Iceland Melts Down Into a Deep Freeze
All the financial turmoil taking place in the U.S. has provided more topics than I have time to write about. But when a reader left a comment on the blog asking, “What are your thoughts on this article on Iceland’s bankruptcy?,” I knew that would be ignoring how interconnected financial markets had become worldwide during the era of Pluto in Sagittarius (1995-2008).
Pluto rules debt (leverage) and complex financial products whose values are hard to determine due to their lack of transparency, regulation, and merging many assets into a packages, such as collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) and mortgage-backed securities (MBSs). In the global sign of Sagittarius, these financial products were traded around the world.
“Financial meltdown” and “global freeze” are being used interchangeably. The meltdown is occurring as Pluto is about to transition from the fire element of Sagittarius to earth element Capricorn (2008-2024). Capricorn and its planetary ruler Saturn represent cold and frozen conditions; Saturn’s rings symbolically represent reigning in the boundaries that were broken during Pluto’s years in expansive Jupiter-ruled Sagittarius.
Iceland, a tiny country just below the Arctic Circle with a population of just over 300,000 shares more than a physical representation of the global transition of Pluto from Sagittarius to Capricorn. Iceland feasted on foreign capital, and when the foreign capital began to dry up, investors and depositors became concerned over the Icelandic government’s ability to backstop its banks.
Venus (banking) is the planetary ruler of Iceland’s horoscope, ruling the houses representing the nation’s personality, economy, and what Iceland imports and exports. Imports and exports represent movement. Iceland has five planets in Mercury ruled Gemini (communication/movement) in this house of the horoscope. With the Sun conjoining Venus and Saturn, banking and financial speculation became the heart of the nation’s identity after the government deregulated Iceland’s financial regulatory structure in the late 1990s. Mercury conjoining Uranus represents money rapidly moving in and out of the country through electronic trading and internet banking such as Landsbanki Bank’s Icesave operating in the UK. Mercury rules currency; borrowing yen to buy krona was a favorite carry trade before the krona’s sharp decline in value. Gemini represents all the branches that Iceland’s three banks set up in the UK, Europe and even into China. The Sun challenging Neptune reflects the difficulties Iceland has faced controlling inflation, despite an interest rate above 15%. These energies also reflect the country’s illusion of wealth and the lack of a solid underlying financial structure in comparison to the size of the banks debt. This is further reinforced by almost all of Iceland’s planets being in the fire and air elements. Only the Moon in Venus-ruled earthy Taurus provided a sliver of grounding. But since the Moon was in the house of the horoscope representing debt and challenging Mars and Jupiter in Leo, the public was more interested in speculating and spending than saving.
Pluto rules bankruptcy and is now opposing Iceland’s Saturn and challenging natal Neptune throughout 2009. This transit reflects Prime Minister Geir Haarde’s remark earlier this week that “Iceland risks national bankruptcy,” after the government had to nationalize Iceland’s three banks. Iceland is guaranteeing all deposits within the country, but it appears that the governments of other countries where Iceland’s banks operated will have to backstop deposits.
Unable to pay its debt, Haarde said Iceland had to “seek new friends” in the Russian government. Prime Minister Putin supports lending Iceland $5.4 billion. Yes, the world needs to get to know Iceland because it looks like the world (via the International Monetary Fund) will need to prop up Iceland. Saturn in Virgo and Uranus in Pisces will challenge Iceland’s Venus next year, continuing to squeeze the country’s finances and the nation’s lifestyle. With Neptune conjoining Iceland’s Ascendant,* it looks like Icelanders will need to return to their primary trade – fishing.
*The Ascendant is the zodiac sign rising on the eastern horizon at the time of birth. Iceland has Libra rising.
Republic of Iceland: June 17, 1944 2:00 PM GMT Reykjavik, Iceland
Posted 10/09/2008 04:59:00 PM