent of all newly-originated mortgages are registered in MERS. Its mission is to register every mortgage loan in the United States on the MERS System. 

Since 1997, more than 65 million home mortgages have been assigned a Mortgage Identification Number (MIN) and have been registered on the MERS System. 

The mortgage-backed security (MBS) sector tested the viability of MERS because a substantial number of mortgages are securitized in the secondary market. 

In February 1999, Lehman Brothers was the first company to include MERS registered loans in a MBS. 

Moody’s Investor Service issued an independent Structured Finance special report on MERS and it’s impact of MBS transactions and found that where the securitzer used MERS, new assignments of mortgages to the trustee of MBS transactions were not necessary

Since MERS is a privately owned data system and not public, all mortgages and assignments must be recorded in order to perfect a lien. 

Since they failed to record assignments when these loans often traded ownership several times before any assignment was created, the legal issue is apparent. 

MERS may have destroyed the public land records by breaking the chain of title to millions of homes.

See -> Mortgages Which Can Legally Only Be Sold Once - Were Sold Again and Again...

In MERS CEO's Own Words

 In, or around the summer of 1997, MERSCORP President and CEO R.K. Arnold wrote, “Yes, There is life on MERS,” Mr. Arnold stated,

“Some county recorders have expressed concerns that MERS will eliminate their offices nationwide or destroy the public land records by breaking the chain of title. 

As implemented, MERS will not create a break in the chain of title, and, because MERS is premised on an assignment recorded in the public land records, MERS cannot work without county recorders.” 

In this same article Mr. Arnold also states:

“The sheer volume of transfers between servicing companies and the resulting need to record assignments caused a heavy drag on the secondary market. Loan servicing can trade several times before even the first assignment in a chain is recorded, leaving the public land records clogged with unnecessary assignments. Sometimes these assignments are recorded in the wrong sequence, clouding title to the property." 

Mr. Arnold never mentions the fact that the mortgage notes have been securitized, thereby becoming “negotiable securities” under the Uniform Commercial Code. 

In an interview for The New York Times, Mr. Arnold said, “that his company had benefited not only banks, but also millions of borrowers who could not have obtained loans without the money-saving efficiencies MERS brought to the mortgage trade.” 

Mr. Arnold went on to say that,

”... far from posing a hurdle for homeowners, MERS had helped reduce mortgage fraud and imposed order on a sprawling industry where, in the past, lenders might have gone out of business and left no contact information for borrowers seeking assistance.”

“We’re not this big bad animal,” Mr. Arnold said. “This crisis that we’ve had in the mortgage business would have been a lot worse without MERS.”

Unfortunately, even a simple search in the Florida Land Records proves the opposite to be the case. 

Researchers have easily found affidavits of lost assignments actually stating, “the said mortgage was assigned to Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., from “XXXXXXX”, the original of the said assignment to Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., was lost, misplaced or destroyed before same could be placed of record with the Florida Land Records County Clerk’s office.

That, “XXXXXXX”, it’s successors and/or assignee is no longer in business/or do not respond to our request for a duplicate assignment, and therefore, a duplicate original of said assignment cannot be obtained.” 

According to affidavits such as these, not only have the borrowers lost contact with the lenders, but the same is true that MERS did as well. 

On September 25, 2009, Mr. R.K. Arnold was deposed in Alabama

Mr. Arnold admitted MERS does not have a beneficial interest in any loan, does not loan money and does not suffer a default if monies are not paid. 

On November 11, 2009, William C. Hultman was deposed in Alabama and made the same admissions. 

Yet again, researchers have easily located affidavits recorded in the Florida Land Records stating - “That said Deed of Trust has not been assigned to any other party and that MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, Inc. is the current holder and owner of the Note and Deed of Trust in question.”

No, There's No Life At MERS?

Aside from not recording assignments, Mr. Arnold failed to mention that the certifying officers given authority to execute sensitive loan documents would not be paid employees of MERS. 

This raises the critical legal question as to how one can act as a certified officer and execute any equitable interest on behalf of any security instruments without being an employee of MERS?

On April 7, 2010, in the Superior Court of New Jersey, MERS Treasurer and Secretary William C. Hultman gave an oral sworn video/telephone deposition in the case of Bank Of New York v. Ukpe:

QUESTION: "Do the assistant secretaries — first off, are
you a salaried employee of MERS?
Q: "Are you a salaried employee of MERS Corp,
A: "Yes."
Q: "Are any of the employees of MERS, Inc.
salaried employees?"
A: "I don’t understand your question."
Q: "Does anyone get a paycheck, if they are an
employee of MERS, Inc., do they get a paycheck from
Mercer, Inc.?"
A: "There is no MERS, Inc."
Q: "I thought, sir, there’s a company that was
formed January 1, 1999, Mortgage Electronic Registration
Systems, Inc. Does it have paid employees?"
A: "No, it does not."
Q: "Does it have employees?"
A: "No."
Q: "Does MERS have any employees?"
A: "Did they ever have any? I couldn’t hear you."
Q: "Does MERS have any employees currently?"
A: "No."
Q: "In the last five years has MERS had any
A: "No."
Q: "How many assistant secretaries have you
appointed pursuant to the April 9, 1998 resolution; how
many assistant secretaries of MERS have you appointed?"
A: "I don’t know that number."
Q: "Approximately?"
A: "I wouldn’t even begin to be able to tell you
right now."
Q: "Is it in the thousands?"
A: "Yes."
Q: "Have you been doing this all around the
country in every state in the country?"
A: "Yes."
Q: "And all these officers I understand are unpaid
officers of MERS?"
A: "Yes."
Q: "And there’s no live person who is an employee
of MERS that they report to, is that correct, who is an employee?"
A: "There are no employees of MERS."
If so, how does anyone have any authority to sign security instruments encumbered by any loan documents? 

[That is] if these certifying officers are not paid employees and never attend corporate meetings in the capacity as Vice President, Assistant Secretary, etc. with Mortgage Electronic Registration System, Inc.?

U.S. Courts Find Issues With MERS

Federal and state judges across America are realizing that the mortgage industry’s nominee is backfiring. 

In Mr. Arnold’s own words, “For these servicing companies to perform their duties satisfactorily, the note and mortgage were bifurcated. 

The investor or its designee held the note and named the servicing company as mortgagee, a structure that became standard.” 

What has become a satisfactory standard structure for the mortgage industry has not been found by many courts to be legally sufficient to foreclose upon the property. 

Again, MERS only acts as nominee for the mortgagee of record for any mortgage loan registered on the computer system MERS maintains, called the MERS System. 

MERS cannot negotiate a security instrument. Therefore, MERS certifying officers cannot have legal standing to assign what MERS does not own or hold. 

The Supreme Court of New York Nassau County:
Bank of New York Mellon V. Juan Mojica Index No: 26203/09

Justice Thomas A. Adams stated, “Not only has plaintiff failed to establish MERS’ right as a nominee for purposes of recording to assign the mortgage, more importantly, no effort has been made to establish the authority of MERS, a non-party to the note, to transfer its ownership.”

The Supreme Court of Maine:

Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. v. Saunders, No. 09-640, 2010 WL 3168374,
(Me. August 12, 2010.) 

The Court explains that the only rights conveyed to MERS in either the Saunders’ mortgage or the corresponding promissory note are bare legal title to the property for the sole purpose of recording the mortgage and the corresponding right to record the mortgage with the Registry of Deeds. 

This comports with the limited role of a nominee. 

A nominee is a “person designated to act in place of another, usu[ally] in a very limited way,” or a “party who holds bare legal title for the benefit of others or who receives and distributes funds for the benefit of others.” Black’s Law Dictionary 1149 (9th ed. 2009).

In Hawkins, No. BK-S-07-13593-LBR, 2009 WL 901766

The Court found that the deed of trust “attempts to name MERS as both beneficiary and a nominee” but held that MERS was not the beneficiary, as it had “no rights whatsoever to any payments, to any servicing rights, or to any of the properties secured by the loans.”

In Re: Walker, Case No. 10-21656-E-11 Eastern District of CA Bankruptcy court rules MERS has NO actionable interest in title. 

“Any attempt to transfer the beneficial interest of a trust deed without ownership of the underlying note is void under California law.” 

“MERS could not, as a matter of law, have transferred the note to Citibank from the original lender, Bayrock Mortgage Corp.” 

The Court’s ruled that MERS and Citibank are not the real parties in interest.

In re Vargas, 396 B.R. at 517-19

 Judge Bufford found that the witness called to testify as to debt and default was incompetent. 

All the witness could testify was that he had looked at the MERS computerized records. 

The witness was unable to satisfy the requirements of the Federal Rules of Evidence, particularly Rule 803, as applied to computerized records in the Ninth Circuit. See id. at 517-20.

“The low level employee could really only testify that the MERS screen shot he reviewed reflected a default. 

That really is not much in the way of evidence, and not nearly enough to get around the hearsay rule.”

Frauds Perpetrated On U.S. Courts?

In US Bank v. Harpster the Law Offices Of David J. Stern committed fraud on the court by the evidence based on the Assignment of Mortgage that was created and notarized on December 5, 2007. 

