The London Interbank Offered Rate commonly known as Libor first permeated public consciousness when the financial crisis erupted in 2008. Millions of borrowers began to realize that the interest rate on their adjustable rate mortgage was based on the rates banks charge each other for funds. The cost of interbank funding is compiled from submissions by18 of the largest international banks to the British Bankers Association based on estimates rather than actual transactions. From mortgages, credit cards, and student loans to derivatives contracts, the Libor rate affects trillions of dollars in global financial transactions.
While the manipulation of the Libor rate has centered on Barclays Bank which has admitted wrongdoing, regulatory authorities are investigating more than a dozen international banks including Bank of America, Citigroup, and JPMorgan Chase.
A healthy financial system cannot exist without confidence and trust. Not only is the Libor scandal another example of banks violating the public’s trust and confidence, but their regulators allowed and even gave the appearance of endorsing banks falsely reporting the cost of interbank lending.
Barclays is probably not the only bank to have violated securities laws by illegally profiting from trading on advance knowledge of falsified submissions. While borrowers whose rates were tied to Libor actually benefitted from artificially lower Libor rates, investors whose interest income was tied to Libor were cheated out of a higher rate of return.
By choosing to ignore and even suggest banks submit lower borrowing estimates to calculate Libor, the regulators enabled the illusion that the health of the banks was stronger than it actually was. In their desperation to maintain confidence in the banking system and support the economy, the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England appear to have viewed artificially low Libor rates as one of the ways to use their regulatory power to conduct monetary policy. Similar to former Fed Chairman Greenspan’s “bubble now/clean up later” philosophy, central banks in the midst of the financial crisis wanted to shore up confidence in the banks by ensuring their borrowing costs were as low as possible. The regulators were not going to worry about what would happen when it eventually leaked out that the regulators gave the appearance of colluding with the banks on falsifying Libor.
Looking at the birth date of when Libor was first published in London on January 1, 1986, it’s easy to see why it was only a matter of time before Libor would become ensnared in a global banking scandal.
Neptune is the planet relating to scandals, Venus represents money and banking, and the Sun symbolizes leaders and speculation. The Sun is the center of our solar system; its conjunction with Venus describes bank executives and central bankers. In the Libor birth chart, all three planets are conjoined together in Capricorn, the sign of government, big business, and regulations.
Capricorn and its planetary ruler Saturn represent boundaries which Neptune dissolves. Neptune is the art of illusion where things are not necessarily as they appear. Neptune is an elusive energy that tends to operate in a gray area that blends rumors, lies, and half-truths. Even when the veil of illusion is lifted, wrongdoing can be very difficult to prove. In this case, the users of Libor chose to put the illusion on THEMSELVES! The Libor chart conjunction of Neptune, Venus, and the Sun in Capricorn indicates that speculators must take responsibility for their investments when the illusion dissolves.
With Venus in Capricorn out-of-bounds, regulators did not object to banks breaking the rules by submitting artificially lower than actual interbank lending rates to protect the banks reputations. Capricorn represents the law of cause and effect (karma). What occurred in the past affects the present and the future. Capricorn describes people in positions of authority. Libor’s Capricorn planets describe those at the very top risk being held accountable and forced to sacrifice their job and its perks and prestige.
Interest rates are ruled by Scorpio and its planetary ruler Pluto. Venus aspecting Mars and Pluto conjoined in Scorpio in the Libor chart describes Libor rates being secretly manipulated for profit.
So far the first documented evidence of a central bank being aware that Libor rates were being falsely reported was in an email Barclays sent to the New York Federal Reserve at 8:01 AM on August 28, 2007. This was the day of a Total Lunar Eclipse in Neptune-ruled Pisces which squared the Libor chart’s natal Saturn in Sagittarius.
Full Moons and planetary oppositions represent becoming fully aware of an issue usually through interactions with others. The Pisces/Neptune energy was super strong that day as Venus retrograde in Leo opposed Neptune in Aquarius and Mercury in Virgo opposed Uranus in Pisces. Barclays was sending a wakeup call to their U.S. regulator that the Fed probably would have preferred to pretend didn’t exist.
Pisces is symbolized by two fish swimming in opposite directions. At the same time Barclays was communicating to the Fed that banks were reporting lower than actual rates, Barclays had begun falsifying its own submissions for US$Libor. Far worse, the bank didn’t reveal that since August 2005 certain traders at Barclays had asked other Libor participating banks to falsify Libor and Euribor rates to benefit their positions!
Eclipse energies become re-activated when triggered by planetary transits. Venus retrograde opposing Neptune and Mercury opposing Uranus was a further indication that this situation would erupt into a future global scandal. The public would be the last to know about banks manipulating Libor and bank regulators keeping the public in the dark since the Moon represents the general public and Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac where things begin to leak. Jupiter in Gemini exactly squared the August 28, 2007 Pisces Lunar Eclipse at the July 3, 2012 Capricorn Full Moon, the day that Barclays CEO and COO resigned.
