Friday, July 29, 2011

Debt drama echoes historical defaults, how should investors react? Raymond Merriman's comments for 8/1/11 week

Many investors said "in gold we trust" as disappointment over debt-deficit squabbles fueled hysteria rather than hope. It's painful (tho traders still profit!) seeing that lessons of the past haven't been learned well enough. But Raymond Merriman indicates that hope remains for stock markets to etch new highs this autumn. His insights blend financial astrology with cycles-based analysis. These weekly public preview comments are in addition to his more detailed subscription services referenced in his announcements section and at his website. He also discusses other countries' markets, economy, and even the political climate, bonds, currencies and commodities. He also offers detailed paid subscription services (daily, weekly and monthly available, at his website always at the right side of the page here). Here are Ray's comments for the upcoming week, from his site at Merriman Market Analyst - MMA Cycles Weekly Preview Comments:

MMA Comments for the Week Beginning August 1, 2011
Written by Raymond Merriman

Review and Preview

"They were the world's richest and shrewdest investors, and they rode a wave of globalization to buy bonds in a promising developing country. When that country defaulted, they were livid. The year was 1842 and the country was the United States." - Nicholas Kristof, in the September 20, 1998 issue of New York Times International

According to media reports (which has now become the accepted and conventional belief), this will be the first time the USA has ever defaulted on its debt obligations. But as highly respected financial reporter Nicholas Kristof reported in 1998, that is not the case. A lot of hype and exaggeration tends to occur when Mercury is connected with Sagittarius. Ideas presented as facts are not always true and it is a challenge just to separate the bluster from the truth

Unfortunately, what happened last week was true. I mean, the worst side of heliocentric Mercury in Sagittarius (July 19-31) proved to be as panic-driven and hysterical as suggested could be the case. At first this transit started out as euphoric and optimistic. Stock markets rallied smartly the first three days as hope leaped, based on the possibility of a USA debt ceiling agreement. But as indicated in last week's column, "…it was perhaps not a surprise that investors were looking for any reason to buy. They got not one, but as many as three possible reasons last week, none of which is based upon anything more than hope."

Last week reality trumped hope. The stock markets of the world topped out July 21-22 (the prior week). But as the dysfunction (President Obama's words) of the White House and Congress trying to agree upon a plan to raise the debt ceiling limit became more and more apparent to investors, stock markets began falling, and they fell all week. And now we come to the so-called "deadline" of August 2 when the USA will not have enough funds to meet all of its financial obligations, thereby courting the dreaded "default." But here is a heliocentric Mercury in Sagittarius riddle: if there is going to be a default, why did U.S. Treasuries soar last week to their highest level since the financial meltdown of late 2008? Somebody knows something, and what is being reported is clearly not everything. Who is buying U.S. Treasuries in this environment?

But the drama in D.C continues. Will there be any adults in the room as the pressures mount to forge an agreement before it is too late (and just exactly when is "too late?")? There are not likely many adults in the room now in any event with the Sun in Leo (Leo rules children) and in square to Jupiter (Jupiter rules exaggeration, bluffs, and hysteria). Where is Saturn (the adult in the room) when we need him? Well, he is over in the Gold market, stocking up on the real future currency as the Dollar and Euro continue to be suspect, given the karma now coming forth from governmental fiscal mismanagement and corruption in the financial community over the past decade in both regions of the world. But what good does it do to cast blame over past behaviors? The problem is in the present: the inability or unwillingness of leaders in both fields (as well as banking) to change courses and fully recover from the addiction of spending beyond one's means. Overcoming such addictions is never easy, especially when you don't understand the causes (not that I do, but like everyone, I want leaders who understand and who also have the well-being of those they serve at the forefront of their behaviors). There are some on both sides of the aisle.

The biggest star last week was once again Gold, which soared to another new record high of 1637/ounce in the December contract. The Swiss Franc and Japanese Yen also soared to new record highs against the U.S. Dollar. The Swiss Franc is now nearing the 130 target that I gave in the presentation to the ICE traders last October ( It surpassed 127 last week.

Short-Term Geocosmics

We now come into the Mercury retrograde time band (August 2-26) and a slew of other "not-so-funny" signatures discussed the prior two weeks. In what is becoming an unhealthy and regular pattern, the U.S. Congress and White House will probably make an important policy decision under Mercury retrograde. And once again everyone is likely to discover that whatever they agreed upon will have to be revisited and debated again, because they didn't have time to read and comprehend clearly the whole deal. There is likely no long-term acceptance of what is about to pass in Congress. Yes, I think something will pass shortly on the debt ceiling, but it won't solve the problem. It is more likely to create new ones, unless they willingly agree to a temporary solution, and respectfully revisit it again under more favorable cosmic conditions, something the President has said he won't accept.