However, that purported creation/notarization date was facially impossible: the stamp on the notary was dated May 19, 2012. 

"Since Notary commissions only last four years in Florida (see F .S. Section 117.01 (l), the notary stamp used on this instrument did not even exist until approximately five months after the purported date on the Assignment. 

The Court specifically finds that the purported Assignment did not exist at the time of filing of this action; that the purported Assignment was subsequently created and the execution date and notarial date were fraudulently backdated, in a purposeful, intentional effort to mislead the Defendant and this Court. 

The Court rejects the Assignment and finds that is not entitled to introduction in evidence for any purpose. The Court finds that the Plaintiff does not have standing to bring its action."

The Court dismissed this case with prejudice. 

In Duval County, Florida another foreclosure case was dismissed with prejudice for fraud on the court. 

In JPMorgan V. Pocopanni, the Court found that Fishman & Shapiro representing JPMorgan had actual knowledge at all times that the Complaint, the Assignment, and the Motion for Substitution were all false. 

The Court found that by clear and convincing evidence WAMU, Chase and Shapiro & Fishman committed fraud on this court. 

Both these cases involved Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. assignments.

Fraud Investigations & RICO Class Actions

Two RICO Class Action lawsuits have commenced against Foreclosure Law Firms and MERSCORP for fabricating and forging documents that are entered into courts as evidence in order to have standing to foreclose

Unknown to judges and the borrowers, they accept these documents because they are executed under perjury of the law. 

These “tromp l’oeil” actions have finally surfaced and the courts has taking notice. 

The lack of supervision and managing of MERS “Robo-Signers” has led to a national frenzy of fabrication, forgery and certifying officers wearing multiple corporate hats

Anyone who compares signatures of these certifying officers will see a major problem with forgery in hundreds of thousands affidavits and assignments which creates an enormous dark cloud of title defects to millions of homes across the United States. 

On August 10, 2010 Florida attorney general Bill McCollum announced that he is investigating three foreclosure law firms for allegedly providing fraudulent assignments and affidavits relating in foreclosure cases. 

In a deposition taken in December 2009, GMAC employee Jeffrey Stephan said he signed 10,000 affidavits or similar documents a month without personally verifying who the mortgage holder was. 

That means many foreclosures could have taken place based on false documentation and many homes may have been unlawfully foreclosed on. 

On September 20, 2010, GMAC halted foreclosures in 23 different states. 

Two of the three firms being investigated by the Florida attorney general, the Law Office of Marshall C. Watson and the Law Offices of David J. Stern PA, have represented GMAC in foreclosure proceedings. 

This is not limited to only GMAC Mortgage. There are many hundreds of thousands of these same documents that are being created by many foreclosure law firms across the nation. 

University of Utah law professor Christopher L. Peterson has raised the issue that MERS should be regarded as a debt collector. 

He argues that some of MERS’ methods are just the sort of deceptive practices that ought to be regulated under The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U. S. C. §1692(a),(j).


Finally in May, 2009, Mr. Arnold said in Mortgage Technology Magazine:

“Every system in the mortgage industry can switch MERS registry on or off at will,” referencing that both the Obama administration and Congressional leaders are aware of this. 

President Obama and Congressional leaders it is time to permanently switch MERS lifeless device off! 

Not until MERS became the primary focus for challenges to legal standing in foreclosure courts as reported as the alternative media, have the main stream media and the mortgage industry have begun to realize that property records cross the United States have become totally unreliable. 

It has taken more than a decade for the courts to recognize that MERS has become a mortgage backfire system leaving clouded titles in over 65 million loans since 1997. 

Courts across the nation must comply with the law. 

Any documents submitted to the courts regarding property ownership should be assumed to be nothing but smoke in a mirror.

No, Mr. Arnold, there’s no life at MERS.


Robo-Signing: The Home That Started It All

 Nicolle Bradbury bought her Denmark, Maine home for $75,000 and stopped paying the mortgage two years ago. 
image: New York Times

 Denmark, Maine -- The house that set off the national furor over faulty foreclosures is blue-gray and weathered. 

The porch is piled with furniture and knickknacks awaiting the next yard sale. In the driveway is a busted pickup truck. 

No one who lives there is going anywhere anytime soon.

Nicolle Bradbury bought this house seven years ago for $75,000, a major step up from the trailer she had been living in with her family.

But she lost her job and the $474 monthly mortgage payment became difficult, then impossible.

It should have been a routine foreclosure, with Mrs. Bradbury joining the anonymous millions quietly dispossessed since the recession began.

But she was savvy enough to contact a nonprofit group, Pine Tree Legal Assistance, where for once in her 38 years, she caught a break.

Her file was pulled, more or less at random, by Thomas A. Cox, a retired lawyer who volunteers at Pine Tree.

He happened to know something about foreclosures because when he worked for a bank he did them all the time.

Twenty years later, he had switched sides and, he says, was trying to make amends.

Suddenly, there is a frenzy over foreclosures. Every attorney general in the country is participating in an investigation into the flawed paperwork and questionable methods behind many of them.

A Senate hearing is scheduled, and federal inquiries have begun.

The housing market, which runs on foreclosure sales, is in turmoil.

Bank stocks fell on Thursday as analysts tried to gauge the impact on lenders' bottom lines.

All of this is largely because Mr. Cox realized almost immediately that Mrs. Bradbury's foreclosure file did not look right.

The documents from the lender, GMAC Mortgage, were approved by an employee whose title was "limited signing officer," an indication to the lawyer that his knowledge of the case was effectively nonexistent.

Mr. Cox eventually won the right to depose the employee, who casually acknowledged that he had prepared 400 foreclosures a day for GMAC and that contrary to his sworn statements, they had not been reviewed by him or anyone else.

GMAC, the country's fourth-largest mortgage lender, called this omission a technicality but was forced last month to halt foreclosures in the 23 states, including Maine, where they must be approved by a court.

Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and other lenders that used Robo-signers — the term caught on instantly - have enacted their own freezes.

The tragedy of foreclosure is that some homeowners may be able to stay where they are if their lenders are more interested in modification than eviction.

Without a job, Mrs. Bradbury is not one of them. Her family, including her 14-year-old daughter and 16-year-old son, lives on welfare and food stamps.

"A lot of people say we just want a free ride," Mrs. Bradbury said. "That's not it. I've worked since I was 14. I'm not lazy. I'm just trying to keep us together. If we lost the house, my family would have to break up."

It has been two years since she last paid the mortgage, which surprises even her lawyers. "Had GMAC followed the legal requirements, she would have lost her home a long time ago," acknowledged Geoffrey S. Lewis, another lawyer handling her case.

GMAC, which began as the financing arm of General Motors, has received $17 billion from taxpayers in an effort to keep it from failing and is now majority-owned by the federal government.

A spokeswoman for the lender declined to comment on Mrs. Bradbury's case because it was still being litigated.

John J. Aromando of the firm of Pierce Atwood in Portland, Me., the lawyer for GMAC and Fannie Mae, the mortgage holding company that owns Mrs. Bradbury's loan, did not return calls for comment.

Fannie Mae and GMAC, which serviced the loan for Fannie, have now most likely spent more to dislodge Mrs. Bradbury than her house is worth.

Yet for all their efforts, they are not only losing this case, but also potentially laying the groundwork for foreclosure challenges nationwide.

"This ammunition will be front and center in thousands of foreclosure cases," said Don Saunders of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association.

Just a few miles from the New Hampshire border, this slice of Maine does not have much in the way of industry or, for that matter, people.

Mrs. Bradbury grew up around here, married and had her children here, and married for a second time here. Her parents still live nearby.

In 2003, her brother-in-law at the time offered to sell her a house on property adjacent to his.

It was across from a noisy construction supply site. But it was ringed by maple, evergreen and willow trees, and who does not want to be a homeowner, especially when GMAC Mortgage will give you a loan for the entire purchase price and then another loan to improve the property?

"I was very happy," she remembered. "It was a new beginning."

But Mrs. Bradbury lost her job as an employment counselor in 2006 and did part-time work after that.

Her husband, Scott, was in poor health and had other problems. He could not work as a roofer. She fell behind and got a modification from GMAC. It increased her monthly payments and provided no relief.

Finally, in late 2008, she stopped paying altogether, and GMAC asked a court to approve her eviction without a trial.

By the summer of 2009, this removal was well under way when Mr. Cox picked up her file.

Mr. Cox, 66, worked in the late 1980s and early 1990s for Maine National Bank, a subsidiary of the Bank of New England, which went under.

His job was to call in small-business loans. The borrowers had often pledged their houses as collateral, which meant foreclosure. "It was extraordinarily unpleasant, but it paid well," he said. "I had a family to support."

The work exacted its cost: his marriage ended and a serious depression began. He gave up law and found solace in building houses.

By April 2008, he said, he was sufficiently recovered and started volunteering at Pine Tree Legal.

By the time Mr. Cox saw Mrs. Bradbury's case, it was just about over.

Last January, Judge Keith A. Powers of the Ninth District Court of Maine approved the foreclosure, leaving the case alive only to establish exactly how much Mrs. Bradbury owed.

Mr. Cox vowed to a colleague that he would expose GMAC's process and its limited signing officer, Jeffrey Stephan.

