Monday, 8 August 2011

Debt race to the bottom and other current events

My previous post ( A busy time) dealt with the theory, let's return to the real world. And, because they wouldn’t want it any other way, let’s start with the USA.

Wow! Astrology was certainly in action here, specifically in the US $ chart.

Every 2 ½ years the progressed moon changes signs, changing the nature and feel of the environment . The US$ progressed Moon has been in demanding Leo since January 2009, recently it moved into conservative Virgo. How recently? How does 1st August strike you as a date? Hmmmmm….. thought so! I’ve always found my US$ chart to work particularly well and here was an example of it being especially sensitive to events. And it is a critical degree too being tied in closely with the quantitive easing effects of progressed Neptune at 0 Scorpio and progressed Mars at 0 degree Capricorn.

Just to make life even more juicy transiting Mercury went retrograde on 2nd within one degree of that Moon and opposite transiting Neptune. Incidentally that transiting Neptune slipped back into Aquarius just as the US credit rating was downgraded.

As I said, Wow.

You say? Yeah , but what happens next?

Well, I have already pointed out that the progressed Moon will conjoin the US$ ascendant at the critical currency degree of 4/5 Virgo that ties with the Renminbi Saturn in December… and apparently the US deficit position will be revisited before the year end ( it has to be with that Mercury Neptune retrograde situation going on at the time of the votes). Frankly I think we have a lot more activity well before December. The new moon in late August is at 4 Virgo, and the September full moon conjunct the US$ Mars. The US country progressed Ascendant moves into Virgo after nearly 40 years in Leo – that is some switch of sentiment….. In October the US Jupiter, its wealth indicator, is challenged by Pluto again. More significantly, Neptune stations square the US$ chart MC and trine the currency’s natal Jupiter Neptune liquidity point. There is a suggestion of more liquidity, certainly there is more than a suggestion of a falling dollar. But it comes to a head as Saturn reaches 28 Libra in December, when Jupiter is stationed opposite progressed Neptune.

You say but ‘what about the solution?’ I say – there is no ‘solution’, sorry. There is a choice – same as there always is- but neither outcome is going to rebuild the castles in the air of the American dream.

We crossed the Rubicon of too much debt ( private plus government) combined with too much inequality a long time ago. As I’ve mentioned before, we are looking at the interweaving of the cycle that began around 1950 with that that started in 1981/2.

All we have done lately is continue towards the inevitable conclusion. The impact of excess money supply ( i.e currency inflation) in a the longer term is exactly the same as the impact of excess credit, it is only the short term pathways that are different; ultimately both roads lead to the same destination.

No more quantitive easing will result in facing the consequences of the debt head on. More will have the same effect as more debt, weakening the dollar, raising commodity prices, increasing costs to households leading to less consumption, and finally to facing the debt head-on, just a bit later and maybe even with a bigger bill, certainly at least as big.

‘But can’t we stimulate the economy, as they suggest?’ You say. I’ve heard some gems from so called experts lately. ‘We need to encourage entrepreneurs to invest, to boost production not consumption’ is one of the best. Indeed production without demand is so nonsensical that I thought they were joking at first. Sadly not. They truly believe it and in their gilded cages fail to see that demand from the majority is dead, already slaughtered by a multi-generational debt burden.

Of course, we mustn’t complain – after all this is capitalism working precisely how it is designed to, with the whole of the wealth ultimately accruing to the few. What ( other than a few guillotines and their ilk) is not to like?

Ah, yes, guillotines. That brings me to dissatisfied populace and thus to the UK. It’s that cross Mars again. Mars in early Cancer square Uranus and opposing Pluto and picking up the Pluto Mars progressed opposition. Without that stabilising Saturn we have precisely the sort of excitement that you’d expect, riots, some nice martian fires, yada, yada.

I’m not convinced that this has anything to do with the short term economic picture ( dire though it may be) but rather the much longer cycles referred to before. The majority of these rioters are not complaining about recent government policies or greedy bankers, they aren’t that sophisticated, they just want to fight and nick stuff. And it’s a warm summer evening and there ain’t much else to do. Why such an environment exists is part of a much bigger question. This is I believe a flash in the pan, give it a week max. But wait for Pluto and Uranus to cross the UK angles later on (2012-14) and both the reasons and results might be quite different.

Anyway, back to the markets. Our work with the dollar done, let us turn to the Euro.

Owch. Saturn has not been so very kind here. Seated ( exact on 5th August) on the Euro progressed Ascendant it has been dragging the Euro through the mire in the last few weeks. [ I can’t believe that any of its leaders went on holiday with that coming up, but apparently they did. That is of course why they are leaders – you have to be exceedingly ingenuous to make it to the top, else reality will give you cause for pause long before you make it].

But it is worth noting that Saturn will now move on from the progressed Ascendant – we don’t dwell on the current situation.

However, August/September sees Uranus once again disrupting the MC/IC axis of the currency – we’ re used to that now though. Since we have plenty of Uranus transit to get through, (it won’t finish its final pass until early 2012) we won’t have a resolution for a bit here. But care in coming to conclusions about the outcome – while Uranus shakes the tree, Pluto won’t return to the Euro chart angles, and Uranus is on the descendant – the signifier of it partner currencies, while September looks tricky for the Euro October looks tricky its friend in the US as well.

It is worth a quick peak at Italy, is it not?

As a country with Saturn at good old 4/5 Virgo, we can expect it to pop up in a currency context. I see the progressed Euro Moon is square this point at present as well. And that means the next New Moon at the end of this month is putting Italy into focus. I use the chart relocated to Rome for most purposes but it is worth noting that the original Turin chart has its progressed Moon on the Ascendant square that key degree at the moment, an alternative sign for putting it in the spotlight. Try as I might though I can’t see much else of relevance in this chart going forward except one thing. When the Euro was created the currency’s Pluto was on the Italian Ascendant. And their progressed Moons are almost conjunct. In November the Euro progressed Moon reaches its natal Pluto. Whereas everything else looks moderately ok – that does not bode well for the popular response to the currency conditions.

How goes our friend Sterling and the Bank of England? Not out of the woods – retrograde Pluto and Uranus will see to that in September but frankly it could be a lot worse. I’d guess that it is external events that are going to create the most problems here – with early December showing as a time that the BOE will be a trifle busy.

UK economic issues to look out for are in the future – as Neptune reaches natal Pluto, progressed Mars opposes progressed Pluto and, as mentioned, Uranus and Pluto sit on the chart’s angles in 2012-13. Ugh.

But it’s not just been about currencies has it? Equities have been having a bit of a tough time too in the last couple of weeks. The Dow has fallen nearly 2000 points or over 15% since July 11. Why?

Well it is back to that cross again. You might recall that the cardinal cross of August 2010 made a a bit of a mixed bag of aspects to the Dow chart and that I correctly in that case anticipated that this would not be too serious a blow for th index. But just now we’re missing the stabilising Saturn in early Libra while we are suffering from the attack of Mars in early Cancer which makes only hard aspects. Expect the situation to improve within about a week to 10 days- although continued fluctuations to occur as Mars moves over the angles in late August, early September – beware that Virgo new moon on 28th. An note that Saturn is unlikely to be a positive force at is transits the chart ascendant through September.

Note. Whereas I have always used the minted dollar chart for my work, I couldn’t help but notice the recent 150 year anniversary of the paper dollar ( 17 july 1861). A chart which has Saturn at 6 degree Virgo- close enough to 4/5 to warrant a mention I think.

The Italian chart and Lira in its most recent form ( prior to Euro adoption) dates back to the same year. Astrology enjoys global co-ordination.

A busy time:Mars attacks, Saturn's on vacation

I’ve been quietly looking at the next six months forecasts lately but I wasn’t really intending to update what I had already said here. Instead my plans were to present something more in the way of commentary rather than forecasting, in the anticipation that there would be a few things worth commenting on….I have, as usual, been distracted by life. Now, however, we’ll take a peak.

Some of the areas I was investigating were the June/July eclipses and their impact on various charts and the reactivation of the 2010 cardinal cross by both the new Moon in July and subsequently, in early August by Mars.

As it turns out there are a number of other interesting things to note too.

First let’s consider Saturn. Last year in July August it was very tightly involved with the cardinal cross. Many astrologers, myself included in this case, determined that nasty old Saturn would increase the impact of the cross and thus August 2010 would be a particularly unpleasant phase.

However, whilst there was no let up in the ongoing trends last summer, things just weren’t as bad as expected. I think this is because we failed to take account of two factors relating to Saturn.

