REVIEW AND PREVIEW
Welcome to the Biden boom. “Forecasts” of real economic growth now run in the 7% to 8% range… If that happens it will mark the fastest four-quarter growth spurt since 1984.”– Alan S. Binder, “Welcome to Joe Biden’s Boom Economy,” Wall Street Journal, April 22, 2021.
On Thursday Biden officials leaked that they will soon propose raising the federal tax on capital gains to 43.4% from a top rate of 23.8% today. The midday leak managed to tank stocks with the S&P falling the most in more than a month. Treasury yields also fell on the news as investors discounted the prospect for growth. “A 43.4% Capital Gains Tax?” Opinion Page, Wall Street Journal, April 23, 2021.
Of all the silly things Washington types are saying about the economy, few are more dangerous than the myth of “transitory inflation”… Reduced living standards aren’t an accident. They’re the whole point of today’s economic policy.– Joseph C. Sternberg, “The Permanent Truth About Temporary Inflation,” Wall Street Journal, April 23, 2021.
The market declined most of last week because of the surprise announcement of much higher taxes soon to be proposed. The significance of taxes upon the market was noted in this column the last two weeks due to transits involving Pluto which will be in effect through next week. In fact, Pluto turns stationary retrograde this Tuesday, April 27, one day after the full moon in Scorpio. Pluto rules Scorpio and hence also has an association with taxes and other “Plutonian” matters to be discussed this week.
Most global equity markets were down last week. The week began well enough with several markets making new all-time or multi-year highs last Monday, April 19, then falling somewhat hard the next 1-3 days before reversing back up again as Venus conjoined Uranus on Thursday-Friday. In Europe, the German DAX and Netherlands AEX indices made new all-time highs on Monday, April 19. They then declined sharply into Tuesday, April 20 before rallying into Friday’s close. The Zurich SMI almost made a new high on April 19 when it reached 11,266, slightly below its all-time high of 11,270 recorded on February 20, 2020. The FTSE exhibited the same pattern. That is, it made a new yearly high on Monday, fell hard into Tuesday, then rallied again into the close of the week.
A similar pattern unfolded in Australia, where the ASX posted a new all-time high on Monday, fell sharply into Wednesday, then started another rally through Friday. But other Asian markets did not fare so well. All were relatively quiet, except Japan and India. In the former, the Nikkei made a triple bottom on Wednesday, April 21. India’s Nifty index, on the other hand, fell to its lowest level since February 1.
The big winners last week were the grain markets. Soybeans tested 1550 on Friday, their highest mark since July 2013 and getting near to the all-time high of 1794 made in September 2012. Corn skyrocketed to 636, its highest price since June 2013. Wheat also got into the act, rallying to 714, its highest level since May 2014.
Gold and Silver enjoyed nice weeks, with both making monthly highs on April 21. Bitcoin, on the other hand, had a nasty decline, falling as low as 47,266 on Friday, down 27% from its all-time high of 64,900 made the prior week on April 14. We discussed this possibility in last week’s column, given the Venus and Sun conjunctions to Uranus taking place on April 22 and April 30. Uranus pertains to digital matters, and the conjunctions are taking place in Taurus, sign of money and currencies. It’s still in effect this week, which means not only Bitcoin, but all markets are in a time band when sudden reversals tend to occur.
SHORT-TERM GEOCOSMICS AND LONGER-TERM THOUGHTS
“Does anyone else feel like they are a lazy perfectionist with ADHD and chronic fatigue who is pretty chill besides the occasional panic attack and loves their friends but hates people? – Hannah Berner@beingbernz, tweet for Millennials on Twitter, April 21, 2021.
The above quote is provided by my son, who happens to be a Millennial. He tells me the sentiment reflects the view of many Millennials. I tell him this view also reflects exactly the principles of Saturn square Uranus, especially following the Great Conjunctions of Capricorn in 2020. Baby Boomers are also experiencing many of these characteristics. It is interesting because Uranus represents the youth, and Saturn the elderly in society. What is also interesting is that these qualities furthermore reflect the collective mood of the entire country (U.S.), and maybe even the world. Let’s look at this more closely in the context of the world stock indices, which are booming, and the general feeling about the future as shown in the U.S. chart. This latter point is why I think it is more critical in the U.S. than in other nations. All is not well with this nation’s mood.