Mercury in Virgo conjoining the August 28, 2007 email chart’s Ascendant describes Barclays communicating their concern that banks were not accurately reporting Libor.(2) Mercury’s square to Mars in Gemini and Jupiter in Sagittarius describes actions taken to underestimate the calculation of global Libor rates. Jupiter in Sagittarius describes the hypocrisy of Barclays informing the Fed about reporting lower Libor rates while doing it themselves.
Leo and its planetary ruler the Sun symbolizes confidence and rules all forms of speculation. The level of confidence in the financial system depends upon the market’s perception of how healthy it deems the financial system to be. The leadership at the NY Fed was focused on maintaining confidence in the banking system. Using their regulatory authority to police Libor reporting would not only require global cooperation, but would cause interbank lending rates to rise when their health depended upon keeping borrowing rates as low as possible. (Saturn in Leo conjoining the Sun in Virgo as the Sun squared Jupiter.)
Already cracks had begun to appear in the foundation of the financial system as Saturn in Leo had just finished a series of exact oppositions to Neptune in Aquarius that began in August 2006. Here Neptune’s belief that if there’s not enough borrowers to extend credit to, Wall St. can magically conjure up synthetic CDOs came face to face with Saturn’s cold hard reality that there are limits.
This planetary alignment signaled the party was over in the speculative bubble fueled by easy credit using real estate as collateral. Venus retrograde in Leo opposing Neptune was another reminder that banks would take the biggest hit when the credit bubble burst. The Fed hoped it could employ conventional and unconventional monetary policy tools to let the air gradually leak out of the bubble.(3)
Interest rates are ruled by Pluto, the planetary ruler of debt and financial extremes. Pluto entering Capricorn in January 2008 until 2024 signifies the breakdown and transformation of government, corporate, and societal structures. Pluto in Capricorn describes the collusion between big business and government. What had been kept secret eventually gets revealed as Capricorn and its planetary ruler Saturn seek accountability for past actions. What Pluto in Capricorn exposes tends to have a massive long term impact.
Falsifying Libor rates began to come to the surface as Pluto in Capricorn began moving closer to conjoining the Libor chart’s natal Neptune. Neptune rules fog and conditions that are murky and confusing. An April 16, 2008 Wall Street Journal article questioning Libor’s accuracy was appropriately titled “Libor Fog: Bankers Cast Doubt On Key Rate Amid Crisis.” According to the WSJ, both the Bank of England and the British Bankers Association were aware of the Libor problem.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was the president of the NY Fed at the time. (William Dudley, the current president of the NY Fed, was then in charge of the NY Fed’s Markets Group.) Once again Neptune’s energies were prominent when according to Geithner’s calendar, the NY Fed held a “Fixing Libor” meeting from 2:30-3:00 PM on April 28, 2008.(4) Mercury in Taurus the sign of banking was squaring Neptune in Aquarius as Mars in Cancer formed a stressful alignment to Neptune. Saturn retrograde in Virgo opposing Neptune was another reminder that action should be taken to ensure Libor rates were being accurately reported, but the fragility of the financial system from the collapse of Bear Stearns the month before probably gave the Fed a reason to avoid taking aggressive action.
Geithner did however, communicate his “Recommendations for Enhancing the Credibility of LIBOR” in a 5PM June 1, 2008 email to Bank of England Governor Mervyn King. Venus conjoins the Sun and Mercury retrograde in Gemini in the sector of the chart representing interest rates reflects that the issue of banks submitting false rates has been known by central bank leaders for quite some time.
The NY Fed released this memo and other related documents on Friday, July 13, 2012 in response to a request for documentation of communications between Barclays and the NY Fed by Rep. Randy Neugebauer, Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee for Oversight and Investigations. Neptune in Pisces opposes Saturn in Virgo in the chart for the June 1, 2008 email, indicating the Libor scandal is now calling into question what the regulators knew and when they knew it. In its press release accompanying the documents, the NY Fed emphasizes that manipulation of Libor has been widely known since 2008 and the NY Fed made efforts behind the scenes to engage its counterparts across the pond.
Mercury retrograde at the time of Geithner’s email indicates future action. As the NY Fed released the documents on July 13, 2012, Mercury was about to station retrograde conjoining the June 1, 2008 email chart’s Mars in Leo. Both dates feature the Moon in Taurus (banks) and Taurus’ planetary ruler Venus in Gemini. Venus in Gemini conjoined the Sun then. Four years later, the conjunction of Venus retrograde in Gemini and the Sun has brought a re-examination of the manipulation of Libor rates that has turned into a scandal.