A lawyer in another foreclosure case had already deposed Mr. Stephan, but Mr. Cox wanted to take the questioning much further.

In June, he got his chance. A few weeks later, he spelled out in a court filing what he had learned from the Robo-signer:

"When Stephan says in an affidavit that he has personal knowledge of the facts stated in his affidavits - he doesn't.

When he says that he has custody and control of the loan documents - he doesn't.

When he says that he is attaching 'a true and accurate' copy of a note or a mortgage, he has no idea if that is so, because he does not look at the exhibits.

When he makes any other statement of fact, he has no idea if it is true.

When the notary says that Stephan appeared before him or her - he didn't."

GMAC's reaction to the deposition was to hire two new law firms, including Mr. Aromando's firm, among the most prominent in the state.

They argued that what Mrs. Bradbury and her lawyers were doing was simply a "dodge": she had not paid her mortgage and should be evicted.

They also said that Mr. Cox, despite working pro bono, had taken the deposition "to prejudice and influence the public" against GMAC for his own commercial benefit.

They asked that the transcript be deleted from any blog that had posted it and that it be put under court seal.

In a ruling late last month, Judge Powers said that GMAC, despite its expensive legal talent and the fact that it got "a second bite of the apple" by filing amended foreclosure papers, still could not get this eviction right.

Even the amended documents did not bother to include the actual street address of the property it was trying to seize, reason enough, the judge wrote, to reject the request for immediate foreclosure without a trial.

But Judge Powers went further than that, saying that GMAC had been admonished in a Florida court for using robo-signers four years ago but had persisted.

"It is well past the time for such practices to end," he wrote, adding that GMAC had acted "in bad faith" by submitting Mr. Stephan's material:

"Filing such a document without significant regard for its accuracy, which the court in ordinary circumstances may never be able to investigate or otherwise verify, is a serious and troubling matter." 

It was not a complete loss for GMAC - Judge Powers declined to find the lender in contempt - but nearly so.

GMAC was ordered, as a penalty, to pay Mr. Cox personally what he would have been paid for his work on the deposition and related matters had he been charging Mrs. Bradbury. That, he says, is $27,000.

The court's ruling on GMAC's "bad faith" is already being taken up by foreclosure defense lawyers around the country.

Mr. Cox "did a remarkable job of proving the lenders not only rubber-stamped these loans on the front end, but they rubber-stamped them on the back end," said Mr. Saunders of the legal aid group.

GMAC, which this week expanded its foreclosure freeze to the entire country, is not giving up on Mrs. Bradbury. It will try for the third time to evict her when the case goes to trial this winter.

If Mrs. Bradbury is not quite victorious, she is still in her house, and for her that is the only thing that counts. If she can get her pickup fixed, she will go back to looking for a job.

"I am not leaving," she said this week, standing out on her front lawn, the autumn splendor spread all around her. "We have nowhere to go."

The Cardinal Crisis
Are Banks Stealing Properties Without Due Process?

Editorial By Karl Denninger
The Market Ticker

Most of you have probably heard by now about the family that was foreclosed on in California, their home was resold, refurbished, and they then effectively "stole it back" with their attorney and a locksmith breaking in and re-taking possession.

Conejo Capital Partners has published "the other side of the story", and it makes several good points - some of which I believe deserve exposition and discussion:

"On January 28, 2010 the property was sold thru a public auction at the trustee sale held at the Ventura County Court House. Each month this same process occurs thousands of times across the nation as a method for banks to take back or dispose of the property that is not being paid for. Conejo Capital was the “successful” bidder. 

Shortly thereafter the former bank issued the title and it was legally recorded with Conejo Capital Partners LLC as the new owner of the property. At the time all we knew about the property was that the former homeowners purchased it in 2001 for $539,000, and that they later refinanced it, pulling equity out, resulting in debt of roughly $1,000,000."
We start here.

How do we wind up with someone who purchased a home for $500,000 then pulling another $500,000 in what amounts to phantom equity out?  

Well, that's simple: We had Wall Street banks that were more than happy to trade on this phantom, false, and maliciously-inflated "equity", driven by a central bank and cronies in Washington DC that were all too happy to look the other way at rampant lawlessness for nearly a decade

The genesis of this problem came there, but nobody - and I do mean nobody - wants to talk about that or take responsibility for it.  Why not

There are hundred of billions of reasons why, and they're paid to Wall Street "talent" every year.

"On Saturday October 9, 2010, the Earls and their attorney followed through with their previous threats and took the law into their own hands. They hired a locksmith to break into the Mustang home. 

They had arranged to have TV news cameras filming their actions, and then proceeded to hold a press conference stating that they were within their rights and that we (Conejo Capital Partners) had somehow violated the law. 

All along the Simi Valley Police Department sat idle and refused to get involved no matter how much proof was offered supporting our legal rights and position. We were told that we needed to resolve it in front of a judge even though it had already been decided."

Why are you surprised?

More to the point, why is anyone surprised? 

Look, this is what happens when you sit idly by and countenance rampant and outrageous lawbreaking: The people decide they'll do it too! 

As for the police telling you that they won't get involved, cry me a river.

There's a lady here in Florida who was not in foreclosure, the bank did not have a judgment of possession, and they hired a company to break into her home and change the locks - with her inside. 

That's breaking and entering anywhere, it's a serious felony, and in Florida at least a homeowner confronted with this is within his rights to shoot the people doing it. 

Yet when the Sheriff responded he refused to arrest the perpetrators. It sounds like Conejo ran into the same problem. 

I'd be sympathetic, but I can't be so long as they do not demand that the same sanction attach to all the illegal bank activities in regard to these repossessions as well. 

Of course, Conejo didn't do that.

Two wrongs don't make a right - just more wrongs. 

But the lesson here isn't that a couple and their kids "re-took" possession and claim their original foreclosure was "illegal."  

I don't know if it was or wasn't - what I know is that the chain of lawlessness didn't start with them, and it is impossible to condemn their actions standing alone. 

If the foreclosure was unlawful and initiated with "Robo-signed" and bogus documents then it was. 

The Earls apparently attempted to demand a jury trial on the facts (including these facts) and were told to go to hell. 

Someone hasn't read their Constitution lately - it says that for all controversies exceeding $20, you have a right to a trial by jury (7th Amendment.)

It doesn't say that if it's inconvenient for a bank and might expose criminal fraud for which bank officers could be imprisoned the judge can tell you to pound sand.  

That, standing alone, broke the chain of lawful behavior in the instant case. 

This is where lawlessness leads us - to more lawlessness. 

Once you commit a lawless act against someone and are not punished for it you have invited them to retaliate with complete disregard for the law in their response. 

 You are only required to deal ethically and morally with an ethical and moral entity across the table - one who ignores the law loses their right to demand that respect in return

This mess begins with the securitization and sale of these mortgages in the first instance. It begins with whether or not the original banks actually transferred the notes at all (there's plenty of evidence they did not) and whether the representations and warranties were complied with when these securities were sold to investors (we know in many cases - if not all - they were not, from FCIC sworn testimony.)  

We have turned a blind eye to these lawless acts for the better part of a decade - not one indictment has issued for securities fraud over these matters. 

And it's not just mortgages - we know banks were involved in ripping off communities such as Jefferson County, we know they are alleged to have been involved in rigging municipal debt offerings (which raised the cost of living for everyone through higher taxes) and yet not one bank officer or bank itself has been placed under indictment for any of it. 

Further, the FBI warned in 2004 of an "epidemic" (their words) of mortgage fraud, and instead of it being prosecuted the agents were pulled and reassigned. 

We have had two sequential administrations - Bush and now Obama - that have intentionally refused to prosecute any of this lawless behavior. 

This refusal continues to this very day with admissions in depositions under oath of the commission of literal tens of thousands of felonies per month (each instance of falsely swearing before a court is a separate count of fraud upon the court and, in the case of "Robo-signing" forgery - affixing a notary's signature by other than the actual notary.) 

Yet despite this having been confirmed in multiple depositions going back several months not one indictment has issued thus far and Attorneys General talk about not wanting to "upset" the banks or the "economy."  

The message could not be more clear:  

So long as you make lots of tax revenue (and money for yourself), it's ok to rip people off, subvert justice and mislead courts and we won't send you to prison even though your conduct is felonious

The media and others wish to spin this as "technical errors." 


These are serious crimes

They do not become "technical errors" because some large financial institution committed them.

Breaking and entering is a felony irrespective of who does it - the offense does not suddenly disappear if a monster bank is the perpetrator who directs an agent of theirs to commit the offense. 

Until and unless all of these lawless acts receive indictments in response I will not condemn anyone who chooses to act in exactly the same form and fashion as is done to them, and in my opinion neither should anyone else. 

It's that simple - either the law applies to all or it applies to none. There is no middle ground. 

I cannot countenance what the Earls' have done. But at the same time, a trial by jury is a civil right respected in the US Constitution. 

The moment they were denied their civil rights they were left with no recourse through lawful behavior and thus had only the choice of a stick in the teeth or to act with the same lawlessness that was served upon them. 

They decided upon the latter course and I argue that was their right to do in the instant case. 