The first is that Saturn in Libra is dignified, in what is called ‘exaltation’ – essentially showing its best side. So instead of the darker, more depressing side of Saturn, we get rather more of its balancing, refined discipline.

The second, and in my view the more important factor, is my increased feeling that a grand cross involving Saturn doesn’t necessarily cause all hell to break loose. Indeed it is more inclined to prevent such a scenario. I have such a combination in my own chart ( Saturn there being also dignified) and it does act in this way, leading to my life being, frankly, rather dull and uneventful instead of allowing my more reckless and unstable tendencies to rule.

Now, before you all get excited and think this is an unequivocally good thing, (I mean in global terms not my personal actions), I would like to take the role of Saturn and bring you back down to earth. What Saturn in a grand cross tends to do is create a holding pattern; keeping things together and neither allowing break out of the characteristics of the other 3 sides of the cross nor resolving their latent issues.

So together we had a nice Saturn in a constraining role and these two factors, I believe, kept a lid on some things last August.

Saturn is still in Libra and will be until 2012 ( yeah I know we are all waiting to see what, if anything happens in 2012), however it has moved on a number of degrees and is now only very weakly constraining the other planets in the cross. So when the square between Pluto and Uranus gets activated by the inner planets now, the pot boils over.

It’s a useful lesson – though we’ll have to wait hundreds of years for a repeat of this configuration to capitalise fully on what we have learnt, I’m afraid.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Review of 2010-11

Back In 2008 I started my forecast with the UK and the remark that my analysis thus far had raised as many questions as it had answered. Over the last 3 years many of those questions have been answered, and my faith in the accuracy of astrology vindicated. We’ll look at some of this as we work our way through these reviews and in my posts in the coming weeks.

I particularly want to focus in the next weeks on the reactivation of the cardinal cross, the eclipses and the outlook for the dollar and currency markets in the second half of the year. But first let's see how I've done over the last 18 months.

I expected more activity in the UK in 2010. Of course things dramatically changed as a result of the election ( which some will criticise me for not predicting but given its legal inevitability that would only be valid if I had predicted it to occur earlier), and though there was a certain amount of dissent during the year especially from students it wasn’t particularly concentrated in the summer. Although one might comments that the rampages by individuals ( Bird and Moat) in the North of England might have channelled some of these energies.

The biggest events seemed externally focussed; volcanoes, BP, weather etc. and I’ll deal again with these broader themes in a dedicated post.

As far as Sterling was concerned, inflation certainly continued apace in 2010, with monthly letters from the Bank of England, but not as much as I expected either. The government has certainly focussed on public pensions though as anticipated.

In Uk and sterling terms I predicted few dramatic developments in early 2011 – just shakiness which more or less sums up the stats at the moment. I did mentioned interest rates as a key focus for 2011 and that story continues to play itself out.

So a case of getting the themes right just not all the causes.

I found the FTSE chart very surprising when I looked at in 2008. I looked at it in the expectation of seeing long term lowered value, but it just wasn’t there. I couldn’t see why at that point, only later did I understand the currency situation as it played out through QE and the impact that has on asset values. It is all clear in hindsight- more evidence that astrology works even when the astrologer just doesn’t have the vision to understand its implications.

I noticed in particular that the FTSE didn’t especially pick up the 2010 cardinal cross. Whilst the charts showed some key weak points in March and May and again in September and November these weren’t trends. And so it proved. A drop in July also tallied with the peak of the cardinal cross but not for long.

In early 2011 I expected more of the same with some big trading on events days in March through June. And of course we have had Japan and then the big IPOs to fulfil this prediction. The trend as I expected has been for an overall flat path in early 2011. The ftse 100 lies not far from its April 2010 position today.

I also predicted consolidation and re-evaluation within the index and there have indeed been more shifts within sectors that overall.

The Euro
Well against all the odds – if other commentators are to be believed -we still, at the moment, at least have a Euro. I questioned whether countries would drop out in my 2010 forecast. My view was that the Euro story was part of a bigger currency issue and so it proved. My prediction of difficulties in the first half of the year followed by a more benign situation in late 2010 early 2011 was validated. I expected that problems would resurface by April 2011 and so it proved with Greece and the rest of the PIIGS becoming an increasing problem to date.

I can’t believe I didn’t bother to predict the remainder of 2011 before but went on to 2012. In fact, along with the other currencies the Euro shows a critical point in September through to November, as Uranus transits the Descendant and the progressed moon reaches Pluto. I remain convinced that this Autumn is a critical time for the currency markets. Another point I will return to in coming weeks.

I anticipated a mix bag for Ireland in 2010, and into 2011 with some people benefitting while others struggled. And a return to difficult times of severe recession. Pressure on the government was expected particularly in September. And with the severest problems beginning in April/ May 2011.

In fact 2010 was a year of extreme dissatisfaction in Ireland. On 11 May there were protests against bank bailouts – these were followed by other protests through the year. The financial situation continued to be severe and in November in IMF intervened and in late November the EU offered a rescue deal.

The government didn’t change in September though it survived votes of no confidence in June . However an election was announced in November and in early 2011 Fianna Fáil was swept from power in the worst defeat of a sitting government since the formation of the Irish state in 1921. Given that elections need otherwise not have been held till 2012 I consider this pretty reasonable accuracy.

Shame my forecast for the rest of 2011 doesn’t suggest things will improve soon.

On reading my original forecast for 2010 I can’t help but think that I was feeling around in the dark. I defined a critical point in summer 2010 with parallels to 1968 but noted that there was a significant amount of liquidity in contrast to recession expected. In fact what happened was the PIIG problems which contrasted with France’s relatively stable position and tended to consolidated its power in the EU.

On the other hand there were some strikes and protests ( this is France, that is normal). Most notable were pensions strikes in September and October with some limited violence. This was only a month or so out from my forecast and well within my 3 month orb for long term forecasts.

I expected early 2011 to be ok too and so it proves so far. France’s arrival on the front pages has nothing to do with internal problems. Quite the opposite their finance minister is being generally lauded.

However I still expect the year to end somewhat differently.

As for France my forecast indicated contrasting pictures- on the one hand dramatic shifts on the other gentle opportunities. The cardinal cross of last summer was expected to generate significant tensions.

My overall predictions for the 4 year period 2008-12 seem to be on the money as this article suggests.

More specifically, in early 2011 I predicted, ‘we might see internal political divisions regarding such external relations where they are seen to reduce national spirit’.

Perhaps I should have written wealth for spirit. In fact Germany, itself weathering the global economic storms quite well as I expected, became a focus of attention for the Greek and other bailouts with some very strong internal opposition from some traditionalist quarters. Merkel’s party suffered regional defeats in early 2011 due to these bailouts ( although in reality it is German banks that are being protected more than anything).

But there is also the increasing immigration issue, and Germans are having to accept this and adapt with among other things Islamic education and increasing numbers of mosques.

The picture for the remainder of the year is harsher. Especially those final three months again.

With the notable exception of Berlusconi, Italy’s reputation as a wild card in Europe has been somewhat overshadowed in the last couple of years by Greece, Portugal and even Ireland. The former two were not the subjects of my original predictions though Ireland was. Nevertheless Italy is one of the PIIGS and therefore worth a few more moments of our time.

Although Italy was by no means the worst affected by the 2007/8 crisis, plummeting global demand seriously affected the country’s exports, causing their volumes to contract by 19% in 2009 Furthermore with debt in nominal terms of 1.8 trillion euros, Italy has more than that of Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Greece combined.

I predicted a relatively calm economic start to 2010, but that the picture would become more complex during the year. Although there were some positive signs around April, the recession would continue right through to December. Others’ forecasts were for a small amount of growth for the year as a whole and these were more or less realised. Economic growth slowed more than forecast in the last quarter of 2010 and Italy’s recovery from the global recession has been slower than that of its euro-area partners such as France and Germany.

However I also identified more government issues. In May, throughout the summer and again in the last quarter.

In fact, the Berlusconi sex scandals abated a little for much of 2010, but returned with a vengeance in November, with under age belly dancers and a defence that managed to offend the gay community for good measure. However, the prediction was proved right as in the two months to July , two ministers and a junior minister were forced to resign over corruption scandals. As a result Fini, the co-founder of the party fed up of the Prime Minister’s reputation split with Berlusconi in July and this led to a vote at the end of the year. The government survived the no-confidence motion by three votes in December Still the Teflon coated leader remains in power.

The astrology works again. I have to concede that it gives a clearer picture of political issues than economic ones- but then, in most cases economically it is an ill wind that blows no-one any good.

