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Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Cardinal Crisis -> Mundane Forecasts: 2012 - Year Of The Dragon > Challenges & Choices For President Obama > Also, Personal Effects Of 2012's World Transits > Advice For Women In Changing Times > 2011 In Review: Year Of Tensions, Turmoil & Tragedies > Libya's Violent Turn: The Murder Of Muammar Qaddafi> Is China's Economy About To Pop? > American Foreclosure Wave To Restart In 2012 > A Torrent Of Bad News Flows Out Of Europe > Greece's Financial Haircut & Europe's Shared Responsibility > A Great Depression: How To Survive > Featuring - The Pistis Sophia: Jesus Christ On How Gnosis Saves

The Cardinal Crisis
The year 2012 will be a very important year for U.S. President Barack Obama, according to astrological world transits. As the American economy continues to decline to levels not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the president must make a choice between the 1% of those who continue to steal immense resources and wealth, or the 99% of those who will determine not only if he wins a second term in the White House, but the direction and vision of the future itself.

Mundane Forecast
2012: Year Of The Dragon


2011 in Review:
Year Of Tensions, Turmoil & Tragedies


Challenges & Choices For President Obama:
What Vision For The Future?


Libya's Violent Turn:
The Murder Of Muammar Qaddafi


Is China's Economy About To Pop?


American Foreclosure Wave To Return in 2012


Torrent of Bad Financial News Flows Out Of Europe


A Great Depression:
How To Survive


The Pistis Sophia:
Jesus Christ On How Gnosis Saves

Global Astrology
Theodore White, mundane Astrolog.S

Peace & Goodwill to Humanity.

Praise and All Glory Be To The Immortal God

"This know also - that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good. 

Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof - from such turn away. 

For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 

Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. 

But they shall proceed no further - for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was."

- Second Timothy, The New Testament

In this edition of Global Astrology we continue to explore the world events that have taken place and those to come.

The year 2012 will be a very important and interesting year worldwide, according to mundane transits.

The year will be a mix of grand geopolitical and sporting events, national politics, crowds, rebellions, revolts and popular hue-and-cries as we near the first of a series of Uranus-Pluto global squares.

There is something for everyone as we explore 2012 to examine the wide variety of important world events.

We look ahead with my Mundane Forecast: 2012 - the Year Of The Dragon.

The coming election year of 2012 is explored in Challenges & Choices For President Obama, What Vision For the Future?

We also review the year to end in 2011 In Review: Year Of Tensions, Turmoil and Tragedies.

The events out of North Africa are explored in Libya's Violent Turn: The Murder Of Muammar Qaddafi.

Meanwhile, we turn to global economics and ask, Is China's Economy About To Pop?

The coming renewal of a great American Foreclosure Wave To Return In 2012 is explored as we also return to the European Union where a Torrent Of Bad Financial News Flows Out. 

Asia's economic bubble is about to burst as we ask, Is China's Economy About To Pop?

We explore the coming economic crisis in A Great Depression: How To Survive.

Also featured in this edition of Global Astrology: The Pistis Sophia: Jesus Christ On How Souls Are Saved Or Perish.

The Cardinal Crisis
A Venus Transit across the face of the Sun that will occur in 2012

Mundane Forecast
2012: Year Of The Dragon

Forecast By
Theodore White, mundane Astrolog.S

"The truth is not for all men - but only for those who seek it" - Ayn Rand

Whether one decides to believe anything or not does not mean that the forces of our universe and the laws of our solar system are not in full operation.

Belief is personal to each and every person.

How one decides to choose to believe or to not believe does not - in any shape or form - alter the forces of that regulate, influence and incline the world around us.

For to deny what is readily apparent by means of the motions of the Sun, Earth, Moon, planets and stars is to be truly ignorant of one's own being.

We will soon begin a new era. This age is signified by the arrival of the year 2012 - the Year of the Dragon.

The Year 2012 may bring about anxieties among people reading doom and gloom about the Mayan Long Count Calendar. 

In previous editions of Global Astrology I have stated that 2012 is not the end of the world, nor does the Mayan Calendar mean that the world will end.

The Mayan Calendar is based on the transits of Venus through Earth history and in 2012, the planet Venus will play a vital role in global events.

For according to the celestial signs, 2012 opens a new era - a transitional era - which will determine the fates if individuals, peoples and nations in the decades that are ahead.

In 2012, it is important to remember that kindness, compassion, love, prudence and practicality can work wonders.

What can you do? Realize that the celestial transits relative to the Earth tell us that a paradigm shift has been underway. So, get involved. Realize that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. 

The celestial signs show a spiritual awakening is at hand and that those who form the good fight, for the souls of Light, are those who will inherit the Earth.

Also know that the forces that oppose human awakening are those who head into perdition. The prophecies and warnings to those who have chosen evil rather than good are clear.

The year ahead will feature challenges but we, as spiritual beings can overcome anything if only we would leave out pettiness and put our hearts and minds to work.

On January 23, 2012, the New Moon at 2-Aquarius will usher in the Chinese Year Of the Dragon, a year that last occurred in the year 2000. That was also a year where fears of Y2K and the 'end of the world' were widely featured in the mass media and popular culture of that age. 

Back in the year 2000 a Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in tropical Taurus took place. The media hype and prophecies of doom and gloom were mixed with false optimism with the onset of a new millennium. 

We will see the same kind of media and popular culture hype in 2012. 

To understand the Year Of the Dragon, we must leave the fears of western society to understand that the ancient Chinese mundane astrologers saw what they called the "Water Dragon" - a celestial being that brought power they considered to be also wise and beneficial.

The year of the Dragon also represents opportunities that are positive beginnings for entrepreneurship and business and for the health marriages. The power of the Year of the Dragon depends on the positions of the planets of that particular year. 

There are five types of Dragon years - water, fire, wood, earth and metal.

The year 2012 is the Year of the Water Dragon that begins with the New Moon at 2-Aquarius on January 23, 2012 and lasts to February 9-10 2013 with a new moon at 21-Aquarius.

Dragon years are markers in time - and can be both very positive and very negative with disasters that affect large populations.

Mundane Trends Of 2012

January 23, 2012 - Year Of The Dragon
Location: Manhattan, New York
click on chart to enlarge

The mundane chart above is cast for the New Moon at 2-Aquarius in mid-January 2012.

We can see the Sun and Moon at the location of Manhattan, N.Y., in the Second Mundane House in square aspect to Saturn at the anaretic degree of 29-Libra and Jupiter at 1-Taurus.

The Aquarius new moon positioned in the Second mundane house and square to Jupiter signifies over-expansion, waste with promises made that are difficult to deliver. Speculation should be avoided as gambling and a lack of attention to detail and failure of prudence are common under these influences.

The square to Saturn from the new Aquarius Moon of January 23, 2012 signifies that it is a poor time to obtain favors as it appears that those who use personal authority and power for their own selfish ends are strongly indicated.

Moreover, the overall business environment remains negative as Jupiter and Saturn are in opposition. It indicates a period of business adjustments and moral conflict in society.

We have seen these inclinations worldwide, for instance in the "Occupy' movements that began on Wall Street on September 17, 2011.

This shows that those in positions of power continue to block forward progress. This Jupiter-Saturn opposition is the first since the early 1990s.

Basically it represents conflicts in professional and domestic responsibilities as the ulterior motives of others around status, finances can seriously affect friendships and partnerships.

What signifies Jupiter-Saturn oppositions are those in positions of power who should not be. Those in these positions cause problems and delays through unneeded barriers, red tape and waste.

A lack of official support is common; as there are those who will use highly questionable means to advance their own interests while not caring about others.

Help and support from institutions are also lacking.

Politically, the failure of balance between optimistic and more conservative attitudes mean that obstacles are made that much more daunting. The Jupiter-Saturn opposition opens the decade of the Twenty-Tens. These effects will last into the middle years of this decade.

Astrological New Year - Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Location: New York

The trends for 2012 will continue the previews of hue-and-cries, revolts and rebellions against structures considered to be hostile to society at large.

The astrological New Year of 2012 begins on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 1:14 a.m., EDT in New York City with the ingress of the Sun in tropical Aries.

The Moon in Pisces is a last quarter moon at the time of the start of the new astrological year. This influence is negative in that it shows the continuation of upsetting inclinations into 2012 that will expand with the world transits of this new year.

The Mundane Ingress Chart above shows transiting Mercury and Uranus in Aries at the Fourth Mundane House - this signifies a powerful astrological year of eccentricity, sudden events, economic and societal crisis - all taking place in the public sphere.

Transiting Uranus in Aries is within five degrees of orb to transiting Pluto in Capricorn. By June, both planets will officially begin their series of seven exact world squares that extend to the year 2015. We've highlighted the global impacts of the Uranus-Pluto squares before on Global Astrology.

Powerful earthquakes continue to be a concern of mine considering Uranus' position in Aries. I expect seismic and volcanic activity to strengthen into the new year - especially nations around the Ring of Fire affecting Japan, China, Alaska along with the west coast of the United States.  There will also be quakes in unusual regions not normally affected by seismic activity.

Earthquakes fall under the influence of Uranus and lunar disturbances. It is essential for people to be prepared for sometimes large magnitude earthquakes in 2012.

2012 is also a political year with major generation elections in many countries. The promises made by politicians in 2012 will easily accepted by voters who will challenge each and every politician - including presidents - to walk their talk.

Sides will be chosen by voters who have suffered several years of a global economic crisis The most dangerous place to be during the election season of 2012 will be in the middle of the road.

Economics, Jobs & Careers

It will not come as a surprise that the economy will decline more in 2012. The workforce has changed due to the fact that the baby boomer generation has been in long denial of their own aging. 

There are ways to prepare for the new working life of the Twenty-Tens. First, some background on recent history.

Every institution and company the baby boomer generation has entered in the 1970s and 1980s has since either been forced to shut down. They have brought about the near ruin of numerous public and private institutions.

This is because the boomer generation depended on the pension system of institutions and companies to secure their jobs. 

The massive layoffs of workers under the age of 50 was done primarily to ensure no boomers would lose their positions until they could make enough money for retirements boomers would never admit was coming. But that time arrived several years ago. The denial of aging continues for the boomer generation.

People may have observed elderly workers in jobs that always went to younger workers. This is because many boomers failed to save for their retirements. The so-called 'me generation' has lived a lie that said they would never get old. 

The skills shortage of workers is a myth because there are tens of millions of Generation X and Generation Y workers more than qualified. The jobs and careers of Generation X had been delayed for 20 years because baby boomers saw the younger Generation X as competition. The boomers broke the intergenerational contract.

The economic recession, soon to be great depression, was caused by widespread corruption of the banking and financial sectors, rampant mismanagement and abuse of the manufacturing sector by the former establishment, the boomers, who inherited what they did not build themselves.

The jealousy towards those younger than baby boomers was fueled by denial of aging by the boomer generation. All baby boomers will be 60 years and older by 2013. Their time in the global workforce is over.

What the boomers have left behind is a mess that Generation X will have to clean up while reforming systems and institutions that the boomers destroyed by means of their own corruption and denial.

Jobs in traditionally male-dominated manufacturing in critical sectors of construction, building and manual labor have been in structural decline since the 1990s. These careers cannot be maintained by aged baby boomers. Even in 2011-12 many aged workers do not have pensions that will carry them into retirement.

Yet, manufacturing will return to many nations, including the United States but will take place gradually in a deflationary economic climate. As many college students are in deep levels of debt with degrees they are unable to use in the professional world.

What happened was that the boomer generation fleeced young students - effectively placing students into heavy debt early in life - in order to sustain boomers' own needs of the present.

Of course, the situation cannot last. The first baby boomer turned 65 in 2004. By 2013, all boomers will be 60 years and older. The boomer generation does not own the future. It does not belong to them as it once did in their cultural youth. They have exhausted their opportunities with cheap education, free credit in a debt-service economy since the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

Those times have passed.

Jobs & Opportunities Of the Future

The opportunities of the near future will require young workers to effectively apply old school ideas with new school methodologies. The leaders and executives of the 2010s and 2020s will be Generation X - those born 1961-75; along with post Gen Xers born 1975-1979.

Those with Pluto in Virgo and Libra will have their hands full in reforming the messes left behind while simultaneously creating visions for the new century.

The managers and workers will be Generation Y - 1980-94. The upcoming workers of the future are those of the Millennial Generation, born 1994-2008.

Those attending colleges since the 2000s, many of them obtaining masters degrees and doctorate degrees will discover that they are in steep levels of debt they cannot hope to repay considering the decline in many professional industries. 

Faculty and students at universities all over the United States know that salaries and hiring have been frozen for three years, but tuition continues to rise every year.

State legislatures will tell colleges to raise tuition; then these lawmakers (lobbied by education financiers) will take back the tuition increase by reducing subsidies dollar for dollar. This means that increased tuition in a basically hidden tax. 

Once a student qualifies for government financial aid, it means guaranteed money in the bank. The Department of Education sends the college the funds and once the college receives it what has become more common is they do not care if students get any meaningful employment after graduation.

But the hefty loans must be repaid. Therefore, college students are immediately burdened with debt before they have even begun their professional careers. This is debt slavery and it is an unforgivable way to run any society.

In 2011, the Obama administration was supposed to get tough on proprietary universities that milk students, their parents and taxpayers for all they can. But after millions paid to lobbyists to keep the status quo, the Obama administration eased the proposed measures.

So students and taxpayers are left holding the bag in defaults because student loans are impossible to write off under the current system. That must change.

Americans who want to improve their lives are left in serious debt as proprietary schools enrich themselves. These for-profit universities care only for the money - not the future.

In the working world of today, owners of companies who've been denied lines of credit from boomer-run banks have had to cut payrolls rather than wages. The stagnate growth in wages over the last decade of the 2000s, combined with the financial sector's housing bust met in the perfect economic storm. 

The decline in consumer demand means that a new era is at hand. Those who are prepared for this new era will be able to bounce back faster than those not prepared.

Although we are entering a new era, remember that the Economy is more or less the same as it's always been. 

The facts are that people with the talent, skills and experience in professions that need workers will be able to find jobs; especially as millions of baby boomers now have to leave the workforce. 

Those that don't have will not find jobs unless they make serious adjustments. Many will be forced to do so in this decade.

2012 Trends

As elderly baby boomers leave the workforce; here are projections for the fastest growing jobs & careers

Chefs & food preparation
Bookkeeping & accounting
Auditors & clerks
Registered nurses, 
 supervisors/office managers
Automotive technicians & mechanics
Network systems & data communications analysts
Truck drivers & related services to the trucking industry.

The following are the hardest to fill health care positions for the next eight years (2012-2020)

Physician assistants
Registered nurses
Physical therapists
Dental hygienists
Licensed practical & Licensed vocational nurses
Athletic trainers
Home Health aides
Nursing aides, Orderlies & attendants
General medical & dentist assistants.

Projected To Trend downward for the next 3-5 years

Forest & conservation technicians
information and record clerks
business operations specialists
police & sheriff’s patrol officers
detectives and criminal investigators
postal service mail sorters/processors/processing machine operators
file clerks
biological scientists

According to astrological transits, these opportunities should be viewed as prime to success over the next 10-20 years:

Vocational Trade Schools
Manufacturing & Technology
Architecture & Construction
Analysts & Consultants
Mathematicians & Scientists
Health Industry

Every industry has, and will undergo significant change as the boomers leave en mass from companies  and institutions. The new establishment led by Generation X will have to figure out how to save what can be saved while pushing forward into the second and third decades of the 21st century.

Positioning yourself to think and act on some of the above mentioned career and job sectors will make all the difference during the decade 2012-2020.

The Cardinal Crisis
Advice For Women In Changing Times

Transiting Uranus has entered Aries and for the next 42 years will transit a male sector of the Zodiac. This means that it will be a 'man's world' for four decades. It has happened before in history.

The past 42 years saw Uranus transit mostly female signs of the zodiac and during this time - 1969-2011 - the expansion of women's rights and feminism has led to women entering traditionally male work sectors.

The gender war that has led to many women feeling entitled to men's equality, when many men will tell you that there is no such thing - has ended with Uranus' entry into tropical Aries. 

These are the early years of Uranus' fresh transit into Aries, but by the mid-to-late twenty-tens, it will become all too clear that the gender wars of the baby boomers led to no one winning it.

According to Anthony Synnott, professor of sociology at Concordia University in Montreal,  what is known as the 'hatred of men,' or misandry, is now institutionalized in our popular culture.

"Joke books, fridge magnets, T-shirts, coffee mugs, newspaper cartoons, TV sitcoms all deride all men all the time. There is no equal opportunity contempt, which in some respects is probably a good thing, but one wonders about the need for contempt. 

Some misandry is likely to be grounded, like misogyny, in bitter personal experiences. Many women say that that they have had unpleasant personal experiences with men: fathers, brothers, lovers, co-workers, bosses etc. 

But I suppose that we have all been hurt by members of the opposite sex, and by members of our own sex too; however, to extrapolate from a minority to the general is surely unfortunate, even if understandable.

T-shirts say: 'Women Rule. Men Drool' and 'Boys are smelly. Throw rocks at them,' - an advocacy of violence which would be unconscionable were the sexes reversed. 'Dead Men Don't Rape,' Nor do most living men, of course. 

'So many men. So little ammunition.'  'What do you call a man with half a brain? Gifted.' And so it continues. 

One joke book is titled, 'Men and other Reptiles,' and another is '101 Reasons why a cat is better than a man.'  

The consequences of such male-negativity are not clear, but such negative affirmations seem likely to have and to have had over the decades, a negative impact on both sexes - self-loathing and/or a resistance-generated misogyny among men, and contempt for men among women.

Our sitcoms portray men as bumbling fools and idiots and usually overweight, with the women as sensible, together and attractive. Everybody might love Raymond, but he's an idiot. 

The same idiots are re-played every night: Beavis and Butthead, Trailer Park Boys, The Simpsons, Home Improvement...

We may laugh at such sexism, not recognizing it as such, but we do not laugh at racism nor sexist misogyny. To appropriate Jean Kilbourne's film on advertisements that objectified women, they are 'killing us softly.' 

This new sexism, reverse sexism, is widespread in feminist and pro-feminist literature - or propaganda, one might say - but largely ignored. One does not criticize feminism! But a fair number of feminists have criticized men in sexist terms. 

Marilyn French called men 'the enemy.' Germaine Greer wrote that that: 'women have no idea how much men hate them.' Betty Friedan, amazingly, referred to suburban domestic life as a 'comfortable concentration camp' for women, and to their husbands as SS prison guards. 

Rosalind Miles described men as 'the death sex.' Valerie Solanas wrote 'The SCUM Manifesto, the Society for Cutting Up Men,' and Robin Morgan obligingly publicized this hate literature

Alice Walker's 'The Color Purple' won the Pulitzer and is totally misandric, as are the best-sellers by Terry MacMillan. The movies were also were also very popular among women. Misandry sells. Why these black women should demonize black men, compounding sexism and racism, I don't know. It just reinforces racism.

Misandry escalated in the 1990s.The battle of the sexes became the war against women. Susan Faludi subtitled 'Backlash: The Undeclared War against American Women.' It was mostly about media criticism of feminism - the 'war' was sheer hyperbole - but it won another Pulitzer. 

Marilyn French went further and wrote 'The War against Women.' In Canada, after Marc Lepine killed 14 women in a school shooting, the federally funded Committee on the Status of Women submitted a report entitled 'The War against Women",'citing the 117 women murdered in the previous year, but ignoring double that number of men murdered in that same year. 

Misandry again, ignoring male victims for political purposes, and the downstream consequences for men and women have to be serious. 

The homicidal war against men kills mostly men. Men are the principal victims of homicide. But never mind reality. Politics is all. 

The U.S. government passed the 'Violence against Women Act' in 1994, and this was followed soon afterwards by similar legislation in Canada. Forget the far greater violence against men and, especially in the States, black men, and in Canada, First Nations men. 

There is a massive disjunction between legislation and need, thanks in part to our double standards and the cyclops syndrome of selective perception and also the failure of men to 'man up.' It is not only the criminal justice system which discriminates against men, so does the health system, the education system and the welfare system. It is all consequential to this same misandry

We are all constantly being bombarded with messages that men are stupid and it would be surprising if we were not internalizing them. Sitcoms may be comedies, but watching them is like going to school - we learn the values and attitudes being taught."

Misandry is everywhere, culturally acceptable, even normative, largely invisible, taught directly and indirectly by men and women, blind to reality, very damaging and dangerous to men and women in different ways and de-humanizing."

In the new global economy, there will be simply no time at all for misogyny or for misandry - but just to survive. And to do that, both men and women are going to need one another. Anyone with problems with gender are going to have a tougher time than they realize at present. 

