Published by WallStreetWeather.net
When a planet is retrograde, the energies of that planet tend to be more internally focused. Pluto’s energies will be more pronounced this week as the planetary energy of debt, bonds, mortgages, insurance, taxes, all types of opaque financial products, death, wills and estates, is stationary* and will turn direct on September 11. Pluto has been retrograde since April 4.
An article in today’s New York Times (“Wall Street Pursues Profit in Bundles of Life Insurance”) describes how Wall Street has reincarnated the financial alchemy that created the financial crisis in the first place. With Pluto (death) in Capricorn the sign of the grim reaper, Wall Street believes it can transform the securitizations market by profiting from death.
Wall Street wants to buy the “life settlements” from policyholders who sell their life insurance policies for cash, securitize the policies and package them into bonds composed of diversified risks (heart disease, breast cancer, leukemia, diabetes, etc.) to sell to investors and pension funds who as the beneficiaries will receive a payout when the policyholders die. Unlike health insurers, the most profitable securitizations would be composed of policies of people in the worst health. The sooner the policyholders die, the bigger the profits. Healthcare reform is viewed negatively as expanded coverage and emphasis on preventative care could help people live longer. Perhaps they should create a credit default swap to protect the enormous downside risk in the event a cure is found for cancer, diabetes, etc.
As with subprime securitizations, Wall Street will profit from the packaging and trading even if these life insurance backed securities blow up for the investors. Just as banks bought subprime lenders, Credit Suisse (CS) acquired a company that originates life settlements. Goldman Sachs (GS) has set up a tradable index of life settlements so investors can speculate whether people will live longer than expected or die sooner than anticipated. (I suppose the next step will be for Wall Street to come up with ETFs that are ultra short or long “life expectancies” to increase the leverage.)
Pluto in Capricorn until 2024 reflects our rapidly aging population, as many of the baby boomers are now senior citizens. Pluto in Capricorn will transform how we view end of life issues and death. The fact that health reform opponents seized on an added Medicare benefit in H.R.3200 that was voluntary and would serve to help seniors formulate their personal choices and wishes for their final days on Earth demonstrates that during Pluto in Capricorn we as nation have a lot of lessons to learn when it comes to death and transformation and quality of life vs. quantity of life. Saturn represents government and with Saturn about to begin to form a challenging alignment to Pluto this autumn, government will pass restrictive regulations limiting what types of financial products Wall Street can sell to remove the barriers to transparency.
Seniors are not being forced to draw up living wills, but G20 finance ministers meeting in London yesterday agreed that the largest most systemically important global banks will have to draw up living wills detailing how their operations would be wound down if they became insolvent.
So far the “death panel” of Sarah Palin, Betsy McCaughey, and Glenn Beck has not ruled on the commerce of life and death.
*Planets do not really change direction, but appear to from Earth’s vantage point.