Now however Italy is faced with continued global financial imbalances, fall out from the Libya situation – a country with which it has historic connections, and a prime Minister who spends half his time in court. On 7 April 2011 the Economist wrote that Italy’s public debt is the sleeping dog of the euro zone’s crisis. Yet my forecast is relatively positive for the economy- though I ask whether the country is the beneficiary of external funding over this summer. I see good financial restructuring – no I don’t know why either so don’t ask. I don’t move the planets.

I expected that the people would begin to find their voice in Spain in 2010, after tolerating the economic conditions for a couple of years. Nevertheless my view was that Spain has a greater tolerance for economic pin than others. And I expected the impact of the fiscal situation to be mixed on the economy mid year, though less attractive at the year end and early 2011.

In fact the Spanish economy experienced more of the same in 2010 after 2008-9. In June, following the Euro crisis elsewhere, Spain increased austerity measures to reduce debt. The prospect of wage cuts and pension freezes prompted some street demonstrations. Unions called a nationwide strike ion 29 September, against plans to make it easier for companies to hire and fire workers. But a poll in El Pais estimated that only 9% of Spaniards supported the strike. This confirms my general prediction that despite everything Spaniards wouldn’t react as many nations might. Finally, Spanish property sales stats at the end of the year showed that sales fell 48% between the 2nd and 3rd quarter of 2010 – which amounted to the lowest level of Spanish property sales on record

My prediction for early 2011 was for continuation of 2010. I didn’t however predict the events of May- but then they so far have only changed things slightly and are focussed on the young. Local elections in May 2011 have spurred the young – albeit relatively calmly to protest against Spain's 21% unemployment rate and a record 4.9 million jobless.. It is notable that in some cities protests were timed not to disturb residents. Although there have been some violent incidents.

I expected issues relating to leadership and Zapatero has stated that he will not stand again for office in 2012. This supports my original view that there won’t be a dramatic change this year.

The beginning of the year I surmised would be about relations with other countries and sure enough the government has renegotiated its double taxation agreements with numerous countries, including the US, to incorporate the OECD standard, and it is working with Germany and the UK to resolve outstanding issues, particularly the possibility of imposing taxes on bank deposits held by foreigners. Parliament passed the first five double-taxation agreements, including that with the US, in March 2010.

The cardinal cross, I perceived, would impact the country’s Venus and Mars and may lead to a bankruptcy and that the aspects to the Moon would lead to re-evaluation of the Swiss position. There was no major bankruptcy but the Swiss franc became even stronger. This was a bad prediction though.

I suggested that the first half of the year showed little overall direction which seems to have been the case. The government implemented a third fiscal stimulus program in the year and aimed much at new technology. I thought there may be technology breakthroughs in the last quarter and in fact growth in the later part of the year was headed by the chemical and pharmaceutical sectors along with medical technology and measuring instruments plus the watchmaking industry. Switzerland's benefited from their leading international position in research so overall growth in 2010 was over 2%

I also forecast that Switzerland would try to recover some of its image at the end of the year for competitiveness purposes. And the most interesting prediction was for April 2011 and the country’s Neptune return. Neptune moving especially slowly has been bringing these changes for a while.

I quote from a report re Swiss laws.

‘Until now, Switzerland has been the sole remaining country in Europe without a unified, national set of rules governing civil procedure. This will change dramatically with the entry into force of the CCP on 1 January 2011. The 26 cantonal codes of civil procedure and the Federal Act on Jurisdiction in Civil Matters (CJA) are to be replaced by the CCP. The introduction of uniform rules will lead to increased legal certainty since it will do away with the legal fragmentation that has prevailed in this area up to now’.

How is that for a return to the themes of an original constitution? And compensates more than slightly for the non-existent bankruptcy

2011 is mostly expected to be positive and a survey for Q1 2011 showed growth and optimism amongst Swiss companies. However the strong franc is starting to impact Swiss exports. It is those external financial relations that need managing.

My prediction for Iceland having been aimed at failed banks, I didn’t extend it fully over the years to 2012. However I expected more of the same and economically that is what the country has.

However it is worth taking a quick peak at the country’s chart for last year’s Volcano especially from 14 April. Although Pluto hovers at the base of the Icelandic chart it needs help to create such an event. The help in this case was provided by a trine to progressed Jupiter and the progressed Moon sextiling the country’s natal Pluto which was at that time being transiting by Mars. A Saturn square activated by the continued Saturn/ Uranus opposition probably added to the drama with some black smoke.

The most interesting thing I note about the Icelandic chart though is that now Uranus sits on its Descendant and Square the IC–as well as its internal rumblings it is Iceland’s external contacts that we should be looking at .

I only looked at Greece last year, after the event so to speak, but I did briefly outline how I thought things would play out later. When writing in February2010, I anticipated a new flare up the debt problem later in the year and this occurred on schedule with the austerity measures being determined on 1st May followed by German support. On 5 May 2010, a nationwide general strike was held in Athens to protest to the planned spending cuts and tax increases. Three people were killed, dozens injured, and arrested .

The average Greek person has paid the price and not been happy about it. There has been much dissention as I expected.

Unfortunately I was right again when I anticipated the problems continuing into 2011. However I thought that April and May would bring a more positive view and working towards solutions. Well they are trying to work towards solutions but with limited success. I commented that I believed that the damage would already have been done and that the transit of Uranus to Pluto would be limited in impact. This is not so – the worst of Uranus to Pluto is still in process. The astrology is once again spot on – only my judgement was lacking.
On to the Americas now, starting with the country that still hangs on by its finger nails to the title of world economic powerhouse.

The great thing about forecasting the US is that it is easy to check what happens, whereas other countries struggle to make the UK mainstream media unless there is a revolution or an attack from Andromeda, the US is reported on relentlessly.

I predicted that 2010 for the US and its currency would continue the themes of 2009 at first, until May. I expected something to happen and speculated whether it was internal unrest ( I didn’t think so – although the rise of the tea party pretty much matches the themes) or an external event that united the country. As we know the event was actually in late April and involved oil exploration. The well was capped in July and declared dead in September. And it united the nation against BP in England, even though my analysis at the time showed the focus was Houston.

I think, given that I was predicting 2 years out, in general terms, as part of a much bigger project, I can give myself good marks for this one. Obviously if I had taken the time to investigate the flagging of this time period in the US more fully I could have pinned the nature of the event down.

The one point I missed was that the dollar effects weren’t tied to the BP spill, but rather to the longer economic trends. In fact, although the dollar reached a temporary high in May against the Euro, due to the Greek situation, in Yen terms it had only recovered marginally and has been declining all the way since. The Swiss Franc chart really sums up the situation, as does the gold one. The discussion of last summer was whether to carry out more quantative easing, however as the Guardian put it in Novmber 2010, ‘the results of the [mid term] elections make it very difficult for the US to pursue the first best policy to keep its economy recovering: further fiscal expansion, for a time’. I might disagree with this prescription but not the hold on it.

I had predicted that by November 2010 the pressure would lead , if not to government change, at least to policy change. I was however a little naïve in my interpretation of what the impact might be. Taxes on rich people/? In America? I must have been smoking something when I suggested that. Or perhaps I was unusually trying to be optimistic and save the world. To be fair Obama, did want to restore the capital gains rate to 20%, as it was in the 1990s, and allow dividends to be taxed like income, (potentially boosting rates for wealthy taxpayers to nearly 40%), but ended up extending the tax cuts made by his predecessors and adding a few more ( although fortunately not on the scale some would have liked). Anyway the debt continued to rise and the dollar to fall: just a coincidence of course.

I predicted that the liquidity expansion would continue into Spring 2011, and so we have it. While there is no new round of QE interest rates remain non existent. Late April 2011 the US committee that oversees interest rates announced that it was carrying on with the policy of keeping rates low but would end its huge programme of buying back government bonds. It has also been mired in debates over its debt ceiling.

I made the mistake of thinking that as the US chart looked better in 2011, this meant that the situation was improving – whereas, of course, the significant manifestation in 2010 was the BP spill which indeed is over. The longer term issues continue.

I am not sure why I didn’t focus more on the Fall of 2011; perhaps because it was only later having looked at many charts that it became clear it was signficant. Saturn reaches the US natal Saturn again this summer. Pluto again opposes the country’s Jupiter in October as Uranus sits at the base of the US chart. It suggests more debt issues. In the Dollar chart Saturn opposes the stellium in Aries from August and in December it conjoins the Neptune/Jupiter inflation conjunction in the chart. A 30 year event and dating back to the beginning of the mega credit/debt cycle that started in 1982. At the same time the progressed Moon crosses the ascendant – or what I call the Renminbi point. Looks like we are in for some fun.