People will compete for jobs and under Uranus' transit from Aries back to Libra from 2011-2053 - but the balance tilts towards men.

For women, dropping out of the labor force to return to high-cost universities is a mistake in a deflationary economy. Incurring debt in the Twenty-Tens is very foolish. Before the baby boomer generation made a mess of things, education was once thought to be the way out of poverty - now it has become a path into it.

With a severe recession, many young women continue to flood into colleges to obtain advanced degrees but many do not realize that they will have to compete with other women in similar circumstances. This means there will be a glut of overeducated women trying to obtain fewer jobs.

A better way is to think ahead is to entrepreneurship - to start new businesses - while also carefully balancing desires of a personal career, relationships and families - a very difficult balance to maintain.

The young woman's conundrum, in being able to achieve professional success against the desires of possibly raising a family must be handled early and often in order to come to terms with one's true wants in life - especially in a deflationary decade.

Personal Astrological Effects of 2012's Global Transits
To Thine Own Self Be True

Astrology offers the best insights into the past, present and future than any other science known to humanity.

Personalized astrological forecasts for individuals must take into account not only secondary progressions, but also the impacts of world transits on nativities and progressions. This complex process is performed by professional astrologers to ascertain the proper path for individuals seeking guidance about the future.

The mundane chart for the new astrological year of 2012 shows that there are ways to navigate the more negative world transits of the new year.

Know that 2012 is a powerful year that will be full of fears with wild popular sentiments in the mass media. It is also a strong political year where pundits will continue to play the same tired games of "us versus them" - accentuating the extremes - while silent on the great expanse of grays in-between.

For it is 'in-between' where the rest of us 99% live in the world. People are real and have true cares and concerns in their daily lives. And people will remind all in 2012 of just those concerns.

To navigate 2012 and beyond well, it is important to know one's own personal astrological transits.

Astrology can help and often makes the critical difference between success in failure - as long as one learns to listen and to put proper guidance into action in the physical world.

Let's take another look at the mundane chart for the Astrological New Year of 2012:

click on mundane chart to enlarge

The mundane transits for 2012 are mainly malefic - that is negative - by means of the transpersonal planets.

However, for every negative there are positives, as long as one knows where and when to look for them.

Bounty and opportunities exist everywhere in 2012. We can see this in the New Astrological Year mundane chart above.

Transiting Jupiter is trine to Pluto in Capricorn and shows benefits - physical and spiritual - are numerous. The economic and social crisis will have caused populations to re-examine what is truly important to them in their lives and those of their family, friends and neighbors.

This requires that one 'think outside the box.' And that is exactly what the positive transits of 2012 allows people to do - if they choose to.

The Jupiter-Pluto trines shows that 2012 is an excellent time to eliminate outmoded attitudes and beliefs. If there is the will - then individuals can put philosophical and spiritual ideas into real world practice.

Inspiration can work wonders for those involved in entrepreneurship as resourcefulness related to education, scientific and corporate business

These areas are highlighted:

Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Domestic Regeneration
Business funds & Grants
Joint finances
Metaphysics & Spiritualism

Innovative enterprises are featured in 2012. Those who stay the course through the year will be able to progress successfully through a deflationary decade, which in reality is the end of the methods and means of  the late 20th century.

Spiritual inspiration and quests for knowledge are also highlighted during 2012 - however, caution in extended travel is advised because of 2012's world transits. Before planning travel have a professional astrologer examine transits of the dates and times.

The position of Venus in the New Year Ingress of mid-March 2012 gives positive inclinations in artistic fields of all kinds. There will be new ways of improving old methods of doing things and how to apply financial resources effectively by thinking outside the box.

Because the institutional banking system remains untrustworthy in 2012 it is important to carefully guard how one will gain financial assistance on projects. However, those who are able to partner with others to achieve success should do so only with reliable people who share common interests.

Transiting Mars is in trine aspect to Jupiter in the March 2012 New Year Chart. This shows that significant progress can be made in many areas. Benefits can come in professional and legal affairs as long as honesty and strategies are inclusive - not simply exclusive.

Those who continue to act negatively in business matters should know that in a few years they themselves will be out of business - and will have burned their bridges behind them.

Mars in Virgo in the New Year 2012 Mundane Chart is also in earth trine to Pluto in Capricorn. The inclinations of personal leadership that will be required by Generation X - the new establishment that baby boomers want to ignore - will be powerful into 2012 and beyond.

There is no going back. Generation X is coming and when they arrive - boomers will have to get used to a new word - and that word is "no."

Forewarned is foretold.

2012 is a major year for many reasons. One of them is the coming general election campaign. We look to what may be ahead for President Barack Obama and the United States in 2012 as a powerful political year opens in earnest.

The Cardinal Crisis
Challenges & Choices For President Obama:
What Vision For The Future?

By Theodore White, mundane Astrolog.

In following a strict principle of mine, I will not comment on the personal astrological transits of a sitting American president.

The year 2012 is the year of a general election in the United States and for President Barack Obama and the nation, it will be a very important year of challenges, choices and decisions.

Mundane transits for the United States, as for the world, clearly show that 2012 will determine how the rest of the decade will proceed. This makes 2012 one of the most important solar years of the decade.

As political operatives and pundits angle to gain any advantage for their parties and candidates, what is most apparent are that voters are suffering, angry and very much upset with corporate, financial and political structures alike. Many legislators have decided not to run for office in 2012, mainly because of redistricting - but also because times are surely changing.

It is obvious that President Obama realizes this, given his December 6, 2011 speech in Osawatomie, Kansas where the president took on a populist tone. Obama chose the town of Osawatomie - where President Theodore Roosevelt delivered his 'New Nationalism' speech - to outline his own intentions to strengthen the American middle class devastated by the economic crisis.

“This country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share and when everyone plays by the same rules,” the president said.

The president, who has taken on a populist tone, seems intent on making himself heard on the severe economic and social crisis that has been exacerbated since the autumn of 2008.

"Today, we’re still home to the world’s most productive workers. We’re still home to the world’s most innovative companies. But for most Americans, the basic bargain that made this country great has eroded. 

Long before the recession hit, hard work stopped paying off for too many people. Fewer and fewer of the folks who contributed to the success of our economy actually benefited from that success. Those at the very top grew wealthier from their incomes and their investments - wealthier than ever before. 

 But everybody else struggled with costs that were growing and paychecks that weren’t - and too many families found themselves racking up more and more debt just to keep up."

Listening to President Obama in Osawatomie, Kansas on December 6, 2011.
Image: Pete Souza

"Now, for many years, credit cards and home equity loans papered over this harsh reality. But in 2008, the house of cards collapsed," Obama said.

 "We all know the story by now: 

 Mortgages sold to people who couldn’t afford them, or even sometimes understand them. Banks and investors allowed to keep packaging the risk and selling it off. 

 Huge bets - and huge bonuses - made with other people’s money on the line. Regulators who were supposed to warn us about the dangers of all this, but looked the other way or didn’t have the authority to look at all.

It was wrong. It combined the breathtaking greed of a few with irresponsibility all across the system. And it plunged our economy and the world into a crisis from which we’re still fighting to recover. 

 It claimed the jobs and the homes and the basic security of millions of people -  innocent, hardworking Americans who had met their responsibilities but were still left holding the bag. 

And ever since, there’s been a raging debate over the best way to restore growth and prosperity, restore balance, restore fairness. 

 Throughout the country, it’s sparked protests and political movements - from the tea party to the people who’ve been occupying the streets of New York and other cities. 

 It’s left Washington in a near-constant state of gridlock. It’s been the topic of heated and sometimes colorful discussion among the men and women running for president.

But, Osawatomie, this is not just another political debate. This is the defining issue of our time. This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class, and for all those who are fighting to get into the middle class. 

 Because what’s at stake is whether this will be a country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home, secure their retirement. 

Now, in the midst of this debate, there are some who seem to be suffering from a kind of collective amnesia. 

After all that’s happened, after the worst economic crisis, the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, they want to return to the same practices that got us into this mess. 

 In fact, they want to go back to the same policies that stacked the deck against middle-class Americans for way too many years. And their philosophy is simple: We are better off when everybody is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules. 

I am here to say they are wrong. I’m here in Kansas to reaffirm my deep conviction that we’re greater together than we are on our own. I believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share, when everyone plays by the same rules. 

These aren’t Democratic values or Republican values. These aren’t 1 percent values or 99 percent values. They’re American values. And we have to reclaim them."

Mr. Romney is hardly alone in elevating the stakes of the presidential race to levels approaching survival of our way of life.

Of the coming 2012 presidential election, Mitt Romney said on Dec. 29, 2011 that the 2012 election, “could be our last chance” to save the United States from Greece-like bankruptcy. The nation, Romney said, is “only inches away from no longer being a free economy.” 

The task ahead, Romney said at a campaign stop days before the Iowa caucuses start the Republican primary season, was nothing less than “saving the soul of America.”

Noting the astrological transits of 2012 and the synodic return of planets associated with severe economic depress, other candidates for the White House have followed suit.

“I believe this election is the most important election since 1860,” said. Newt Gingrich said. Another republican candidate, Jon M. Huntsman Jr. said that the 2012 election would be be the most important of his lifetime, or maybe since the Great Depression.

“This election is about whether America and its very essence will continue, whether it will be free and safe and prosperous,” another Republican candidate for president - Rick Santorum - said in autumn 2011.

We will hear more of the great importance of the 2012 election where a Republican Party whose conservative  platform sees President Obama to be keen on replacing what the Republicans call 'market forces' with federal government mandates.

What is certainly apparent is that the coming political year will be about the definition of what the 2012 election will be about.

This clearly is about a vision for the future of a nation in the midst of what I continue to state are historic times.

When Republicans use the term 'class warfare' what they really mean are the stark generational differences that are now quite apparent in our changing times. As the baby boomer establishment ends its 18.5-year control of nations worldwide, including in the United States - the 2012 general election will be about moving toward a new vision of America.

What is now underway is a political contest to define just what the 2012 election is about. Even as Republican candidates have been fighting it out amongst themselves in their ever-shifting primary campaign, President Obama has turned the volume up to make 2012 about clash of visions on how to insure a better future for the middle class and poor.

In the process, he is also working to define what the election is not about: the persistently high unemployment rate and his inability to point to hope for a robust economic recovery.

"And in 1910, Teddy Roosevelt came here to Osawatomie and he laid out his vision for what he called a New Nationalism, Obama said. 'Our country,' he said, '…means nothing unless it means the triumph of a real democracy…of an economic system under which each man shall be guaranteed the opportunity to show the best that there is in him.'

"Now, for this, Roosevelt was called a radical," Obama said. "He was called a socialist - even a communist. But today, we are a richer nation and a stronger democracy because of what he fought for in his last campaign: an eight-hour work day and a minimum wage for women; insurance for the unemployed and for the elderly; and those with disabilities; political reform and a progressive income tax. 

"Today, over 100 years later, our economy has gone through another transformation. Over the last few decades, huge advances in technology have allowed businesses to do more with less, and it’s made it easier for them to set up shop and hire workers anywhere they want in the world. And many of you know firsthand the painful disruptions this has caused for a lot of Americans. 

Factories where people thought they would retire suddenly picked up and went overseas, where workers were cheaper. Steel mills that needed 100 - or 1,000 employees are now able to do the same work with 100 employees, so layoffs too often became permanent, not just a temporary part of the business cycle. 

 And these changes didn’t just affect blue-collar workers. If you were a bank teller or a phone operator or a travel agent, you saw many in your profession replaced by ATMs and the Internet. 

Today, even higher-skilled jobs, like accountants and middle management can be outsourced to countries like China or India. 

 And if you’re somebody whose job can be done cheaper by a computer or someone in another country, you don’t have a lot of leverage with your employer when it comes to asking for better wages or better benefits, especially since fewer Americans today are part of a union. 

Now, just as there was in Teddy Roosevelt’s time, there is a certain crowd in Washington who, for the last few decades, have said, let’s respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune. 'The market will take care of everything,' they tell us. 

 If we just cut more regulations and cut more taxes - especially for the wealthy - our economy will grow stronger. Sure, they say, there will be winners and losers. But if the winners do really well, then jobs and prosperity will eventually trickle down to everybody else. And, they argue, even if prosperity doesn’t trickle down, well, that’s the price of liberty.

Now, it’s a simple theory. And we have to admit, it’s one that speaks to our rugged individualism and our healthy skepticism of too much government. That’s in America’s DNA. And that theory fits well on a bumper sticker. 

But here’s the problem: It doesn’t work. It has never worked. It didn’t work when it was tried in the decade before the Great Depression. It’s not what led to the incredible postwar booms of the ‘50s and ‘60s. And it didn’t work when we tried it during the last decade. I mean, understand, it’s not as if we haven’t tried this theory.

Remember in those years, in 2001 and 2003, Congress passed two of the most expensive tax cuts for the wealthy in history. And what did it get us? 

 The slowest job growth in half a century. Massive deficits that have made it much harder to pay for the investments that built this country and provided the basic security that helped millions of Americans reach and stay in the middle class - things like education and infrastructure, science and technology, Medicare and Social Security.

Remember that in those same years, thanks to some of the same folks who are now running Congress, we had weak regulation, we had little oversight, and what did it get us? Insurance companies that jacked up people’s premiums with impunity and denied care to patients who were sick, mortgage lenders that tricked families into buying homes they couldn’t afford, a financial sector where irresponsibility and lack of basic oversight nearly destroyed our entire economy. 

We simply cannot return to this brand of 'you’re on your own' economics if we’re serious about rebuilding the middle class in this country. 

We know that it doesn’t result in a strong economy. It results in an economy that invests too little in its people and in its future. We know it doesn’t result in a prosperity that trickles down. It results in a prosperity that’s enjoyed by fewer and fewer of our citizens. 

Look at the statistics. In the last few decades, the average income of the top 1 percent has gone up by more than 250 percent to $1.2 million per year. I’m not talking about millionaires, people who have a million dollars. I’m saying people who make a million dollars every single year. 

 For the top one hundredth of 1 percent, the average income is now $27 million per year. The typical CEO who used to earn about 30 times more than his or her worker now earns 110 times more. And yet, over the last decade the incomes of most Americans have actually fallen by about 6 percent.

Now, this kind of inequality - a level that we haven’t seen since the Great Depression - hurts us all. When middle-class families can no longer afford to buy the goods and services that businesses are selling, when people are slipping out of the middle class, it drags down the entire economy from top to bottom. 

 America was built on the idea of broad-based prosperity, of strong consumers all across the country. That’s why a CEO like Henry Ford made it his mission to pay his workers enough so that they could buy the cars he made. It’s also why a recent study showed that countries with less inequality tend to have stronger and steadier economic growth over the long run.

Inequality also distorts our democracy. It gives an out-sized voice to the few who can afford high-priced lobbyists and unlimited campaign contributions, and it runs the risk of selling out our democracy to the highest bidder. It leaves everyone else rightly suspicious that the system in Washington is rigged against them, that our elected representatives aren’t looking out for the interests of most Americans."

Seeing an opportunity to engineer a fundamental change in Washington’s ideological direction, Republicans may decide to play along, seeking a broad mandate in order to frame the 2012 election as historic.

Where Republicans warn of impending class warfare, the president speaks of income inequality. Where Republicans cite the perils of over-regulation and heavy hand of government, Obama invokes consumer protection and the destructive excesses of a financial system gone wild.

Where Republicans say there will be more Democratic tax increases, Obama talks of equitable burden-sharing. And where Republicans portray Obama as 'European' in his sensibilities that are downright un-American, the president casts himself as a modern-day Theodore Roosevelt.

Astrological transits show the president's advisers are confident that now is an good time to define the choice of radically different visions for America's future, and by doing so they can avoid a referendum on the economic troubles of the present.

“This is the defining issue of our time,” Obama said. “This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class, and for all those who are fighting to get into the middle class. Because what’s at stake is whether this will be a country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home, secure their retirement.”

World transits show that the winter of 2012 will be one of discontent. Where tens of millions of America fear that another Great Depression is at their doorsteps and voters want to know what Washington DC will do about halting it. 

An overwhelming number of Americans say that the country is on the wrong track. It appears, for the time being, that President Obama agrees with them.


Keynes Was Right
John Maynard Keynes

By Paul Krugman
New York Times

“The boom, not the slump, is the right time for austerity at the Treasury.”

So declared John Maynard Keynes in 1937, even as Franklin Deleno Roosevelt was about to prove him right by trying to balance the budget too soon, sending the United States economy - which had been steadily recovering up to that point - into a severe recession. 

Slashing government spending in a depressed economy depresses the economy further; austerity should wait until a strong recovery is well under way.

Unfortunately, in late 2010 and early 2011, politicians and policy makers in much of the Western world believed that they knew better, that we should focus on deficits, not jobs, even though our economies had barely begun to recover from the slump that followed the financial crisis.

And by acting on that anti-Keynesian belief, they ended up proving Keynes right all over again.

In declaring Keynesian economics vindicated I am, of course, at odds with conventional wisdom. 

In Washington, in particular, the failure of the Obama stimulus package to produce an employment boom is generally seen as having proved that government spending can’t create jobs. 

But those of us who did the math realized, right from the beginning, that the Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (more than a third of which, by the way, took the relatively ineffective form of tax cuts) was much too small given the depth of the slump. And we also predicted the resulting political backlash.

So the real test of Keynesian economics hasn’t come from the half-hearted efforts of the U.S. federal government to boost the economy, which were largely offset by cuts at the state and local levels. 

It has, instead, come from European nations like Greece and Ireland that had to impose savage fiscal austerity as a condition for receiving emergency loans - and have suffered Depression-level economic slumps, with real G.D.P. in both countries down by double digits.

This wasn’t supposed to happen, according to the ideology that dominates much of our political discourse. In March 2011, the Republican staff of Congress’s Joint Economic Committee released a report titled “Spend Less, Owe Less, Grow the Economy.” 

It ridiculed concerns that cutting spending in a slump would worsen that slump, arguing that spending cuts would improve consumer and business confidence, and that this might well lead to faster, not slower, growth.

They should have known better even at the time: the alleged historical examples of “expansionary austerity” they used to make their case had already been thoroughly debunked. 

And there was also the embarrassing fact that many on the right had prematurely declared Ireland a success story, demonstrating the virtues of spending cuts, in mid-2010, only to see the Irish slump deepen and whatever confidence investors might have felt evaporate.

Amazingly, by the way, it happened all over again this year. There were widespread proclamations that Ireland had turned the corner, proving that austerity works - and then the numbers came in, and they were as dismal as before.

Yet the insistence on immediate spending cuts continued to dominate the political landscape, with malign effects on the U.S. economy. 

True, there weren’t major new austerity measures at the federal level, but there was a lot of “passive” austerity as the Obama stimulus faded out and cash-strapped state and local governments continued to cut.

Now, you could argue that Greece and Ireland had no choice about imposing austerity, or, at any rate, no choices other than defaulting on their debts and leaving the Euro. 

But another lesson of 2011 was that America did and does have a choice; Washington may be obsessed with the deficit, but financial markets are, if anything, signaling that we should borrow more.

Again, this wasn’t supposed to happen. 

We entered 2011 amid dire warnings about a Greek-style debt crisis that would happen as soon as the Federal Reserve stopped buying bonds, or the rating agencies ended our triple-A status, or the superdupercommittee failed to reach a deal, or something. 

But the Fed ended its bond-purchase program in June; Standard & Poor’s downgraded America in August; the supercommittee deadlocked in November; and U.S. borrowing costs just kept falling. 

In fact, at this point, inflation-protected U.S. bonds pay negative interest: investors are willing to pay America to hold their money.

The bottom line is that 2011 was a year in which our political elite obsessed over short-term deficits that aren’t actually a problem and, in the process, made the real problem - a depressed economy and mass unemployment - worse.

The good news, such as it is, is that President Obama has finally gone back to fighting against premature austerity - and he seems to be winning the political battle. 

And one of these years we might actually end up taking Keynes’s advice, which is every bit as valid now as it was 75 years ago.


We now turn to the world's climate for 2012. In my astrometeorological forecasts over the years, I stated that the Sun is the cause of all climate change. A law of physics. Despite the ideological arguments to the contrary, humanity is not the cause of climate change.

For 2012, I see a shift back towards global warming, which will bring several years of hot temperatures, dry conditions and spreading drought.

Astromet 2012 Climate Outlook

Forecast by Theodore White, astrometeorologist.S

The climate and weather will remain major world news in 2012.

The Sun will become very active in 2012 and for several years will be in a new maximum state as we see the final years of solar-forced global warming wind down powerfully. 

