MMA Comments for the Week Beginning July 4, 2011
Written by Raymond Merriman
Due to travel plans to fly back to America now, this will be an abbreviated weekly column. I would like to thank all of my hosts, subscribers, and associates in Switzerland, Slovenia, Germany, Netherlands, and France for the wonderful and insightful time over these past two months in your countries. Thank you all so much. I am forever grateful. Happy birthday, America! Financial markets in the USA will be closed on Monday, July 4, in celebration of its Independence Day 235 years ago.
The solar eclipse on Friday, July 1, was right in the middle of the Sun's translation to Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto, forming a grand square in early cardinal signs. Stock markets around the world rallied sharply into this eclipse and solar translation period, while precious metals and U.S. Treasuries fell sharply. Now we watch to see if this grand square will correlate with reversals into the opposite direction of these past few days. Just as the Sun in the nurturing and patriotic sign of Cancer completes its grand square to these heavy outer planets on July 2, Venus will enter the same family and parental-oriented sign of Cancer on July 3 and form the same cardinal grand square to the same revolutionary-versus-traditional-minded far out planets in our solar system, July 7-13. In a perfectly balanced and interconnected relationship between the cosmic and human activity as suggested by Saturn in Libra, one would anticipate an opposite reaction under the Venus translation transit as witnessed under the solar transit. But Uranus is involved, which tends to not go along with such obvious expectations. Instead of reversals, Uranus-inspired planetary patterns are oftentimes breakouts, like mavericks, in the direction of the new movement. Cycle studies could support that bullish viewpoint too since we are in the time band for the 50-week cycle trough. That is, the week ending June 17 was 50 weeks since the 50-week cycle low of July 2, 2010. And the lowest price since early May's three-year high occurred then on the lunar eclipse of June 15. Of course, in a perfectly interconnected "Saturn-in-Libra balanced cosmic scale, that too would suggest a peak in prices forming right now, under the solar eclipse, in direct opposition to the possibly longer-term cycle trough that formed on the lunar eclipse two weeks ago. As Financial Astrologers, we are expected (perhaps unrealistically) to know what will happen, or at least have an opinion, which we all do. But like Ben Bernanke stated last year at this same time, just as the 50-week cycle low was forming and only a few days before his (the Fed's) decision to commence the second round of quantitative easing by purchasing $600B of U.S. Treasuries through June 30, 2011, the indicators right now are very mixed and "unusually uncertain." The signals generated by Financial Astrology would argue for a top and reversal back down, sans Uranus. The technical and cyclical picture, however, may be read as extremely bullish, especially given that first the Sun between June 21 and July 2, and then Venus July 3-13 traverse through the early degrees of Cancer, right over the USA's three benefics: Venus, Jupiter, and the Sun. And if the "Great Asset Reset" is now beginning, where investors move their monies from U.S. government-backed securities, notes, and bonds at 3% or less return, for the more attractive returns offered on high quality corporate bonds of financially stable private sector firms, the foundation could be set for another run on the stock market into late 2011 through early 2012, when Jupiter returns to the Aries-Taurus cusp where highs tend to happen nearby. Money has to move somewhere, and there is still a lot of it floating around with restless Uranus in Aries and its never-ending quest for.…. profits. This would spell trouble for governments and banks that depend on the guaranteed security of U.S. Treasuries (well, at least until August 2). But it could be a bonanza of new funds being re-directed into well-capitalized companies that produce both basic needs and new forms of technology (Uranus in Aries) that lead the way to transforming the uses of energy – especially renewable energy, a perfect phrase for the forthcoming Uranus in Aries, square Pluto in Capricorn. Think of it as new age waste and removal, and/or transformation of the banking system. They are ruled by the same planetary principles in force right now through 2015. Enjoy your holiday!