My main comment about the Dow in 2010 was that the aspects formed to it by the cardinal cross were for the most part positive. The chart did react to the cross – with short term lows in July and September but this was nothing significant. There was, as expected, another tricky spot around November, but not as much as I anticipated.

Then I got it wrong. I did not expect continued rise into the first half of 2011. Since May 2010 ( indeed since November 2010) the Dow has increased from 11,000 to 12,500. It seems that the impact of Uranus/Jupiter on the chart’s Mars was greater than the Saturn conjoining the Ascendant. Perhaps Saturn was limited in its effect due to its retrograde motion and perhaps the trine to Pluto offsets the Venus conjunction, I really don’t have all the answers to this one. From March it is easier to see as Saturn has been stationed out of the picture.

On the other hand, the focus on the markets in 2010 was on something else entirely; how they operate and especially the May 6 flash crash, and the months of investigation and testing that followed. Now this matches the Saturn on the Ascendant perfectly. The market image was under scrutiny. It just seems that this wasn’t enough to put off investors. Actually, on balance, this sums up the aspects of the cardinal cross very well; another lesson by astrology for the astrologer.

Another manifestation of Saturn has been volumes. As high-frequency traders moved away from the stock market there has been lower volatility and volume. The combined average daily trading volume in the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Stock Market in the first four months of 2011 fell 15% from 2010, to an average of 6.3 billion shares a day. Trading activities has been declining throughout 2011.

Back to prices; Jupiter has recently been trine the Dow Jupiter and Uranus will leave Mars at last. This does look like a temporary top. Saturn reaches the Ascendant again in September, I suppose we will have some pull back then. I’ll stand by my significant speculation prediction for the year end though.

The Nasdaq didn’t really diverge that much from the Dow trends in 2010. I didn’t seem to have made any fixed predictions for the direction of this index in 2010, merely highlighting the offsetting factors. My timing was pretty much the same too. And I did comment that by December we could expect ‘regulatory influences to slow things down’ a pretty good sum up of the curbs introduced by 10 December.

I did however expect more action in the Nasdaq in 2011. Suggesting a significant rise in value from the early part of the year and continuing probably till October. I thought that the trend would be accentuated in April and May as well and then held back. So I was much, much, more accurate for this index and don’t feel any need to update my predictions for the future.

What is interesting though is the recent Linkedin IPO. Not a Nasdaq IPO yet typical of the type of company that the Nasdaq is known for. This IPO I think symbolises what has been happening in both markets – it is the type of stock that matters and the repeat of bubble conditions that I anticipated, the fact that it affects the Dow too is not so surprising given the mix of components.

I am therefore happy about my predictions for a potential return to some of the 2000 bubble conditions even if I could have distinguished my indices better.

I predicted positive themes for Canada around March 2010, continuing into the summer. Although I expected the country to be caught up in the impact of events elsewhere. Throughout the year I saw positive signs for technological growth . However I expected recessionary matters particularly re house prices to resurface from September onwards leading to extreme cautiousness by the year end.

The reality was that Canada started the year hosting the winter Olympics which gave it a positive shot in the arm for a while. The economy grew at a 6.1 percent annual rate in the first three months of the year.

The G20 met in the country in June at which point it was reported that Canada was the envy of the developed countries. The housing market was hot and three-quarters of the 400,000 jobs lost during the recession had been recovered. It had had to raise interest rates a little.

The result was a slightly less stella second half, though still not much to complain about. The housing market began to cool especially in volume terms. Year on year sales were down 15% at December. There were price declines in September to November as some of the bubble gas was sucked out. Severe weather also hit in December.

In 2011 I saw restrictions with partners but overall strength from the country, and new government or policies around March. On the other hand there seemed to be excess liquidity problems but overall developments were positive. A key turning point was expected in April.

In fact the assets bubbles continued in the first part of the year. Canada was suffering as I expected from excess liquidity with inflationary issues prevalent, though the strength of the currency was complicating the overall picture. An election was held on 2nd May ( a little later than I forecast) and whilst the same government remained in power its strength increased making its policies easier to implement.

I’m happy with my Canadian forecasts for the past and future and am interested in that niggling Neptune influence which hangs around still.

Mexico was another country that I expected to start 2010 in a positive way. The peso was expected to be volatile and I predicted some intervention around April. The government was not expected to be doing so well at this time however.

The summer was expected to be harder. The country was expected to suffer from effects on established industries and wealth. The peso emphasis was on other countries. Overall a bit of mixed bag of change but with both winners and losers was anticipated.

Relations with partners were expected to decline late year.

In 2011 I expected a big change in governance style around February or March; even a new regime. But April suggested government strength, and the focus continued to be relationships in to May.

This summary of the year 2010 confirms the forecast. GDP posted positive growth of 5% in 2010, with exports leading the way, while domestic consumption and investment lagged. The administration continues to face many economic challenges, including improving the public education system, upgrading infrastructure, modernizing labour laws, and fostering private investment in the energy sector. The mixed bag effect is confirmed by the finance ministers comment that higher oil prices don’t benefit Mexico to the extent of other exporters as they dampen US industrial demand. Mexico is seeking to sell more goods to Latin America and Asia to reduce its dependence on the U.S.. There was a significantly positive outlook.

Relations with the US did deteriorate but later than forecast, in early 2011 when the Mexican president condemned the US support for the drugs war as woefully inadequate. Although the direct cause were the wikileaks which did start at the end of 2010 and did impact of Mexico’s broader reputation internationally.

The Peso as expected reflected other countries’ stories. Against the dollar it strengthened, the year 2010 ended with an appreciation of the peso versus the dollar by 6.1%, but against the Swiss franc it fell, against the Euro there was fluctuation. The Mexican government in September 2010 enacted a new law which basically restricts the use of US Dollars for almost all purchases inside of Mexico.

So far in 2011, excluding the drug issues mentioned above, the government has been getting in gear for 2012 elections and is promoting economic success rather than focus on the drugs war. There was reshuffle by the President early in the year with this in mind. Nevertheless my original view that there seems to be a fluid picture – no clarity on the future – is borne out by this focus on re-election or change.

All in all a reasonable forecast.

So far Brazil has the dubious honour of being the country I have forecasted least well. Let’s see what happened in 2010-11, bearing in mind that my predictions so far don’t exactly form a solid basis for the next round.

The results are interesting.

I predicted in the country chart, a year that started with disputes and disinformation. While I can’t correlate the timeline here, there are critics of Brazil who claim that there is misleading information about statistics, but then that could apply anywhere.

I expected the government to be a little reckless around April and it appears that the government ramped up spending last year ahead of October presidential elections a move that was criticised as financially imprudent by some and is now resulting in budget cuts. My best Brazil economic forecast event so far.

I thought that there could be demos over the summer to September, although of course I had not noted that there was an election in the offing. I did not predict a change of government at this time and there wasn’t. There were minor protests about dams but these are not of the nature I meant. A c- for that bit.

In September, I said Jupiter was to conjoin the Brazil Pluto emphasising debt issues. This is when the election occurred. In fact it just seems to have consolidated the Brazil position further ( although debt did rise due to the extra measures mentioned above)

November I saw as having some stabilising issues but also a repeat of themes dating back to early 2009 at least. I expected some restrictions in liquidity or withdrawals in December 2010. Things did quieten down a little in the last three months and in December, The central bank made banks hold onto more of their deposits instead of lending that money out in a bid to cool inflationary pressures. Much better predicting.

In 2010 stats reveal that Brazil’s GDP was boosted by a 10.1% growth of manufacturing and 6.5% agriculture and livestock, domestic consumption (60%) was crucial for GDP expansion together with overall investment that increased 21.8%. Overall the economy actually grew at its fastest for 24 years in 2010, although that might be partly due to the pre- election measures, it obviously reflects genuine growth too. And though I might have got many details right I missed this continued trend in the country.

Early 2011 I thought looked positive but with evidence that some delusions might be overthrown. The new president came into office on 1 January 2011. In March 2011 the Central Bank hiked the basic rate to 11.75% to combat overheating of the economy and the government ratified its decision to cut budget expenditure by 30 billion US dollars. Other than the budget cuts it’s not really possible to say yet what is happening with the new President in charge.

May2011 was to be a key turning point though the effects of this are for later. Although it was announced in May 2011 that there will be measures not to ban imports but to boost national industry in such a way that it can consequently help to reduce imports”.

So overall I did a better job but still not to the standard of other countries.