But in terms of markets, this next week is potentially very critical. Of most importance (in my view) is transiting Mars entering Cancer on August 3. It will immediately conjunct the USA's natal Venus and Jupiter, the Federal Reserve Board's natal Pluto (opposition to its natal Sun), and President Obama's natal Venus. And during this same period next week, Obama will celebrate (or curse) his 50th birthday on August 4. Mars entering any cardinal sign is a big deal for Financial and Mundane Astrologers. Many financial markets - especially those related to the interest-rates (Treasuries, currencies) - are most vulnerable to reversals. Its history implies a sudden and major change in investor sentiment regarding markets, for one week later Mars will then form a T-square with Uranus and Pluto (August 8-10). They are now within only one degree of a square to one another. It may not be easy being a leader in government, banking, and business, pivoting so suddenly, and probably in a self-serving manner by which they hope to deflect any criticism. It's going to get extremely emotional, so try your best to act like "the adult in the room" wherever you are. You're likely to see some very immature behaviors exhibited, like "tantrums."

Longer Term Thoughts

"Addressing the current federal debt ceiling crisis by itself is no fix at all," the group led by BlackRock, the world's largest money manager said in an open letter on Monday. The consequences of a downgrade from Triple A status would be "very real and very serious," the letter said. It would mean higher interest rates over the course of many years ahead and risks the US dollar losing its status as the world's reserve currency…" - Financial Times, July 26, 2011, "Custodians Issue Deficit Warning."

Funny, isn't it? The very consequences described in these columns and the Forecast Books of the past two years, based on the historical correlation of planetary cycles to human activity, are now being addressed by mainstream news reports. The U.S. Dollar may lose its status as the world's reserve currency as a result of a downgrade of its creditworthiness, which is a result of the inability (or unwillingness) of leaders to control the continuously escalating debt crisis. That's now news! But it is old news to Financial Astrologers.

How did we first pick this theme up via our understanding of Financial Astrology? It wasn't that hard (but somebody had to do it). We start with the waning phase of the Saturn-Pluto cycle (opposition to conjunction), which lasts 16-20 years. In the current case, it is in force between 2001 and 2020 (before that it was 1966-1982). Historically this is a period in which government spending increases greatly, and more than federal revenue receipts. As a result, the deficits and debt of a nation increases greatly too. In order to make up this difference, governments usually have to borrow more money (in the form of bond issuance) and increase taxes, both on individuals and corporations. But then unemployment increases and the economy starts to stagnate shortly after, as there is less money for consumers to spend, and therefore less demand for goods and services in the private sector. Interest rates also go up and stock markets suffer steeper declines and more frequent bear markets. The economy enters more frequent and deeper recessions coincident with these policies during this phase of the Saturn-Pluto cycle.

Secondly, the forecast of the Dollar losing its status was a matter of comparing the transits of the furthest out planetary movements to the charts of the USA and the Federal Reserve Board, the true custodians of the U.S. Dollar's value. Pluto, as written many times in this column, pertains to debt. Venus is its currency. When the transit of Pluto, Neptune, or Uranus form a hard aspect (conjunction, square, or opposition) to one's natal Venus or Jupiter, there is a danger of spending more than one can afford and thereby flirting with the prospect of bankruptcy (or default). The U.S.A. chart (born July 2 or 4) has its natal Venus and Jupiter in the first five degrees of Cancer. The Saturn-Uranus-Pluto T-square last year was in the first five degrees of Aries, Libra, and Capricorn, making a grand square to the USA natal Venus-Jupiter. Thus four of the possible six combinations of potential bankruptcy were present, and both Pluto and Uranus will remain in the celestial region until 2013. Additionally, the Federal Reserve Board (born December 23, 1913) also has its natal Sun-Pluto opposition in the first two degrees of Capricorn and Cancer, again part of a grand square to Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto, of which Uranus is still in force.

Will the USA default on its debt? Well, it happened in 1842. That was part of a major economic depression period for the USA. It was shortly after President Andrew Jackson terminated the USA's central bank, the equivalent of today's Federal Reserve. The USA government, and not an independent bank, became the custodian of the USA funds. It didn't work out so well then. If the USA Dollar loses its status as the world's reserve currency, it probably won't work out so well for the either Federal Reserve or the USA economy this time either. What was going on in 1842 was very similar to what was going on in 2010. Saturn and Pluto were right in middle of their waning phase.

Yet even though there are similarities between then and now in terms of planetary cycles and economic conditions, the result does not have to be the same. After all, that is the higher purpose of cycles: to recognize what has worked and what hasn't worked when a particular cycle returns, and to maximize that which does work while countering that which didn't work with a different behavior. It's called "awareness, openness, and choice," as opposed to "ignorance, entrenchment, and denial." One is highly functional, the other greatly dysfunctional.