First off, understand that the problem with the stock market for much of last week was not the current economy. The economy is booming due to the multiple stimulus bills and the Fed’s continued commitment to monetary accommodation policies. However, this is fast becoming a consumer demand- driven boom, without enough supplies/products to meet the demand. This will have consequences (inflation) if production doesn’t increase fast enough to meet the demand. Rising inflation is already underway, which the Fed insists is just temporary, but the investment community isn’t buying it yet. With much higher taxes on the horizon for corporations and investors, there is an end game to the current boom. These hefty tax increase plans will not encourage the private sector to invest more monies into projects that will increase production of goods enough to meet the demand. And that is the problem looming ahead, not to mention its role in the next explosion of the national debt.
Thus, there is a general sense amongst people, especially the youth and seniors, that this boom will not last, that it will end with a bust. This is also the history of Uranus passing through signs, and more so in the money and “I-need-security” sign of Taurus, and especially when in a hard aspect to Saturn.
The apprehension that this boom will not last for long is understandable given that in their short life, Millennials have already experienced several financial and social “shocks.” There was the dot-com bubble burst leading to the deep recession in the first two years of this century, accompanied by a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001 and the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The economy dropped and so did the illusion of national security and personal safety, as an Age of Terrorism when a whole lot of school shootings began occurring. This started during the waxing square between Saturn and Uranus, followed by the opposition of Saturn and Pluto, a traumatic way to begin a new century under planetary combinations that can coincide with traumatic events.
Just a few years later, as the next quarter phase (opposition) of the Saturn/Uranus cycle took place, which also involved Pluto making a T-square to the Saturn/Uranus opposition, the Great Recession of 2007-2009 unfolded, largely due to the subprime banking fiasco. Many families lost their homes and jobs. It was another traumatic period for both Millennials, who were just coming of age (and probably taking on more student debt than they could ever hope to pay back) and baby boomers, who were hoping to retire, but either couldn’t, due to financial shortages as their home values were cut in half (or more, in some cases) or were forced to retire. Their financial anxieties and that of their families escalated once again.
It didn’t take long for the next traumatic episode to unfold, which is what we are going through now. As if on a cosmic clock, this alarm is now coinciding with the next Saturn/Uranus quarter cycle (the waning square), following a Saturn/Pluto conjunction. It was another shock and trauma in 2020 and continues a life of nightmares and anxiety for Millennials. With Uranus in Taurus, this is yet another time of financial insecurity, producing fears it will all suddenly end again, despite the current economic boom. There is little trust this boom will last, probably because Millennials have already seen this tragicomedy of life play out three times in the 21 years since the Millennium began.
There may be more to it, at least in the U.S. The collective mood of a country is represented by the placement of the Moon in its founding chart. Using the vote on the Declaration of Independence, which took place on July 2, 1776, the nation’s natal Moon is conjunct Pluto in late Capricorn. And transiting Pluto has now returned to this same position for the first time since 1776.
Pluto doesn’t just rule taxes. It rules darkness and dread of the unknown. Pluto is the ferryman who transports the soul through the underworld upon its death. The symbology is that when Pluto arrives, a major transformation – a rebirth – takes place. Something has to die to be reborn. The themes that were present when the entity was born are etched onto the soul of the nation itself. And with the Moon involved, it profoundly influences the mood of the nation as those themes come back into the collective’s awareness.
There are two things that come to mind here with the nation’s Pluto return and themes present when the nation cut its cord from England. The first is slavery and racism, the stain on this nation’s soul from its earliest days. The second is taxation, for the rallying cry of the Declaration of Independence was not only that “All men are created equal,” but also that there can be “No Taxation without Representation.”