The government can change my opinion on that any time they'd like - it can remove the Judge who refused their right to a trial by jury, restoring same, and it can indict and place in the dock the Robo-signers who forged documents in their original foreclosure. 

Due process of law and Constitutional Rights are not suggestions, and until they apply to all I refuse to selectively endorse their application against only "little people."

Forgery and fraud are not complicated offenses, nor is breaking and entering. 

The lawless behavior began with the financial institutions involved and if lawless acts resulted in an alleged conveyance of a title from a standpoint of justice - whether a gavel banged or not - from an ethical and moral standpoint it simply never happened. 

No person should be buying Real Estate or proceeding with foreclosures until (1) the lawlessness stops and (2) those who violated the law all the way back to the origination of these securities are indicted and put in the dock for their offenses. 

The conveyance of real property interest is both a state matter and subject to strict scrutiny - so says 200+ years of jurisprudence in The United States. 

Those who buy allegedly in good faith but have received nothing due to these "robo" enterprises have no gripe with the people who did not get their fair day in court - their gripe is with the firm(s) that contracted with the Robo-signing outfits along with the quite-possibly bogus title chains they were trying to cover up. 

We are not far away from a complete and total breakdown of lawful behavior among the population of this nation. 

If it happens, it will not be because of people like the Earls. While I cannot recommend a lawless response to any insult suffered by people like them I will understand what has happened and why - and who's to blame. 

This has and will in the future occur because the government has refused to enforce long-standing laws against "favored people", allowing the general public to be asset-stripped mercilessly through various connivances and frauds, even though such conduct is blatantly unlawful - and the people have simply had enough of being treated like a turkey drumstick at an amusement park. 

The blame for this incident and those like it rests squarely with Mr. Holder, President Obama, Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke, President Bush, Hank Paulson and the 50 States Attorneys General who have all refused, collectively, to prosecute the rampant lawlessness in our financial system for the previous two decades - and are still refusing today.
The Cardinal Crisis
On Deck: Generation X

By David Disalvo

I remember the day I really started thinking about generational awareness, a topic (hell, a term) that before then mattered very little to me. I was a couple years into college and heard about a book circulating among the underground literati on the cusp of going mainstream.

The book’s author was Douglas Coupland, a first-time novelist from Vancouver who had unwittingly ordained himself the new voice of a generation. The book was called Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture.

I found it at a little bookstore near campus, the only copy left, and when I bought it the clerk told me they couldn’t keep the book on shelves for more than a few days before selling out.

I had no idea what to expect when I started reading that night, but within a few pages I knew I had to read the book cover-to-cover and fast.

It’s not so much that I personally identified with the characters in Coupland’s novel, but he had managed with refreshing clarity to capture a sense of restlessness and anxiety that I immediately recognized as common to those my age.

The characters were imperfect but accessible composites of hundreds of people I knew, and I guessed that everyone in my age-range reading the book was having a similar reaction.

But the book also left me lacking.

I suspected that when it finally broke through to popular daylight, beyond its college town appeal, it was going to become source material for caricaturing an entire generation - and that’s more or less what happened.

Coupland was no more to blame for this than any other artist is for what comes after their vision meets an audience. Popular media likes categories, caricatures and, above all, cash. 

Generation X was a ready-made template for the first two with the third to follow en masse.

Looking back, the outcome was almost inevitable.

It wasn’t until I read another book from a writer removed from my generation by several decades that I realized what Coupland was really trying for with his novel.

That book was Class by author and World War II veteran Paul Fussell, a largely tongue-in-cheek satire about social classes—all of which Fussell found ripe for sarcasm.

But the last chapter of the book was different.

In it, Fussell described the sort of person who could not be so easily lumped into a particular class; whose intellectual curiosity and imagination superseded simple social boundaries; and who adamantly refused to bow to class silliness.

He said people of this sort (and Fussell considered himself one of them) were part of “Category X.”

Years later, I read an interview with Coupland, who by then had written another half dozen books, in which he was asked if he ever intended for “Generation X” to become the dubious moniker of a generation.

His response was an emphatic “No,” and he went on to explain how he’d been influenced by the last chapter of Fussell’s book and was trying to capture the spirit of Category X in his novel.

He bemoaned the fact that popular media had turned his work into a cheap way to classify an entire generation as the home of lazy, obstinate slackers who couldn’t hope to live up to the Baby Boomers’ "achievements."

Other pop media concoctions were adding to the stereotype. Richard Linklater’s movie, Slacker, about a loosely connected group of directionless twenty-somethings in Austin, came out in 1991, the same year as Coupland’s novel.

The movie Singles, about a group of confused twenty--somethings in grunge-soaked Seattle trying to figure out love and life, debuted in 1992.

And the movie Reality Bites, about a group of directionless college grads and dropouts in Houston, who were examples of the stereotype in a storyline that tacitly challenged it, joined the chorus in 1994.

In the same time frame, MTV launched its first reality show, The Real World - a show about a group of late teens and twenty-somethings living in the same house who “stop being polite and start being real.”

More than a few people on the show took the “stop being polite” part to an extreme, and the accusation of a housemate being a “racist” was thrown around so much that Saturday Night Live turned it into a punchline.

There were several others, but you get the idea. Directionless. Confused. Lost. Irritable. A generation of unfocused malcontents.

I personally found plenty to like in all of those movies and shows, but the central theme wasn’t doing us justice (I started referring to those in my gen as “us” by this time) - and from where I was standing, the situation sucked.

We’d been typecast in quick-drying cement.

Fortunately, a few other voices were starting to be heard as well.

Feverishly seeking generational redemption, I found the book Generations by William Strauss and Neil Howe (also hit shelves in 1991) and the duo’s follow-up, 13th Gen: Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail?, that plowed into the generational fray in 1993.

 I learned more actual facts about my generation in those two books than I had from any other source.

Bolstered by their even-handed approach to discussing each generation’s historical context, I decided I needed to talk to these guys.

I called the editor of a national college magazine I was writing for at the time and said I wanted to interview the authors of Generations and 13th Gen.

It was 1994, three years after the watershed year when Coupland, Linklater and others kicked off what was fast becoming Gen X’s dubious legacy.

I eventually managed to get an interview with author William Strauss, one of the few public supporters Gen X could boast.

Strauss said a couple of things to me in the interview that really resonated and helped ferret out  facts from a landfill of pop media garbage.

The first was that Gen X was the most pragmatic of the generations. We gravitated toward what works.

Spiritualism and the New Age were fine for mystified enthusiasts, but not for rabidly skeptical pragmatists.

Theory was great, but application was vital. Don’t distract me with bunnies in the clouds when there are problems to solve.

And the old time religion - we’ll test its medal with a ball-peen hammer and see if it’s still standing when we’re done.

The other thing Strauss said was that Gen X was a reactive generation, and as such it was destined to draw fire from every generation preceding with members still breathing.

He sketched a few historical lines to show that all of the reactive generations found themselves in tension with their predecessors.

The generation before a reactive generation experienced a “spiritual awakening,” and the reactive generation was determined to challenge it at its foundation.

“Did you ever notice,” he asked me, “how many devil-child movies came out when you were a kid?  Rosemary’s Baby. The Omen. The Exorcist. Carrie. Halloween.

Those were responses to your generation being born.”

The end of innocence. The spiritual awakening finished. Long before anything pop media threw at us as teens, we’d already been tagged as suspicious in diapers.

No surprise that as young adults we became reactive - but what exactly were we reacting against?

Ideals that failed? Yes.

Promises that couldn’t be kept? Sure.

Hypocrisy? Definitely. But most of all we were reacting against self-serving delusion.

After WWII, the country was caught up in a flurry of growth, prosperity and baby making.

Then came the Korean War euphemized as a “conflict”; civil rights riots that burned our cities; Great Society programs that shifted debt to future shoulders; and the ultimate anti-delusion, Vietnam.

Many of us were born while our parents were watching gory scenes from the war on TV every night. But it wasn’t being born into war that dogged us as much as it was being born into the rude awakening from a two-decade’s long dream of a new America.

Turns out, the new America wasn’t any less overwhelmed with problems than the old America, and Gen X was the generation born into that realization.

It would, of course, take the next 15 to 20 years for the realization to emerge in our psyches, just about the time when many of us were in college or getting ready to graduate.

By then, the view outside was bleak. The 1980s and early 1990s were a bad time to leave the relatively stable confines of campus. Law schools and MBA programs became bloated with applications, particularly from those of us with liberal arts degrees seeking refuge.

In school, we were taken with the world of ideas - not for pure theory’s sake, but because we wanted to apply knowledge to real problems.

What pissed many of us off was finding out that most people didn’t really give a shit.

At the same time, those of us who did find employment were stomaching epic levels of flack from our Boomer bosses who seemed convinced that we just didn’t want to work.

What they really meant is that we weren’t like them and they couldn’t understand why.

To them, we were apathetic whiners who couldn’t hack it in the real world. Pity they had to suffer such insolence.

I’m not sure how often they realized that the feeling was acutely mutual. 

Ask most Gen Xers at that time what they thought about the Boomers and you’d likely get a two-word answer: Sell-Outs.

To us, the generation that supposedly "changed the world" seemed mighty content occupying high-salaried positions in corporations they once criticized as flaccid and corrupt.