After I issued my long-range climate/weather outlook back in 2006 for 'extremes of weather' to dominate world headlines with my forecast of El Nino followed by La Nina in 2009-2011, some people did not believe it, rather choosing to buy into the fallacy of 'man-made global warming' - which I continue to state does not exist.

All climate and weather are forced by astronomical means.

It is the Sun that is the cause of all climate change.

If climate scientists and meteorologists would apply the laws of astrophysics to climate and weather forecasting they would easily be able to do what the astrologers of yore were able to accomplish - and that is to forecast the weather and climate accurately - far in advance - by astronomical means, which by the way, is the only means of doing it.

The politics of 'man-made' global warming does not successfully forecast the climate. Nor does ideology. 

For years now, people of the world have been bamboozled by careerists who continue to deny the laws of physics and thermodynamics by pushing onto humanity something it cannot, nor ever will be ever to do - and that is to change the climate of the Earth.

Again, it is the Sun that is the cause of all climate change. Opinion, politics and ideology can never change that - at all. 

In my astrometeorological forecast the year 2012 is a warmer-than-normal and dry year featuring above average temperatures and spreading drought in various regions - especially those at southern latitudes - throughout the year.

We are entering the 31st year of solar forced global warming with five (6) more years to go. These five years will witness the Sun in it maximum phase with solar storms more frequent - thus heightening the weather extremes on Earth.

My climate outlook is this - prepare for a hot and steamy year in 2012.

All climate conditions are forced by the activity of the Sun with its powerful winds of cosmic rays and geomagnetic forces modulated by the Moon and planets.

Humanity has never been the cause of global warming - for it is the Sun that is the cause. It has always been this way since the origin of the Earth and the solar system.

Cyclones, hurricanes and monsoons will become more active in 2012's warmer climate.

Years ago, I forecasted what I called 'extremes of weather' for 2010 and 2011 that would break record books. This, despite opinions to the contrary from climatologists, meteorologists and weather enthusiasts on weather boards - some who told me I was wrong (before the time arrived) and that my astrological climate/weather predictions would not happen.

I hate to say it again, but, I told you so...

Climate Scientists Confused By Extreme Years Of Weather
Extremes of Weather: A severe blizzard storm shut down the city of Chicago in February 2011
image: Kiichiro Sato/AP

By Justin Gillis
The New York Times

December 24, 2011 -- At the end of one of the most bizarre weather years in American history, climate research stands at a crossroads.

Scientists say they could, in theory, do a much better job of answering the question: “Did global warming have anything to do with it?” - after extreme weather events like the drought in Texas and the floods in New England.

More 'extremes of weather' - Drought: a dried lake bed in San Angelo, Texas in August 2011
Images: Tony Gutierrez/AP

But for many reasons, efforts to put out prompt reports on the causes of extreme weather are essentially languishing. 

Chief among the difficulties that scientists face: the political environment for new climate-science initiatives has turned hostile, and with the federal budget crisis, money is tight.

And so, as the weather becomes more erratic by the year, the public is left to wonder what is going on?

When 2010 ended, it seemed as if people had lived through a startling year of weather extremes. 

But in the United States, if not elsewhere, 2011 has surpassed that.

A typical year in this country features three or four weather disasters whose costs exceed $1 billion each. 

But this year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has tallied a dozen such events, including wildfires in the Southwest, floods in multiple regions of the country and a deadly spring tornado season. 

And the agency has not finished counting. The final costs are certain to exceed $50 billion.

Climate Extremes: The city of Joplin, Mo., after devastating tornadoes in May 2011
Image: Mike Gullett/AP

“I’ve been a meteorologist 30 years and never seen a year that comes close to matching 2011 for the number of astounding, extreme weather events,” Jeffrey Masters, a co-founder of the popular Web site Weather Underground, said last month. “Looking back in the historical record, which goes back to the late 1800s, I can’t find anything that compares, either.”

Many of the individual events in 2011 do have precedents in the historical record. And the nation’s climate has featured other concentrated periods of extreme weather, including severe cold snaps in the early 20th century and devastating droughts and heat waves in the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s.

But it is unusual, if not unprecedented, for so many extremes to occur in such a short span. 

American heatwave in Summer 2011

The calamities in 2011 included wildfires that scorched millions of acres, extreme flooding in the Upper Midwest and the Mississippi River Valley and heat waves that shattered records in many parts of the country. 

Abroad, massive floods inundated Australia, the Philippines and large parts of Southeast Asia.

Historic Australian Floods

A major question nowadays is whether the frequency of particular weather extremes is being affected by human-induced climate change.

But if the human contribution to heat and precipitation is clear, scientists are on shakier ground analyzing many other events. Tornadoes, the deadliest weather disaster to hit the country this year, present a particularly thorny case.

On their face, weather statistics suggest that tornadoes are becoming more numerous as the climate warms. But tornadoes are small and hard to count, and scientists have little confidence in the accuracy of older data, which means they do not know whether to believe the apparent increase. 

Likewise, the computer programs they use to analyze and forecast the climate do not do a good job of representing events as small as tornadoes.

Some scientists have offered theories about how increasing heat and moisture may have made tornado outbreaks more likely, but these have not yet been tested in rigorous analyses. Many other types of extreme weather fall into this category, with scientists lacking a strong basis for attributing increases to human activity, or for discounting a human effect.

The question can sometimes be answered with focused studies of a specific weather event, but these are often finished years afterward. Lately, scientists have been discussing whether they can do a better job of analyzing events within days or weeks, not years.

“It’s clear we do have the scientific tools and the statistical wherewithal to begin answering these types of questions,” said Benjamin D. Santer, a climate scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

But doing this on a regular basis would probably require new personnel spread across several research teams, along with a strong push by the federal government, which tends to be the major source of financing and direction for climate and weather research. Yet Washington is essentially frozen on the subject of climate change.

This year, when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tried to push through a reorganization that would have provided better climate forecasts to businesses, citizens and local governments, Republicans in the House of Representatives blocked it. 

The idea had originated in the Bush administration, was strongly endorsed by an outside review panel and would have cost no extra money. But the House Republicans, many of whom reject the overwhelming scientific consensus about the causes of global warming, labeled the plan an attempt by the Obama administration to start a “propaganda” arm on climate.

In an interview, Jane Lubchenco, the director of NOAA, rejected that claim and said her agency had been deluged with information requests regarding future climate risks. “It’s truly unfortunate that we are not allowed to become more effective and efficient in delivering that information,” she said.

NOAA does finance research to understand the causes of weather extremes, as do the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy. But with the strains on the federal budget, Dr. Lubchenco said, “it’s going to be more and more challenging to devote resources to many of our research programs.”

Some steps are being taken. Peter A. Stott, a leading climate scientist in Britain, has been pressing colleagues on both sides of the Atlantic to develop a robust capability to analyze weather extremes in real time. He is part of a group that expects to publish, next summer, the first complete analysis of a full year of extremes, focusing on 2011.

In an interview, Dr. Stott said the goal was to get to a point where “the methodologies are robust enough that you can do it in a kind of handle-turning way.”

But he added that it was important to start slowly and establish a solid scientific foundation for this type of work. That might mean that some of the early analyses would not be especially satisfying to the public.

“In some cases, we would say we have a confident result,” Dr. Stott said. “We may in some cases have to say, with the current state of the science, it’s not possible to make a reliable attribution statement at this point.”
Of all the Dragon years, the 2012 Water Dragon is most likely to bestow what the Chinese call the five blessings - harmony, virtue, riches, fulfillment and longevity - adding anticipation to the growing belief that 2012 will be a groundbreaking year.
The year 2011 was certainly a challenging year with signs of things to come in 2012. 

Let's now explore some of the world events of 2011:

[Editor's Note: Some images are disturbing. Discretion is advised]

The Cardinal Crisis
2011: Tensions, Turmoil & Tragedies
A man struggles with a New York City police supervisor during the Occupy Wall Street clashes in October 2011.
Image: Andrew Burton/AP

By Theodore White, mundane Astrolog.S

For several years I had been issuing warnings on Internet boards prior to 2008 that times were about to change drastically due to the inclinations of the outer planets relative to the Earth.

The major configuration that has ushered in what I continue to call historic times has been the Saturn, Uranus Pluto T-square. A previous one in the early 1930s signaled great economic, political and social changes in that era. This new Saturn, Uranus, Pluto T-square forms part of what I call the 'Cardinal Crisis' - signals major changes to come in the Twenty-Tens.

This crisis, inclined by the outer planets in the cardinal tropical signs of the Zodiac, is a global phenomena. In time, most people will know that major transformations have been underway in the world.

People will respond in many different ways to the changes taking place, and those to come in 2012.

As the transiting Lunar Nodes shifted from the cardinal polarity of Capricorn/Cancer to the mutable axis of Sagittarius/Gemini in March 2011 we witnessed the continuing struggles across the planet that caused 2011 to become an extraordinary year of turmoil.

What came to be known as the 'Arab Spring' in North Africa led to populations turning on corrupt governments in massive street protests in countries like Egypt, Libya and Yemen. 

This was followed by the ingress of Uranus into tropical Aries as a powerful earthquake struck off the coast of Japan - fueling a powerful tsunami that caused several nuclear meltdowns with widespread radiation.

Meanwhile, the 2007-2008 economic crisis in the United States found its way to Europe, where three prime ministers found their careers ended over the decline of the Euro currency, which going into 2012 is now considered to be on life support as European countries face the specter of deep levels of austerity.

By the end of 2011, three major leaders in Arab states were toppled.

The first was Tunisian President Zine El Abdine Ben Ali, who was thrown into exile six weeks after a young vegetable vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi sparked a national mass uprising by setting himself - literally - on fire.

Tunisian fruit vendor Mohamed Bouazizi, age 26, set himself on fire in protest at his treatment by local authorities to deny him a living. The ensuing public outrage eventually forced out a 23-year old dictatorship in Tunisia.

The most famous leader toppled from power was Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, who ruled the north African nation with an iron fist for one Saturn cycle - 29 years.

Mubarek and his regime were thrown out of power as Saturn returned to tropical Libra 29 years later. It took 18 days of protest by vast crowds who battled brutal security forces throughout Egypt to force Mubarak and his cohorts out of government 

Egyptians hit the streets in rage.

One of the bloodiest battles took place in another North African nation, Libya, where Col. Moammar Qaddafi , who reined for 42 years, was forced out of power by NATO bombing and internal Libyan rebel groups. 

Qaddafi was killed in October 2011 trying to escape from a secret underground holdout in Libya. There is more detail on the killing of Qaddafi in this edition of Global Astrology.

The shocking discovery of Libya's former dictator, found cowering in a water drain on Oct. 20, 2011 in his hometown of Sirte, was captured by Ali Algadi, a rebel fighter, with his iPhone just seconds after Qaddafi was dragged from the drain in which he was hiding.Although clearly injured, Qaddafi is still alive during the capture. His captors were heard shouting, "Dont' kill him! Don't kill him! We need him alive!" Fighters at the scene said Qaddafi was first injured in the shoulder and leg when he was found. Blood appeared to be flowing from a head injury. According to the official statement by Libya's new National Transitional Council, Qaddafi was shot before his capture but died from his wounds on the same day on route to Misrata.

Meanwhile, in the Arab nation of Yemen, street and internal intrigues continue over the reign of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who reportedly agreed to leave power on December 23, 2011.

The nation of Bahrain continues to suffer from street battles from people who say that they have had enough of political corruption amid widespread violations of civil rights.

Blood continues to spill on the streets of Syria where a reported 5,000+ Syrians - including women and children - are said to have been killed by the security forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

World tensions in the Middle East continued as the United Nation's atomic agency accused Iran of working secretly on building nuclear weapons. Renewed sanctions led to a mob seizing the British embassy in Tehran.

The Middle East witnessed these surges according to world transits as social media played a major role in uprisings and movements past censors and into the public sphere. Israel's summer 2011 of discontent which brought masses of people onto the street protesting high prices and inequalities. 

In autumn 2011 the 'Occupy' movement stretched from Wall Street to cities worldwide. The geopolitical event begun by Americans on September 17, 2011 was ignored by the mainstream mass media for weeks -until they could ignore it no longer.

After the 'Arab Spring' came the 'American Autumn' as the generational disparity between rich, middle class and poor were most clearly shown in the 'Occupy' movements that spread across the United States and western nations during the autumn months of 2011.

Economics dominated in 2011, particularly in the Europe Union that began with a massive financial bailout for Greece's suffering economy. Greeks hit the streets en mass against the severe austerity measures being forced on the population.

As other European economies came under pressure facing the likelihood of severe austerity measures; the embattled prime ministers of Greece and Italy were forced to resign as the Spanish prime minister was thrown out in an election that featured the return of conservative government to Spain.

While street politics and financial fears filled the headlines; the nine-year war in Iraq came to an end with the departure of the last American soldiers.

The Iraq War cost more than an estimated $800 billion. The war, started by former president George W. Bush, left 4,500 Americans and 110,000+ Iraqis dead.

What is left in Iraq is a fragile democracy hanging by a thread with great potential for increased sectarian violence.

Meanwhile, the 10-year war in Afghanistan continues with more than 500 foreign troops - nearly 400 of them American - killed in combat.
NATO will spend another year in 2012 attempting to train 350,000 Afghan troops and police to take over security once foreign military forces are scheduled to leave in the year 2014.

That is a little over two years away; yet 2011 was marked by spectacular Taliban operations - among them the downing of a U.S. military helicopter that killed 30 Americans and seven Afghan commandos aboard - the war's single deadliest loss of American lives.
The events in spring 2011 saw Osama bin Laden reported to have been killed by U.S. Navy Seals who helicoptered secretly into Pakistan and raided the house where Bin Laden was said to be living.

Recriminations followed from Pakistan - a major U.S.'s ally in the war against the Taliban - for invading Pakistan's air space.

As Uranus entered tropical Aries on March 11, 2011 the nation of Japan experienced the most powerful earthquake on record.

The quake caused a tsunami that crashed into the country's eastern coast - leaving in its wake an estimated 19,334 dead or missing with damage estimated at nearly $220 billion.

As a result of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and resulting tsunami - three nuclear reactor cores melted down at Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant complex. 

The nuclear meltdown spewed deadly radiation that continues to pour into the air, water and soil as well as across the Pacific into other nations.

click on graphic to enlarge
The Japanese earthquake was the world's worst disaster of 2011. 

News out of the peaceful nation of Norway shocked everyone as mass killer Anders Behring Breivik set off a bomb in Oslo's government district just as the summer holiday season started.

After the Oslo bomb went off, Breivik, dressed as a police officer, then proceeded to a political summer camp being held on a Norwegian island where he was said to have gunned down youths as they fled for their lives. 

The attacks killed 77 people in Norway's worst violence since World War II. 

Anders Behring Breivik

Psychiatric experts have since declared Brevik - a self-styled anti-Muslim militant - legally insane.

For the United Kingdom, the year 2011 was a busy year of street riots.

Protesting British students attack the limo of Prince Charles and his wife Camilla

Riots broke out again in England in the month of August 2011.

Then, to end the summer in England, revelations of widespread invasion of cell phone privacy by Rupert Murdoch's tabloid newspapers shocked the British as Murdoch's New Of the World closed shop for the last time in the wake of the scandals.

In Central America, the Mexican drug wars between cartels and the government marked its fifth year of unbelievable acts of violence that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.

The violence in Mexico continued unabated in 2011 as vicious cartels battled one another for control of lucrative drug routes into North America while killing innocents who have nothing to do with the drug trade.

In late December 2011, the Mexican army announced that it had captured the head of security for Sinaloa drug cartel head Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, one of the world's most wanted men. The suspect, who was not identified by name, was captured in the Sinaloa state capital of Culiacan. 

Guzman, Mexico's top drug lord, is one of the world's richest men. He has eluded authorities by constantly moving around and hiding since a 2001 escape from prison in a laundry truck. 

Worth more than $1 billion, according to Forbes magazine, which has listed Guzman among the 'world's most powerful people' he has a $7 million bounty on his head with thousands of law enforcement agents from the U.S. and other countries working to capture him. 

Guzman's cartel controls cocaine trafficking on the Mexican border with California and has moved eastward to the corridor between the Mexican state of Sonora, which borders Arizona. 

The horrid acts of violence in Mexico went on in December 2011 with Mexican soldiers saying they discovered 13 bodies in an abandoned truck on Christmas Day along with a message saying that the people were killed in a war between rival drug cartels in the eastern state of Veracruz, officials said.

The bodies were found in Tamaulipas state, a few hundred yards (meters) from its border with Veracruz, according to the Tamaulipas attorney general's office.

The area has been the scene of bloody battles between the Gulf and Zetas cartels, and a pair of banners alluding to a rivalry were found in the truck, the statement from the attorney-general's office said.

On Friday, the attorney general's office in Veracruz said it had found 10 bodies in a different area along the border with Tamaulipas after receiving a tip.

On Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011 three U.S. citizens traveling to spend the holidays with relatives in Mexico were among those killed in a spree of shooting attacks on buses. In the spree, a group of gunmen attacked three buses in Veracruz, killing a total of seven passengers.

The Americans killed were a mother and her two daughters who were returning to visit their relatives in the region, known as the Huasteca, according to an official in the neighboring state of Hidalgo, where the mother was born.

Hidalgo state regional assistant secretary Jorge Rocha identified the dead American mother as Maria Sanchez Hernandez, 39, of Fort Worth, Texas, and the daughters as Karla, 19, and Cristina, 13.

Innocents Murdered: Maria Sanchez Hernandez, 39, of Fort Worth, Texas, and her two daughters Karla, 19, and Cristina, 13 years old.

Rocha said all three held dual U.S.-Mexican citizenship. A 14-year-old Mexican nephew traveling with the three was also killed.

A U.S. Embassy official confirmed the American nationality but was not authorized to be quoted by name, the official said consular authorities were offering assistance to the victims' relatives. The funeral plans were unclear, but Rocha said Sanchez Hernandez's mother wants her daughter to be buried in Mexico.

Three other Mexican citizens were killed in the Dec. 22 attacks on the three buses.

The five gunmen who allegedly carried out the attacks were said to have been later killed by soldiers.

Earlier in their spree, Mexian officials said the gunmen shot to death three people and killed a fourth with grenade in the nearby town of El Higo, Veracruz.

On Dec. 22, 2011, the U.S. Consulate General in Matamoros, a Mexican border city north of where the attacks occurred, said in a statement that "several vehicles," including the buses, were attacked, but did not specify what the other vehicles were.

The consulate urged Americans to "exercise caution" when traveling in Veracruz, and "avoid intercity road travel at night."

While the specific area where the attacks occurred is not frequented by foreign travelers, other parts of the Huasteca - a hilly, verdant area on the Gulf coast - are popular among Mexican tourists and some foreigners.

The attack occurred near the border with the state of Tamaulipas, an area that has been the scene of bloody battles between the Zetas and Gulf drug cartels.

The five gunmen who allegedly carried out the attacks were later shot to death by soldiers.

Earlier, the gunmen also killed four people in the nearby town of El Higo, Veracruz.

Local police in Veracruz had become so thoroughly corrupt that on Dec. 21, 2011 the Mexican government chose to dissolve the entire force in that state's largest city, also known as Veracruz, and sent the Navy in to patrol. Nearly 800 police officers and 300 administrative employees were immediately fired.

The year 2011 clearly showed the power of the Cardinal Crisis world transits. Let's examine one nation where upheaval give a clear example of the historic geopolitical changes that are sure to continue into 2012.

[Editor's Note - The following item contains disturbing images. Discretion is strongly advised]

The Cardinal Crisis
Libya's Violent Turn:
The Murder of Muammar Qaddafi

By Theodore White, mundane Astrolog.S

Mundane Astrology is the most serious and far-reaching of all the forecasting sciences. The impacts of events throughout the world often extend further into the future than most people are aware of at the time of any event. 

Mundane astrologers are therefore keen, not only on major world events, but also minor ones which may at first glance only 'appear' to have ended a story, when in fact, the story has only just begun.

The mind of a mundane astrologer operates remote from the intellect of most people. This is due to the facts of stellar and planetary motions across the months and years into the future, as well as deep knowledge of the truths of the past.

Such was the case with events in North Africa, a region of the world that has been an astrological hot zone because of transits of the outer planets relative to longitude. 

The events that continue to take place in North Africa is connected to future energy sources - in a world where old resources 'appear' to be running low. 

My examination of the horoscope of Muammar Qaddafi, his last name spelled many ways, is filled with contradictions. 

Nativity of Muammar Qaddafi

Qaddafi's natal Moon in Aries was conjoined by transiting Uranus in Aries, showing that the end of his life would come by a gunshot wound to the head, which is ruled Aries.

