Published by WallStreetWeather.net
The major stock indices climbed back up to their highest levels since mid-May on Monday after the high priests of economic academia at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) announced the recession officially ended in June 2009. The 18 month recession marked the longest economic downturn since the Great Depression.
While many people would view economic conditions as still being in a recession, the indicators used by the NBER reflect that economic conditions peaked in December 2007 and troughed in June 2009. As the NBER points out in their press release, “Economic activity is typically below normal in the early stages of an expansion, and it sometimes remains so well into the expansion.”
Before comparing the NBER’s cycle dating of the recession to the planetary cycles in play then, it’s important to note the timing of the NBER’s announcement as it relates to their recession dating since Jupiter which represents economic expansion, plays an outsized role. As described in the Weekly Forecast, Jupiter exactly conjoined Uranus (surprises; breakouts) in Pisces (endings) on September 18. The NBER’s Business Cycle Dating Committee concluded in a conference call the following day (Sunday) that the recession ended 15 months ago, but did not make the announcement public until Monday at 10:30 AM.*
In addition to the factors explained in the Forecast why the energies of Jupiter and Uranus remain exceptionally strong now, the 10:30 AM announcement occurred at the exact moment the Moon (sentiment) in Aquarius conjoined the USA Moon. Optimistic Jupiter ruling the sector of the economy for the charts of the announcement and the USA’s Lunar return located in the sector representing the stock market together with Uranus the planetary ruler of Aquarius, reflect the indices being propelled higher on the news. The Moon conjoining Neptune (the ruler of Pisces) in Aquarius reflects the market’s euphoria.
However, The Moon (which represents the general public) conjoining Neptune (the ruler of Pisces) in Aquarius, reflects the public feeling that their economic security has eroded, as much of their economic gains were too dependent upon rising home values. The much-touted “American Dream” is largely underwater. Pluto is the ruler of the charts and is located in the sector representing the economy. The Sun (speculation) squaring Pluto in Capricorn indicates that economic growth is slow as the heart of the matter is that the economy must transform from being a consumer dependent economy to one based on manufacturing and technological innovation. Yet the Federal Reserve is acting to maintain the status quo of the old economy.
The NBER dating the peak in economic activity and the start of the recession to December 2007 corresponds to when Jupiter conjoined Pluto in Sagittarius on December 11, 2007, an alignment that occurs every 13 years. Jupiter is the planetary ruler of Sagittarius. Jupiter conjoining Pluto as it was completing its sojourn in Sagittarius begun in 1995 marked the peak of economic growth fueled by excess debt that was turning toxic. As the planets approached conjunction, the Dow and S&P reached record highs on October 9 - the day Jupiter was squaring Uranus in Pisces and the Sun (speculation) in Libra was favorably aspecting Jupiter. The harbingers of the coming recession began in July 2005 when Saturn ended its 2.5 year transit in Moon-ruled Cancer (real estate) and Saturn in Leo opposed Neptune in Aquarius (August 2006–June 2007), reflecting falling home prices and deteriorating credit conditions.
The NBER announced the recession began in December 2007 on December 1, 2008, the day** Venus (money; banking) conjoined Jupiter in Capricorn, a sign ruled by Saturn (economic contraction). Saturn entered Virgo the sign ruling the work force in September 2007, indicating that employment which peaked in December 2007 would begin to contract.
Once Pluto entered Capricorn the sign of government in January 2008, it wasn’t long before governments on both sides of the Atlantic stepped in to support the financial system following the fall of Bear Stearns and Northern Rock. The financial system went into meltdown mode at the Harvest Moon after Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. Saturn began opposing Uranus in the autumn of 2008, reflecting the chaos that ensued as the structure of the financial system was being torn apart, impacting the entire economy.
As Pluto exactly opposed the USA natal Venus in Cancer for the first time in the nation’s history on March 8, 2009 just as Venus turned retrograde, the effects of the extraordinary amount of monetary stimulus provided by the Federal Reserve together with fiscal stimulus measures enacted by the Bush and Obama Administrations, brought a rapid recovery to banks and financial markets.