We wanted to remind them that they’d benefited from an enormous post-war boost, and that their success wasn’t achieved in a vacuum.

Their short memories made critiquing the upstart underlings convenient, but the truth of the matter wasn’t lost on us.

Gen Xers looked skeptically upon the Boomers’ penchant for the big sell and thought:

Goldman Sachs CEO, Lloyd Blankfein

This is what became of the revolution?”

If so, who needs it?

And collectively, as if a memo went out to millions of people, we shrugged and said, “To hell with it. We’ll figure out our own way and succeed or fail on our own terms.”

And we did. We started businesses, we pioneered non-profits, we moved to the heart of America’s cities and found niches to fill.

The Web age was dawning and many of us found our element online.

We worked on the first online newspapers, happy to sit in a newsroom all night loading AP wire feeds just to be a part of the action.

We worked days and nights pursuing one, two, three start-up projects at a time. The conventions of the workplace didn’t apply - we were fueled by motivations too big for office cube walls.

And those of us who were in office cubes often had something going on the side that stoked our passion and made the stale routine of the workplace more bearable.

I’m sure we failed at least as much as we succeeded, probably far more, but the ratio wasn’t important.

Doing it was important. Staking our claim was important. Forging a character unique to our prematurely judged generation was important.

All of this was materializing as the country became embroiled in a war for oil. The political climate was growing more contentious.

An unsustainable technology bubble was within a few years of bursting and taking a good part of the economy with it. AIDS was picking off twenty-somethings with abandon. Life wasn’t becoming less complicated - it was growing more so.

On the brink of turning 40, the thing about generations that stands out to me most is how our differences slowly but inevitably evaporate.

The stances that made me a generation warrior in my twenties really don’t matter much now.

As intense as the conflict was between Gen Xers and Boomers in the early 90s, you’d have thought we would never agree on anything, but much the opposite has happened. We agree on many things, as a recent PEW survey showed. And as it turns out, the Millennial generation isn’t too far removed.

A few examples:

Between Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials, who thinks being a good parent is one of the most important achievements in life? According to PEW Research, most of us do, to the tune of 50-52%.

What about having a successful marriage - how does that rank in importance between the three generations?

According to the same survey, we rank it all about the same, and not particularly high: 32-35%.

How about living a very religious life? We’re all also in agreement on that one, with Gen Xers and Boomers being just slightly more religious (21%) than Millennials (15%).

Who works more hours, Boomers or Gen Xers? According to the Families and Work Institute, they work roughly the same number of hours every week at their main jobs (an average of 45) – which also happens to be the longest number of hours for any living generation.

Who’s more dissatisfied with the state of the nation?  According to PEW, we’re all plenty dissatisfied, with Boomers (70%) more annoyed than Millennials and Gen Xers (55 and 57%).

No doubt, there are still some differences, but increasingly those differences are between much farther removed generations.

For example, Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials hold similar opinions on whether the man of a family should be the bread winner and the woman maintain the home (most say no) - but this opinion is starkly different than that of “Matures” (those 65 and older) most of whom say “yes,” according to the Families and Work Institute.

Another interesting tidbit is that, collectively, the three younger generations are becoming increasingly skeptical about trusting anyone or anything.

In 1997, about 40% of people over the age of 30 described themselves as “trusting,” as did 35% of those aged 18-29.

But in 2010, we’re all about the same: only 30%, and the trajectory is headed lower.

What’s interesting about that statistic to me is how it parallels our feelings about an extremely uncertain world.

All of us experienced 9/11 and its aftermath, watched as we went to war on two fronts, and now, together, we’re experiencing the worst recession in a century.

It seems that these experiences have done more to meld the perspectives of Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials than push them apart.

Another observation (and I don’t have a statistic to quote, but I have a gut sense that it’s true) is that us Gen Xers who are older now and hold higher positions in organizations are empathetic to rising Millennials.

This is partly because we didn’t appreciate the contempt thrown at us in our twenties and see no reason to continue the same sordid pattern.

But it’s also because we see the value of making sure the next generation, and the ones after that, find their place in the world and contribute to solving problems that are scaring the hell out of us all.

I think the average Gen Xer’s attitude is something like, “I don’t care where the ideas come from, as long as we have good ideas to work with.”

Ending this series with a thought on turning 40… I once heard Sam Keen, a great writer and speaker, say that if you think your life is going to be anything but chaos before you turn 40, you’re wrong.

He was right, though I’m not sure I see any less chaos on the horizon after 40, either, but I’m good with that.

More than anything, I’m just glad I made it.

Dates of Cardinal T-Square Transits
Mundane planetary configurations & dates 2010-2011
Compiled by Theodore White; mundane Astrolog.S

  • 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 at 27-Virgo
  • June 5-6, 2010 - Jupiter enters tropical Aries
  • June 6-7, 2010 - Mars enters tropical Virgo
  • June 8, 2010 - Jupiter conjoins Uranus at 0-Aries
  • 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
  • July 31 - Mars conjoins Saturn at 0-Libra
  • 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 for first time in Pisces
  • October 8, 2010 - Venus retrograde in Scorpio
  • October 29-30 - Venus turns to "morning star" phase for ten months
  • November 6, 7, 2010 - Neptune direct in motion
  • November 18 - Venus stations direct
  • November 18 - Jupiter stations direct
  • December 5, 6- Uranus stations direct motion
  • December 10-30 - Mercury retrograde
  • January 4, 2011 - Jupiter conjoins Uranus a third time
  • January 22, 2011 - Jupiter enters Aries
  • Jan. 25, 26 - Saturn stations retrograde 17-Libra
  • February 25, 2011 - Jupiter Squares Pluto

  • March 3, 2011 - Transiting Lunar Nodes shift to Mutable Quality of Sagittarius & Gemini
  • March 11-12, 2011 - Uranus enters Aries (first time in 84 years)
  • March 28, 2011 - Jupiter opposes Saturn 

Mundane Survey Of Global Events: 2010-2012
 The Cardinal Cross of August 2010: This chart, set for London, England, shows the Cardinal Cross in action for most of the world as global transits rotate. August 2010 is a powerful month of conflicts, clashes, and global stresses according to my mundane forecasts.
World events are strongly highlighted. From the crisis in the Middle East, to crisis in Thailand, Greece, Europe, Asia, Korea, and North & South America.

The Cardinal Crisis is basically forcing long-standing, unresolved issues to the surface, demanding change, betterment, and, as a result, evolution, from how people live and work, to how public and private institutions serve their wider communities.

The events of the world from now to the mid-2010s are reflective of the decisions and actions of the 1990s and 2000s that are now being exposed by the global transits.

Geopolitical stresses will force leaders to tackle a host of challenging issues worldwide which  require creative vision and a new way of looking at the world to promote peace and advance healthy progress into a new decade.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton with her diplomatic team in China in May 2010.
Credit: AP

The oil leak crisis in the Gulf of Mexico became an epic disaster, casting the Gulf community into financial straits and threatening the U.S. gulf coast environment.

May 2010 satellite image of BP's oil leak into the Gulf of Mexico.
Credit: NASA

Massive street battles in the nation of Greece because of heavy sovereign debt and deep economic austerity measures and general strikes across Europe threaten peace and stability in the European Union.
Groups battling severe economic austerity measures in Greece urge Europeans to "rise up" during the late spring and summer of 2010.

 The crisis in the Middle East beckons between Israel, Gaza, Turkey, Iran, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and the Arab states highlighted threatening war over international aid to Palestine.

 The crisis on the Korean Peninsula will continues to be tense, threatening to re-ignite a war between both North and South Korea.

 Thailand's crisis is far from over. The coalition government is due to fall from the repression of groups intent on ending what they see as a illegal killer government.

 The economic crisis is also far from over. The pressures on Wall Street, bankers, hedge fund moguls and mortgage servicers will increase in 2010 and 2011 with calls for sweeping reforms across the board - pitting a budding plutocracy against a very angry American public on the cusp of rebellions and revolution:

The climate & weather will become major news again with volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, climate extremes of hot and colder than normal temperatures, La Nina, droughts, and most of all floods, as world transits strengthen into 2010-2011:

 Nature Erupts: Volcanic activity as Uranus enters Aries.

Criminal underworlds: As Saturn transits Libra and Scorpio, while Pluto transits Capricorn and forms a square to Uranus in Aries, the vicious drug cartel wars raging in Mexico expands, threatening relations with its neighbors and the United States.

 Mexican Drug Wars: Mexican federal police & forensic experts inspect the scene after two men were shot dead by unknown gunmen in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on May 26, 2010. Ciudad Juarez has been hit by waves of very brutal drug-related violence, making it one of the deadliest cities in the world.
Credit: AP

The Economy
  That 1,000 point drop: May 6, 2010 proved to be one of the strangest days in the history of the Dow Jones. A mysterious "1,000-point" plunge in the afternoon hours, blamed on a "fat finger," lost money for tens of thousands of traders and nearly collapsed the stock market. Federal authorities investigate, but the "glitch" still has not been explained months later.

So, in my mundane perspective, the world is, in effect, dealing with the outworn views and methods of the past, while seeking to forge a new way forward into this new century.