Brazilian Real
The 2010 themes for the Real were positive according to my expectations. Uranus on the Ascendant in February, liquidity and the potential for a turning point in its value in May.

In fact Brazilian central bankers have raised the country’s benchmark rate 325 basis points, or 3.25 percentage points, to 12 percent since April 2010 to calm inflation. Bingo!

A new long term trend was expected to begin in the summer supported by some very strong aspects. More increased value was expected. And more trade in it in August September October. Most of the aspects were positive again.

There has continued to be speculation in favour of the Real which has appreciated versus the dollar again ( though by less %age wise than in 2009) but not versus the Swiss Franc however. The issue does not seem to be the rise of the Real , rather it is the fall of the dollar. Nevertheless I feel I did ok here.

In 2011, the forecasted Real appeared to show strength around February, ( this does in fact show as a spike in the Swiss franc chart!!!!!!) but with less speculation. The key turning point in May showed up in the Real chart too. The finance minister has recently commented that currency inflows are returning to more normal levels.

All in all the Real forecasts seem ok, even if the Brazil ones still need some work.

With Saturn stationed on the Ascendant, overall the themes were for parallel instability and restriction. A strange combination but one that seems to have played out as expected.

The prediction for early 2010 was for some frenetic activity but not especially bad outcomes. May suggested radical action. The summer’s aspects emphasised disinformation and lack of economic direction.

In reality, in the first half of 2010 Venezuela faced the prospect of lengthy nationwide blackouts when its main hydroelectric power plant - which provides more than 35% of the country's electricity - nearly shut down.

Venezuela's economy was the fourth largest in Latin America in 2010 but it contracted 1.4 percent in a second year of recession. GDP grew a tepid 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter compared with a year earlier. Slow growth is exacerbating Venezuela's decades-old problem of double-digit inflation, and real buying power has shrunk rapidly. Twelve-month inflation through February was 28.7 percent, one of the highest rates in the world.

The benefits to Venezuela of being a commodity nation were noted during the period of the cardinal cross. And so it proved despite everything else. Venezuela has avoided hyper-inflation thanks to its oil income, which allows it to import a large amount of consumer goods.

My forecast for September 2010 suggested leadership problems, perhaps caused by physical events and these leadership difficulties would continue through December. In fact Government-mandated wage hikes of up to 30 percent are common, but labour unrest is on the rise among both public and private workers .
In December 2010, the National Assembly passed a package of five organic laws designed to complete the transformation of the Venezuelan economy in line with CHAVEZ's vision of 21st century socialism. These laws likely will be implemented in 2011

In 2011 the restrictions were expected to continue. With some tough months due to a Saturn influence. But not to be wholly difficult. Surprisingly the aspects for the next few months were relatively good right through to June.

In reality Venezuela began 2011 ‘wrestling with macroeconomic imbalances resulting from the government's unorthodox economic policies, a housing crisis, and a continuing electricity crisis’ but the currency action mitigated this for a while. Venezuela's economy expanded 4.5 percent for the first quarter, pretty much on planetary schedule.

At the time of predicting, I noted there were a few aspects to the Bolivar chart in early 2010 but not of too great significance . And it mirrored the country with a key point in May.

In May, 2010, Chavez closed the unofficial foreign exchange market - the "parallel" market - in an effort to stem inflation and slow the currency's depreciation. In June 2010, the government created the "a new system to replace the "parallel" market.

The cardinal cross barely touched it. The chart showed Saturn transiting the Moon in September suggesting stability and/or restriction. Some volatility of a positive kind was evident in November and the December chart showed significant restriction in December.

In December 2010, CHAVEZ eliminated the dual exchange rate system and unified the exchange rate at 4.3 bolivars per dollar.

The focus was expected to be on the Bolivar in early 2011 as it diverged from the country chart with February likely to lead to a re-evaluation internationally. The chart was to be again hit by Saturn from April.

In January 2011, Chavez announced the second devaluation of the bolivar within twelve months.

For a country which I have never visited, which is to say the least unique in economic and leadership terms and often poorly reported on I think I deserve a gold star for my attempts here.

After some tricky moments in their summer I expected that February 2010 would see everything ok with the world in Argentina. A very brief time in May was expected to be followed by a calm June July and August. The only tricky element was October. And in fact things were just expected to continue to be pleasant right up to some budget reviews in December.

In 2011 the predicted positive themes were to continue all the way through to June.

Argentina started the year 2010 with a debt renegotiation. Although touch and go for a while the negotiation was successful and economically the country hasn’t really looked back. Although the ex-president and husband of the current one died suddenly in October.

Argentina's economy expanded by 9.2 percent last year, driven by strong consumer spending, high global prices for its grains exports and growing demand for manufactured goods in neighbouring Brazil.

As usual I am proud of my astrological identification of Argentina as a good bet, and even more so when the FT on 22 May published an article entitled ‘Argentina is a risk worth taking’.

However, in deference to those who have been negative on Argentina while I have been positive, it is noted that high inflation has been a weakness of the Argentine economy for decades. In December 2010, inflation was believed to be running at more than 25% annually, the highest level since the 2002 devaluation and this will eventually create problems, it just hasn’t done so yet.[

Argentinian Peso
Mirroring the tricky January 2010 country chart the Peso chart showed a more favourable position in February. There were some negatives expected through July though. I expected to see something picking up the dollar after the cardinal cross and a pretty good end to the year overall.

In nominal terms, the peso weakened 3.4 percent over the 12 months vs. the dollar to end of 2010 but remains at a similar level vs. the dollar than in 2009, it has not depreciated at the same rate as internal inflation has risen. It is interesting to see that it still tracks the dollar quite closely, in a way that Brazil and Mexico do not. Still, I would have bet on more overall strength based on the forecast. Depends I suppose whether one looks for stability or appreciation as good in a currency. ….

Themes were expected to come to a head in March 2011, with positive influences through July. We’ll see how this plays out.
Another post, another continent. This time Asia, or at least some big economic players there.

My prediction for China in 2010 saw a big focus on economic issues (as the chart was picked up by the Saturn Uranus opposition), but also themes of deception or confusion over economic matters. But Neptune square the MC could also relate to overexpansion which I didn’t mention. Astrology 1: astrologer nil again!

China actually started the year in big boom state with soaring property prices, among other things. Through the year, the Chinese government took repeated steps to cool the inflationary pressures during the year. Beijing /raised the ratio of deposits that banks must hold in reserve with the central bank nine times since the start of 2010, in an effort to limit the amount they could lend. In the second half of the year it increased interest rates 4 times to 6.5%.

I also noted that the people would make themselves heard over the early summer. And this definitely happened as A series of strikes ( started after suicides at Foxcomm but spreading widely) added to the wage pressures. As a result wages have been rapidly rising in all areas of the country due to labour market pressures.

The cardinal cross activated China’s Uranus and I expected a big shift over the period ( though not just the summer of 2010) I assumed to greater development position. China actually overtook Japan as the second biggest economy at this point – a key point in global economy history.

Then, I thought that things would quieten down in the autumn, some instability would remain due to the Uranus transits. Sure enough the Chinese government stepped in with the rate increases at this time.

In the end, China's gross domestic product (GDP) grew a faster-than-expected 10.3% in 2010, official statistics show. Consumer prices grew 3.3% year-on-year, ahead of China's 3% target. But more troubling for Beijing was that the price of food rose 7.2%.

In 2011 I saw a bit of a state of flux – as if the country was waiting for something more concrete .

This seems to have been the case with no clear indications about whether the attempts to control the boom were working. Now at the end of May 2011 there is a sign that the economy is cooling, The big question now is how much economic growth may slow, before the authorities shift their priority from controlling inflation to revving the growth engine.

Another overall winner for me.

It still seems strange to be considering the currency separately as it is more or less fixed to the dollar. However that could change, and not in the too distant future.

In my forecast I forsaw Pluto trining the currency’s Saturn as indicative of futher managed revaluation in the early part of 2010.

In fact what happened was that beginning in January 2010, Chinese and non-Chinese citizens were given an annual quota to change a maximum of 50,000 USD all of which is closely monitored. Neat- and I can be forgiven for not getting this rather complicated version of change.

With the cardinal cross hitting the chart in the summer I thought perhaps the Renminbi might be allowed to float at this time. However there were clearly still currency pressures that would exist at the year end.

There was no float but total cross-border renminbi transactions hit 58.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2010, 13 times the amount of one year earlier and this is attributed to China's continued efforts to make the currency more international while still controlling any attempts at speculation. Another pretty damn good prediction.