The 2009 cycle of Jupiter conjoining Neptune in Aquarius that began on May 27 conjoined the USA Moon which reflected that all the liquidity and stimulus was beginning to take hold in the broader economy. This alignment coincides with the NBER’s June 2009 trough. Even though many of the programs to stimulate consumer spending such as cash for clunkers and the homebuyer tax credit simply moved spending forward, Jupiter conjoining Neptune generated enough optimism to spur investing and spending on the hope that an economic recovery was underway.
The NBER notes that “The 18 month recession eclipses the previous post WWII recessions of 1973-75 and 1981-82. The third quarter of 2009 marked the first quarter to exhibit signs of growth following four consecutive months of decline.” Interestingly, the dominant planetary cycles during those recessions have repeated in similar patterns since June 2009. Saturn squared Pluto during the 1973-75 recession as it did from November 2009 to August 2010. Jupiter in Pisces now is exactly where it was when the recession ended in May 1975. Jupiter opposed Pluto then; now Jupiter is squaring Pluto between July 2010 and February 2011.
Saturn is in Libra now for the first time since the 1981-82 recession. Jupiter conjoined Saturn when the recession began in July 1981; now Jupiter is opposing Saturn through March 2011. Saturn conjoining Pluto marked the start of a new 38 year cycle that reached its midpoint when Saturn opposed Pluto in the summer of 2001, and is now in its waning phase (the same as the 1973-75 recession) until 2020.
The close planetary alignments during the summer of Jupiter opposing Saturn and conjoining Uranus as the three planets squared Pluto in cardinal (initiating) signs*** was the first time since early 1931 (the midpoint of the NBER’s Great Depression) that these planets formed a similar pattern. Despite what many doom and gloom prognosticators say, this does not mean the U.S. is headed for another Great Depression as these alignments are now occurring at the beginning degrees of cardinal signs. Old economic models and societal structures must be rebalanced and transformed to create a new economic foundation that fosters long term stability.
Pluto makes its fifth and final opposition to the USA Venus on October 18,**** an indication that additional monetary and fiscal stimulus measures are unlikely to occur. On December 3 the USA will experience its first Saturn return since October 1981. The economic reckoning has arrived. It’s time to get serious about building a balanced economy that operates in the best interests of the nation as a whole rather than solely for the special interests so we can be the United States of America.
Jupiter conjunct Pluto in 2007 marked the peak of the era of globalization that had its roots in the 1981-82 recession. The real message of Jupiter conjoining Neptune in 2009 was to end our addiction to the illusion of economic innovation predicated on cheap goods from abroad and Wall Street’s financial alchemy. Jupiter first conjoined Uranus on June 8 in Aries, the sign of new beginnings. Jupiter conjoining Uranus in Neptune-ruled Pisces the sign of endings now and for the final time on January 4, 2011, indicates an awakening from the dogmatic beliefs and illusions that caused the financial crisis. Refusing to change will put us back into another recession (which the NBER would classify as a double dip that extends the Great Recession).
Jupiter conjoining Uranus describes economic expansion through manufacturing and technological innovation. Rather than helping to foster conditions that support this new era, the powers of the Fed and the Treasury prefer to rerun the same old movie. The critical time for decision making is between October and January; the choice being between a smooth transition and fighting it each step of the way.
*Based on looking back through Monday’s newswires.
**The NBER made their decision on November 28 when the Moon was in Jupiter-ruled Sagittarius.
***The cardinal signs are Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn. Libra was the “missing” sign of the four during the Great Depression; Cancer is the absent sign this time around.
****Venus will be retrograde then for the first time since the spring of 2009.
USA: July 4, 1776 5:10 PM Philadelphia, PA
USA Lunar Return: September 20, 2010 10:30 AM EDT Washington, DC