The year 2010 is a transition year, and will be historic in my view. In 2010, we are in the predawn of a new age, and some are in the sunset of a old age, mainly that of the late 20th century.

The year 2011 is the start of a new cycle, mainly brought on by the official entry of Uranus into Aries, the first time in 84 years.

This cycle opens up the decade of the 2010s, and practically dominates it with a long-running square aspect to Pluto in Capricorn.

The year 2012 is a strong astrological year. It is dominated by Gemini for the most part, as well as the popular-culture fears of the Mayan Calendar system along with announcements of the "end of the world." 

According to my mundane calculations, the world will not end in 2012, but those who press on with such foolishness will cause enough general worry and concern that some people may be needlessly upset, that is, until the year 2013 arrives.

And it will - on time.

~ Mundane Review: 2010-2015 ~
Forecast By Theodore White; mundane Astrolog.S

There are six (6) major transits of the Cardinal Crisis Years - signified by the planets involved & their inclinations:

- Saturn oppose Uranus -
Frustrating attempts to change existing conditions
The new versus the old
Virgo/Pisces - Aries/Libra

Negative attitudes within personal areas of responsibility against those of personal freedom. People generally demand strict obedience to their authority but will rebel against authority at the same time.

Much cooperation is needed to avoid falling into the unfavorable inclinations of Saturn's opposition to Uranus.

A sustained cycle where much insight, honesty, and awareness is needed to offset the powerful tendency to be rigid and unforgiving in personal and professional affairs.

Extreme viewpoints expressed by the ignorant and mentally ill fall under this influence. Loud public pronouncements shouted with wild mannerisms expressing inconsistent attitudes can be observed.

Common sights are: bugged-eye pundits uttering unsubstantiated personal opinions as facts; personal attacks, insults, and acerbic comments designed to bring attention to oneself.

Impulse, haste, snap judgments, immaturity, poor communication skills lacking any sign of social grace and basic manners can be observed.

Negative emotional attitudes bordering on signs of stress and mental illness is also quite common.

There is widespread conflict between the old order and the new emerging order. This is generational.

Groups and individuals battle against corruption of the old establishment, while the old establishment denies losing their clout, and remain fixated on old methods, rejecting anything "new" that threatens their established order.

Concepts and ideas in economic, business and political affairs tend to be impractical, unreliable, and eccentric. Economic life continues to run at a low ebb.

These conflicts play out with professional and personal relationships in a pre-revolutionary manner - pushing relationships to breaking points.

Saturn's opposition to Uranus is unfavorable when dealing with joint accounts, finances, corporate business affairs, inheritances, insurance, and all economic matters important to organizations, groups, and individuals.

The economic climate is highly stressed, with conflicts between the "old" and the "new" at extremes and waiting for the breaking points to arrive.

Selfish motives within organizations, and groups tend to be those where others try to take credit for the work of others in order to advance their own careers leading to estrangements between associates, colleagues and friends.

Ulterior motives abound, as do negative emotions, rampant cynicism; along with personal and professional betrayals. The feelings are quite intense, as oppositions tend to be.

Saturn's inflexibility grinds against Uranus' desire for significant change. The events that have taken place in the world since 2001 is now moving into the "release" phase and into the second decade of the 2010s.

As the fifth and last Saturn/Uranus opposition peaks by July/August 2010, we should observe strong emotions worldwide; seeking a "release" from the pent up energies, anger, and recriminations that have built up over the recent decade of the 2000s.

- Saturn Square Pluto -
Power Plays, Plots, Cold, Evil & Unsympathetic People

General signs of paranoia exists within groups and organizations is one feature of a Saturn/Pluto Square. 

The large-scale implications of actions taken in government, business, and political groups often force people to face dangerous situations of a sinister nature.

The will power of those involved in personal and professional intrigues is heightened to the point of very negative inclinations with some people using coercive methods to achieve what they perceive as success.

Under Saturn/Pluto this can feature acts of blackmail, threats, and plots at the highest levels of government, within political groups, and corporations.

Paranoid individuals with extreme opinions, and viewpoints is also common under  A Saturn/Pluto square. 

The emotions can be deep, but the insights are often clouded by dishonorable associations and emotions to individuals and groups who do not have the best interests of others at heart.

Some individuals will find themselves battling against corruption and rampant dishonesty within organizations, or within associations, be they professional or personal with attacks on their reputation coming as a result of fighting dishonest persons and groups.

The coming revelations of widespread corruption in global financial markets, on Wall Street, and other stock markets will be under the Saturn/Pluto square.

Forcing major players to fight for their freedom because of accusations of the theft of tens of billions of dollars leading to a worldwide global recession.

Corporate power plays take center stage under the cardinal crisis transits with increasing political pressure and regulatory scrutiny on major banks, insurance companies, and those implicated in widespread financial malfeasance over the last decade.

The focus on these areas: unemployment, insurance, housing, stock markets, hedge funds, secret bank accounts, general economics, political and government affairs, alimony, and inheritances - is all common under the influences of Saturn's square from Libra to Pluto in Capricorn.

It is also common under these inclinations for opposing groups and individuals to use negative, dishonest, and evil means to obtain personal/profession advantages over others; or attempts to hide past acts of malfeasance to avoid implicating others involved in acts of corruption.

This often backfires under the Saturn/Pluto square and results in public scandal along with damage to the reputation and the careers of those who used negative means to gain what they "perceive" to be an advantage.

Nowhere does "do unto others as you would have them do unto you' applies more than under a Saturn/Pluto world square.

The effect on personal and professional connections can be long-lasting with people completely breaking off any further association with friends, family and colleagues.

Power struggles - both internal and external - is a main theme of a Saturn/Pluto Square.

The will-power is increased, but the personal judgment is often very poor. This gives way to intense emotions that are not clearly understood enough to make valuable judgment calls on all levels of decisions.

Often, decisions are based on perceived "associations" with others who are not one's friends, nor who share one's common interests, except to advance their own personal interests while using others as a means to and end. Very common under Saturn's square to Pluto.

After the square aspect passes, the events which have taken place under its influences are fully revealed, leading to permanent estrangements from those once trusted and valued as friends, associates, or lovers.

Saturn's continued transit through Libra (2010-2012) then features a full distrust and estrangement from those who used dishonest means during the Saturn/Pluto inclinations. 

These estrangements will last a very long time and trust will never be restored after the world square aspect has moved out of orb.

- Jupiter Square Pluto -
Coercions, False Promotions, Litigation & Dishonesty
Aries/Capricorn - 2010-2011
Opposition from Jupiter in Cancer to Pluto in Capricorn arrives 2013-2014

The Jupiter/Pluto Square acts much like that of Saturn's square to Pluto. Jupiter's motion into Aries in mid-2010, and then again in February 2011, will square Pluto in tropical Capricorn.

The same kinds of conflicts under Saturn's influence by square to Pluto comes into action with hasty, impulsive and headstrong promotion of one's opinions as facts to gain a perceived advantage over others.

Temptation is strong with inclinations to use dishonest means to get what one thinks they want.

Rampant litigation under Jupiter's inclinations lead to a rush toward legal wars without first seeing the bigger picture. With the Jupiter square to Pluto: it is the forest first, the trees second, but do make sure you count each tree.

The contradictions of this is simple:

Jupiter's square to Pluto, in combination to its conjunction to Uranus in opposition to Saturn, and by square to Pluto, and back, fully complicates matters, so as to act as a powerful feedback loop with amplifiers about to blow loudly if the volume of intensity is not turned down.

The energies of the Cardinal Cross transits are simply too strong. Patience, slowing down, and reposing are the keys to effectively neutralizing these powerful cardinal inclinations.

Under the Jupiter/Pluto square, serious mistakes are often made preparing legal cases without first laying down the proper practical groundwork.

Often, this comes about because of ego, and headstrong acts featuring arrogance and pride; but wholly failing to take into account the small, but very important details.

The majority of litigation made under these influences will collapse like a house of cards after months of what seemed like a iron-clad case.

The only way to neutralize this transit, as with all the others of the Cardinal Crisis transits is to slow down, and to be strictly honest at all times in all personal and business affairs.

Also, the need to remain detached and practical while plodding step-by-step without ego, impulse, and haste. This is the antidote to the impulsive inclinations of cardinal transits.

Power-plays, and forced acts of coercion, with promotions of extreme expressions of personal, political and religious viewpoints is quite common under this global square.

Often, one's aspirations to remake others comes with neglecting one's own house while confused attitudes about ethics and morality are cast aside in favor of haste and impulse - rushing to judgment.

Struggles with corrupted individuals and groups is also common under a Jupiter/Pluto Square. 

Criminal underworld groups, and their associates often war against one another in the perceived struggle for "power," without understanding the dire future implications of their violent acts which, in time, will return upon the very people involved in these evil affairs.

There can be dubious spiritual practices featuring over-optimistic false spiritual, religious and political beliefs shaped by the realization that there are large-scale forces at work that the individual (s) have been forced to see as a result of changes in lifestyles.

The square aspect in this respect can be positive if the individual (s) remember to not act in haste or impulse in accepting too easily that which is being realized.