In 2011 I predicted continued changes (due to the Uranus aspects to Mars and Jupiter) and that some of the currency pressure would reduce after April.

In fact in early 2011, China took a further step towards increasing its currency’s global role, allowing domestic companies to move renminbi offshore for investment purposes. Mainland companies can now use the renminbi to launch businesses overseas and fund acquisitions.

Furthermore Rumours suggest that Beijing is now in favour of further appreciation and as of May China is considering letting foreign investors to invest directly in Renminbi.

We can’t consider the Renminbi without the HK$ these days. Again I recklessly produced a forecast for an apparently fixed currency rather than look at something that would move. I thought that 2010 would prove a critical time for the HK$. I extrapolated to suggest that people would be speculating in property and other HK assets if they couldn’t trade in the currency and that has definitely proved the case. Another one of those gold stars for me.

I did not forsee a float here over the summer – just a gentle shift in attitude and expected the year to end with a strong impetus for change.

In 2011 I saw this desire continue and that aspects through April would be incredibly positive for the currency. In April Neptune would square Jupiter – there would be more change in May.

In April 28 2011 The FT reported that ‘Hong Kong citizens are increasingly turning their backs on the US$ and momentum to reject the dollar peg is developing! Sorry FT but you are three years late in spotting that one!

The FT said that HK People are increasingly choosing to hold Renminbi both in Hk and on the mainland. Property purchases swell every day as it is a way of being long on the Chinese currency.

My goodness me where do they find this stuff? Oh wait….. I already wrote it in 2008. And this is my hobby – I have a day job doing something else. Really, sometimes I wonder what people get paid for. A gold star? I think I deserve a large gold bar. Oh wait again – I bought some in 2007 in anticipation of western currency depreciations. Just as well I listened to the planets and not to the economists isn’t it?

Hang seng
While we are on the subject of HK assets let’s look at the shares.

I expected the early part of 2010 to be broadly positive but for some tricky trading conditions in late Spring. I expected the chart to be hit by the summer Cardinal cross, though, with a lot of volatility, but to hold together after a few weeks and that the latter part of the year might see speculation.

The year started well and then the index fell a little. After recovering it made lows in May from which it didn’t really recover till September though there was indeed volatility. It then soared from September to November.

In 2011, I forecast relatively benign start but with Neptune reaching a conjunction with Saturn in March/April although somewhat mitigated I expected the enthusiasm to wane.

2011 actually started well with some downturn in March, recovering a bit in April but falling again into the end of May

Now I actually think everyone must be trading on my forecast as this was so accurate….

Shanghai Composite
Back to mainland China now. I clearly found reading the signs difficult in this case- I hedged my bets saying that Neptune could mean depressed prices or delusion. Not much of a trading guide I am afraid. Though I went for rises on balance.

I thought there may be a rally in March 2010 and lots of trade in April. The prognosis for the summer was very good – I did pick late July as a notable time . However the themes for the remainder of the year were more diluted.

In fact this turned out to be mainly all garbage. [thank goodness I stuck to gold bars and not Shanghai shares]. The Shanghai Composite tended to move as the Hang Seng. So after some jitters in February 2010 it continued ok until May when it tumbled. So far not so bad. But it didn’t start to recover until July and didn’t rise significantly till October. Being in the market over the summer would have been a mistake, though buying in July would most definitely not. It did end the year down again though.

In 2011 I expected Saturn to depress prices in January 2011 and that this would continue into February and March. May I assessed as mixed and down on balance.
This is more in line with what has happened with only March to April seeing rises and even then not to 2010 highs. May has been a down month

It is back to the drawing board on this one. But although I misread the signs here I still stand by the astrology which identifies the timing very well- if only I could balance all the factors properly to draw the right conclusions.

My forecast for Japan in 2010 started with its continued need for a restructured economy although the picture was reasonably positive. March suggested quite radical changes might be needed and April that the Japanese people would be vociferous in their demands for change.

In the early part of the year the flagship company, Toyota, recalled more than 10 million vehicles in an embarrassing safety crisis. And it was the global media rather than the Japanese people who made a fuss.

In June its fourth prime minister resigned in three years.

I believed the impact of the cardinal cross would be mixed. But that there would be some positive changes from Neptunian expansion and these themes would continue through the rest of the year.

In fact total GDP Growth for 2010 was 3.9%, that might not sound much but it was one of the highest GDP Growth for about 20 years in Japan. However the bag is mixed, Japan's economy has been hit by a drop in domestic demand, car sales have been hit after a number of government subsidies came to an end, and a new tobacco tax affected demand for cigarettes. Not to mention the impact of the Yen on exports.

In 2011 I expected little change in January and February but that March April was a critical point. However I saw that leading to better times in the summer.

Of course we all know what happened in March 2011. And for that alone I think I can get another one of those gold bars.

The Yen
The conflict between issues of fundamental value and speculation that I identified in 2009 was, I expected, set to continue in 2010. There seemed to be a critical time around April and May in the currency markets ( we know of course now that that related to Greece etc).

After a mixed start what happened was a weakening in April May with a flight to the dollar ( remember it wasn’t just Greece, there was BP and there was a Korea situation too).

Despite problems in other currencies the Yen still looked a better bet over the summer. And there was definitely speculative buying predicted for the latter months of the year.

Sure enough, after its blip in April/May the yen continued to strengthen against the dollar until the end of the year ( give or take some November volatility)

In 2011 I expected faith in the currency to remain strong until February but saw Neptune reaching the Yen descendant in March April while Saturn opposite Jupiter transited the MC, a key turning point. The picture was less clear in May but still the Yen probably looked ok.

In reality – the currency held its position in the first two months, experienced first a rapid strengthening blip in March after the earthquake then a fall into April as things worsened. However by May end we were back to pre earthquake levels.

The astrology bears out against all odds here.

Until 2009 end, I’ve not been as happy with the Nikkei forecasts as with the Yen ones, but we’ll see how 2010 went.

I expected early 2010 to continue the themes of 2009. I expected little trend activity into April. I then predicted a lot of trade and speculation in the market from May.

The reality saw some of the benefits of late 2009 eroded in January and February though with a continued trend. However there was then rise into May when it got back on trend. Over the summer’s cross I couldn’t read the result back in 2008 and couldn’t tell whether there would be a boom or not given conflicting elements.

From early May the market actually fell right through into September , By 15%
I took the impact of Neptune and Saturn in the autumn to be definitely negative though. I had suggested selling earlier than this. In fact there was some uptick- although not much until November. My bad.

Then Japanese shares rebounded from the year's lows on buying led by foreign investors, with their recovery having gathered momentum since November following monetary easing by the

Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan. Overseas investors were major buyers during this recovery on the view that Japanese shares were undervalued compared with those in other developed markets.

In 2011, there was nothing new to report in my forecasts until March, although a better picture than in late 2010.

This was true – the pattern of November and December was followed in the first two months of 2011

I saw a significant shift in March April (that’s 3 Japanese charts picking up that time – must just be coincidence right?) I described it as a pretty spectacular double whammy – I took this to be economic only but in retrospect what better description of an earthquake followed by a nuclear event to fit with the description of double whammy. I stated that we were picking up an event more important than just about the index, and I even noted that it was picking up consumerism and oil ( broaden that to energy in general and you can see how close astrology can get) – I suggested it raised a lot of questions. Quite, though not exactly those I had imagined.

The market fell 20% practically overnight. Since then it recovered half of this lost value but is actually at the same level as December 2009.

I must say I remain perplexed- how could I misread the cardinal cross so badly yet read this more of less unexpected event so well? It clearly can’t be the astrology it must be my interpretation .

I feel like I misread some elements of the cardinal cross and the following months badly across the board especially as regard share prices. A more normal astrologer would have concluded that markets would suffer across the board and then recover a bit. So perhaps I tried to be too complex.

I didn’t forecast much notable activity for the beginning of 2010 in India. More of the issues of 2009, when I had expected hardship and a government that did not really have the representation of the people at heart. I had assumed that a Neptune conjunction would lead to the dissipation of practical intentions.

My first major date was April – when I thought there might be leadership or policy direction changes or at least a challenge to the modern India post early 80s. However any coordinated dissent was felt unlikely.

Around this time the Indian government did backtrack on nuclear promises, although whether this qualifies as being such a major policy change is questionable. As we shall see it does have elements that tie to longer term themes though. A cricketing scandal also looked set to turn into a full-blown political crisis In April.

I thought that there would be another shock to the financial system around May but that the immediate term impact would be low and that the impact of the cardinal cross even weaker.