If you are an active short-term trader, you may be interested in our Weekly or even Daily Market reports with short-term trading recommendations. It is the only way I keep in touch with traders on a daily or even weekly basis, as I no longer offer personal consultations. These reports give in-depth analysis of the DJIA, S&P and NASDAQ futures, Euro currency (cash and futures), Swiss Franc, Dollar/Yen cash and Yen futures, Euro-Yen cash, T-Notes, Soybeans, Crude Oil, Gold and Silver. The daily reports cover all stock indices listed above, as well as futures in Euro, T-Notes, Soybeans, Gold and Silver. Both reports provide trading strategies and recommendations for position traders as well as for shorter-term aggressive traders. Subscription to the daily report also includes the weekly report. For more information, go to, or call our offices at 1-248-626-3034. These reports are extremely valuable to those who trade ETF's (Exchange Traded Funds). In the words of one of our subscribers: "I recently subscribed to your weekly report and am finding it to be excellent and a very useful companion to the MMA Cycles Report. I can't imagine now managing my investments without them."

The special pre-publication discount price of $95.00 plus postage for "The Ultimate Book on Stock Market Timing, Volume 5: Price Objectives and Technical Analysis," end this Monday. The book should be out in September as planned. It is always a surreal feeling when I complete a book of this size (over 300 pages). Like every market analyst who writers a book, I think this is the greatest one ever written. Did I ever disclose that I had Mercury in Sagittarius? Well, it is true. I am very pleased with this book and I think it is the one book that you will truly get your money's worth from purchasing. It's a book about the tools that real serious traders use, the formulas that they use to calculate price targets, and the trading plans that work using market timing and technical indicators. This book is like the markets itself: it is packed with powerful tools (signals), and if you take the time to learn these tools properly, your chances of being a successful trader will increase tremendously. The book is approximately 325 pages, printed in perfect bind format, gloss cover, 8-1/2" x 11" size. The retail price at the time of publication will be $144.00. Our offer of a pre-publication special price of $95.00 (plus postage) ends Monday, August 1. There will be another pre-publication offer at $125.00 starting August 1, which will remain in effect until August 20, at which time the price will be set at $144.00. This publication will complete the project that started in 1996, and covered approximately 1600 pages of studies and strategies for all types of traders and investors, using our market timing methods. In all, this is a complete and unified approach to analyzing (and trading) financial markets, and especially stock markets. If you are interested in this unique and integrated methodology for analyzing and forecasting stock indices, you can save big bucks by ordering now at, or just go to and scroll down to the announcement. Events:

August 13, 2011: San Francisco, CA. Financial Market Timing seminar, featuring Raymond Merriman. It is on. Location is Golden Gate University. Details available at Immediately afterwards there will be a special meeting with MMA subscribers who make reservations with us beforehand (call 248-626-3034, or email Amber at There is no charge for subscribers to attend this special meeting afterwards. Also on the program will be fellow Financial Astrologer Arch Crawford, and Gann Specialist Sinan Koray from Australia. The TSAASF has arranged special rates at the Club Quarters Hotel on Clay Street. Call 415-442-6583 for reservations. My talk will be on the "Gold and the Saturn-Pluto Cycle."

January 6-7, 2012: Zurich Switzerland. Forecast 2012 Symposia sponsored by AstroData. Details to be announced shortly at

January 18, 2012: Amsterdam, Netherlands. "Forecast 2012." The date is not yet finalized, but will be shortly, and it will be around this date.

March 16-18, 2012: The 8th Annual Balkan International Conference, Belgrade, Serbia. Featuring a workshop on Financial Astrology with Raymond Merriman.

April 19 and 21, Boulder, Colorado. "Forecast 2012" with Raymond Merriman, plus a workshop on "Financial Market Timing," focusing on equities and precious metals. Sponsored by ROMA. For more information and registration, contact

May 24-29, 2012: UAC!!! The world's largest astrological conference. Taking place at the New Orleans Marriott Hotel. Go to There will be an awesome Financial Track, featuring some of the top Financial Astrologers and researchers in the world.

September 20-27, 2012: The first annual "MMA International Cycles Summit on World Economy, Politics, and Financial Markets." Location will be in Lake Bled, Slovenia, one of the most beautiful regions in the world. The final decision on whether or not to host this event will be made shortly.

Disclaimer and statement of purpose:

The purpose of this column is not to predict 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 oftentimes report 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 will likely affect human activity in the times to come. The author (Merriman) will do this from a perspective of a cycle's 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 these psychological dynamics that underlie (or coincide with) the news events and hence financial markets of the day.

No guarantee as to the accuracy of this report is being made here. Any decisions in financial markets are solely the responsibility of the reader, and neither the author nor the publishers assume any responsibility at all for those individual decisions. Reader should understand that futures and options trading are considered high risk.

Copyright MMACycles 2007-2011; you may link to this site or page, but you may not distribute these texts in any way (by email or otherwise).


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