A planet’s energies are particularly powerful when it appears from Earth’s vantage point to be motionless in the sky as it changes direction. This can bring new developments in past events.
As Venus stationed direct on June 27, 2012, Barclays Bank was fined $453 million by UK and US authorities including the Justice Department for submitting artificially low estimates of its borrowing costs to the British Bankers Association between August 2007 and January 2009. Barclays also admitted that between August 2005 and May 2008, certain traders had requested Libor and Euribor submissions from other Libor participating banks that would favor these traders’ positions.
With the energies of Saturn in Venus-ruled Libra extra powerful having stationed direct two days before, the authorities were demonstrating that Barclays and potentially other banks will be held accountable for their actions. The Moon in Libra reflects that this was the first time the general public really became aware of a bank falsely reporting Libor.
As Venus stationed direct, it conjoined Jupiter in Gemini and squared Neptune in Pisces as Jupiter squared Neptune. This greatly increases the potential for more of the world’s largest global banks becoming entangled in the Libor scandal. In my post on Jupiter in Gemini I wrote: “Rumors could be running rampant, along with fraudulent activities and scams. At least one major scandal of epic proportions could be brewing that keeps the media busy.”
While Pluto transited the Libor chart’s natal Neptune and Venus between March 2009 and December 2011, Uranus in Aries has been squaring the two planets since May 2011 (until March 2013). Uranus and Pluto were squaring each other at the time the June 27 Barclays settlement was announced. These energies describe the surprise over how fast individuals connected to the Libor scandal could fall from power.
Regardless of zodiac sign, transiting planetary patterns that mimic natal planetary patterns amplify and initiate action related to the planetary energies involved. Jupiter was semi-square Neptune and Uranus was semi-square Pluto when Libor was born. Jupiter/Neptune and Uranus/Pluto were squaring each other in the sky at the time of the Barclays June 27, 2012 settlement. Now the natal potential for a global scandal involving Libor rates which will likely lead to its reform was becoming activated.
The Sun in Cancer exactly opposed Libor’s natal Venus in Capricorn on June 27. Financial regulators and corporate leaders took center stage at the July 3 Full Moon in Saturn-ruled Capricorn. The Full Moon reinforced the planetary energies of late June as it conjoined the natal Sun of the Libor, Barclays, and UK charts, and opposed the USA’s natal Sun and squared natal Saturn in Libra.(5)
The Full Moon conjoining Barclay’s Capricorn Sun illuminated the bank’s leadership and their fall from the mountaintop. Mars had just entered Libra (financial relationships) and would soon square Libor’s natal Neptune. The conjunction of Mars in Libra to Barclays’ natal Neptune indicates action related to a scandal over falsifying its cost to borrow from other banks. Jupiter in Gemini squaring Barclays natal Mars in Pisces describes lawsuits from multiple jurisdictions arising from the Libor scandal such as the $453 million settlement by multiple UK and US authorities.
Barclays Chairman Marcus Agius announced the day before the Full Moon he would resign as soon as a replacement could be found. Reportedly under pressure from leaders at the Bank of England, the Financial Services Authority and even Whitehall, CEO Bob Diamond resigned on the Full Moon along with Chief Operating Officer Jerry Del Messier.
The cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) initiate action. Multiple planets in cardinal signs indicate fast moving events and developments. When these transits impact natal and progressed planets in cardinal signs, the impact can be swift. The Capricorn Full Moon opposed Diamond’s natal Mars and Uranus in Cancer which squares natal Jupiter in Aries and Neptune in Libra. Diamond’s natal planetary pattern indicated the potential for him to become embroiled in a global financial scandal connected to banking relationships. Diamond’s natal Mars and Uranus in Cancer are ruled by the Moon which is in out-of-bounds in Venus-ruled Taurus.(1) Mars in Libra was about to conjoin Diamond’s progressed Sun and Saturn in Libra.(6) In a July 10 letter to the UK Treasury Select Committee investigating the scandal, Diamond wrote:
“The comments made at today's hearing have had a terribly unfair impact on my reputation, which is of paramount concern to me."In defending his reputation before the committee, Diamond described an October 29, 2008 phone call from Paul Tucker, now Deputy Governor of the Bank of England and considered to be the successor to Governor Mervyn King. Diamond believed Tucker suggested that Barclays could lower the rates they submitted to be more in line with rates submitted by the other participating banks.
Mercury in Libra squared Jupiter in Capricorn and Mars in Scorpio squared Neptune that day. Diamond who conveyed the conversation to Del Messier, might have misinterpreted Tucker’s suggestion as a direct request to instruct Barclays staff responsible for Libor to submit lower rates.
