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The Shitstorm

When you step in dog-poop, it's humiliating. You have to scrape it off your shoe and hope you don't reek the rest of the day. It's your fault. You weren't vigilant. You are chagrined at your own clumsiness. Fate made a pile of poop with your name on it. Next time you'll watch your step.

Your personal security is like that, too. Anything could happen and you can lose your car, job or your house before you know it. Maybe it's a unavoidable situation or maybe you just drew a bad card from the economic deck. Maybe you stepped blindly into a get-rich-quick Ponzi scheme, and now you're left holding debt. Perhaps you fell into poor health, and medical bills wiped you out. (eighty percent of bankruptcies are caused by medical expenses). Ultimately, you are to blame, and you feel you're alone with your problems.

It's quite a different story when almost everybody suffers the same type of setback at the same time. That's called a shitstorm, and economically, it's caused by a capitalist bubble when it pops. Shitstorms are caused by panic in the markets. Stocks crash, Treasury bills become junk bonds, banks run out of capital and go under, and unemployment skyrockets. When it rains crap, it ruins our whole society, not just you. Wars, financial crisis, world events, climate change, the stupidity of politicians--even the transiting stars--rain down bad news, not only for you, but for all the people, everywhere. Nobody comes out of it smelling like a rose. An economic depression sinks all boats, and we all suffer to one extent or another. We feel a collective despair, not just personal shame, we all smell bad. That's our only comfort: a fraternity of misery is more sustainable then being the only one who stinks.

The consensus now among all serious economic and financial analysts is that such a storm is approaching. The shit-bubble is about to burst. Panic is just around the corner. The question on everyone's mind is, not if, but when will the shitstorm begin?

In past crashes, there's always a trigger that spawns a massive financial crisis. In 2008-9, the insurance payouts for Hurricane Katrina and bank failures in France caused a domino effect on bad debt that destroyed Lehman Brothers and engulfed mortgage and stock holders alike. In 2000, the collapse of Geocities, Pets.com, Webvan and Cisco popped the dot-com bubble, causing a massive sell-off by day-traders. The "Asian crisis" of 1997 was tripped by the Kobe earthquake and the collapse of the Japanese bank giant, Daiwa. Corruption and bad debt at Lincoln Savings and Loan started a chain reaction which destroyed the thrift industry in 1987.

Going back to the biggest crash in American history, the Great Depression of 1929-39 was fueled by devastating margin calls on stocks bought on credit, causing a collapse of the entire economy, and in such retailers and service industries as ITT, Montgomery Ward, Sears, Safeway, United Airlines and Richfield oil, to name a few. Eventually, the gloom-and-doom engulfed not only the U.S. but all industrialized nations.

In all of these cases, investors were just the first losers. Even though the underlying economic activity was not dependent on the financial markets, it too fell victim to the hysteria created by a sudden downturn in economic activity and the normal exchange of goods and services, causing mass layoffs, bank failures and home foreclosures. Millions of people who themselves owned no stocks or bonds descended into poverty and misery along with them. The wealth indexes for the entire economy shrank, and everyone in it came off smelling of death.

The number one factor that made the 1929 depression so devastating was deflation. This state of affairs occurs when there are too many goods and services for the available demand. There's an irony of an economy that has amassed too much wealth, and yet has a distribution system that prevents enough consumption to balance out the excesses.

Today, as in 1929, the wealth is centered around a tiny minority of people while a vast percentage seethes and wastes away in abject poverty. Yes, there's untold choices and possibilities, but only a thin sliver of the population is able to take advantage of them. The rest can only dream of having the means to fully participate in the economy. Deflation causes a schism in capitalism that only the destruction of wealth can cure. No-one steps up to destroy (or give away) their own wealth, so it must be wrested out of their hands by force. That's why deflation always leads to war, the greatest wealth-destroyer ever invented. A deflationary depression is far worse than any other financial crisis, because it lasts longer, is more destructive, and leads to conflagration.

Our next depression will be a deflationary depression, much worse, not only because of the shocking wealth disparity that now exists, massive uncollateralized debt, but also the interlocking nature of world trade and the massive fraud that the banks have perpetrated on us. The next depression will combine the two worst economic tends: hyper-inflation of the currency and an increased cost-of-living, rents and taxes; and the deflation of the the dollar (the loss of value of all dollar-denominated goods and services) leading to a sharp decline in our quality of life. It becomes impossible to produce or create anything, because demand is so truncated that no-one can afford to buy anything. Making a profit is impossible without raising prices, further reducing demand, so the only option is to destroy or re-direct all the excess productive capacity. Entire communities, industries, cites and states will be devoured in the process.