Under the cardinal crisis transits, there are efforts by others to remake or coerce others to partake in evil behaviors - effectively using people to do the things which "appear" to advance the interests of those who agree to take part in actions, or groups. 

After the 2010 Jupiter/Pluto Square comes another one by mid-2013 into the year 2014.

This will be part of the Grand Cardinal Cross of 2014 showing powerful cardinal inclinations of haste, and impulse that feeds into the coming Uranus-Pluto Squares of the 2010s.

Again, there is a sense that things are not changing as quickly as people would like them to, and the ramifications of the decade of the 2000s continue to persist into the early years of the 2010s.

Unless the problems of rampant past corruption - especially in the financial sector - then this world Grand Cross, with Jupiter now in Cancer, as part of another series of cardinal crisis configurations - will return to bite back with a vengeance in 2014.

- Jupiter Oppose Saturn -

Bad Business Timing, Questionable Tactics &  Promised Favors Undone
Pisces/Aries - Virgo/Libra
Jupiter at 0-10 degrees Taurus

Jupiter/Saturn oppositions arrive every 20 years. The last one took place in 1990-91. They usually always feature an economic recession, usually deep ones, which can take several years to emerge out of before conditions gradually improve.

Such will be the case with the 2010-2012 opposition of Jupiter/Saturn. During these oppositions expect business to suffer as the generational transition continues over the course of Jupiter's opposition to Saturn.

Because of the poor economic climate some people may resort towards using questionable tactics to get ahead and make money.

With the business climate contracted, some will seek shortcuts and dubious actions to get ahead while others continue to face competition with limited resources.

The desired expansion of business is fraught with frustration after frustration, red-tape, barriers, blocks, delays, and legal problems. Rising defaults & bankruptcies increase as a result of past mismanagement of resources and corruption with credit conditions tighter than normal.

It is an unfavorable time to expand business concerns, or to take chances because of the uncertainty of finances, contracts and commitments from others, who tend to be unreliable due to limited resources, confusion, lack of planning, procrastination, and a general lack of honesty and fair play.

The crush of competition, fighting for a limited amount of customers, with resources lacking can further cause disruptions in professional and personal lives to the point of some leaving entire industries for good.

This will continue under the inclinations of Jupiter's opposition to Saturn.

It is a poor time to seek favors from others, as the business climate of 2010-2012 will continue to suffer from immense commercial & residential real estate losses, double-digit unemployment, and a general sense of malaise from an aging generational establishment.

Those seeing support from official institutions, such as federal, state, and local agencies, may find themselves frustrated with the lack of help usually expected from these offices.

This is because those in positions of power are either on their way out the door themselves, or have become cold and unsympathetic to those in need; preferring instead to look out only for themselves.

While this takes place, many people will see their own personal and professional responsibilities increase; while wages continue to stagnate from the lack of resources, which will be limited because of prior economic corruption and waste.

The opposition of Jupiter to Saturn can test what the true balance really is between being optimistic, and being pessimistic. Much will depend on the ability of the individual to be creative, and patient, while the opposition is underway.

It will not last forever, so those who are looking for opportunities during this time should be aware to remain cautiously optimistic, while clearly seeing what the true barriers to success will be during 2010 to 2012.

Most, if not all of the barriers are those held by people with cold, conservative and uncompromising attitudes. Hypocrisy and distorted moral values is also common under a Jupiter/Saturn opposition.

What used to make sense, and would be expected as normal modes of operation and procedures is perverted by the unyielding attitudes of uncompromising people.

Many of these people will be older, and due to the transit of Saturn, will exhibit rigid views without realizing that in a short period of time after the opposition has waned and passed; that they themselves will receive similar treatment from the very people whom they denied opportunities and relief.

The conflicts which come about during 2010-2012 under the Jupiter/Saturn opposition will tend towards ethics; morals; joint finances, family responsibilities, friendships, associations, romantic relationships, partnerships and corporate struggles that will test the reliability and strength of relationships in general.

The Jupiter/Saturn opposition will begin to weaken in February 2012, and by the end of March 2012, will move out of orb.

By this time, those who were frustrated, or blocked from advancement will find an easier go of things gradually in 2012 as Saturn moves out of opposition to the outer planets, and brings a sense of relief by 2013.

However, memories will be still fresh from the red tape, delays, and barriers put up by those with unyielding attitudes. This will come back to haunt those who denied others the potential for advancement during the 2010s, and leads into the coming Uranus/Pluto squares of the 2010s.

The relief in 2013 doesn't last long due to Jupiter's motion out of tropical Gemini, and into tropical Cancer where Jupiter will transit to oppose Pluto in Capricorn - initiating yet another chapter of the Cardinal Crisis Years.

- Jupiter Oppose Pluto -
August 2013 - June 2014
Part of the Cardinal Grand Cross of April 2014

Forced Reforms, Business Clash, Coercions, International Tensions &  Revolts

By the end of June 2013, transiting Jupiter will have moved out of tropical Gemini, and enter Cancer. Making a nice trine to transiting Saturn in Scorpio by early July, it would appear that the struggles, and tensions of the previous two-and-a-half years are over.

However, this is not so according to the world transits. This is simply a breather with more to come by the following month of August, when transiting Mars conjoins Jupiter in Cancer and oppose Pluto in Capricorn.

Jupiter's opposition to Pluto is a time of what appears to be continued stresses around finances, economics, and what policies should be enacted, and which should not.

There can be tendencies to push things too quickly, to overreach with big plans, and grandiose ideas without firming up foundations.

During the period of the Jupiter-Pluto opposition, it is important to take time to make certain that the practical matters of business and personal life are attended to by balancing one's sense of organization against one's desire to push out and expand.

Under this influence come attempts to force, to coerce, or to remake others - claiming one's desires to reform other while not paying attention to one's own need for it personally. This is also extended internationally.

A fine balance must be taken under a Jupiter-Pluto opposition before initiating wide reforms carelessly without prior deep thought, insight, and understanding of the long-term consequences.

Jupiter is in Cancer - the home sign of the United States - so in 2013 and 2014, the opposition to Pluto can indicate tensions from the people towards government, or, to an administration in power at the time as well as international tensions abroad.

The areas highlighted are those around political policies, philosophical ideology, education, religion, and cultural beliefs and norms clashing against anything that appears to be autocratic in nature.

The strongest date of the opposition is in the year 2014, when transiting Mars, Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto form a Grand Cross in the cardinal signs of Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn. The peak of this grand cross is in April 2014.

Jupiter will oppose Pluto, while in square aspect to both Uranus in Aries, and Mars, retrograde in Libra by April 2014. Tensions are high and this grand cross speaks of both international and national tensions at a peak under yet another Cardinal Crisis.

Mixed with a sense of over-optimism, underneath the public feelings at this time is also impatience, and a strong lack of practical common sense that allows many to jump to conclusions - which is part of the cardinal inclinations of haste and impulse once again coming to the fore.

The sense of adventure and grandiose idealism at this time is marked by a hesitancy seen by the retrograde of Mars in Libra at this time.

There are unexpected hostile dealings with foreigners for those outside their home countries, and those overseas tend towards being unpredictable and unreliable.

Spring 2014 into summer 2014 is not a good time for overseas travel. Moreover, the diplomatic tensions are high, so diplomats may come into contact with those in foreign states those who may be difficult to contend with at this time.

Prudence, tact, and foresight is strong advised among all parties, be they individuals, groups, companies, organizations or nations.

The Grand Cross of 2014 signals a sort of "peaking" of the previous cardinal transits of 2010 and 2011 with inclinations of demanding freedom at all cost without taking on the mantle of patience, and responsibility that comes along with demands.

Before 2014, the sense of optimism fueled by the coming and going of the year 2012 when the world did not come to an end, and the inclinations of the year 2013 with a sense of new-found, but cautious optimism, is met by April 2014 with a sense that rebellion and revolt is once again on the horizon.

The international tensions at this time in 2014 will stem from former disagreements and beliefs among nations which appear to have undermined future matters by ignoring principles with empty words - saying one thing, but doing another.

This obviously leads to international clashes when trust appears to be broken between some nations. This shows in world transits of 2014. It is the year of the diplomat.

Mars' retrograde in Libra (March 1, 2014 to May 19, 2014) plays a strong role in the Cardinal Grand Cross of that year.

Wise decision-making is at a premium; so heads of state, and their diplomats should be careful not to overreach, nor to promise more than they can deliver, but to balance threats with peaceful acts, and with careful solutions via prudent diplomacy and tact.

Mars' opposition to Uranus in Aries in 2014 speaks of conflicts, and clashes among states, organizations, friends, and family who take sides on the broader issues of the times. The transit of Mars in Libra (December 7, 2013 to July 25, 2014) is a long one. 

The retrograde of Mars from March to May 19, 2014 takes part during the strongest months of the Cardinal Grand Cross in April & May.

Decision-making is important here, and, with Mars declining in Libra, it is essential to have the right players in position during this time of global transits. The wrong personalities involved as "diplomats" are apt to make things that much worse simply because of their personal and political ideologies.

It is wise to remove ideological hotheads in critical positions at this time in 2014 and to replace them with calm, cool, and smart diplomats who can be trusted and relied upon to create atmospheres for leaders where positive progress can be made.