Mars in Libra opposing his natal Sun in Aries along with Mercury exactly conjoining his natal Uranus in Leo as the Full Moon exactly squared his progressed Venus in Aries, put Paul Tucker in the hot seat before the parliamentary committee. Born with Mars in Aquarius opposing Uranus in Leo squaring Jupiter and Neptune, Tucker would not be immune from being embroiled in a major global scandal either.
The Bank of England (July 27, 1694) was born with Venus in Gemini conjunct Uranus squaring Mars in Virgo opposite Neptune in Pisces. Transiting Venus in Gemini stationed retrograde May 15, 2012 conjoining BoE’s natal Venus; the July 3 Full Moon conjoined the BoE’s progressed Saturn in Capricorn. These influences describe the BoE playing both sides with Barclays. The BoE wanted Barclays’ rates to be in line with the rates reported by the other participating banks while not giving the appearance it condoned such behavior. Like the Fed, the BoE was using the lower than actual Libor rates as a tool of monetary policy. Although Barclays had managed to stay afloat during the financial crisis without government assistance, UK authorities might have been worried that if Barclays’ interbank loan rates stood above the other banks, it too might require government support.
Born with the Sun in Aries opposite Neptune in Libra, the Uranus/Pluto square is impacting Mervyn King’s natal Sun. The July 3 Capricorn Full Moon opposed progressed Venus in Cancer (which is stationing retrograde) and squared natal Neptune in Libra. Gov. King is yet another example of the players involved in this drama born with prominent Neptune energies. It is difficult to imagine that Gov. King did not give the order to shall we say “suggest” that Barclays report a lower rate.
Major legal action in the Libor scandal could occur in September when Pluto in Capricorn stations direct September 18, the day before the second exact square between Uranus and Pluto which exactly impacts the Libor chart’s natal Venus in Capricorn. Mercury in Libra impacts the Uranus/Pluto square September 20, and the First Quarter Moon in Capricorn on the day of the Autumn Equinox conjoins the Libor Neptune. The Aries Full Moon on September 28, 2012 activates the Uranus/Pluto square once again on Libor’s natal Venus.
Jupiter in Gemini opposed Libor’s natal Saturn in Sagittarius at the time of the July 3 Full Moon.
The hypocrisy is that just as the global economy appears to be slowing down, regulators and politicians on both sides of the pond risk weakening the health of the financial system with political theatre. While global authorities should criminally prosecute individuals who engaged in insider trading connected to Libor rate rigging, today’s technology is capable of reporting the rates banks actually pay to borrow from other banks.
The Libor scandal is further proof that there is a clear conflict of interest between central bankers’ economic and monetary intentions and regulation of the health and safety of financial institutions. While it may have been beneficial in confidence building for banks to underreport Libor, it allowed investors to perceive that banks were stronger than they actually were. Notice the imagery of Neptune in Pisces in the world perceive. As I’ve stated earlier, it’s clear to me; but that does not lessen central bankers’ conflict of interest.
(1) A planet is “out-of-bounds” when it has moved beyond the maximum boundaries of its normal degree of declination (23 degrees 27 minutes) which represents the celestial latitude of a planet north or south of the celestial equator.
(2) The Ascendant or rising sign, is the zodiac sign rising on the eastern horizon at the moment of birth.
(3) Eclipses disrupt the normal flow of energies streaming into Earth. (At a Lunar Eclipse, the Earth blocks the Moon from receiving the Sun’s light.) Eclipses tend to increase market volatility. Looking in the records I keep tracking the day’s core market data for 8/28/07, I see I scribbled in the title of a story by the AP that day: “Volatility returned to Wall St.” The Dow declined 280 points to close at 13,041.85.
Venus retrograde conjoining the Sun in Leo on August 17 marked the start of Venus in its morning star phase in 2007. Excluding other major planetary alignments, the time each year when Venus rises before the Sun tends to correspond to when the stock market reaches its high for the year. Venus beginning its morning star phase in Leo, the sign of speculation together with expansive Jupiter in its home sign Sagittarius helped fuel the optimism to propel the Dow and S&P to record highs in early October 2007. (See the section on Venus Cycles and the Stock Market within my post, “The Twin Currencies of Venus in Gemini and the Venus/Stock Market Cycle” for more information.)
(4)According to a Reuters report, it is not known whether Geithner and Dudley actually attended the meeting.
(5) Founded in 1690, Barclays merged its UK and international divisions to become Barclays PLC on January 1, 1985, exactly one year before the birth of Libor.
(6)Progressions move the natal planets and chart positions forward in time, symbolizing the individual or entity’s progression through life.
Bob Diamond: July 27, 1951 time unknown Concord, MA
Paul Tucker: March 24, 1958 time unknown Wolverhampton(?), England
Mervyn King: March 30, 1948 time unknown Chesham Bois, England
Shopping at Amazon.com through this link helps support my efforts to bring you the most interesting and entertaining content possible!