On June 7, 1942, Qaddafi was born the son of a Bedouin herdsman. His mother gave birth to him in a tent near the city of Sirte on the Mediterranean coast. He gave up studying geography at university and decided to opt for a military career where he trained at a British army signals school.

Qaddafi took power in a still mysterious bloodless military coup in 1969 when he toppled King Idris who was out of the country at the time. In the 1970s Qaddafi announced his 'Third Universal Theory', called a middle road between communism and capitalism, as he explained in his Green Book.

He then oversaw a rapid industrial and educational development of Libya, previously known in history for having gigantic oil reserves and where huge tank battles between the Nazi Germany and the Allies took place during the Second World War.

One of Qaddafi's first tasks on taking power was to build up the armed forces, but he also spent billions of dollars of oil income on improving the living standards of Libyans.

Qaddafi poured money into giant projects such as a steel plant in the town of Misrata and the Great Man-Made River - a project to pipe water from desert wells to coastal communities.

Qaddafi (on right) with Cuba's Fidel Castro

He embraced the pan-Arabic philosophy of the late Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser and tried to merge Libya, Egypt and Syria into a federation.

In 1977 he changed the country's name to the Great Socialist Popular Libyan Arab Jamahiriyah (State of the Masses).

For much of his rule he was shunned by the West, which accused him of links to terrorism and revolutionary movements. He was particularly reviled after the 1988 Pan Am airliner bombing over Lockerbie, by Libyan agents in which 270 people were killed.

An admited revolutionary socialist, Qaddafi was North Africa's most maverick leaders.

Qaddafi, far right, is seen here in this image from the 1970s. The brutal Uganda president, Idi Amin (left) sits at the wheel of the jeep.

His astrological secondary progressions clearly showed that Qaddafi was willing to continue his fight against what he saw as 'outsiders' - mainly the U.S., Britain and France through the powers of NATO - to grab Libya's oil and gas reserves.

Early in 2011, as rebel fighters in Libya continued to receive support from NATO in bombing Qaddafi's forces, it was obvious that time was not on Qaddafi's side. In a little more than eight months, it would all be over.

By late spring into the summer of 2011 the tide had turned with increased NATO bombing raids and massive weapons support from the U.S., Britain and France. By late summer 2011 - time had run out.

Following the popular revolution in Tunisia and then Egypt what was called the 'Arab Spring' - a protest on declining living conditions - began in Bayda, Libya on January 14, 2011 - where Libyans fought with police and burned government offices. The anti-government protests widened considerably by February 15, 2011. 

Three days later, on February 18, Libyan opposition groups were said to control Libya's second largest city, Benghazi. It was then that Qaddafi's government sent elite troops and fighting mercenaries in an attempt to recapture the city, but were surprisingly repelled. 

By February 20 the protests had spread out to the Libyan capital of Tripoli. This led to a national television address by Qaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam Qaddafi - who warned the nation that it could descend into civil war.


Meanwhile, rising deaths - in the thousands - brought about international condemnation at the United Nations, which then resulted in the resignation of several Libyan diplomats.

Then, on February 26, 2011, while street battles continued, there were efforts by demonstrators and rebel forces to gain control of Tripoli from the 'Jamahiriya,' this was an opposition set up as an interim government in Benghazi to oppose Muammar Qaddafi. rule.

Libyan rebels

However, despite the first successes of the opposition, it appeared that Qaddafi's forces took back much of the Mediterranean coast that it initially had lost to the rebels.

A little less than a month later, on March 17, 2011 the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1973 that authorized a no-fly zone over Libya and applied "all necessary measures" to protect Libyan civilians. 

Then, two days later, France, the United States and the United Kingdom intervened in Libya through NATO with a bombing campaign against Qaddafi's forces - forming a coalition of 27 nations from Europe and the Middle East. 

Qaddafi's forces were forced back from the outskirts of Benghazi as the rebels mounted an offensive and captured scores of towns across Libya. This offensive had stalled with a counter-offensive by Libya's government that retook most of the towns.

Then, a stalemate formed between the Libyan cities of Brega and Ajdabiya. 

Brega was held by the government and Ajdabiya was in the hands of the rebels. This is when the focus shifted to the west of Libya where bitter fighting continued. 

A burning fighter jet plunges to the ground in Benghazi, Libya, with a pilot's ejection seat and parachute apparently visible in the background. 
Image: Patrick Baz/AFP

After three months of battles, a loyalist siege of rebel-held Misrata, the third largest city in Libya, was broken by NATO air strikes with four known major fronts of battles - the Nafusa Mountains, the Tripolitanian coast, the Gulf of Sidra and the southern Libyan Desert.

In late August 2011, rebel fighters captured Tripoli.

This scattered Qaddafi's forces so the institutions of government, including Qaddafi and several of his top officials fled to the city of Sirte - the city of Qaddafi's birth - which he then declared was Libya's new capital.

But other government officials and their families fled to SabhaBani Walid, and remote reaches of the Libyan Desert, or to surrounding countries. Then, Sabha fell to rebels in late September 2011. 

Bani Walid was captured by rebels after a entrenched siege weeks later. Then on October 20, 2011 rebel fighters under the name of the National Transitional Council seized the city of Sirte.

The final bloody moments of Muammar Qaddafi's life were shrouded in confusion as conflicting reports emerged about who fired the shot that killed him.

An Escape From Sirte Turns Out Badly

Thursday, October 20, 2011 saw the start of a last quarter Moon just waxing from a square to Saturn in Libra. The major aspect of the day was a Moon-Sun cardinal square - the start of the last quarter moon week.

On this day, in the makeshift command bunker where Qaddafi, his son and his closest aides had sheltered for ten days, it appears a final high-risk escape plan was given the green light with up to 100 vehicles ready to leave. At the heart of the large convoy were five cars that held Qaddafi and key people.

Apparently, commanders said the plan was for snipers and the few remaining heavy weapons held by pro-Qaddafi troops to ‘open up’ to give cover for the convoy and the five key cars to leave quickly. 

Qaddafi's convoys took two routes, with 75 in the main body of escaping fighters heading out on the main road out of Sirte with the other taking side roads before making a break for it by way of desert roads heading south.

‘They broke out just as we were waking up to pray,’ said Dr Abdul Rauf Mohammad, who was among the rebel fighters just outside Sirte.

On that Thursday, October 20, a vehicle convoy of 15 pickup trucks mounting heavy machine guns were seen racing down a coast highway two miles just west of the city of Sirte. The convoy was spotted from the air by two British RAF Tornado fighter jet outfitted with Raptor Reconnaissance equipment.

The British pilots called in an American Predator Drone that fired hellfire missiles at the line of Qaddafi's convoy. A second strike came from a French Rafale fighter jet that fired rockets into the convoy which then veered off and halted near an electrical substation. 

Inside the trucks, in their seats, were the charred remains of drivers and passengers who were instantly incinerated by the air strikes - about 50 bodies in all - with other bodies melted and contorted on the ground. Other vehicles in the convey turned back once the air strike began.

Qaddafi, dazed and wounded, limped through a line of trees with several bodyguards and sought cover in a two storm drains. "At first we fired at them with anti-aircraft guns, but it was no use,’ said rebel commander Salem Bakeer. "Then we went in on foot. One of Qaddafi’s men came out waving his rifle in the air and shouting surrender, but as soon as he saw my face he started shooting at me."

‘Then I think Qaddafi must have told him to stop. 'My master is here, my master is here!”, Qaddafi's bodyguard said. 'Muammar Qaddafi is here and he is wounded.'

 "We went in and brought Qaddafi out. He was saying, “What’s wrong? What’s wrong? What’s going on?”

This is where Qaddafi was captured by forces aligned with Libya’s National Transitional Council.

Qaddafi's vehicle convoy was struck from above by NATO air strikes near a electric substation two miles west of the city of Sirte, Libya

Qaddafi was pulled out alive from a drain holes.

The drain holes where Qaddafi and his bodyguards were found

I have studied the videos that emerged on the web where Qaddafi was seen begging for mercy. His condition had varied dramatically in accounts of that day; with later footage showing him rambling - then drenched in blood.

Wounded and obviously terrified, Qaddafi asked the captors:

'What did I do to you?' 

One rebel claimed that he had been killed as he put up a desperate last fight for freedom. He carried his golden revolver on him at all times, and may have pulled it from his clothes.

'He might have been resisting. He might have struggled, tried to escape,' a Libyan revolutionary said.

The man who found Qaddafi took his golden revolver:

Mohammed al-Bibi (right) is pictured here wearing a New York Yankees baseball cap as points to his comrade who holds Qaddafi's golden gun. A teenager, Al-Bibi was the person who found Qaddafi hiding under the manhole. He claimed Qaddafi's weapon as a war souvenir.

But the truth is that Qaddafi was killed in Sirte and at close range. The photographs from amateur video and later, the eyewitness report of a rebel fighter, confirms this.

Qaddafi being pushed by rebel fighters

"They captured him alive and while he was being taken away, they beat him and then they killed him," a freedom fighter said. 

Three photos shows Qaddafi pleading for his life

Clearly terrified, Qaddafi's last words were: "Do you know right from wrong?"

Qaddafi is then executed by a shot to the head, then one to the stomach. 

Qaddafi lifts a hand to his face to see the blood pouring from his wounds.

Qaddafi's battered body was paraded through the streets of Sirte to the sound of celebratory gunfire and jubilant shouts.

Another video captured the corpse of the 69-year-old being dragged through the streets of Sirte, to be paraded later before celebrating crowds in the nearby port town of Misrata.

Qaddafi's body is displayed, clearly showing a bullet hole in his head

Libyans take photos of Qaddafi's body at a morgue

click on graphic to enlarge

In December 2011, Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East and North Africa director of Human Rights Watch visited Libya to see how the Transitional National Council has fared after the October 2011 death of Qaddafi.

Tripoli, Libya -- When I first met Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, now the chairman of Libya’s Transitional National Council, in April 2009, he was the beleaguered justice minister in Muammar el-Qaddafi’s Libya, virtually the sole brave voice among senior officials demanding accountability from the country’s security services.

He had been brought in as a concession to the restive western city of Benghazi, where he was a judge for many years. Abdel-Jalil minced no words in denouncing the corruption of the Interior Ministry, which operated outside the law to detain and abuse Libyans with impunity.

Commenting on the fledgling reforms under Qaddafi, he characterized Libya as a country “going through the difficult and painful pangs of birth.” Little did he know how utterly transformed Libya would find itself just over two years later.

Recently in Tripoli, I sat with Abdel-Jalil to discuss new priorities for Libya that would have been unimaginable in 2009. The challenges the new authorities face are daunting, starting with the need to gain control over thousands of men in dozens of independent militias.

Libya swiftly needs to have a justice system running that can deal fairly with the crimes of today and of the past, and to rebuild basic institutions, atrophied over many decades of authoritarian rule.

Government officials recognize the need to give the anti-Qaddafi fighters, widely regarded as heroes, a reason to give up their arms.

The transitional council is discussing plans for a massive program of training, jobs, education, loans and compensation. But this commendable initiative will require time and substantial funds.

Meanwhile the council shouldn’t wait until it has full command over the militias to assert its authority over the more than 5,000 detainees those militias are holding, outside any jurisdiction of Libya’s laws or justice system.

Human Rights Watch found serious abuses when we visited these detention centers, including beatings and torture, as well as wide-scale arbitrary arrests of dark-skinned Libyans and African migrants suspected of having supported Qaddafi’s forces. These people should be transferred to official custody, where they should either be charged based on evidence of wrongdoing or released.

It’s critical for the transitional council to demonstrate that in the new Libya justice will not play favorites, and that all Libyans will get equal protection under the law. We urged Abdel-Jalil to support the independent commission for the missing, so that it can work to find missing persons on both sides of the conflict.

The council also should ensure that independent judges and prosecutors can fully and fairly investigate allegations of the worst abuses during the conflict, even if people who fought to end Qaddafi’s reign are implicated, or their victims were the Qaddafi forces.

In Sirte, for example, Human Rights Watch documented the apparent execution by anti-Qaddafi forces of 53 people outside the Mahari Hotel, some with their hands and feet bound. The council should not sweep such atrocities under the rug.

Libya has made admirable headway in drafting a Transitional Justice Law and an Amnesty Law. But to build a free society, it needs to wipe out laws that authorize fines, prison sentences and even death for Libyans who “insult” or “offend” state officials, or national unity, or Islam, or who attempt to form independent political associations or media.

Qaddafi used these laws to jail political activists, lawyers and journalists - whether liberal or religious - who dared to challenge him.

The new government should no longer restrict what Libyans read or with whom they associate, in the name of either ideology or religion, and judges should ensure these rights are protected.

With elections only six months away, the transitional council should, at minimum, formally suspend these restrictive articles now, to reassure Libyans that they will be free to engage in the tumultuous debate on which political competition depends, so long as it is peaceful speech.

International observers, as well as Libyan women activists, have expressed trepidation about whether future governments will adhere to promises of political and civil freedoms, or when it comes to women’s rights even move backward.

Abdel-Jalil elicited global hand-wringing when, citing Shariah law, he said Libya should allow polygamy for men in place of current restrictions on this practice - a position he confirmed in our meeting.

Some people explained to me that he intended only to help the war widows, by allowing married men to take them as second wives. But a better way to help Libya’s women is to grant them the same benefits the country gives to fighters, including training, jobs and loans to support their families.

This would be consistent with Libya’s transitional constitution, which grants equal civil and political rights regardless of sex and equal opportunity for every citizen. Human rights for all of Libya’s citizens, men and women, demand nothing less.

In December 2009, well before the Arab uprisings and Libya’s revolution, a young Libyan activist - a dreamer, I thought at the time - predicted, “If the United States can put a man on the moon, then we can get rid of Qaddafi.”

The Libyan people have achieved the seemingly impossible; let’s hope the transitional council can help ensure that the gains for freedom are permanent.
As the astrological year of 2011 winds down, the European Union finds itself accused by its partner nations of letting them down for refusing to join their pact to save the Euro currency. The economic crisis facing the European Union will continue into 2012 according to world transits. 

The situation that has steadily gotten worse in 2010 and 2011 will get out of hand in 2012 and throw much of the globe into an economic depression amid social upheavals and calls for the heads of the bankers that caused the mess.

The Cardinal Crisis
Torrent of Bad Financial News Flows Out Of Europe

By Shawn Pogatchnik

Alarming financial news flowed out of Europe in a torrent, just a week after the EU leaders struck a deal they thought would contain the continent's debt crisis.

The bombardment on Friday, Dec. 16, 2011 shredded hopes of a lasting solution to the turmoil that is endangering the Euro - the currency used by 17 European nations - and threatening the entire global economy.

In quick succession:

- The Fitch Ratings agency announced it was considering further cuts to the credit scores of six Eurozone nations - heavyweights Italy and Spain, as well as Belgium, Cyprus, Ireland and Slovenia. It said all six could face downgrades of one or two notches.

- Moody's Investors Services downgraded Belgium's credit rating by two notches. Belgium's local and foreign currency government bond ratings fell to "Aa3" from Aa1," with a negative outlook. The ratings remain investment grade.

- Ireland's economy shrunk again much deeper than had been expected, with its third-quarter gross domestic product falling 1.9 percent. Ireland is one of three Eurozone nations kept solvent only by an international bailout.

- Bankers and hedge funds were balking in talks about forgiving 50 percent of Greece's massive debts, a key issue in the debate over Greece's second rescue bailout.

- The red ink in Spain's regional governments surged 22 percent in the last year, endangering the central government's efforts to cut overall Spanish debt.

- France, the second-largest Eurozone economy after Germany, warned that it faced at least a temporary recession next year.

- The euro hovered on Dec. 16, 2011 just above $1.30, a cent higher than its 11-month low.

On the positive side, Fitch said France should keep its top AAA credit rating even though the country's debt load is projected to rise through 2014. 

Italian lawmakers overwhelmingly passed Premier Mario Monti's new austerity package in a confidence vote, even though many still objected to its pension reforms.

French officials and investors had feared that France could get downgraded, which would have immediate repercussions for the entire Eurozone. France and Germany's AAA credit ratings underpin the rating for the Eurozone's bailout fund.

European Union leaders confirmed Friday they have distributed the text of their proposed new budget-stability treaty, a pact designed to deter runaway deficits and supposed to become EU law by March 2012. 

But as growth prospects fade across the continent, governments are facing the likelihood that Europe's debt crisis will prove longer and tougher to overcome than even their most recently revised forecasts.

Until this week, EU leaders held up Ireland as the model for how a debt-struck nation should behave - defying economic gravity by simultaneously growing its economy while sucking billions out of that same economy in Europe's longest austerity drive.

But on Dec. 16, 2011 Ireland announced its third-quarter gross domestic product fell 1.9 percent, its national product 2.2 percent. Economists had expected only an 0.5 percent fall for GDP and none at all for GNP. 

A woman who lost her job holds a placard in a shopping district in Dublin, Ireland

The latter figure is considered a better measure of Ireland's economic vitality because it excludes the largely exported profits of about 600 American companies based in the country.

Ireland has been cutting spending and hiking taxes since late 2008 and has plans to keep doing so through 2015. 

Next year's target is €2.2 billion ($2.9 billion) in cuts and €1.6 billion ($2.1 billion) in extra charges, including a hike in national sales tax to 23 percent and introduction of a new €100 ($131) tax on every property.

But Ireland's finances are seriously out of whack:

Ireland is spending €57 billion ($74.5 billion), including €10 billion ($13 billion) to keep its five nationalized banks afloat - but collecting just €34 billion ($44 billion) in taxes.

Labor union leaders say the unexpected slump confirmed is irrefutable evidence that Ireland's 4.5 million citizens already have been squeezed too much, too quickly.

"Current policies are making recovery almost impossible," said David Begg, general secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. "No economy can sustain the sort of ongoing damage that is being inflicted on us."

"We need growth and we need it quickly," he added.

Ireland's year-old international bailout requires the Irish to reduce their annual deficits from an EU record 32 percent of GDP in 2010 to the traditional Eurozone limit of 3 percent by 2015. 

But analysts agree that Ireland cannot hope to meet the 2015 goal if its economy doesn't grow sufficiently.

Ireland's recovery plan now presumes 1.6 percent growth in 2012 and 2.8 percent growth in each of the next three years - figures many consider way too optimistic.

Alan McQuaid, chief economist at Bloxham Stockbrokers in Dublin, said Ireland would "do well" to reach 0.5 percent growth this year "given the deteriorating world economic backdrop and the fall-off in global demand." He said he doubted Ireland could top 1 percent growth next year.

In other developments:


The new premier's austerity package passed 495-88 on Dec. 16, 2011, but lawmakers on both the left and right criticized the pension reforms as too harsh. 

The plan raises €30 billion ($39 billion) in extra taxes and pension reforms and plows about €10 billion ($13 billion) of that back into growth measures.

Prosecutors in the southern region of Calabria, meanwhile, said they were investigating 10 envelopes with bullets inside found in a post office in the town of Lamezia Terme. 

The envelopes were addressed to the new leader Monti, his labor minister, former Premier Silvio Berlusconi and other top political or media figures, according to the Italian news agency ANSA.

Reports said the envelopes contained notes threatening those named if the austerity package wasn't changed.


European officials told the Associated Press that private holders of Greek bonds were resisting EU efforts to persuade them to take a voluntary 50 percent cut in the value of their holdings. 

The talks in Paris between EU and Greek leaders against representatives of global banks and hedge funds have been very difficult, they said.

The proposed €100 billion ($130.6 billion) write-off of privately held Greek bonds is supposed to be agreed upon by early next year - and it's central to Greece's second bailout deal. Without it, Greece's debt is forecast to escalate to nearly 200 percent of GDP.


A new conservative government committed to increased austerity is coming into office next week, but it faces a rapidly deteriorating financial outlook.

The Bank of Spain announced a 22 percent surge over the past year in the debts of the country's 17 regional governments to €135.2 billion ($176.6 billion). 

Spain's central government debt rose 15 percent to above €706 billion ($922.3 billion).


The main opposition party refused Friday to support the government's plan to amend the constitution to include a budget-deficit limit. 

All 17 members of the Eurozone are supposed to make such commitments as part of the bloc's week-old plan to enshrine spending controls in a new treaty.

In a further worrying development, ratings agency Standard & Poor's on Friday downgraded the credit rating of six leading Portuguese banks to junk status.

Portugal received its own €80 billion ($104.5 billion) international bailout deal in April.


The Cardinal Crisis
click on graphic to enlarge

A Blinking Idiot & The Banking System

In May 2011, Ilene Elliott, writer of Stock World Weekly began a series of interviews with Lee Adler, chief editor and market analyst at the Wall Street Examiner, a unique and comprehensive investment newsletter. 