In fact it was around this time April/May that the RBI started to raise rates again – having dropped them to compensate for the global financial problems.

After a quiet few months, I expected that around October 2010 would be more eventful, and that there may be issues that are not been addressed in the economy. I thought this would be economic- but, in fact, from a media perspective, it related primarily to the shambles over preparations for the Commonwealth games. However that does not really cover everything that was happening as the later economic statistics show ( vindicating my prediction).

As I expected, November was mixed. A repeat of some nastier aspects was offset by some stabilising ones. In December there was reactivation of the transiting Uranus to Neptune by Mars.

In fact India’s biggest ever political scandal came to a head Nov. 14 when the telecoms minister was sacked after he was accused of presiding over the rigged sale of (2G) mobile telephone licenses and bandwidth in 2008. Nevertheless the government rammed through some financial bills despite some deadlocks in the following month.

I had also noted that at the year end there was a Uranus conjunction to the Sun of the Bank of India- that would likely mean changes in leadership or direction. Though I didn’t expect the transits to end until the Spring of 2011.

In fact The RBI had upped its rates six times , doubling them to over 6% since March 2010 to normalise a monetary policy that was on expansion mode since the onset of the global financial meltdown.

The problems, I mentioned above, were there all the time; underneath. While GDP growth was great, unfortunately the wholesale price index soared 8.4% and prices of onions, vegetables and other staples rose even faster. The indices suggest they jumped almost 17% in a year. Exports also declined for 12 months in a row. That is not good for a country where people are as poor as India.

In confirmation of my belief that the themes of 2010 would continue into the new year, in February 2011, the Hindu newspaper on March 17 published a secret U.S. diplomatic cable obtained by WikiLeaks that claimed Singh's party had attempted to buy support in a crucial nuclear vote in 2008.

I saw March 2011 as potentially a turning point for the currency and even in the country. But actually rates continued to rise to offset inflation. And the currency continued to fall against safe haven currencies such as the Swiss franc ( though not many others).

May 2011 seemed as if it would be mixed with more tests for the government. According to Newsweek the Indian Prime Minister is the world leader “other leaders love”. India Today, by contrast, found that only 1% of Indians consider him their first choice for prime minister.

However I saw a change coming from June and it appears that the rains have arrived early, are expected to be good and that this will dampen ( no pun intended) food inflationary problems. We need some longer trends to confirm some of my forecasts here.

In February 2010 I expected volatility, which would continue until May. A slightly less excitable picture would prevail in the months through July however. August was expected to be a bit of a mixture – more dependent on constituents than the overall trend. October’s aspects suggested that the volatility might return but be calmed by regulatory actions before the year end. These actions would play a bigger part in January 2011 together with volatility and discussion about trends. March2011 I forsaw would be accompanied by some big shifts and a positive outlook.

In fact the year began with falls into February and then some spirited rises and falls into May. What I thought might be a cooling effect on values was however one on volatility and there were rises again into July. August was, true to expectations, more or less flat. There were indeed sudden rises into October and volatility through late November when the market fell a little. But it ended the year not quite at its October high but close which surprised me. However my prediction of government influence does hold with all those interest rate rises.

The index then fell rapidly into February 2011, in line with my expectations and with March as a turning point upwards. However the latter didn’t hold past April. It seems the market doesn’t know how its economy goes and the evidence suggests that the true picture is rather fragile.

I am not 100% confident about my chart for the Sensex and with the Brazil country chart it is on my list of ‘back to the drawing board’.

I expected a lot of imbalances in the Indonesian 2010 economy especially throughout the July and August time in 2010. I also expected impact on the Rupiah and ultimately a fall in its currency after some fluctuations.

I felt that some difficulties would raise their heads in the economy the latter part of the year.

2011 I thought would start quite stable but that there would be a lot of underlying instability to compensate for.

I though the currency might recover but questioned its long term viability.

This is what actual happened.

‘Indonesia’s economy grew at the fastest annual pace in six years last quarter, adding to the case for the central bank to raise interest rates further as inflation accelerates. Rising consumer spending is driving the expansion in the world’s fourth-most populous nation, increasing pressure on the central bank to restrain price gains and protect purchasing power. The central bank has refrained from raising rates since 2008 to support the growth push. But growth was revised down because of domestic-related supply constraint issues caused by weather anomalies that hampered harvests and these caused inflationary pressures mainly from volatile food prices. The inflationary food price problem led to the need to abolish tariffs, import rice and to many more falling below the poverty line. There are indeed significant imbalances that could do with being addressed despite the apparent growth.

The currency had a mixed year. Ending pretty much where it started vs the dollar ( but thus depreciating against other stronger currencies) In August 2010 Bank Indonesia proposed to redenominate the rupiah by truncating the last three zero digits.

In 2011 the Rupiah has strengthened almost every week vs the dollar, although it has still continued to fall slightly vs the Swiss franc just not on the scale that the dollar has.

For a country which I feel my way on, not bad at all.

South Korea
I had already noted that in 2010 there was a key time for South Korea around April and May– though I plumped for economic rather than political drama. The effects appeared to carry over right through into September. I expected some challenges to growth at the end of the year.

In fact we already know that the Korea story of the year was political – and focussed on the relationship between the North and South. The timing of this was pretty much perfect for the prediction and overshadowed any economic reporting at the time

I’ve learnt my lesson on this – when it comes to countries expect the worst- for Korea tough aspects probably mean military matters not a hard day at the factory.

As in many of the other Asian economies we have viewed, South Korea grew strongly – if growing is what so much inflation can be called ( that for another day). However, as elsewhere, the situation is a mixed blessing. President Lee Myung Bak has declared “war” on inflation, with the government announcing price controls and the central bank raising borrowing costs for the third time since the global financial crisis. Furthermore even though South Korea’s economy has recovered strongly from the 2008 downturn, the drivers of that recovery have helped big companies more than individuals and families.

As anticipated South Korea’s economic growth moderated in the fourth quarter as quickening inflation added pressure on the central bank to extend interest-rate increases.

In 2011 with Saturn continuing to inflict hard medicine on the chart, I thought that there might be debt problems in February – there was a double hit of transits then.

However, 2011 started better than expected economically . And of course once again that Saturn wasn’t about the money but about N Korea in February 2011.

Having said that SK did bail out some small banks and there were some bank runs in February: don’t knock the astrologer completely. At least prove you can do better. Yes and over 30 countries and as many currencies and markets too. Any takers? No. Thought not.

Let’s go random in this post and jump around the world hoovering up the outliers.

As I forecast the Australian economy missed out on negatives from cardinal square in 2010, continuing to boom on the back of its commodity base.

Politically it was affected though as on 24th June Gillard replaced Rudd as Prime minister but was then confirmed in place by the election of last August. I didn’t pick this up from the chart – but in terms of overall power not much changed so that is not so much of a surprise. Still worth another peak to see what I missed.

In my forecasts I also expected the currency to continue to rise in 2010, however I expected this to be accompanied by some shocks and, sure enough, there were a series of interest rate rises in the first half of 2010 and again in November.

The Austrailan dollar remained strong but volatile due to the interest rate rises and the US$ trajectory. Against the Swiss franc it has no discernible trend throughout the 18 months to May 2011.

I noted that the situation would become harder in December 2010 and the floods in December 2010/January 2011 caused GDP to contract in Q1 2011 – the biggest contraction in 20 years due to the floods in the coal region. Now that’s a prediction to be proud of as it went against trend.

However, I hold my hands up and admit a big error – I predicted droughts not floods. That’s again me not the astrology which, as I say, got the timing absolutely right.

I also liked my comment re immigration changes with apparently some key changes to the system in recent months. I have to say I don’t even know how I managed to deduct this…..! Astrology is pretty cool when treated with respect and due reverence.

Australia was still expected to remain one of the fastest growing developed countries in 2011 due to its combination mining and agriculture. But I felt that some difficulties would be experienced by May and sure enough the government is worried about the increase in unemployment, interest rates have been fixed for 6 months and the A$ has recently fallen a bit vs the beleaguered US$.

Another nice, if not quite spot on, set of deductions.

Another commodity based country, another country that didn’t get much action with the cardinal cross of 2010.

The economic decline bottomed out at the end of 2009 with big devaluations of the Rouble in late 2008.

I expected some forceful action around April and May of 2010, but the absence of the cardinal cross suggested little over the summer. I expected little new problems of any magnitude for the economy or government until the year end.

The nation was not untouched by the cross however with the, mentioned, wide Saturn Pluto configuration activated leading to severe drought and fires in July and August which reduced agricultural output.