Compounding this will be a total Lunar eclipse at 25-Libra during the early morning hours of April 15, 2014 that will be visible over the Americas, the Pacific, and east Australia. 

The degrees indicated by Sabian symbols say ~
  • 25º Libra - "The sign of an autumn leaf brings to a pilgrim the sudden revelation of the mystery of life and death."
  • 26º Libra - "An Eagle and a large White Dove Turning into each other."
 My forecast is for an international conflict at this time of the Grand Cross, that continues into July 2014, before either being resolved fully, or which escalates into warfare.

The choices indicated here by Jupiter's opposition to Pluto show that successful advance diplomacy must be made prior to spring 2014, and that signs of the coming conflicts will be seen in late 2012, and early 2013.

Spring 2014 in the northern hemisphere is a tense time of international tension that should be resolved by carefully handling the energies with proper decision-making, diplomacy, and a fine balance between leadership and international cooperation. 

In this way, President Theodore Roosevelt's advice to "speak softly but carry a big stick" applies very well at this time in the world. The energies of the solar year of 2014 are about the promotion of peace, calm, and wise diplomacy. 

Though the ignorant may propound immediate military action; the consequences are far-reaching into the future - so leaders at this time in 2014 will need to exercise wise restraint while carefully balancing the advice of doves and hawks to come to a solution that will satisfy everyone.

Compounding the problem at this time is the fifth exact square between Uranus and Pluto which occurs in April 2014. This is part of the Global Grand Cardinal Cross that year. We will now take a look at the roles these two outer planets will play, along with their powerful inclinations.

 - Uranus Square Pluto -
2011-2020 overall
Rebellions, Revolts & Revolutionary Sentiments
early Taurus/Capricorn

If anything defines some of the more tense cardinal energies of the 2010s, it will be the Uranus transit of Aries in global square to transiting Pluto in Capricorn. 

Handling this world square will not be an easy matter after the failures of the past generation to resolve many of the outstanding issues of the end of the 20th century, and the decade of the 2000s.

By July 2011, transiting Uranus will come very close to performing a near-exact square to Pluto in Capricorn, but Uranus will station retrograde on July 9, 2011 - delaying the first exact square with Pluto for 11 more months.

Uranus and Pluto, as slow moving outer planets, will remain in orb for most of the decade of the 2010s. Their most powerful inclinations occur from 2011 to the year 2018.

The first of seven (7) exact squares begins officially on June 24, 2012 with Uranus and Pluto square at 8-Capricorn. This is the first in a series of very powerful world square aspects between both planets relative to the Earth.

The Uranus/Pluto Cardinal squares lasts, overall, from 2011 to 2020.

An unprecedented Seven (7) exact squares occur in just three (3) years: 2012 to 2015
(*) = significant dates

1. June 24, 2012 – first global square at 8-degrees Aries/Capricorn
2. *September 18-19, 2012 second square at 6-degrees Aries/Capricorn
3. May 20, 2013 – third square at 11-degrees Aries/Capricorn
4. November 1, 2013 – fourth square at 9-degrees Aries/Capricorn
5. *April 21, 2014fifth square at 13-degrees Aries/Capricorn
6. December 14-15, 2014 – sixth square at 12-degrees Aries/Capricorn
7. *March 16-17, 2015seventh global square at 15-degrees Aries/Capricorn

The last time Uranus and Pluto met in global square aspect was during the 1930s. This was a decade of reactionary, extreme right-wing politics, revolutionary socialism, rising crime, rebellions, revolts, and restrictive laws gradually reducing freedoms throughout Europe and the then-Soviet Union.

The Bank Crisis and Stock Market Crash of 1929-33 fueled the early years of the Great Depression with rising waves of petty crime and bank robberies. The resulting foreclosures of homes, businesses and family farms amid a depressed global economic system cast a dark shadow over the world.

The NYSE reaching its lowest trading point in history. Weather anomalies under the influence of Uranus in Aries led to the hottest year in U.S. history in 1933-34 with drought and dust storms raging across the American Midwest.

Meanwhile, political extremism ensued with the rise of tyrants, as Adolf Hitler rose to power in Germany while in Japan, radical forms of militarism spread so much that it was being openly taught in elementary and high schools.

The revolts, rebellions and revolutionary sentiments under the Uranus/Pluto squares thus paved the way for the Second World War that followed by the end of the 1930s.

Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn revolve their squares worldwide for much of the 2010s, but the most powerful periods are between 2012 through 2015.

This is a time of great upsets within nations which have now experienced at least four to seven years in the wake of the global economic crisis.

Uranus' penchant for sudden change against Pluto's desire structure in Capricorn for a kind of transformational war that butt heads over the "kinds" of new changes to be realized and those not to be supported.

While this is happening, populations around the world seem to have had it to their chins with the constant disruptions of their lives; the losses of lifestyles over the years. 

They react powerfully by demanding immediate changes without question while the forces of the status quo and old establishment refuse to yield - deciding to procrastinate even more.

Groups, organizations and individuals have become radicalized by the events since 2008. So much so, that by the time (June 2012) of the first of seven exact Uranus/Pluto square social unrest is a certainty in regions around the world.

There are increasing signs of rebellions, revolts and foreboding examples of revolutionary sentiments expressed in various nations upset with the status quo, represented by Pluto in Capricorn.

It seems everything is on the table here: economic, social, political and religious structures are be challenged from all sides. People want change, and intend on getting it.

The headstrong inclinations of Aries, with Uranus in it's 7-year transit in this sign, squaring Pluto can indicate sudden deaths coming about unexpectedly; usually through acts of violence, and from common accidents, and unexpected large-scale disasters related to weather extremes.

Past associations, friendships and relationships can become radically changed under Uranus and Pluto's cardinal squares. It is at this time, between 2012-2015 that companies that were hanging on by a thread financially - can suddenly break and fall into bankruptcy.

The entry of Neptune into tropical Pisces in February 2012 will impress dissolution on failing companies afterward, with a slow, but gradual death into the mid-to-late 2010s.

The sudden losses associated with Uranus' transit in Aries can bring about greater financial losses than expected while corporations continue to witness power struggles as the generational transition picks up speed in the early to mid-2010s.

The revolutionary sentiments inclined by Uranus/Pluto come about as a result of the frustrations of the decade of the 2000s.

The global economic crisis, and the resulting societal effects have angered many populations who feel that their governments and representatives were not representing them, but corporate monied-interests that pilfered society's resources.

The resulting backlash featured under the Uranus/Pluto squares of the 2010s will be widespread, and quite unsettling for those involved in the mismanagement of trillions of dollars and euros over the previous decade.

Rising crime can be a problem; also fueled by the lack of resources because of the Banking Crisis of 2008-2012. 

Hasty and impulsive actions to acquire money through illegal acts become more public as law and order seems to be failing to take hold of the rising tide of criminal acts perpetuated by career criminals let out on the streets after being released from prison, but not reformed.

State officials, under pressure financially, are forced to release thousands of prisoners in the early 2010s to relieve the system from overcrowding.

State lawmakers all over the U.S., who say they need to save money from the devastating losses in state revenues say must release tens of thousands of convicts from prison in the 2010s, including drug addicts, thieves and violent criminals.

If there has been little reform of the system during the time of incarcerations, then obviously the lingering effects of the economic crisis that awaits convicts on the street can be a threat to public safety under the Uranus/Pluto squares.

By the spring of 2014, things become quite tense again globally with another Cardinal Cross - this time a Grand Cross configuration featuring Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto in the Signs of Libra, Cancer, Aries and Capricorn.

Grand Cross configurations in cardinal signs seek immediate release of strong, emotional pent-up energies.

By April 2014, there is a sense among populations that they have had enough. They eject the usual explainations behind the causes of the economic crisis, which, by this time, will have persisted at various levels significantly enough to cause outright revolts in some nations.

At the same time, international tensions are sure to be high as well. There is a strong need for calm, but strong diplomacy as the Cardinal Grand Cross energies peak by April & May 2014.

Resolution of conflicts between nations can occur by utilizing cooperative stances, as well as using the carrot and stick method to bring unwilling parties to the bargaining tables to resolve differences.

The energies of Uranus Square Pluto can be violent. Accidents, and deaths are caused by haste, impulse, and the refusal to be patient, and tolerant.

Aries is the Sign of haste/impulse, while Pluto seeks general transformation, but through a gradual and steady use of the authority, forms, disciplines and structures of Capricorn.

The clashes between pre-revolutionary forces and those managing the old systems of structure can meet in the middle, but this can only be accomplished through diplomacy, understanding with all sides being flexible.

Uranus' transit in square to Pluto will undoubtedly shape much of the international climate of the 2010s to the point that presidents, prime ministers, diplomats, national leaders, CEOs, managers, and all those in executive positions will have to carefully determine how best to handle their respective leadership roles over the next 10-12 years.

It will not be easy. Those who make the effort to plan ahead, and who are flexible in their thinking, and their attitudes, will do much better than those who are not.

Nonetheless, expect the global square of Uranus to Pluto to be the prime cardinal inclinational force that will make world news time and again through the decade of the 2010s, and into the mid-2020s.

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