Adler’s work covers subjects such as the Federal Reserve's open market operations, the impact of the Fed and the U.S. Treasury on the markets, the housing market and investment strategies. 

Elliott: Lee, I've gathered from reading your material lately that you think it's time to be out of speculative trades, such as oil, now?

Adler: Yes, the Fed is serious about stopping speculation, and they are not waiting till the end of QE2. Bernanke wants to break the back of this thing. So if you want to trade the long side now, you’re playing with fire. The powers that be have put out the message that they won’t keep tolerating speculation in the oil and commodities markets. 

Elliott: Because of the inflation that Bernanke denies exists?

Adler: Yes, the inflation is disastrous. They’ve known all along that inflation is real. You know it when you’ve got this situation in Libya with people getting killed. It started with food riots in Tunisia, but then it morphed into something else. 

People are starving all over the world because of these commodity prices, and the idea that it is not affecting Americans is crap because 80% of the people are affected by gas prices at these levels. They have to cut back on other spending, and the top 10% can’t carry the ball. 

If you’re spending an extra $100 - $200 to fill up your car and put groceries on the table, that affects your ability to service your debts, and that affects the banking system. This inability to pay back loans is showing up in mortgage delinquencies and credits card delinquencies.

Elliott: You also have written that the Dollar and commodities have an inverse relationship, why is that?

Adler: Because commodities, such as oil, are traded in Dollars. Commodities are basically a cash substitute at this point. The players don’t want to hold Dollars because the Fed is trashing the Dollar. 

If you’re a trader outside the U.S., and your native currency is the yen, for example, and you want to buy oil or gold futures, you need to sell Dollars in exchange for the gold or oil futures contracts you’re buying. So your action of buying the commodities in Dollars is in effect creating a short position in the Dollar. 

So if commodities collapse and you’re forced to sell your positions, you’ll reverse that short position in the Dollar - trading the commodities back for Dollars. That creates demand for the Dollar. That’s why commodities and the Dollar definitely do have an inverse relationship. 

With the margin increases that were implemented in the last month or so, the Fed is beginning to reverse the commodities price run up. This is the precursor to the end of QE2. The Fed is sending warning shots across the bow. After the Jan 26 FOMC meeting, banks’ reserves began to skyrocket. 

Why did bank reserves suddenly skyrocket? There’s no overt reason. Something was going on behind the scenes. I think banks and Primary Dealers (PDs) got the back channel message that it’s time to start building reserves because they’re really going to end QE in June - they really, really are. I give it six weeks to two months until the whole thing collapses and they have to start printing money again. 

Elliott: Why do commodities and the Dollar have a more persistent relationship than the Dollar and the stock market, for which there is an inverse relationship now, but this is not always the case?

Adler: The Dollar/stock market inverse relationship is a correlation due to a common cause - essentially the actions of the Fed. It’s not a cause and effect relationship.

Elliott: Will the Fed defend the Dollar?

Adler: They are starting to, but not officially. They’re doing it behind the scenes. That’s my theory. I’m a tinfoil hat guy.... I didn’t start out this way. I arrived at my tinfoil hat after paying careful attention to the data for 8 or 9 years. After a while I realized it’s kabuki theater. 

Elliott: As you say it is kabuki theater, and as Phil says, we don’t care if the markets are rigged, we just need to know HOW the market is rigged so we can place our bets correctly.

Adler: Exactly. All you need to know is what the Fed is doing. That’s my bread and butter. I watch what the Fed is doing every day. I’m so familiar with the data that stuff jumps out and screams at me. The margin increases were not an accident. 

They were completely out of character, and they followed Bernanke’s press conference where he claimed he couldn’t stop speculation. He’s so manipulative. He says one thing and does another. 

Elliott: But being Chairman of the Fed, doesn't he have to lie? If he came out and said exactly what he’s planning to do, wouldn’t everyone and his dog get on the right side of the trade?

Adler: That’s what he does though - he lies, but in his back channel way. He tells the favored groups exactly what he’s going to do. You have to read between the lines. The meeting minutes are pure propaganda. That is how they send coded messages to the market. 

In the last meeting minutes, or maybe the one before, the Fed said that wage increases were to be eradicated. I went ballistic when I saw that. 

Elliott: Especially because they create all this inflation, and it trickles it’s way down. This is trickle down inflation. It’s gotten to the point where the people trying to make a living and ultimately buy things are being told that although prices are going up, we can’t allow you to earn anymore money... 

Adler: It’s a moral outrage and a terrible policy. But that's what they want. Their purpose is to keep the bankers in business. The Fed serves the banking system. That’s why it’s there, to make sure the banking system is profitable. 

Elliott: So they are accomplishing their goal.

Adler: For the time being. In the end they cannot fulfill their purpose because the banking system is dead. This is Frankenstein’s monster. This is another one of Bernanke’s economic science experiments, Dr. Bernankenstein. And the result of his policies is bernankicide - the financial genocide of the elderly in America. 

Elliott: Then if Dr. Bernanke is Dr. Frankenstein, then what exactly is his monster? The banking system?

Adler: Yes, it’s got these screws coming out of its head, and stitches across its forehead. It’s the walking dead. The banks don’t make any money, the only way they appear to make money is by lying about it.

Elliott: But the people running the banks make money.

Adler: It’s a criminal syndicate for god's sake.

World transits show that the real estate bubble that officially replaced the fall of the technology-based NASDAQ and market in the year 2000, along with the decline in workers' wages that remained stagnate over the last 10 years, will continue in the deflationary climate of this new decade.

The entry of Jupiter into tropical Gemini in 2012 shows a massive wave of foreclosures of millions of homes after the delay in late 2010 and throughout 2011 because of the 'Robo-Signing' scandal that banks and their lawyers continue to attempt to skirt around in all 50 U.S. states.

The battle between the banks and state attorney generals in the U.S. goes on as the banking sector tries to issue millions of liens on properties that they cannot ever attempt to sell at a profit in a deflationary climate.

This issue will be one of many that will anger already pissed off voters in the general election year of 2012. 

Promises from politicians, including from President Barack Obama, who said in October 2011 that 
mortgage finance practices that led to the economic meltdown were "immoral, inappropriate and reckless, but not necessarily illegal," making it difficult to punish key players, specifically in the sub-prime debacle.

Obama made those statements after a reporter asked the president during a news conference why the administration never filed any lawsuits or enforcement actions against corporate leaders who led lending institutions prior to the 2008 crash.

"If someone has engaged in fraudulent actions - if they have violated laws on the books, they need to be prosecuted," President Obama said. "One of the biggest problems about the collapse of Lehman, the financial crisis and the sub prime lending fiasco is that all of that stuff wasn't necessarily illegal."

Contrary to what the president may believe, tens of millions of voters in 2012 will see matters otherwise according to astrological world transits.

Here's a view of why a huge foreclosure wave is just ahead:

The Cardinal Crisis
American Foreclosure Wave To Return in 2012

By Doctor Housing Bubble

There is little mystery as to why home values remain depressed. Real household incomes have fallen for well over a decade and no amount of shape shifting of interest rates by the Federal Reserve is going to make home values spike up without a subsequent increase in household incomes

 We have a few relevant stories and trends that have come out in the last few weeks to close out 2011. One of those stories comes from a top housing arm overstating sales for multiple years. 

 Not so much of a shock here but you have to realize that one of the top associations for real estate basically is saying they were off on their bread and butter business for years. This is like a doctor saying he over diagnosed 15 to 25 percent of his patient with a severe illness. 

 Next, reports are flowing out preemptively about the impact of the shadow inventory in 2012. 

 This wave will hit and will have an impact on the market just as it has over the last few years. Finally we have a reader submitted home sale ad that provides some comic relief in the vertigo of the housing bubble bursting.

A picture of a picture is worth?

I realize it is a hard business fixing a home up and getting it ready for sale. With some Real Homes of Genius we have seen sellers, agents, and bank handlers flat out disregard the basics of good staging with leaving trash bins in full view or having grass so high that a California mountain lion could be living there. 

 But it takes a special amount of creativity to take a picture of a picture for a real estate ad:

Now this home is listed for sale for $100,000 in Rosamond, California so we don’t expect some elaborate staging or Beverly Hills like Photoshop images. But snapping a photo of a photo? Using a scanner would take two seconds. Good times in the California housing industry.

National Association of Realtors comes out with official restatement of sales data:

This isn’t really a shocker here:

CNBC reports: "Data on sales of previously owned U.S. homes from 2007 through October this year will be revised down next week because of double counting, indicating a much weaker housing market than previously thought.

The National Association of Realtors said a benchmarking exercise had revealed that some properties were listed more than once, and in some instances, new home sales were also captured.

“All the sales and inventory data that have been reported since January 2007 are being downwardly revised. Sales were weaker than people thought,” NAR spokesman Walter Malony told Reuters.

The bolded emphasis was added above but that may be an understatement of the month. 

 Anyone tracking housing data in their own respective niche markets realized that home sales have been in the toilet. 

 Yet the above official revision is a big deal because this is coming from the top organization in the housing industry when it comes to tracking overall home sales.

People are a fickle bunch and move in big waves when it comes to trends. My sense is that there is now a big distrust in the financial and real estate industry in general and it will take a very long time to regain the gang-buster years of the last decade (if they ever come back in this generation). 

 This is why home prices even in the over inflated region of Southern California are flat and moving down in some cases:

click on graphic to enlarge

No spike is visible here. 

 And when we break out the typical home mortgage payment we realize that households can only afford to cover what they covered in a mortgage payment from 2000:

click on graphic to enlarge

The inflated price buffer comes from artificially low interest rates from the Federal Reserve. What people can pay out of pocket each month hasn’t changed much over the last 10+ years, so higher home prices are coming from non-income based sources (i.e., bubble dynamics).

Which leads us to the foreclosure wave of 2012
Protesters from the 'Occupy LA' movement along with other community activists put up signs at the home of Ana Casas Wilson, a house under foreclosure from Wells Fargo, in South Gate, Calif., in December 2011. A new wave of foreclosures is expected to strike millions of homeowners in 2012.
Image: Jonathan Alcorn/Reuters

2012 foreclosure wave with 4 million delinquent loans!

The foreclosure wave is going to continue into 2012 - with the clearing out of shadow inventory:

CNBC: "Despite a seasonal slowdown in overall foreclosure activity, and a process still bogged down and backed up by the “robo-signing” processing scandal, the U.S real estate market is about to be hit by another surge of bank repossessions, according to a new report from the online foreclosure sale site RealtyTrac. 

As banks resubmit millions of documents and courts begin hearing cases again, the backlog of over four million delinquent loans will start surging through the pipeline again.

In other words the lull that is occurring is because of legal problems from the fast and loose paperwork from bankers and also the typical seasonal slowdown. 

 Yet the numbers will be moving up again:

“November’s numbers suggest a new set of incoming foreclosure waves, many of which may roll into the market as REOs [bank repossessions] or short sales sometime early next year,” said James Saccacio, co-founder of RealtyTrac. 

“Overall foreclosure activity is down 14 percent from a year ago, the smallest annual decrease over the past 12 months, and some bellwether states such as California, Arizona and Massachusetts actually posted year-over-year increases in foreclosure activity in November.”

There are some holiday wishes from the governments sponsored mortgage monsters:

“Troubled borrowers will get a reprieve over the holidays, as mortgage giant Fannie Mae says they will not evict anyone until after the new year. A spokeswoman, however, stressed that foreclosure processing would continue through the holidays, so as not to slow the system down any more than it already is.”

In other words, the foreclosure process will continue to be a mish-mash of whatever the financial sector wants to do. Read the above statement again. You may or may not be kicked out of your house over the holidays. 

Happy holidays from the American banking sector!

17 American States Still Project Budget Deficits (It Will Get Much Worse); Moving Targets And The Slowing Global Economy

By Mike "Mish" Shedlock
Global Economic Trend Analysis

State economies have partially recovered from the depths of 2009 and early 2010, but 17 states still project deficits. Moreover, there are no rainy day funds or untapped revenue sources, and some "temporary" tax hikes are set to expire. California is $13 billion in the hole but that is a huge improvement compared to the $40 billion hole previously.

Twenty-nine states are spending less from their general funds today than they did before the recession, according to a recent joint survey from the National Governors Association and the National Association of State Budget Officers.

More than 30 states have raised taxes since the recession began, but some of those increases were temporary and are expiring soon, as in Arizona. With the economy slowly reviving and unemployment rates dipping, many governors and lawmakers say they don't want to jeopardize the recovery by raising taxes again.

But tax revenue is not expected to grow enough to make up for the impact of four years of dismal economic times. Rainy-day funds, internal transfers and other one-time sources have largely been tapped, so governors and lawmakers must look for new places to cut spending.

Changes to public employee retirement benefits and sweeping reforms to health care programs such as Medicaid are among the most likely targets.

At least 17 states project budget gaps for the next fiscal year, while a handful need to balance budgets in the remaining six months of the current budget year. The revenue of all 50 states combined remains $21 billion below 2008 levels, according to the National Governors Association-NASBO report.

Budget gaps in states projecting shortfalls in the 2012-13 fiscal year are estimated to total $40 billion. By comparison, California alone closed a deficit of $42 billion in 2009, during the worst of recession.

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers have fewer options to close the $13 billion shortfall that is projected over the next 18 months.

In December, Brown ordered $1 billion in midyear spending reductions to public schools, universities and social services because tax revenue did not meet projections. The state has given school districts the option of slicing another seven days from the current school year, now 175 days long. That already is five days shorter than before the recession.

Low-income seniors and the disabled will get less in-home care when the reductions start in January. School advocates warn that an estimated 1 million students will have trouble getting to class with a drop in home-to-school transportation funding.

"The cut to transportation is absolutely devastating," said Steve Henderson, a lobbyist for the California School Employees Association. "What that means is a lot of low-income and rural kids will not have the ability to get to school."

Brown has proposed a 2012 ballot initiative to raise $7 billion annually through 2016 by boosting income taxes on individuals making $250,000 or more a year and increasing the state sales tax by a half-cent. He also has submitted a plan to the Legislature to revamp public employee pensions.

Washington state is considering similar cuts to cope with its shortfall, including shortening its school year, eliminating medical programs for 55,000 low-income residents and letting some low- and moderate-risk offenders out of prison early.

Missouri is reducing funding for elementary and secondary education to close a mid-year budget deficit tied to tornado recovery. North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue, a Democrat, is warning of thousands of teacher layoffs next fall because federal aid to local school districts is running out.

Moving Targets & the Slowing Global Economy

Things look better than the depths of the recession, but there are two major problems:

1. Moving Targets
2. Slowing Global Economy

Unlike 2011, the U.S. will not be immune from slowing global economy, especially in the Eurozone and China. Europe will enter a massive recession and there will be spillover effects. 

I expect an outright recession in the U.S., but more certainly a profit recession.

In turn, this will mean states will face moving targets and revenues will not meet expectations, just as is happening in Europe right now.

Worse yet, there are no rainy day funds anywhere, and many feel states have already cut services to the bone. This time around, don't expect much help from Congress. It's simply not coming.

Finally, with the stock market flat in 2011, it's safe to assume state pension plans are deeper in the hole than a year ago. 

Most pension plan assumptions have expectations of 8% or 8.5% growth. It did not happen in 2011, and I expect 2012 to be much worse.

The Cardinal Crisis
Invisible Americans?
The Overlooked Millions Inside Job Numbers

By Richard Eskow

Some politicians are saying that the latest unemployment report is good news, but it's not. It shows us that this country is still in crisis. It shows us that the government needs to act quickly and aggressively to create jobs, and to restore the lost earning power of the average American who has a job.

Most of all it shows us that millions of struggling people are still invisible in the nation's capitol.

The Occupy movement held a series of "Take Back the Capitol" events in Washington. Let's hope it shines some light on the country's unemployed, under-employed, and under-earning millions. 

Until now, they've been pretty much invisible in that town.

The Invisible Americans are all around you. They're in your state, in your community, maybe in your family.

Maybe they're your kids, just out of college. 

Maybe they're your 50-something uncles and aunts, your grandparents, your grandchildren. They're right there in the jobs report, for anyone with the eyes - and the willingness - to find them.

Millions of the Long-Term Unemployed

While some celebrated an unemployment rate of "only" 8.6 percent, half that change was explained by the fact that 315,000 people dropped out of the labor force.

Job creation barely kept pace with the entry of new people into the workforce.

Those 315,000 people join the 5.7 million people officially classified as long-term unemployed. That number is at historically high levels, representing nearly half (43 percent) of all the jobless people in this country.

It's not that they don't want jobs. Most of them have fallen into despair. Even worse, what they may have fallen into is realism. 

Unless we use the power of government to do something, some of them will never work again. They're falling out of the "normal" economy and into a new reality of persistent joblessness and, for some, eventual poverty.

Segregation on the Unemployment Line?

The official jobless rate for white people is 7.6 percent, versus 15.5 percent for African Americans and 11.4 percent for Hispanics.

And those are only the official numbers. The figures are much higher if you count the long-term unemployed, the under-employed, and "discouraged" workers.

In a nation that prides itself on being the land of opportunity, we're denying entire groups of people the chance for a better life.

The Jobless Generation

There's a silent epidemic of youth unemployment. Official teenaged unemployment is 23.7 percent, and the real rate is much higher.

Recent college graduates face historically high jobless rates - along with historically high student debt.

Studies show that young people who begin their work lives un- or under-employed face an entire lifetime of lower income. By failing to act, we're betraying our own children and throwing away an entire generation of young people.

The Underemployed

There's a silent epidemic of under-employment. There are 8.5 million people who want to work full-time but can only get part-time work in that category.

That figure dropped slightly, but we don't know how much of the drop was due to people finding full-time work or being laid off altogether.

And remember, underemployed people aren't just making less money. In most cases they're also going without health insurance or other benefits.

They're struggling on the margins of working America, barely surviving and never knowing how much money they'll earn from one week to the next.

The Vanishing Public Servant

While Washington politicians drone on about "budget cuts," there's not much discussion of the fact that many of those cuts increase unemployment - at the Federal, state, and local levels.

Government jobs have been dwindling since 2008, and the shrinkage is continuing a time when we need more of them.

Teachers, police officers, highway toll takers, postal workers - you name it, they're losing their jobs. And the only debate in Washington seems to be, how many more of them can we make unemployed?

The Drowning Middle Class
A Food bank note for Middle Class Families

Average hourly earnings for all non-farm employees decreased last month by 1 percent. Average hourly earnings increased by only 1.8 percent over the last year, while the cost of living (measured by the Consumer Price Index) increased 3.5 percent.

Once again, average Americans have fallen behind in earnings and have seen their standard of living decline.

Meanwhile, incomes continue to skyrocket for the wealthiest Americans.

Income inequality is the worst it's been since the Great Depression.

Welcome to the New Gilded Age.

Baby Boomer Political Blindness?

This week we heard almost nothing in Washington about direct action to address these crises.

The Democrats' "payroll tax holiday" would provide urgently needed ongoing relief for the battered middle class, and would also have a mild job-creating effect. 

But it would do so in an inefficient way, and also needlessly and recklessly endangers Social Security.

Republicans have no solution at all - just more of the same policies that caused these problems in the first place.

Our neighbors deserve better than this.

We deserve better than this.

Change starts with a simple statement we can make to those around us, and they can make to us:

You're not invisible. I see you.

People in Washington over-complicate the debate by tinkering at the margins: tax-break this, incentive that.

Those things will have some effect, but there's a simpler and better way to fix the joblessness problem: put people to work.

At a time when this country needs trillions of dollar in infrastructure repair, government should hire people and get on with it.

George W. Bush had no problem doing that a few years ago. He signed a bill spending more than a quarter of a trillion dollars on infrastructure spending while the Republican Speaker of the House bragged about creating.

But Republicans would apparently rather prolong the suffering so that they can defeat Obama and the Democrats in 2012.

As for the Obama Democrats, either they don't understand the problem or they don't think it's politically smart to propose fixing it. I suspect it's the latter - and they're dead wrong.

The president's jobs bill had some useful ideas. But the president went small on the fixes and, in his typical fashion, couldn't resist pushing useless conservative "job creation" ideas along with the good ones.


We need a massive jobs program now to fix our crumbling bridges, highways, railroads, dams, and public buildings.

We need to fix wage stagnation by going back to the policies that built the middle class, beginning with stronger collective bargaining rights for working people.

Unions were one of the engines of post-World-War-II prosperity, and the war on unions needs to stop.

We also need higher taxes for the wealthy, tax advantages for companies that hire, and higher taxes for those who make money by gambling, trading other people's debts, or hedging against the success of the American economy.

We need to downsize the financial sector, which is capturing too much corporate profit and squeezing out job-creating businesses.