Longer Term Thoughts and Personal Astrology Transit Tales
"The situation is very serious and will probably lead to another crisis. The politicians and bankers are the ones that will need to solve this and that is a dangerous cocktail" said Fink. "We are asking countries like Greece and Ireland to impose a lower standard of living, while the financial community get their bonds paid out." – CNBC interview with Larry Fink, CEO of Blackrock, on Wednesday, June 29. I get letters - lots of letters from readers of this column that is translated weekly into seven different languages and 10 different websites around the world. Most of the letters – perhaps 90% - are very supportive. But then there are those other 10% which really make you scratch your head and ask, "Did I really say that?" It is almost inevitable this will happen when I mention the word "taxes." Why not? It's Pluto. And transiting Pluto is on my natal Mars in early Capricorn. So when I talk about Pluto matters (taxes), I get Mars replies. The letters are almost always the same. Something like, "How can you be in favor of lower taxes? How can you go along with wealthy people not paying taxes?" I scratch my head because I am not aware that I said I am in favor of lower taxes. I scratch my head because for the love of me, I can't figure out how people actually believe that "wealthy people" don't pay taxes, or even their 'fair share" of taxes. And mostly I scratch my head because I am discussing the policies and outcomes of previous periods of time based on similar planetary signatures. First of all, let's review the Saturn-Pluto cycle and its message. This 32-37 year planetary cycle has a remarkable historical correlation to economic trends. In the 16-20 year waxing phase (conjunction to opposition), many free-market nations of the world move from a policy of less government spending, reduction of budget deficits and even creation of surplus, stable or even lower tax rates, lower interest rates, full employment, and economic growth with fewer and more mild recessions. Stock markets boom and commodity markets decline. This last happened in 1947-1966 and 1982-2001. Then the Saturn-Pluto cycle enters its waning phase for the next 16-20 years (opposition to conjunction). Everything is reversed during this phase of the cycle. Governments tend to sharply increase their spending, budget deficits, and national debts. Taxes are increased. Interest rates increase. The economies contract with more frequent and longer lasting recessions. Stock markets become volatile or stagnant, while commodity markets boom. This waning segment was in effect 1966-1982, and now again 2001-2020. The message for today (2001-2020), as I understand these planetary correlations to economic cycles, is simple: if a government increases its spending, increases its tax rates on individuals and small companies (the primary engine for hiring workers), it will enter period of prolonged economic contraction with greater unemployment, more frequent and deeper economic recessions, stagnant or volatile stock markets, and roaring commodity markets. This is not an opinion. Notice that nowhere is there mention of lowering taxes (although for small businesses, I am, because the USA trails only Japan in the highest tax rates for small businesses: 39.6% in USA versus 40% in Japan). If anything, it simply suggests a policy of "not raising taxes." Why? Well, this cycle indicates that raising taxes in this phase of the Saturn-Pluto orbits does not solve the debt issue, but rather escalates it. And you know what Capricorns like myself think of escalation in tense times. We are trained to de-escalate. This is not the case in the waxing segment, when employment is high. During the 1947-1966 boom years, for example, when employment was quite high, the wealthiest in the United States were at one point taxed as much as 90%, and the economy kept growing. It was a different part of the cycle. Beyond that, I don't personally favor lower taxes or higher taxes or any change in the tax structure as almost every incoming president tries to enact, because that change itself –and certainly the perception that it will change - creates anxiety and paralysis in the business climate. Business owners can't plan when they don't know. The only people who benefit from any change in tax laws are the accountants – and even they don't wish for that. The business community and one's personal financial planning go more smoothly when tax levels remain constant. You can't put a dollar amount on an environment that allows for proper financial planning. But you can be certain that any change in taxes paralyzes the effort to plan properly, and in that situation, small business hold back on hiring new personnel and individuals hold back on large purchases. Likewise you can say the same thing about increased government spending policies. These policies work when you are in the waxing phase of the Saturn-Pluto cycle, as was demonstrated under former President Ronald Reagan, who unleashed one of the largest government spending programs in history in the early 1980's, and that brought the USA out of a deep recession. But when his fellow Republican President George W. Bush tried the same thing during the waning phase of Saturn-Pluto a few years ago, and current Democrat President Barack Obama tried to repeat shortly after his election, the results were much different. They didn't bring down the deficit or lead to huge economic growth as expected. Why not? I don't know the answer, except through the lens of a Financial Astrologer. In the waning phase of the Saturn-Pluto cycle, an increase in government spending programs and debt, and an increase in personal taxes, contributes to the falling economy. But the other issue that is bothersome is this persistent belief by some that wealthy people in the USA do not pay taxes. You have to pay taxes on. It is the federal law. There is no way around that unless you do something illegal. You can defer or offset your tax bill if you put your earnings into tax free or tax deferred vehicles approved by the federal government, like a house in which the interest on the mortgage can be deducted from income. You can