It is more than ironic that Pluto represents both of these principles (taxes and slavery). It is more than ironic that we are in the midst of a period when powerful Pluto transits are now taking place, and the U.S. is undergoing its Pluto return, conjunct its natal Moon. During this past week we not only witnessed the investment community’s attention on the prospect of much higher than expected taxes and their unknown but dreaded long-term consequences on the economy, but also the conviction of a White police officer, Derek Chauvin, for the murder of George Floyd, an African-American. Such a conviction would have been unheard of a few years ago.
Although Pluto represents darkness, fear of the unknown, and the anxieties it fosters, there is also a bright side, a hopeful side, to every principle in astrology. With Pluto, it has to do with redemption, and the willingness – the commitment – to truly change. When that type of surrender and rebirth takes place, one begins to rebuild a life and a persona anew. Instead of the fear of death and the foreboding of the unknown, the mood is replaced by a sense of renewal, regeneration, and the feeling of empowerment. Instead of “hate for people,” and only love for one’s friends, a sense of love and respect for all people arises. Instead of tears of sadness for the trauma others (and oneself) have endured through these trying times, one begins to feel tears still, but this time the tears are of compassion and hope for all who finally make it through.
This is the cosmic dance of Neptune, especially in Pisces, in its unique orbital relationship with Pluto.
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NOTE 3: MMA’S FINANCIAL MARKETS WORLD WEBINAR AND FORECASTS 2021 UPDATE WILL TAKE PLACE MAY 22, 2021, 12:00 PM MST: This broadcast will take place on Saturday, May 22, 2021, 3:00 PM EDT (that’s 12:00 PM PDST, 8 PM UK, 9 PM CEDT. 5 AM Tokyo, 6 AM Sydney). In the comfort of your own home or office, you can tune into Raymond Merriman’s Webinar on Financial Markets and Forecasts 2021 Update. This 2.5-hour webinar will give an intermediate-term update on several financial markets that were covered in the Forecast 2021 Book, including the U.S. stock market, Gold, Silver, Crude Oil, the Euro currency, and Bitcoin. This will be an especially timely presentation because 1) the 12-year Jupiter orbital cycle will be making its first entrance into Pisces on May 13, and 2) May 3-July 9 has been highlighted as one of the more probable times in 2021 for an intermediate-term (and possibly long-term) trend reversal in several financial markets, including world stock indices. Joining Ray to share their outlook will be Ulric Aspegrén (Euro, U.S. Dollar) and Gianni Di Poce (U.S. Treasuries, Crude Oil). Ray will be covering equities, metals, and Bitcoin. There will be a Q&A with attendees during this webinar. The cost to attend is $55.00 and includes the slides of the presentation, plus access to the video recording of the event. If unable to attend live, you can still sign up, as everyone who orders the Webinar will receive the video recording following the live event. See details below, under EVENTS. Or, for more information, go to www.mmacycles.com, Shop> Webinars. Or click here and SIGN UP NOW TO LOCK IN YOUR PLACE for this event!
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MAY 22, 2021, 12:00 PM MST: MMA’S FINANCIAL MARKETS WORLD WEBINAR AND FORECASTS 2021 UPDATE. See Announcements above.
Disclaimer and statement of purpose: The purpose of this column is not to forecast the future movement of various financial markets. However, that is the purpose of the MMA (Merriman Market Analyst) subscription services. This column is not a subscription service. It is a free service, except in those cases where a fee may be assessed to cover the cost of translating this column from English into a non-English language. This weekly report is written with the intent to educate the reader on the relationship between astrological factors and collective human activities as they are happening. In this regard, this report will often cite what happened in various stock and financial markets throughout the world in the past week and discuss that movement in light of the geocosmic signatures that were in effect. It will then identify the geocosmic factors that will be in effect in the next week, or even month, or even years, and the author’s understanding of how these signatures may affect human activity in the times to come. The author (Merriman) will do this from the perspective of a cycles’ analyst looking at the military, political, economic, and even financial markets of the world. It is possible that some forecasts will be made based on these factors. However, the primary goal is to both educate and alert the reader as to the psychological climate we are in from an astrological perspective. The hope is that it will help the reader understand the psychological dynamics that underlie (or coincide with) the news events and their potential effect on financial markets.
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