And we need to rebuild the firewall between banking and speculating, so that we can end too-big-to-fail and the boom-and-bust cycle that keeps crashing the economy.

Vision Test

Some political party, maybe one that has had a reputation for defending the middle class, ought to say something this: We know what's going on out there. We understand the problem.

Here's how we would fix it.

We're going to introduce these measures in the House and Senate wherever and whenever we can, so you can see who's fighting for the Invisible Americans, and who's fighting against them.

But no party appears willing to do that, at least not without the presence of a non-partisan movement that forces it to act.

Someday, historians will review this country's history to find those times when our people and our leaders responded to a crisis with vision and courage.

They'll see the millions of Americans who rose to the occasion during the War of Independence, the Civil War, World War II, and the Great Depression.

But will they see us, or will we have become... invisible?

Our political leaders need to be pressured - a lot - which is why the Occupy events in Washington are so important. We need to build and maintain a movement for real change, a movement that sees the invisible ones among us, a movement that sees each of us and makes us visible, a movement that fights unrelentingly for a better society.

Hope to "see" you soon - on the barricades.

What I call the 'Cardinal Crisis' is a global phenomena where the outer planets, known as 'transpersonal planets' in mundane astrology, form significant mathematical aspects by means of their positions relative to the Earth's sensitive cardinal, or seasonal points.

For years I have been sounding a warning to anyone who would listen about the times to come as the decade of the Twenty-Tens neared. Now that we have fully entered this new decade the world has now entered into what will be known as a world crisis - a series of diverse and powerful changes that will force populations to adapt to critically changing times.

The Cardinal Crisis
The Collapse Of the Euro... The Death Of The Euro ... The End Of The Euro?

By Michael Snyder

The Euro was a doomed project from the start, and now we are starting to see the endgame play out. On Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011 the Euro fell to an 11-month low against the U.S. dollar. As I write this, the EUR/USD is at 1.2983. 

Back in July, the EUR/USD was over 1.45. As panic has swept the financial markets, the euro has lost more than 3 percent over the past three days. But this is just the beginning. 

When the Euro drops below 1.20, analysts will talk about the collapse of the Euro. 

 When the Euro falls toward parity with the dollar, headlines around the world will scream about the death of the euro. 

 But when the European financial system finally collapses, we may very well actually see the end of the euro. 

Yes, it actually could happen. 

The Eurozone, as it is currently constructed, simply does not work. 

 You just can’t take 17 different nations that have 17 different fiscal policies, 17 different tax policies and 17 different economic agendas and cram them all into a single currency and expect the thing to work. 

The Euro is a doomed currency, and if a big nation like Germany decides to walk away at some point the game is going to be over.

It is not as if the Euro is just having a bad week. Just check out this chart that shows what the Euro has done relative to the U.S. dollar over the past 6 months.

The truth is that a collapse of the euro has already begun. And a whole lot of investors expect it to continue. 

Right now, huge amounts of money are being poured into bets that the euro is going to go even lower.

All over the world, financial professionals are speculating about how far the euro will eventually fall. 

Scott Mather, the head of global bond portfolio management at PIMCO, says that he believes that the euro is going to go much, much lower….

"Parity with the dollar next year is not out of the question." 

Of course the central banks of the world could step in at some point with coordinated action to help support the value of the euro. This kind of thing has happened before. But such support would only be temporary.

Central banks can manipulate the markets for a while, but in the end the long-term trends are going to prevail.  Just look at what is happening with European bond yields.

European bond yields are rising once again even though the European Central Bank has already spent over 274 billion dollars buying up European government bonds.

There will be more efforts to try to prevent the death of the euro, but those efforts will be kind of like spitting into the wind.

A recent article posted on Crackerjack Finance talked about some of the fundamental problems that make the euro such a flawed currency.

"The problems of the Eurozone’s flawed construct are now completely exposed. A block of 17 sovereign nations have adopted a common currency and outsourced monetary policy to a common central bank. 

Yet each of the 17 sovereign nations have different comparative advantages, industries, debt levels, interest rates, budget deficits, labor market rules, and tax policies. Reflecting on all the differences, it is amazing that the Eurozone has survived in the current construct for over a decade."

Greece would probably not be going through an economic depression right now if they had not joined the euro. But now, 100,000 businesses have closed since the beginning of the recent crisis and a third of the country is living in poverty.

As this crisis spreads throughout the rest of Europe, it is going to put an incredible amount of stress on the European financial system. Many now believe that the Euro may not be able to make it through the tough times that are ahead.

The following comes from a report recently produced by Credit Suisse’s Fixed Income Research unit….

"We seem to have entered the last days of the euro as we currently know it. That doesn’t make a break-up very likely, but it does mean some extraordinary things will almost certainly need to happen – probably by mid-January – to prevent the progressive closure of all the euro zone sovereign bond markets, potentially accompanied by escalating runs on even the strongest banks."

So will we actually see the end of the euro?

Only time will tell.

But one thing is for sure – the situation in Europe is rapidly getting worse.

In Greece, approximately 20 percent of all bank deposits have been withdrawn since the start of 2011.

If you still have money in a Greek bank, you might want to do something about it before the run on the banks gets even worse.

In fact, if you still have money in any European bank, you might want to consider your options.

Today it was revealed that Germany’s second largest bank is going to need a bailout.

The following comes from a Sky News report

Germany’s second largest bank, Commerzbank, is reportedly in discussions with the German government about a bailout after regulators said it needed to raise more money to cope with a potential default on its loans to governments.

"Intense talks" have been going on for several days, according to sources who spoke to the news agency Reuters."

Let the bailouts begin!

European governments are going to save the banks that they want to save and the rest they are going to let fail.

So who will live and who will die?

We just don’t know.

But without a doubt, a whole lot of European banks are in trouble. In fact, Fitch Ratings downgraded the credit ratings of five more major European banks on December 14, 2011.

The Eurozone worked well for a while, but now the flaws in the system are becoming appallingly evident. To get an idea of just how badly the European financial system is unraveling, just check out this chart. European bond yields are not supposed to be acting like that.

In the end, someone is going to leave the Euro. There has been a lot of talk about Greece or Italy leaving the Euro, but the truth is that it is probably more likely that a strong nation such as Germany will be the first to make a move.

If Germany leaves the Euro, will they start printing up new German currency?

No, I believe in that case that Germany would seek to establish an entirely new European currency for an entirely new European financial system. 

Germany is very committed to the idea of a "European superstate", and just because the euro is a failure does not mean that they are ready to give up on the idea.

But time will tell who is right and who is wrong.

For much more on why we are on the verge of a massive financial collapse in Europe, please check out these articles:

As I have written about previously, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what is happening in Europe. The equation is simple.

Brutal austerity + toxic levels of government debt + rising bond yields + a lack of confidence in the financial system + banks that are massively over-leveraged + a massive credit crunch = A financial implosion of historic proportions.

Unfortunately, the United States is not going to escape all of this chaos unscathed either.

The financial systems of the United States and Europe are more deeply tied together than ever before. When the financial crisis in Europe fully erupts, we are going to see lots of banks in the United States fail too.

The U.S. economy never recovered from the financial crisis of 2008, and this next financial crisis could send us into a huge tailspin.

2012 is going to be a very interesting year for the financial world. I hope that you all are ready for what is about to happen. 

The Cardinal Crisis
Li'l Skeptics: July 1943, Washington D.C. - Spectators at a parade to recruit civilian defense volunteers
Image: Esther Bubley

Most. Tragic. Species. Ever?

The Automatic Earth

We're supposed to be celebrating the birth and the life of the man whose only ever act of aggression was he threw the money changers out of the temple, right? Just checking. It's just that I can't seem to find much of anything that reminds me of that.

Looks to me as if the money changers won after all, to be honest. Looks like they've made the man who threw them out of the temple just another pawn in their game. And his followers. All in good faith. Thirty pieces of silver for everyone. 

So what do we see happening in 2012? 

I'm going to have to say that I see a lot of credit downgrades, sovereigns, banks, and precious few upgrades. One or more countries leaving the Eurozone, which will then become very hard to keep intact. 

A lot of potential mayhem, and negatives, and tons of lies too. I know some will say that's what I see every year. Well, yes, I do. And it all gets worse every year. You just don't necessarily see it in your personal lives yet. Others do though. 

It sneaks up on them when they least expect it. And then they find themselves out of a job, a home, a pension. It will sneak up on you too. Unless you can safely count yourself among the 1%. Then something else will sneak up on you. That may take us beyond 2012, but it will come to pass.

A series of articles in this week's Daily Telegraph provides a good take on the topic, and leads us quite fluently into the next, and bigger, set of problems. 

First: what already has been and is being lost, according to Paul Farrow:

"The latest Asda Income Tracker has revealed that family spending power fell by £15 a week in November 2011, leaving the average UK family with £161 of weekly disposable income – 8.4 per cent down from this time last year."

If the average family(!) has only $250 per week to feed and clothe itself, we may just have a slight problem. 

Austerity measures are only now starting to kick in for real in Britain, and lots of people have bought homes at prices that won't last much longer. 

Hence, millions that have just £161 in weekly disposable income today will be further squeezed, and mercilessly so. You buy a home in a bubble, you lose it in the bust. 

Our societies are being increasingly gutted, cut to the bone. This is not something that will hit only some people, in some areas, it will affect everybody, and all over the western world. 

Japan, too, is on the verge of implosion. And China .. well, with home prices dropping dozens of percentage points in just one or two months, China may well be on the verge of an explosion.

2012 may be the year for increasing large-scale conflicts, such as another U.S. attack in the Middle East. There's a lot of chest-thumping going on, and plenty of theaters to choose from. Iran, Syria, Egypt and more. I would be surprised though if it happens that soon, though I'm sure it will eventually. 

War is simply too good a way to deflect attention from domestic mayhem, and solidly proven, for politicians to ignore. But I don't really see Obama invading any country yet in order to save his career or his campaign. 

Not yet.

Don't see it in Europe either. 2012 looks too early there too, though that may change if things get out of hand, too fast. We will see a further run-up to what we at TAE call the Balkanization of Europe: the re-surfacing of age-old conflicts and prejudices. 

As a truly deeper political union looks completely out of reach, a truly deeper division looks all but inevitable. 

Europe doesn't have either the political nor the financial means to "save" its periphery. It can sweep Greece, Portugal, Ireland under the carpet for a while, but that's about it. 

Handing out half a trillion euros to 523 banks in exchange for already shredded paper assets will prove to be nothing but counterproductive. 

It doesn't make any bank more solvent, it only puts more pressure on both the financial position of every European citizen, and on the ties that have bound their respective countries closer together for 50 years. 

Today, all major banks, and all countries too, are preparing scenarios for a Eurozone break-up. 

What may be worse than all of this is a conflict that is brewing, slowly simmering, and that will tear our societies apart from within. 

It happens slow enough to perhaps not be much noticed next year, but that is not a good thing: it would be better to put out the fire before it spreads. 

Unfortunately, there is no way in sight to put it out. It looks like it will have to burn it course before it fades. This one will pit parents against their own children and grandchildren. That's how you tear a society apart.

Again from the Telegraph, this time Ian Cowie:

"Baby boomers shouldn’t feel guilty about being better off than younger generations, because people aged over 50 today saved harder and spent less when they were young than is the case today.

That’s the conclusion of analysis of more than 2,000 people by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII). The study acknowledges that baby boomers – or those born within 20 years of the end of World War II – were fortunate to enjoy easy mortgage availability and decades of house price inflation plus final salary or defined benefit pensions denied to most young adults today.

As a result, about 80% of the Britain's net personal wealth of £6.7trillion or £6,700bn is owned by people aged over 50 while younger folk often have no savings, substantial debts and little hope of becoming homeowners any time soon. The average age of first-time buyers is now 37 or about 10 years later than two decades ago.

But the CII claims that 'generation rent' are partly to blame for their own misfortune because many fail to follow their elders’ example by starting to save early. 

They have come to expect regular foreign holidays, among other treats once regarded as luxuries, often funded by credit cards taken out earlier than their parents did.

A third of the people surveyed who are now in their thirties spent more than half their net income on leisure and entertainment when they were in their twenties, compared to a fifth of those who are now in their fifties and sixties. 

Most of the younger generation now expect to holiday abroad an average of 2.5 times a year, whereas a quarter of baby boomers never traveled overseas in their twenties. [..]

"While some of this can be baby boomers received undeniable financial advantages during their working lives, there's no doubt that their financial security today is also due to a more frugal mentality in their youth. 

Today's generation spends more and saves less when compared to the baby boomers, and while people should enjoy their youth and live for today they should not do so at the expense of planning for their tomorrow." [..]

People who start to save young are far more likely to achieve an acceptable outcome than those who wait until later because of compound interest. 

Pensions are not the only way to save for retirement but they do enjoy substantial tax reliefs. Youngsters who say savings and pensions are boring should ask themselves how exciting poverty in old age is likely to be."

I'd say the numbers, and the opinion offered - speak for themselves. 

Let's see here. A generation is normally seen as covering about 25 years. So if we say the youngest baby boomer is now about 50, then we have another generation aged 25-50, and yet another aged 0-25. I know that this is playing with the numbers a bit, but that's not all that important. 

What is important is that these generations are set to blame each other for all manner of things. And I can't see how that will work out alright.

The baby boomers made one crucial and fatal mistake right from the start. They didn't have enough children. At least not to keep their pension systems going. The oldest are fine; but anyone now aged 50 has very little to no chance of ever getting a penny in pension money. 

Pensions plans are Ponzi schemes, pyramid games. They need fresh blood all the time, and always more of that than there was before. Well, those days are long gone. 

Moreover, the younger generations, in general and on average, make less money than their parents. And they have to pay a lot more to go to college and university. Ponzi schemes don't collapse slowly. They're here one day and gone the next.

Stories about frugality are cute, but comparing our societies from 30 or 50 years ago with today is real tricky. How much richer did the baby boomer generation get by letting their kids spend? 

How much did, and still do, they profit from real estate prices so high younger generations can't afford to buy a home?

That is an endless and useless discussion. Useless because the young will take over political power at some point regardless of any external circumstances. What's disconcerting is that this transition may take too long in the face of a rapidly collapsing economy. 

Wherever you look, unemployment amongst young people is far higher than the average. Still, the older generations think their children will pay to keep their pension money coming in anyway. With what, though? 

The baby boomer generation, willingly or not, it makes no difference, have accumulated a large part of their wealth at the cost of the future. And perhaps, but only perhaps, we would be able to keep that mirage of borrowing from infinity going a little longer if we could keep the economy growing at 5-6-7% annually. 

Thing is, we can't. 

We're stuck in the biggest and deepest credit crunch mankind has ever seen, and we haven't even started to see its true character. 

In fact, the only thing alleged to be a solution is more of the same: borrowing from the future. Which is what each and every bailout plan is. Nothing more, nothing less.

So we’re setting ourselves up for an epic fight that will tear our societies apart, rip them to shreds. Who's going to willingly give up their pension? 

Who’s going to volunteer to pay for other people's pensions when they can't even earn enough to feed their own kids? 

In the end, this will be decided by political power. Or rather, it would, provided we would be able to have our societies function more or less normally until then. What are the odds?

This is of course not all the whole coin, not all sides to it. Our major problems are seldom one, or even two-dimensional. E.S. Browning for the Wall Street Journal:

Many older Americans fear they will be working well into their 60s because they didn't save enough to retire. 

Millions more wish they were that lucky: Without full-time jobs, they are short of money and afraid of what lies ahead. [..]

Older Baby Boomers are trying to postpone retirement, as many find their spending habits far outpaced their thrift. With U.S. unemployment at 8.6%, and much higher among people in their teens and 20s, younger members of the labor pool accuse Boomers of refusing to gracefully exit the workplace.

But their long-held grip is slipping, as employers look past older Americans to younger, cheaper workers. The Labor Department counts people as unemployed only if they have looked for a job in the previous month. 

By that definition, 6.5% of workers aged 55 to 64 were unemployed in October, below the national average but more than twice the jobless rate for the group five years earlier.

Taking into account the number of older people who want full-time work but are unemployed, working part-time or need a job but have quit looking, the percentage jumps to 17.4%, or 4.3 million Americans ages 55 to 64, according to the government data. 

The number has grown from 2.4 million in October 2006. This group without full-time work now accounts for more than one in six older Americans seeking positions. [..]

Older people have more trouble finding new jobs. Among unemployed workers older than 55, more than half have been looking for more than two years, compared with 31% of younger workers, according to the Heldrich Center. Among older workers who found a new job, 72% took a pay cut, often a big one, the Rutgers data show.

The problem has been building for decades: Inflation-adjusted, middle-class incomes have stagnated in parallel with a free-spending culture of indebtedness that has left many Americans with too little saved. 

Over the same time, many U.S. companies cut pensions and shifted to less-generous retirement-savings plans such as 401(k) accounts that have stagnated or diminished in the market tumult of past years.

Older families aren't just failing to save, they are increasingly draining accounts that were supposed to help finance retirement.

The median household headed by someone aged 55 to 64 has $87,200 in retirement accounts and other financial assets, according to Strategic Business Insights' MacroMonitor database. 

If each of the 4.3 million unemployed or underemployed people in this age group runs through half the family savings, that will, in theory, total $188 billion in lost retirement money. [..]

The trouble spreads across generations. Older people hang on to jobs or, out of desperation, take lower-level jobs for which they are over-qualified. Either way, they displace younger workers. [..]

At an age when they should be generating peak incomes and savings, many unemployed and underemployed Americans are applying for early Social Security benefits and spending what's left in their retirement accounts."

Yes, it's not just generation versus generation, not just parents against their children. The problem is much more perverted. 

We no longer have a functioning financial system, a functioning banking system, or a functioning political system for that matter. All these systems died on the same battlefield. Credit.

When Richard Nixon threw out the gold standard in 1971, the younger baby boomers were getting their first jobs and buying their first homes. Happy Days! It took an entire generation, actually a bit more than 25 years, for the inevitable outcome of that decision to reach the high point of its devastating glory. 

But here we are now. 

We've all been had. All but 1% of the people. 

When it's no longer the fruits of his labor that determine a man's wealth, but the fruits of his wagers, when our leaders are those who are best connected to the moneylenders in the temple, instead of those that throw them out, there is no way we could not have ended up where we have.

Still, pitted against each other we will be. Whether in our own countries, or in skirmishes between countries -Europe- or a WWIII over energy resources that keep the cattle at home docile, we will fall for it all again. We haven't learned much. But then again, maybe it isn't about learning after all. 

We are ready and willing to destroy our societies, and eventually our planet, over a few scraps falling off the big table, like a Mac Mansion, an iPod, an SUV, because that is who we really are. 

Because we can make ourselves believe those are not scraps, that we are indeed kings now, seated at the table, and heaven knows we have lived better than ancient kings of any age over the past decades. 

And most of all because we are no good at all at planning long-term. We can pay into a pension plan, that seems long-term, but at the very same time we can't figure out that if at some point there's less new contributors than older ones, that plan must and will implode.

We all will swear we love our children above anything in the world, and most would give their lives for their kids. And we honestly mean it when we say it.

The reality, however, is that we leave our children with a world that is polluted beyond recognition, in which species disappear at a rate 1000 times faster than before, and in which everything we’ve trained our kids for is vanishing right before their eyes.

Our "leaders" are psychopath lackeys of a long bankrupt financial system that uses its servants to gobble up the yet to be earned wealth of our progeny, and we just sit by and watch it happen. 

We never noticed what happened to our financial systems when Nixon pulled his trick in '71, after all, we got richer, right, so who's to complain? 

We never noticed how the increasing fake wealth drove our societies and families apart, we wanted more space, more individualism, more things to buy and possess. 

We never noticed how our energy supplies started to run out; hey, we're driving more than ever, so there must be more oil than ever...

We have done exactly the same that any primitive life form would do when faced with a surplus, of food, energy, and in our case credit, cheap money. We spent it all as fast as we can. Lest less abundant times arrive. It's an instinct, it comes from our more primitive brain segments, not our more "rational" frontal cortex.

It's not that we're in principle, or talent, more devious or malicious than more primitive life forms. It's that we use our more advanced brains to help us execute the same devastation our primitive brain drives us to, but much much worse. 

That's what makes us the most tragic species imaginable. We’ll fight each other, even our children, over the last few scraps falling off the table, and kill off everything in our path to get there. 

And when we're done, we’ll find a way to rationalize to ourselves why we were right to do so. 

We can be aware of watching ourselves do what we do, but we can't help ourselves from doing it. Most. Tragic. Species. Ever.