transfer your income into tax-free, tax-reduced, or tax deferred investments that are designed to develop the new age, green energy movement. You can make charitable contributions to certain non-profit agencies. Many people – wealthy and not-so-wealthy - elect to do that. What would happen if these options to paying taxes were eliminated.? What would happen to the housing market if suddenly the "tax break" of interest payments for housing was eliminated so that "the wealthy" would have to pay "more taxes?" What would happen to the green energy movement if tax breaks were not allowed for investments in solar, wind, etc. power? If wealthy people aren't paying taxes, it is because they are investing in these types of tax free or tax deferred vehicles that the government and its people have deemed important enough to allow as an alternative investment to paying taxes. Everything else is taxable, and the so-called "wealthy" do pay their share of taxes – or "investments" – into the country. In fact they pay more than their "fair" share because their tax rate is already higher than "the less wealthy." Wealthy people are not escaping their tax responsibilities unless they are committing a criminal act. To accuse the "wealthy" of not paying taxes is simply not true, and also escalates the already too-much tension of class warfare that permeates today's dialogue, which itself is consistent with the themes of Saturn transiting through the middle signs of the zodiac (Virgo, Libra and Scorpio, September 2007-December 2014). Fortunately this is an issue that is becoming more and more understood by leaders of both political parties. As stated in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal in a refreshing article by columnist Gerald Seib, "Even the dispute over taxes seems manageable. Democrats aren't trying to raise tax rates… they are trying to raise revenues by going after tax advantages enjoyed by, in particular, the oil d gas industry, and a broad array of other deductions."That sounds very positive to me, and a reason to think that just maybe the crisis over the debt ceiling limit will be resolved this month,. Before Mercury goes retrograde on August 2. What a great birthday present that would be to the tax paying citizens of America.
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The writing of "The Ultimate Book on Stock Market Timing, Volume 5: Price Objectives and Technical Analysis," is ahead of schedule and should be out in September as planned, and maybe even sooner. This book will be approximately 250-275 pages, printed in perfect bind format, gloss cover, 8-1/2" x 11" size, and basically the same style as the other four volumes. The retail price at the time of publication will be $144.00. But as we are close to completion, we now offer a pre-publication special price of $95.00 (plus postage) to those who order before July 15. There will be another pre-publication offer at $125.00 at that point until the book is actually on the printing presses, 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. The previous 4 volumes have been on "when" to buy and sell, or how to forecast a future cycle low or high. This last volume addresses the subject of "where" to buy and sell, or at "what price" to buy and sell. It is the missing link to the first four volumes. It details the mathematical formulas and technical studies used to enhance timing of entry and exit in any market, but especially stock indices. Not only that, it provides step by step directions on how to set up a trading plan and when to enter the trade. 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 http://www.mmacycles.com/catalogue/books/the-ultimate-book-on-stock-market-timing-volume-5/, or just go to www.mmacycles.com and scroll down to the announcement.
Last October I did an internet presentation for traders of the ICE exchange (Intercontinental Exchange) on the future of the U.S. Dollar, as well as the U.S. stock market. A video recording of that presentation is available for free viewing at http://www.youtube.com/raymondmerriman. The thoughts expressed at that time contain many of the ideas I have about the long-term outlook even today. Please feel free to share it with your friends and associates.
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There are still a few copies remaining of the Forecast 2011 Book. Those remaining printed copies are now marked down to $35.00. They will be marked down further to $30.00 on July 1, should any still be available. The electronic book version of the book is also available via iPad, the iPhone 4, and Amazon Kindle, but those prices cannot be changed. The Amazon Kindle edition is available to anyone anywhere in the world. Just go to their bookstore and type in "Raymond Merriman" or "Forecast 2011." It is available in Spanish as well. It is also available via ITunes if you have the Apple I Pad or I Phone 4. Both the English and Spanish versions are available in this format to any resident of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, United Kingdom, or the United States. If you are not a resident of these countries, you can still order it if you have an email address registered via one of these countries. Just go to iTunes, and then "Library," then "Store," then in the field titled "Search," type in "Forecast 2011" or "Raymond Merriman" (without quotation marks).
August 13, 2011: San Francisco, CA. Financial Market Timing seminar, featuring Raymond Merriman and other market timers. It is on. Details to be announced shortly at www.tsaasf.org. Immediately afterwards will be a special meeting with MMA subscribers who are present.
January 6-7, 2012: Zurich Switzerland. Forecast 2012 Symposia sponsored by AstroData. Details to be announced shortly at www.mma-europe.ch.
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 email@example.com.
May 24-29, 2012: UAC!!! The world's largest astrological conference. Taking place at the New Orleans Marriott Hotel. Go to www.uacastrology.com. 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. Details will be announced soon. It's on!
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.
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