Photo: Rhubarble, Creative Commons, Flickr
James Grant wrote an article in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal wondering “Why No Outrage?” from the public concerning Wall Street’s reckless behavior during the credit boom and the assistance they’ve received from their government enablers.
This was the same day the International Astronomical Union (IAU) announced that object 2005 FY9 located beyond Neptune is a plutoid like Pluto. The IAU declared that 2005 FY9, nicknamed Easterbunny, has been named Makemake (pronounced Mah-kehMah-keh), after the Polynesian creator of humanity and fertility.
Sunday’s New York Times reported that "America’s merchants of debt" have left millions of Americans stranded at the top of a mountain of debt. The Pope in Australia Sunday spoke of "a new age in which hope liberates us" from "an interior emptiness, an unnamed fear, a quiet sense of despair."
The name Pluto is derived from the Greek Plouton, meaning “the rich one.” Plutocrats are a small, select group of people who hold the greatest wealth and influence in society. Symbolically, Pluto relates to what we want to suppress and keep hidden under the surface away from public view. From the government’s "black" budgets/operations to backroom financial deals, to sex and death, it’s all part of the lord of the underworld’s domain. Planet or no planet, Pluto continues to powerfully operate in the shadows at the highest levels.
The IAU’s demotion of Pluto to dwarf planet on August 24, 2006 returned Neptune to its status as the last planet in our solar system, subconsciously elevating its influence. Saturn in Leo was about to begin a series of oppositions to Neptune in Aquarius that concluded when the credit bubble burst in June 2007. During this time, the focus was on structured (Saturn) investment vehicles (Leo) whose collateralized credit (Neptune) could be bundled into groups (Aquarius), so the debt obligations could be sold to investors worldwide (Pluto in Sagittarius).
By overemphasizing Neptune, the planetary energy of credit, interest rates, market bubbles, illusions and delusions, access to easy credit enabled consumers to keep spending and Wall Street to keep piling on leverage. Neptune rules addictions – what we overindulge in as a way to at least temporarily "escape" from what we view as an uncomfortable situation. Many of the plutocrats got drunk from drinking their own juice, in what James Grant describes as "Wall Street’s reckless love affair with heavy borrowing."
Grant contemplates whether $4.00+ per gallon gas has diverted the public’s attention from Wall Street’s shenanigans, or whether "today’s financial failures are too complex to stick in everyman’s craw." Since most of the major media outlets are controlled by the plutocrats, they’re going to make sure that the public’s attention is diverted to anything except whatthey’re up to.
The reporters and the so-called intelligentsia delude themselves into thinking that the public would not be able to fully understand derivatives, mark to market accounting, auction rate securities, etc. The real story is many of these reporters don’t understand it fully themselves, and if they do, they feel inept at deciphering the code. Instead we’re told every detail about Brad & Angelina and other celebrity mythology. Neptune is so busy, a third shift was started at the fantasy factory.
Lenders had to create the illusion that debt was actually "desirable and risk-free" so people would feel good rather than guilty, about spending beyond their means. The Times article quotes a 2005 speech by the chief counsel of the Comptroller of the Currency who said: "Today the focus for lenders is not so much on consumer loans being repaid, but on the loan as a perpetual earning asset."
The plutocrats had the foresight to pass the bankruptcy bill in October 2005, just as cracks began appearing in the housing bubble (and while Pluto was still a planet). The public was told bankruptcy reform would lower the cost of consumer credit, yet even with a 2% Fed Funds rate, credit card interest rates and their associated fees are higher than ever. The plutocrats ensured that filing for bankruptcy was no longer a viable option, keeping consumers enslaved in debt as long as possible.
As the financial crisis got deeper, last month the IAU put their analyst caps on and downgraded Pluto again. From now on, Pluto would be known as a plutoid. Now Makemake gets equal billing with Pluto and Eris, the goddess of strife and discord, as a plutoid and a "dwarf" planet. Astronomer and co-discoverer Mike Brown and the IAU were in a Neptunian fog to name 2005 FY9 after a fertility god if they believe its surface is covered by a layer of frozen methane. Fed Chairman Bernanke has injected massive amounts of liquidity into the "frozen" capital markets, when the only way that banks can shore up their balance sheets is to shrink. Makemake was the god of Easter Island, famous for its mysterious monolithic statues, its ecological destruction, and a population decimated through slavery, disease, and cannibalism.
And then there’s hope, that other Neptunian concept the Pope spoke about, and Senator Obama has based his entire presidential campaign around. Hope is an attitude born out of fear (Saturn). In fact, Saturn was conjoining Neptune the day Neptune was discovered.* By relinquishing your power (Pluto) and not taking responsibility (Saturn) for your life, you are surrendering (Neptune) in the hope that other people and other forces will "rescue" you.
Saturn in Virgo will begin opposing Uranus in Pisces from Election Day through mid-2010. The alarm clock will buzz and the public will wake up to what government and financial institutions have done. The Federal Reserve would be wise to raise rates to control inflation and strengthen the dollar well before next May. That’s when Jupiter will conjoin Neptune in Aquarius, a sign ruled by Uranus. People will be ready to protest skyrocketing inflation by demanding higher wages. On April 11, 2009, Neptune will return to the area of the zodiac where it was discovered. With Pluto in Capricorn opposing the USA’s Venus in Cancer, Americans are going to witness the protective wall begin to come down surrounding the financial sector. And as public outrage grows over the next couple years, the IAU might decide to upgrade Pluto back to full planetary status.
*Neptune Discovered: September 23, 1846 11:55 PM Berlin, Germany.
USA: July 4, 1776 5:10 PM Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.