The Cardinal Crisis
Greece's Financial Haircut And Europe's Shared Responsibility

By Abraham Newman

Since the outbreak of the financial crisis in 2008, the German government has been fixated on the dangers of moral hazard: Berlin has resisted calls to foot the bill for the reckless spending of its profligate counterparts in Athens, Rome, and elsewhere. 

However sensible it might sound, this outlook has fed the German public’s opposition to bailouts of weaker EU countries, precluded a robust European response to the crisis, and fanned bond market contagion. Just look at the collapse of Italy’s government over the weekend.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel sorely needs a new agenda, one that allows her both to satisfy the demands of her reluctant electorate and salvage the Eurozone by containing the sovereign debt crisis. 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

The recent “Greek haircut,” in which Eurozone officials brokered a deal to cut bondholder claims on Greek debt as part of a bailout package, offers just such an opportunity to shift the political climate. 

Merkel should present a plan to the euro group whereby debt-ridden countries such as Ireland, Italy, and Portugal would reissue their debt backed by collateral from the Eurozone; while private bondholders (mostly large French and German banks) would write down existing holdings in exchange for new, more liquid and secure bonds. 

Only if all those with a stake in the future of Europe - including the governments in the core and the private sector - share the responsibility for its rescue - will a return to growth and prosperity on the continent be possible.

Germany has so far made fiscal support to its neighbors contingent on severe austerity cuts, fearing that unconditionally bankrolling the lavish spending of others would create moral hazard. 

This position stems from the view, expressed by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble in a recent interview with the Financial Times - that “whatever role the markets may have played in catalyzing the sovereign debt crisis in the Eurozone,” it is mostly a result of “excessive state spending.” 

This is a dangerous attitude, as it blurs the shared responsibility for the crisis, undermines German political support for the region, and risks the economic stagnation that imposed austerity could cause Europe.

The Eurozone crisis is not a simple story of sinners and saints. Over-leveraging - the excessive borrowing practice at the core of the crisis - is itself a perverse and direct consequence of the unified currency. 

The introduction of the Euro and the inflation-fighting mandate of the European Central Bank caused credit-rating agencies to lower interest rates across the Eurozone. 

Greece, Ireland, and Italy suddenly found themselves with Germany’s credit score and their citizens and governments went on borrowing sprees. 

Current account deficits exploded in the periphery, as German and French banks loaned money to Greeks and Spaniards to buy German and French products. 

Fantastical financial products pushed by Wall Street, London, and Frankfurt further fueled the consumption binge, since they allowed individuals to take out even larger mortgages and revolving credit. 

All was well until the financial crisis dried up revenues and forced governments to transfer the costs of risky private borrowing to the public through bailouts. 

Banks are once again making record profits, but taxpayers are stuck with the hangover from the party. 

The sovereign debt crisis, then, is not merely a result of individual states’ irresponsible fiscal decisions but part of a systemic failure in the flow of European credit. 

For Merkel, speaking about the moral hazard of a rescue plan was a short-term strategy to navigate the domestic politics of the crisis. Unfortunately for Europe, it has boxed her into a corner. 

Playing a game of chicken over bailouts has inflamed bond markets, which exponentially increased the size of the Greek bailout and brought Italy to the brink of default. 

But the calls for austerity that accompanied Merkel’s politics of moral hazard have little chance of solving the fiscal woes of the peripheral countries. 

As wages and government spending fall, local recessions deepen further, gutting the potential tax base that could be used to pay off sovereign debt. 

And for Germany, austerity in other European countries would collapse critical German export markets, guaranteeing a double-dip recession in Europe and Germany.

On the domestic political front, German voters have been repeatedly warned about irresponsible spending by their neighbors. But now the continent is asking them to be the lenders of last resort. 

The German people see little justification for their shared sacrifice; bailout fatigue abounds on the streets of Berlin, Cologne, and Hamburg. It is no wonder that the Merkel government has lost a number of regional elections as the crisis continues. 

In recent weeks, however, there have been signs of a shift in Merkel’s approach to the crisis. 

The chancellor demanded that bondholders take a 50 percent “haircut” in the Greek sovereign debt bailout, meaning they would only receive half of the money they initially invested. 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy

For the first time, Merkel acknowledged that individual governments were not solely responsible for their fiscal problems and that the private sector would have to bear part of the costs of the recovery. 

Then, earlier in December 2011, she called for a stronger political union in Europe, saying that the continent was facing its “most difficult hours since the Second World War.” 

This could mark a German about-face toward a response to the crisis premised on shared responsibility. Europe’s leaders could push the private sector to contribute more to the periphery’s rescue and treat the crisis as a systemic failure of the private and public sectors alike. 

Drawing on the lessons of the Latin American debt rescheduling of the 1980s, Europe should invoke a kind of Brady plan, the debt restructuring initiative spearheaded by the George H.W. Bush administration that broke a vicious cycle of insurmountable debt and uncertain investments. 

Under the European plan, countries encumbered with debt would exchange their old debt for new bonds underwritten by core Eurozone members through the European Financial Stability Facility. Working with bondholders, the Eurozone would negotiate a voluntary reduction on behalf of the banks in exchange for the new debt. 

The resulting sacrifice would need to be shared: 

Investors would give up significant portions of their original investments, Eurozone members would own the crisis by backing the new debt, and bailed-out countries would have to tighten their belts as much as they could while still permitting a return to growth. 

For investors, this is not merely a Robin Hood scheme. They would lose part of their investment, but in return they would gain the security and liquidity of the new debt collateralized by the Eurozone. 

In order to save the European social market, some private-sector pain will be necessary. 

Financial services benefited tremendously from and contributed to the bubble during the boom and now cannot run away from the consequences during the bust. Disaster would be averted, and Europe could start to clean up the mess wrought by the crisis. 

Clearly, voters in Germany and France will need to be sold on this bold vision. 

But it should be sellable: The risks associated with further contagion far exceed the costs of a big, quick intervention. German politicians need to explain their own country’s complicity in the crisis and build solidarity among their voters for a collective response. 

Similarly, investors will resist large write-downs. In the end, however, the Institute of International Finance, which represents financial institutions globally, can be expected to cooperate on a fair and workable solution, as it is doing in Greece. 

Merkel needs to set aside her cautious tendencies - with growing risks of widespread default in Europe, only a big move can stabilize the continent and, in turn, the entire global economy.

In 2008, I made a mundane forecast regarding China and its real estate bubble - few listened at that time as I forecasted that the Chinese economic miracle - although huge - was premature and actually a financial mirage of massive proportions.

This was caused by baby boomer bank and corporate types, and with their bought-off politicians who allowed high-quality manufacturing in the U.S., Canada and Europe to be shipped off-shore in favor of cheap labor in order to then sell cheaply made products at rigged prices back to consumers in the North America and Europe.

China remains a strange nation of many contradictions as it attempts to enter the 21st century.

For instance,

AP reported in December 2011 that Chinese government officials forcefully shut down an outdoor Christmas party organized by Christians in Xitan village in Zhejiang province.

Xitan bills itself as a "Christmas village" as it comes under the jurisdiction of Ruian City - home to many underground churches that also manufactures some 500 million yuan in Christmas products each year.

Christians in Xintan village said that the officials wrecked a mixing console, turned over an electric piano and pushed and punched worshipers, injuring five on Dec. 13, 2011. A local official said the believers hit first, sending a deputy village head to the hospital.

"There were a few hundred of us. And the village heads were there too, and they were even more violent," said Wang Jingfeng, one of the Christians present. "This is like a dog biting a rat."

Setting off the scuffle was an attempt by an unregistered local church to hold a Christmas gala on a stage set up in a village square. The Xintan Village Church, in a video posted on YouTube, said the local government authorized the event. 

But a higher-level official in charge of religious affairs said the believers were asked a day earlier to cancel because regulations forbid worship outdoors and Buddhists in the community complained.

"We told them that any outdoors event of a religious nature is strictly banned from being organized, and that's what it states in the government rule on religion," said Zeng Jianhua, deputy director of religious affairs in Ruian city, which oversees Xintan.

The Cardinal Crisis
Is China's Real Estate Bubble About To Pop?

By Theodore White, mundane Astrolog.S

World transits over China show that the huge nation will be very much in the world news in the Twenty-Tens. 

The Chinese economic miracle has fueled a commercial and residential real estate bubble that is about to cause even more damage to an already greatly weakened global economy.

The falling home values, debt-strapped borrowers and real estate woes China's economy. In 2012, a new housing bubble could burst in the world's most populous nation and will affect other nations.

Home prices nationwide declined in November 2011 for a third straight month. Average prices in Shanghai area are down 40% from their peak in mid-2009, to about $176,000 for a 1,000-square-foot home.

Sales continue to plummet in China. For instance, in Beijing, two years' worth of inventory clogs the market with a reported 1,000 + real estate agencies closed down in 2011. 

Developers who once pre-sold housing projects hours after listing have grown desperate. A real estate company in the eastern city of Wenzhou offers to give new BMW cars away with a home purchase.

The downturn has stunned buyers. Hundreds of buyers who paid full prices trashed a sales office, fought with employees and protested for three days before police broke up the demonstrations. 

This is all too similar to what the world witnessed in the early stages of the American housing crash. The big difference here is that the Chinese government intentionally caused the crisis.

In 2011, the Chinese government tightened lending and blocked purchases of more than one home in several cities to discourage speculators and force down prices. The government says they are trying to tame inflation while also lowering public anger over housing costs.

This fallout, from the Chinese government's efforts to stimulate the economy with easy credit during the worldwide financial crisis meant that the government pledged to keep home buying limits in place for the foreseeable future.

But going into 2012 serious worries will about China's ability to engineer what is called a 'soft landing.'

This is because China's property sector is a massive employer that accounts for about one-fifth of China's economic output. 

Local governments are heavily dependent on land sales to fund public services and to pay off municipal debt. Banks issued record numbers of home mortgages and construction loans, whose collateral is real estate that's now falling in value. 

Vitaliy Katsenelson, CIO of Investment Management Associates, says that "China could be the biggest bubble of the century." 

Take commercial real estate construction. He observes that the 1,500-stores in the South China Mall which opened in 2005 and that now sits empty along with it purpose-built cities for 1.5 million - resemble ghost towns. 

When the New South China Mall opened to great fanfare in 2006, it immediately became the world’s largest shopping center by floor space, knocking Canada's West Edmonton Mall into second place. Newsweek magazine said it was one of the seven “new wonders of the world.” Visitors are reminded of this in a video that plays on an endless loop over one of the mall’s numerous entrances. But now, five years later the South China Mall has achieved a very different notoriety. With an occupancy rate of barely 2 per cent, the 660,000-square-meter New South China Mall is one of the world’s emptiest shopping destinations and one of the biggest white elephants ever built on Earth.

Katsenelson says distrusts Chinese economic data and frets about China having too much cement and steel and nearly everything else -except food and natural resources. Political unrest is inevitable, he says.

For more two miles (2.1 km) one can see the Venice-style canals that wind through the South China Mall’s hear. All are lined with stores that closed soon after it grand opening. Advertisement promised "Fashion 2006!” and hung beside naked mannequins in a deserted clothing shop. 

But the rows of stalls never even saw a shop tenant. A half-dozen gondolas that were supposed to transport weary shoppers from one wing of the gigantic mall to the next sit unused beneath the mall’s stone “San Francisco Bridge."

The South China Mall is a financial disaster for the immense monolith hailed five years ago as proof positive that China’s economy was transforming itself into a successful western-style economy. 

The promises then were that many of China's 1.3 billion people would begin to feel rich enough to spend lavishly. The thinking from economists the world over was that as Chinese people began to spend; their buying power would more than make up for weak spending in the West.

With the global economy on the brink of a second recession in three years, it’s clear that China’s consumption revolution hasn’t yet come to pass. While China's economy has grown nearly 10 per cent a year since then, much of that growth was driven by investment and construction that some forecasters saw as camouflage for a lack of genuine growth.

Private spending accounted for just 35 per cent of China’s gross domestic product in 2006 and was by far the lowest of any major world economy. Yet today, it has barely risen to 36 per cent according to the International Monetary Fund. 

Consumers in China are much more reluctant than westerners to borrow money for luxuries. It is well known by analysts that less than 1 per cent of city-dwelling Chinese obtain consumer loans to purchase consumer goods. This is because the Chinese save between 25 to 50 per cent of their income. And they are not spending it at the New South China Mall.

“Sometimes tour groups come here from Guangzhou or Shenzhen,” said Hu Xiaocui, a ticket taker at the Teletubbies playroom that is the only functioning business on the mall’s third floor. “But they don’t show them the empty parts.”

Incredibly, Only 47 of a total of 2,350 retail spaces are filled. The busiest businesses are a McDonalds and KFC restaurant near the mall’s front entrance. Fast-food wrappers and empty paper cups litter ghostly hallways in other parts of the mall. Elevators and lights are switched off, and voices echo off atrium ceilings that are four stories high.

“We only sweep near the Teletubbies playroom. The other floors - what’s the point?” laughed a member of the cleaning staff. “No one ever did any shopping here, even when there were stores. It was too expensive.”

The most curious thing about the New South China Mall is that it’s far from unique. Large and empty mega malls are acommon sight in cities around China. Still, more are being constructed, no matter how many millions of square meter of retail space sit empty.

For example, the the trendy Sanlitun neighbourhood of Beijing has five shopping complexes that sit within two square miles of one another. 

In the upscale Village North mall – which has a Versace, Longchamp and Emporio Armani stores – observers see occasional shoppers who outnumbered by lines of bored employees. The 14 towers of the even newer Sanlitun Soho project sits nearly empty two blocks away. A Pacific Century Place department store, another block east and once known as the area’s trendiest place to shop shut down in November 2011.

“These malls are built by property developers, not retailers. They’re not looking at the market or market demands. There’s an ‘if-we-build-it-they-will-come’ attitude,” said Matthew Crabbe, co-founder of the Access Asia market research group.

Even by China’s standards, the New South China Mall was ill-conceived. A high-end shopping destination was always a stretch for Dongguan, a factory city of six million people in southern Guangdong province that relies on low-cost labor that imports from other parts of China. 

Already, after just five years, the mall’s paint is already starting to peel off its faux European architecture as rivers of rust run down from the railings of emergency exit staircases. 

An employee in the promotions section of Sanyuan Yinghui Investment and Development Co. Ltd (the company that manages the property on behalf of developer Beida Resources Group) said it was “not convenient” to talk about why so much of the mall sits vacant. 

“The staff has changed many times since the beginning. I have no idea why they chose Dongguan [as a location],” said the employee, who would only give his family name, Tang. “I have no idea what the original plan was.”

Whatever happened, it seems few lessons were learned from the debacle of the South China Mall. Across a narrow street from the complex’s back entrance, machines dig at the dirt on another Beida Resources mega-project.

An “Acme River Bank Villa” - a sign on the fence reads, in bad translated English -  “Luxury is specious.” 

China's real estate crash will reverberate well beyond China. What most people must understand is that China's building boom that helped fuel a worldwide boom in raw materials - that includes Brazilian iron ore and copper from Chile - will have major effects on the economies of the rest of the world who count on new consumers as well as opening new investment opportunities.

I warned about China's troubles in 2009 and again in 2010. In December 2011, The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development warned that a collapse of some major Chinese real estate developers will put China's banks at risk - a threat that has "overshadowed" the economic outlook of the world's second-largest economy.

In 2012, I expect that many analysts and economists will continue to ignore my mundane warnings about China's economic stability. But, here is one analyst who agrees with me:

China's Economic Miracle Now A Bust?
People who made down payments on homes at a China Vanke Co. development protest in Shanghai outside the Vanke Shanghai Center, standing opposite a row of security guards. 
Image: Qilai Shen, Bloomberg

By Patrick Chovenec

For years analysts have warned of a looming real estate bubble in China, but the predicted downturn, the bursting of that bubble, never occurred - that is, until now. 

In a telling scene in October 2011, Shanghai property developers started slashing prices on their latest luxury condos by up to one-third. Crowds of owners who had recently bought apartments at full price converged on sales offices throughout the city, demanding refunds. 

Some angry investors went on a rampage, breaking windows and smashing showrooms. 

Shanghai homeowners are hardly the only ones getting nervous. Sudden, steep price reductions are upending real estate markets across China. 

According to the property agency Homelink, new home prices in Beijing dropped 35 percent in November 2011 alone. And the free fall may continue for some time. 

Centaline, another leading property agency, estimates that developers have built up 22 months' worth of unsold inventory in Beijing and 21 months' worth in Shanghai. 

Everyone from local landowners to Chinese speculators and international investors are now worrying that these discounts indicate that "the biggest bubble of the century," as it was called earlier this year, has just popped, with serious consequences not only for one of the world's most promising economies - but internationally as well.

What makes the future look particularly bleak is the lack of escape routes. If Chinese investors panic and rush for the exits, they will discover that in a market awash with developer discounts, buyers are very hard to find. 

The next three months will be a watershed moment for a Chinese investor class that has been flush with cash for years but lacking a place to put it. 

Instead of developing a more balanced, consumer-based economy, an entire regime of Beijing technocrats - drunk on investment-led growth - let the real estate market run red hot for too long and, when forced to act, lacked the credibility to cool the sector down. That failure threatens to undermine the country's continued economic rise. 

Real estate woes are already sending shock waves through China's broader economy. 

Chinese steel production - driven in large part by construction - is down 15 percent from June 2011, and nearly one-third of Chinese steel-makers are now losing money. 

Chinese radio reports that half of all real estate agents in the southern city of Shenzhen have closed up shop. 

According to Centaline, more than 100 local government land auctions failed last month, and land sale revenues in Beijing are down 15 percent in 2011. 

Without them, local governments have no way to repay the heavy loans they have taken out to fund ambitious infrastructure projects, or the additional loans they will need to keep driving GDP growth in 2012. 

In a few cities, such as coastal Wenzhou and coal-rich Ordos, the collapse in property prices has sparked a full-blown credit crisis, with reports of ruined businessmen leaping off building rooftops - some are fleeing the country. 

The central bank's decision on December 5, 2011 to lower the reserve requirement ratio for the first time in three years signaled a broader move to pump money into the economy. 

Beijing has directed banks in Wenzhou to extend emergency loans to troubled borrowers. Of course, officials could halt the sell-off simply by handing developers enough cheap loans to allow them to carry their inventory. 

But such a strategy risks re-inflating the bubble. 

The impact of a housing downturn would have a significant impact globally. International suppliers who have been fueling China's construction boom - iron-ore miners in Australia and Brazil, copper miners in Chile, lumber mills in Canada and Russia, and multinational equipment makers such as Caterpillar and Komatsu - could be hard hit. 

Heavy losses on real estate and related lending could damage investment and consumer confidence, undermining the rising tide of Chinese demand that has been a much-needed growth engine for everything from Boeing airplanes to Volkswagen and GM automobiles to KFC and McDonald's fast food.

Understanding how this came to pass means parsing the host of distortions and mind games that characterize China's real estate market. 

Residential real estate construction now accounts for nearly ten percent of the country's total GDP - four percentage points higher than it did at the peak of the U.S. housing bubble in 2005. Bullish analysts have long argued that large-scale urbanization and rapidly rising incomes warrant such an extraordinary boom.

But new urban residents are not the immediate drivers of China's recent run-up in real estate. Chinese investors, large and small, are the ones creating the market. 

For more than a decade, they have bet on longer-term demand trends by buying up multiple units - often dozens at a time - which they then leave empty with the belief that prices will rise. 

Estimates of such idle holdings range anywhere from 10 million to 65 million homes; no one really knows the exact number, but the visual impression created by vast "ghost" districts, filled with row upon row of uninhabited villas and apartment complexes, leaves one with a sense of investments with, literally, nothing inside.

The craze for vacant real estate is due in large part to a lack of attractive alternatives. 

Strict controls on capital outflows prevent most Chinese citizens from investing any real money abroad. Chinese bank deposits earn very low interest rates - lower, for the past year now, than the rate of consumer inflation. 

The public sees the country's domestic stock exchanges, which have endured volatile ups and downs over the last few years, as little more than high-risk casinos. In contrast, real estate, which has not seen a sustained downturn since China first converted to private homeownership in the 1990s, has long looked like a sure bet.

Beijing's response to the global financial crisis added jet fuel to the fire. To maintain GDP growth of nearly ten percent during a massive downturn in global demand, China's leaders engineered a lending boom that expanded the country's money supply by roughly two-thirds. 

Real estate was already the preferred place for the Chinese to stash cash; now, investors had that much more cash to stash. Prices rose accordingly: In many locations, the cost of prime new properties doubled in just two years.

But this run of speculation has bid up the price of housing and left people who actually need a place to live in the lurch. 