Overall, however, 2010 was indeed considered to be a good year for the country as much of the 2008-9 problems were stabilised. GDP grew by 4% in 2010 and inflation was high. As a result, Russia raised rates to 8% in early 2011 and then again to 8.25, but given they were over 12% in early 2009 this is hardly revolutionary. Bank reserves requirements were also increased in early 2011.

The Rouble has risen to highest against dollar since 2008. It has been rising since beginning of 2010- it rose rapidly in first 4 months of 2009, and has continued volatile since then. Versus the swiss franc it depreciated June to December 2010 but has been flat for much of 2011.

A let down however was my prediction for leadership difficulties at the end of 2010 and early 2011; the only evidence of these was lower poll ratings. In fact events of the Jupiter Uranus conjunction manifested through a terrorist attack at Moscow airport in January 2011 instead.

My highlighting of March & April turned out only to be regional polls, although they were accompanied with the usual accusations of corruption.

Russia is also focussing on its communications and software status in 2011 in line with my expectation that change is in the air.

A bit of a mixed bag this- could do better but given what was happening when I was preparing my forecast I think I did well to forsee getting back on an even keel so rapidly.

Saudi Arabia
Saudi continued to rise above the global economic storms of 2008 as it posted 3.8 GDP growth in 2010 on the back of its commodity base. Its currency peg to the dollar is of limited impact in the shorted term despite the currencies depreciation because of the benefits from the rising oil price.

As I forecast the country went on much as ever during the whole of 2010.

Around April 2011 I forecast more activity but only a rather more extreme case of the same. And, although in 2011 Saudi Arabia has not been completely immune from the ‘Arab Spring’ with a “day of rage” on 11 th March and continued minor protests through into May and of course the inevitable bans on them, in comparison with many other middle eastern and North African countries matters have been relatively subdued.

This might however change in the next few months if my prediction is correct.

South Africa
My predictions for security issues surrounding the world cup could have been completely off track but I concluded in the end that much disruption could be avoided. Security was tight and nothing much of a global nature happened – although there were many unpleasant events surrounding the cup these were mainly focussed on a number of European teams rather than spectators or local population!

I predicted that the economic benefits wouldn’t last however, and while there was small growth in 2010, and trade with China is also rising, growth was indeed below potential and tailed off after the benefits of the World Cup.

I predicted increased demand for the rand in mid 2010 and on going issues surrounding this into 2011 and sure enough the rand has been strong in keeping with other commodity backed currencies- gaining 30% over less than 3 years due to capital inflows and this has an impact on the wider economy.

I suspected that early 2011 would see less economic optimism, and that there would be more emphasis on the internal problems . The economic situation seems to be as I expected. Furthermore the Zuma government is trying to take action on key issues such as crime prevention ( there is continued violence in townships due at least partially to unemployment levels of 40% in some parts)and a plan to test 15m for HIV by mid 2012. Fascinating.

Although not as fascinating as the fact that, elsewhere, I predicted the World Cup winner before the first match in SA began. Now that is a real prediction given that it was based on a chart for the 15th century. Astrology really is quite extraordinary.

Much of my forecast for Turkey in 2010 was positive. Although I expected June to September to have some internal issues, my expectation was that any issues would more likely be political rather than economic though.

In fact Turkey was the fastest growing nation in Europe in 2010 with 8%GDP growth and a good recovery coupled with stock market highs. Interest rates were 7% from May to November , to deter speculative capital.

However the situation is not perfect with Euro exports down, energy prices problematic and currency risk hovering over the externally funded debt.

The Turkish Lira – for a long time a depreciating currency - has managed to track the dollar for much of the last 18 months, although it has declined significantly vs the Swiss Franc. Perhaps this tells us more about US$ woes than Turkish Lira strength but it does prove that there are big shifts in power in the world today and that Turkey is a pivotal nation.

I also expected issues from summer of 2010 to resurface in early 2011 but probably peter out with perhaps a few policy changes.

But by the far the most interesting element of my forecast was the advance of Pluto to the Ascendant which I anticipated would mean Turkey would be pulled into international issues. What I did not know ( having looked at none of the Arab countries but Saudi Arabia) that so many of Turkey’s neighbours and Arab partners would be dragged into the Arab Spring uprisings. As I write its borders are being inundated with Syrian refugees.

It is such a beautiful manifestation of that Pluto aspect that I am rather pleased with my identification of this in the chart of a closely associated nation but one that is not directly impacted. Although obviously from a responsible citizen perspective I do not applaud civil unrest and/ or retaliation anywhere.

I have June to September as a good period; and with the election on 11 June 2011 appearing to see the incumbent returned to power there is no reason to doubt this.
And finally, or first if you are starting in chronological order, the risky collection.

I updated the political risk countries last May, so we’ve only a year to cover on this one and although lots has happened, none of it particularly takes us any further forward either way.

Let’s start with North Korea
My forecast for the second half of 2010 seemed mainly to be about a depressed economy. Lack of accurate information prevents me from assessing whether this was true – although there is speculation about continued famine there. I missed the re-lighting of the tensions with S Korea following the island shelling of late November 2010 and the situation that followed it.

I noted a change around March April 2011, including a more outward looking influence and sure enough there is a development as NK sets up an economic zone with China. Though it is not clear how this will play out. I note that I expect even bigger shifts soon ( July- though could be sooner given the upcoming eclipses)

My forecast for Pakistan was integrated with my Indian security forecast. However it was noteworthy that the forecasts diverged more than converged. Pakistan’s continued terrorism problem did not abate.

Probably my gold medal award here goes to my comment for last spring/summer suggesting ‘possible floods’ although to be fair that has got to be the understatement of the year. And they were slightly later than I expected. However my estimation that the focus for the remainder of the year would be economic depression was correct – estimates are that the GDP growth rate of 4% prior to the floods turned to up to -5% after.

I expected more action in early 2011- though I didn’t predict the earthquakes. The change of year coincided with a breakdown of the coalition and assassinations.

And internal terrorism continued of course. With something happening most days it I difficult to pinpoint any difference in the month of March that I highlighted- though disruptions to power supplies on 19 March in one district definitely align with the Uranus Mars configuration I mentioned.

I saw attention turning back to economic matters by May. Which, given that the month started with the US finally tracking down Bin Laden in the country could perhaps be described by critics as my worst forecast ever (*). Although actually talk now is in fact about the budget and government so perhaps I was more accurate than I give myself credit for.

Looking now at my earlier forecast again, I’d suggest that around October through December things will definitely heat up in terms of terrorism and/or political change.

(*) Interesting to note the stellium of planets including the Jupiter Mars conjunction is concentrated in the Pakistan 12th house a good representative of a concerted attack on hiding terrorists.

Israel and Iran
Unlike my economic forecasts my forecasts for Iran and Israel only extended to early 2011, so I don’t have much in the way of forecasts to assess.

I have to smile when I read my forecast written in 2008- For around May 2010 I had written ‘the problem with these aspects is they are “not very rational …do something at all costs .. worry about the consequences later”. I might have thought this would relate to relations with Iran, but in other respects it proved spot on.

Israel has a remarkable tendency to shoot itself in the foot. And it proved this quite conclusively with its raid on the peace flotilla at the end of May 2010. For a country so concerned with its image in the rest of the world this was a PR disaster. Whilst from the individual’s point of view there were personal tragedies, from a country point of view the one I feel most sorry for in this case is the US who were damned if they did and damned if they didn’t condemn the action. Well, no, I lie, I don’t ever really feel that sorry for the US.

Israel then went back to focussing on what it does best- cursing the Palestinians. Despite attempts at peace talks in September 2010, and attempts to revive some elements on concord into 2011, we are pretty much nowhere

Don’t they ever get bored of this? Because I am already. I thought that there would have been resolution one way or another after all these aspects, but it seems it can be dragged out for ever. Suppose I better update the forecasts, if I can be bothered to care.

The Iran/ Israel nuclear dispute has been kept rather low key over the last 12 months, although one can be sure that it is still high on the tacit agenda. Iran itself didn’t really have much going on worth noting from Summer 2010 to early 2011. In February 2011, however, it joined with much of the Arab world in having some protests. These however are not on the scale of other countries and not publicised. There is, at this point, not much to say.

Interestingly, I saw things not being moved forward in Iran until February 2011, Indeed looking back my timing fits well with the protests which started with the 2009 election and then flared up in February 2011, though maybe someone just read my blog and acted accordingly ;-).

As I say I haven’t looked at 2011-12 so that is something for the coming few months. Yawn.