Given the prices prevailing earlier this spring, the average wage earner in Beijing would have had to work 36 years to pay for an average home, compared to 18 years in Singapore, 12 in New York, and five in Frankfurt. 

The bidding war has further pushed developers to build ever more costly luxury properties that investors crave but few ordinary people can afford.

By the spring of 2010, China's leaders were growing increasingly worried that skyrocketing prices were sowing the seeds of social unrest. 

In response, Beijing imposed a series of cooling measures to rein in speculative demand. These included a stipulation for larger down payments, tougher qualifications for mortgages, residency requirements for home purchasers, and limits on the number of units a family could buy. 

Although these restrictions were mainly confined to Beijing and Shanghai, where central authorities hold the greatest sway, they were meant to send a clear signal that China's leaders wanted property prices to level off. 

Real estate developers, however, believed they had seen this movie before. They had witnessed earlier cooling campaigns, as recently as early 2008. 

Each lasted a few months before reverting back to business as usual. Local governments depend on a healthy real estate market to generate revenue from land sales (as the state owns the land), and property development has long been a key driver of the GDP growth that the central government both demanded and prized. 

Let them see the effects of a slowdown, developers figured, and China's leaders would rush back in to support the sector. They always had before. 

So the property developers bet against cooling. 

They continued borrowing and building, even in the face of a relatively soft and uncertain market. Until that point, Chinese developers had been able to move everything they built, usually pre-selling it before it was finished. 

But starting in the late spring of 2010, they began piling up substantial stocks of unsold inventory, for the day when the government would, so they thought, relent and demand would come surging back. 

Because the industry kept on building, there has been no negative impact on GDP. Real estate investment has continued growing at nearly 30 percent annually. 

But inflation began to rise from 1.5 percent in January 2010 to a peak of 6.5 percent in July 2011, and authorities began to sweat. 

They broadened their cooling efforts. The central bank tightened credit expansion, and China's economy began to slow. 

As 2011 progressed, developers scrambled for new lines of financing to keep their overstocked inventories. 

They first relied on bank loans (until they were cut off), then high-yield bonds in Hong Kong (until the market soured), then private investment vehicles (sponsored by banks as an end run around lending constraints), and finally, in some cases, loan sharks. 

By the end of last summer, many Chinese developers had run out of options and were forced to begin liquidating inventory. Hence, the price slashing: 30, 40, and even 50 percent discounts. 

The biggest unanswered question is whether existing investors - the people holding all those sold but empty "ghost" condos and villas -- will join in the sell-off, which could turn the market's retreat into a rout. 

So far, that has not materialized. Unlike highly leveraged developers, most multi-home buyers invested their own money and do not face the same immediate pressures to sell. 

However, their willingness to hold idle properties depends on real estate's reliability as a store of value -- a rationale that seems to be disintegrating before home buyers' eyes. 

While pre-owned home prices in Beijing fell only three percent last month, transaction volumes there and in other cities have plummeted (down 50 percent year on year in Shenzhen, 57 percent in Tianjin, and 79 percent in Changsha), suggesting that many owners would like to sell - so long as it is not at a loss - but are having trouble finding buyers. 

Would-be residents, who once felt pressured to buy before prices rose even further, now prefer to wait and look around for a better deal.

In recent weeks, a growing chorus has called on the government to lift restrictions on multiple home purchases - revealing, when push comes to shove, just how much the market has come to depend on investor, rather than end-user, demand. 

But both types of demand depend, in their own way, on the assumption of ever-rising prices. Unless that assumption can somehow be restored, neither looser regulation nor looser lending will persuade the Chinese to pile back into property. 

Just as elsewhere, China's monetary authorities may find themselves, as it's said, pushing on a string of unwilling demand. 

Ironically, as Chinese investors start pulling their money out of property, many are putting it into bank-and -trust-sponsored "private wealth management" vehicles that promise high fixed rates of return but channel the proceeds into investments - like real estate developers and local government bonds - whose returns are themselves predicated on ever rising property prices. 

Many fear this repackaging of real estate risk is laying the foundation for a follow-on crisis that some are labeling the Chinese equivalent of Wall Street's collateralized-debt-obligation mess.

While frightening, the popping of China's real estate bubble is not all bad news. Cheaper, more affordable housing could also unlock the savings of China's working-class families, unleashing greater consumer demand and helping to re-balance the global economy. 

Investment long bottled up in idle real estate could flow to more productive pursuits. 

These adjustments have been put off too long. This is why at least some of China's leaders appear determined to force a correction despite the risks. But they know they are walking a razor's edge.

The Cardinal Crisis
A Great Depression:
How To Survive

By Theodore White, mundane Astrolog.S

A great economic depression is always a traumatic experience.

Past financial depressions were all the more difficult because the preceding years were seen as comfortable - workers and populations lulled into short-term complacency rather than in preparation for the future.

During the heyday years of the late 1990s and during the decade of the 2000s, many segments of society did not share in the prosperity of the real estate and banking boom featuring a false optimism around credit fueled by acquisitive material individualism.

I have forecasted that during the second half of 2012 the world will enter into the midst of the first great economic depression in 83 years. This is in accordance with world transits. 

The depth of the economic depression, according to my calculations, will last four years and ten months from 2012. However, the length of the overall effect from rampant mismanagement, corruption, criminality and generational neglect - will last to about the year 2025.

The major problems of sovereign debt and austerity has been the result of the acts of criminal bankers, speculators and policymakers.

At this time in history, there are generations that have no experience and little knowledge of a great depression. Therefore, for those who read this, not only is it time to prepare, but to familiarize yourself  with how to survive the global economic calamity that faces us all.

It is important to remember the the future belongs to those who are spiritually, mentally and emotionally able to prepare.


Many people were shocked on the events of 2008 when major financial institutions collapsed. Since 2008, millions of people have lost jobs and careers as economies shrank along with consumer demand as prices tended to rise. 

The shock of the early years of the economic recession has changed domestic households and professional environments. The transitions require serious adjustments. Those who are able to make adjustments while continuing to plan for the longer-term future will do better than those who refuse to change.

The generational shift from Baby Boomers to Generation X during the decade of the Twenty-Tens will require  patience as a new generation tackles the challenges of a new decade.

Practice Makes Perfect

Anyone who has lived through a great economic depression will tell you that it was the hardest thing they have ever done. When I was a paperboy in the 1970s, many of my customers had experienced - and survived - the Great Depression of the 1930s. Tough. 

Extremely tough they said.

They were a strange kind of people to a boy who had only heard and read of the depression years, but I learned many lessons from listening to them.

The great economic depression revolutionized the way people lived and worked. After the Second World War  many said that the Depression era had changed their lives forever. 

 Here are a few tips -

One of the first things I learned was to be creative and to never give up. The people who lived through the Great Depression were of a different breed - self-reliant.

At first they thought that they had do something wrong, but as the truth about the causes of the economic calamity came out, the anger spread and they demanded action from governments.

That action, in the United States, came in the form of the 'New Deal' - President Franklin D. Roosevelt's plan to fight the economic depression.

Bartering & Networking  – if you do not have, but need things in a great depression - then you had better barter. Do not buy anything with credit – only purchase things you can pay for with cash. The days of instant gratification by means of credit and debt are long gone. Networking, by means of social media helps, but remember to work with reliable people. Talk is one thing, but those who walk their talk are worth their weight in gold.

 Food – the only thing people went into town for were for sugar and flour. Everything else was produced organically on the farm. Foods that are produced or bought were preserved and treasured. People worked diligently to produce canned foods to have plenty on hand in the cellar to survive long periods of time. Learn to work with people who know about food and network.

Helping neighbors – there was a day when helping your neighbor was a common thing. Today, people live isolated lives and are only concerned about themselves and their needs. That will not work in severe economic times. So, reach out to your neighbors and connect again as a community. During the depression families would help each other with harvest, repair work, barter and give each other food.

Multiple sources of income – people who made it through the great depression realized that having only one source of income is risky. By having multiple avenues in which to generate income it would protect from economic downturns and spread out their risk tolerance. Look closer to home as well for opportunities that can expand outwards as local economies improve regionally.

The transpersonal forces have brought about anomalous changes to whole nations. These are forces that have been outside the direct control of most people. In the months and years to come, those same forces will have to contend with many millions of people who are clearly very angry with the crimes committed against them.

The economic depression will not be easy but you can survive by learning how others have done so in the past.

Astrology is first and foremost a physical, metaphysical and spiritual science. The Universe is a reflection of the spiritual world around and within us. The motions of time show how individuals are born and reborn within generations  and note what their destinies are in any lifetime.

We cannot escape our destines; but those who are conscious can choose and shape their fates.

In order to accomplish this, we must seek knowledge to achieve Gnosis - this is the goal of all human beings in order to escape the punishments of the invisible worlds that exist.

On this, we look once again to the Pistis Sophia:

The Pistis Sophia
Jesus Christ On How Souls Are Saved Or Perish


IT came to pass, when Jesus had risen from the dead, that he passed 11 years discoursing with his disciples and instructing them only up to the regions of the First Commandment and up to the regions of the First Mystery, that within the Veil, within the First Commandment, which is the four-and-twentieth mystery without and below - those 24 which are in the second space of the First Mystery which is before all mysteries - the Father in the form of a dove.

And Jesus said to his disciples: 

"I am come forth out of that First Mystery, which is the Last mystery, that is the four-and-twentieth mystery." 

And his disciples have not known nor understood that anything exists within that mystery; but they thought of that mystery, that it is the head of the universe and the head of all existence. 

And they thought it is the completion of all completions, because Jesus had said to them concerning that mystery, that it surrounds the First Commandment and the five Impressions and the great Light and the five Helpers and the whole Treasury of the Light.

Peter said: "My Lord, let the women cease to question, in order that we also may question."

Jesus said unto Mary and the women: 

"Give opportunity to your men brethren, that they also may question."

Peter answered and said: "My Lord, a robber and thief, whose sin is this persistently, when he cometh out of the body, what is his chastisement?"

Jesus said: 

"If the time of such an one is completed through the sphere, the receivers of Adōnis come after him, and lead his soul out of the body, and they spend three days circling round with it and instructing it concerning the creatures of the world.

"Thereafter they lead it down into the Amente before Ariēl, and he taketh vengeance on it in his chastisements three months, eight days and two hours.

"Thereafter they lead it into the chaos before Yaldabaōth and his forty-and-nine demons, and every one of his demons taketh vengeance on it another three months, eight days and two hours.

"Thereafter they lead it on to the way of the midst, and every one of the rulers of the way of the midst taketh vengeance on it through his dark smoke and his wicked fire another three months, eight days and two hours.

"Thereafter they lead it on to the way of the midst, and every one of the rulers of the way of the midst taketh vengeance on it through his dark smoke and his wicked fire another three months, eight days and two hours.

"Thereafter they lead it up unto the Virgin of Light, who judges the righteous and the sinners, that she may judge it. 

And when the sphere turns itself, she handeth it over to her receivers, that they may cast it into the æons of the sphere. And they lead it forth into a water which is below the sphere; and it becomes a seething fire and eats into it until it purifieth it utterly. 

Thereafter cometh Yaluham, the receiver of Sabaōth, the Adamas, bringeth the cup of forget-fulness and hands it unto the soul; and it drinketh it and forgets all things and all the regions to which it had gone. And they cast it into a lame, halt and blind body.

This is the chastisement of the thief."

Andrew answered and said: "An arrogant, overweening man, when he cometh out of the body, what will happen to him?"

Jesus said: 

"If the time of such an one is completed through the sphere, the receivers of Ariēl come after him and lead out his soul [out of the body] and spend three days travelling round in the world [with it] and instructing it concerning the creatures of the world.

"Thereafter they lead it down into the Amente before Ariēl; and he taketh vengeance on it with his chastisements twenty months. 

Thereafter they lead it into the chaos before Yaldabaōth and his forty-and-nine demons; and he and his demons, one by one, take vengeance on it another twenty months. 

Thereafter they carry it on to the way of the midst; and every one of the rulers of the way of the midst taketh vengeance on it another twenty months. 

And thereafter they lead it unto the Virgin of Light, that she may judge it. And when the sphere turns itself, she hands it over to her receivers, that they may cast it into the æons of the sphere. 

And the servitors of the sphere lead it into a water which is below the sphere; and it becomes a seething fire and eats into it until it purifies it. 

And Yaluham, the receiver of Sabaōth, the Adamas, cometh and brings the cup with the water of forgetfulness and hands it to the soul; and it drinks and forgetteth all things and all the regions to which it had gone. And they cast it up into a lame and deformed body, so that all despise it persistently. 

This is the chastisement of the arrogant and overweening man."

Thomas said: "A persistent blasphemer, what is his chastisement?"

Jesus said: 

"If the time of such an one is completed through the sphere, the receivers of Yaldabaōth come after him and bind him by his tongue to a great demon with a horse's face; they spend three days travelling round with him in the world, and take vengeance on him. 

Thereafter they lead him into the region of the cold and of the snow, and take vengeance on him there eleven years. 

Thereafter they lead him down into the chaos before Yaldabaōth and his forty-and-nine demons, and every one of his demons taketh vengeance on him another eleven years. 

Thereafter they lead him into the outer darkness until the day when the great ruler with the dragon's face who encircles the darkness, shall be judged. And that soul becomes frozen up and destroyed and dissolved.

"This is the judgment of the blasphemer."

Bartholomew said: "A man who has intercourse with a male, what is his vengeance?"

Jesus said: 

"The measure of the man who hath intercourse with males and of the man with whom he lies, is the same as that of the blasphemer. 

When then the time is completed through the sphere, the receivers of Yaldabaōth come after their soul, and he with his forty-and-nine demons takes vengeance on it eleven years. 

Thereafter they carry it to the fire-rivers and seething pitch-seas, which are full of demons with pigs' faces. They eat into them and take vengeance on them in the fire-rivers another eleven years. 

Thereafter they carry them into the outer darkness until the day of judgment when the great darkness is judged; and then they will be dissolved and destroyed."

Thomas said: "We have heard that there are some on the earth who take the male seed and the female monthly blood, and make it into a lentil porridge and eat it, saying: 'We have faith in Esau and Jacob.' Is this then seemly or not?"

Jesus was wroth with the world in that hour and said unto Thomas: 

"Amēn, I say: 

"This sin is more heinous than all sins and iniquities. Such men will straightway be taken into the outer darkness and not be cast back anew into the sphere, but they shall perish, be destroyed in the outer darkness in a region where there is neither pity nor light, but howling and grinding of teeth. 

And all the souls which shall be brought into the outer darkness, will not be cast back anew, but will be destroyed and dissolved."

John answered and said : "A man who hath committed no sin, but done good persistently, but has not found the Mysteries to pass through the rulers, when he comes out of the body, what will happen unto him?"

Jesus said: 

"If the time of such a one is completed through the Earth, the receivers of Bainchōōōch, who is one of the triple-powered gods, come after his soul and lead his soul with joy and exultation and spend three days circling round with it and instructing it concerning the creations of the world with joy and exultation.

"Thereafter they lead it down into the Amente and instruct it concerning the instruments of chastisement in the Amente; but they will not take vengeance on it therewith. But they will only instruct it concerning them, and the smoke of the flame of the chastisements catches it only a little.

"Thereafter they carry it up unto the way of the midst and instruct it concerning the chastisements of the ways of the midst, the smoke from the flame catching it a little.

"Thereafter they lead it unto the Virgin of Light, and she judges it and deposits it with the little Sabaōth, the Good, him of the Midst, until the sphere turns itself, and Jupiter and Venus come in face of the Virgin of Light, while Saturn and Mars come behind her.

At that hour she takes that righteous soul and hands it over to her receivers, that they may cast it into the aeons of the sphere. And the servitors of the sphere lead it forth into a water which is below the sphere; and a seething fire arises and eats into it until it purifies it utterly.

Thereafter comes Yaluham, the receiver of Sabaōth, the Adamas, who gives the cup of forgetfulness unto the souls, and he brings the water of forgetfulness and hands it to the soul; and it drinks it and forgets all things and all the regions to which it had gone.

Thereafter there comes a receiver of the little Sabaōth, the Good, him of the Midst. He himself brings a cup filled with thoughts and wisdom, and soberness is in it; and he hands it to the soul. 

And they cast it into a body which can neither sleep nor forget because of the cup of soberness which has been handed unto it; but it will whip its heart persistently to question about the mysteries of the Light until it find them, through the decision of the Virgin of Light, and inherit the Light for ever."

Mary said: "A man who hath committed all sins and all iniquities and hath not found the mysteries of the Light, will he receive the chastisements for them all at once?"

Jesus answered:

"Yes, he will receive it; if he has committed three sins, he will receive chastisement for three."

John said: "A man who hath committed all sins and all iniquities, but at last has found the mysteries of the Light, is it possible for him to be saved?"

Jesus said: 

"Such a man who hath committed all sins and all iniquities, and he finds the Mysteries of the Light, and performs and fulfills them and ceases not, nor does sins - will inherit the Treasury of the Light."

Jesus then said unto his disciples: 

"When the sphere turns itself, and Saturn and Mars come behind the Virgin of Light and Jupiter and Venus come in face of the Virgin - they being in their own æons - then the veils of the Virgin draw themselves aside and she falls into joy in that hour when she sees these two light-stars before her. 

And all the souls which she shall cast at that hour into the circuit of the æons of the sphere, that they may come into the world, will be righteous and good and find at this time the mysteries of the Light; she sends them anew that they may find the mysteries of the Light.

"If on the other hand, Mars and Saturn come in face of the Virgin and Jupiter and Venus behind her, so that she sees them not, then all the souls which she shall cast in that hour into the creatures of the sphere will be wicked and wrathful and do not find the mysteries of the Light."

When then Jesus said this unto his disciples in the midst of the Amente, the disciples cried and wept, saying: 

"Woe, woe unto sinners, on whom the negligence and the forgetfulness of the rulers lie until they come out of the body and are led to these chastisements! 

Have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us, son of the Holy One; have compassion with us, that we may be saved from these chastisements and these judgments which are prepared for the sinners; for we also have sinned, our Lord and our Light."

- Jesus Christ, Books Of The Saviour, The Pistis Sophia.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am continually amazed at your blog and your accuracy. I do hope you are wrong about the interpretation of Uranus in Aries heralding a time of it being a "man's world." I'd rather see Uranus in Aries spark a spiritual revolution that would allow for the promises of the 60s to be realized. Still there is no equality among women and men and as you point out we are not free from racial discrimination. The prejudices people have limit our democracy, agreed. But the evidence is we still live in a man's world, that has not changed, and the privilege that attaches to being male definitely favors white males but nonetheless favors men over women. In my judgment, to get beyond "gender wars" we have to take a "radical" look at the underlying causes and effects over millenia based on as many sources as we can find to understand how we got here. Uranus in Aries seems a great opportunity to get to the spiritual root of the problem. We should not ignore that every major world religion worships a male personality God, and there has been a total submersion of the ancient divine feminine and instead a focus on differences and hatred instead of on love and community. The Pistis Sophia reveals a sliver of the "gender war tradition" with Peter's gripe to Jesus about not getting a word in edgewise during the dialogue Jesus had with Mary Magdalene and the other women disciples. Looking at the Gospel of Philip, written around the time of Pistis Sophia, we find that Philip disagreed with the idea that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary because the Holy Spirit is the Divine Feminine. That has been lost in Christianity, where the three Person God is three male Persons. The Holy Spirit as a dove is connected to Mary and to Jesus. The dove was a symbol of the ancient goddess who was mother to all in Neolithic times, prior to the rise of male monotheism. These interesting connections cannot be discussed without traditional Christianity being threatened. In another time, I would be burned or tortured for suggesting the connection of Jesus to the Mother Goddess of Neolithic times. But to go back to prehistory, was the battle for territory among these different sets of believers the source of the "gender war" that continues today? How to answer these questions may be obscure, but what is clear is that discrimination based on sex, race, age, disability, sexual orientation - discrimination continues and is for the most part easily hidden. There are no beneficiaries in a discriminatory system although some will see a short term benefit - so far, I've seen only young, straight, white men without disabilities benefit during the short term. While we've seen some opportunities created by not only the Civil Rights Era but the period during WWII when discrimination against white women and against men of color in the job market received some attention, there has been no realization of the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr. The legal defenses to the claims that were made available by legislation that began to be passed in the 1960s are straightforward defenses with many court opinions available for defense lawyers to use to justify questionable decisions. To complicate it further, a great deal of limiting bias is unconscious, and the person with the bias may not even realize the bias exists within. So, I am hoping the world transits reveal and transform so that we can move beyond the limitations of all discriminatory bias. After all, we are spiritual beings having a human experience, and ultimately compassion must prevail over fear, which is the source of discrimination.