If you want to see deflation in real-time, look at oil production and prices. Prices are artificially high, but the oil companies are still having problems making a profit. Shale and fracking have yet to see any real returns. Big Oil created the crisis by inflating the price of oil, now they will precipitate a crash because of the inevitable deflation of those prices. Literally, too much oil has caused the profits of Big Oil to shrink, and take the rest of the capitalist juggernaut with them into the abyss.

What one event will spark the new depression? One thing we know is that almost all depressions start with a booming stock market, a speculative bubble that has nowhere to go but bust. Market "exuberance" always precedes depressions, the terrible irony of greed and stupidity. Market booms precede market panics. The new depression will not be caused by scarcity, but too much of a good thing, hoarded by too few of its members, which then transforms abundance into scarcity, profit into loss, happiness into misery--it's the miracle of capitalism!

The real estate bubble is not the only danger. Today we have sub-prime loans in the guise of student loans, car loans, credit cards and free Fed loans to the banks. The entire economic system is is bloated by bad debt. One pin-prick and the game is over. The shock and awe of reality destroys the carefully manufactured consent of the corporations. They gave us a false view of the world, and the economic consequences will shatter all our carefully cultivated fantasies and frauds, leaving us holding nothing but the ashes of our dreams.

The recent Trump-inspired stock market high of over 24,000 points in the Dow Jones average points to such a dramatic turning point. Although the earnings of stocks is unchanged, they have been overvalued by a flood of money into a "safe" haven. Corporations like Apple, Microsoft and the banks are using their off-shore capital to buy their own stocks, which pumps up their value in spite of the stagnation and shrinkage of production capacity. Stock buy-backs are the only way to wring profits from a dead horse. Instead of investing in homes, jobs or sustainable industries, the rich are just buying each other's stocks. It's like Russian Roulette. Someone eventually choses the bullet and blows his brains out.

This chart (March 21, 2017) shows the insane bubble created by inflated stock prices. Anybody buying into such a boom will lose their money, since only those who started it can possibly win. It's a classic Ponzi scheme, where only those who are at the top of the pyramid can profit off the herd mentality of other, dumber investors. Things can happen fast and furiously; a day after the above chart was published, the stock market plunged 1%, losing a month of gains in a few minutes of trading. Bubbles burst at any given moment, just when you least expect them, and for causes that only history can really determine.

By the time we learn of the true weaknesses in the economy, it's already too late, the house of cards is already tumbling down around our ears. When the shitstorm comes raining down, everybody gets trapped in the maelstrom of history, victims of their own manufactured consent.

In retrospect, we may look back on this year as having been already part of the decline of the American empire. While the rich play games with the markets, the majority of the country is already experiencing the decline and fall of capitalism, right in their home town, right on their street.

Taken as bits and pieces of truth, we can't put the puzzle together until the curtain is drawn, and we see the machinations of these opinion-makers and reality-brokers as they conspire against us to get the last drop of blood from us. They use every means at their disposal to disguise the truth from us. The media happily cooperates, making fiction into fact and battering us with fake news and pro-war propaganda. Donald Trump is the result, not the cause of the decades-long brainwashing of the American public.

Every day we get a hint of the coming crisis. There are many companies that are in the process of or facing bankruptcy right now, including old timers like United Airlines, Chrysler, Sears and Neiman Marcus, shaky retailers such as American Apparel, Aeropostale, Round Table Pizza, and an array of newly hatched but hapless unicorn dot-coms that cannot survive without more investment. The capitalist golden boy, Elon Musk is running scared; Tesla is on the verge of collapse. Tesla isn't the only company riding on the magic carpet ride of investment. Sooner or later, when a corporation can't make a profit, they go belly up. The list of corporations in this bracket is growing every day.

For the non-billionaire class, our only option is to make friends with each other, because we sure as hell are going to need each other in the future!


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Comparison of the Zodiac systems

Sign

Tropical

Sidereal

13/Sign

Aries Mar 21 - April 20 April 15 - May 15 April 19 - May 13
Taurus April 21 - May 20 May 16 - June 15 May 14 - June 19
Gemini May 21 - June 20 June 16 - July 15 June 20 - July 20
Cancer June 21 - July 21 July 16 - Aug 15 July 21 - Aug 9
Leo July 22 Aug 22 Aug 16 - Sep 15 Aug 10 – Sep 15
Virgo Aug 23 - Sep 22 Sep 16 - Oct 15 Sept 16 – Oct 30
Libra Sep 23 - Oct 22 Oct 16 - Nov 15 Oct 31– Nov 22
Scorpio Oct 23 - Nov 21 Nov 16 - Dec 15 Nov 23 – Nov 29
Ophiuchus NA NA Nov 30 – Dec 17
Sagittarius Nov 22 - Dec 21 Dec 16 - Jan 14 Dec 18– Jan 18
Capricorn Dec 22 - Jan 20 Jan 15 - Feb 14 Jan 19 – Feb 15
Aquarius Jan 21 - Feb 19 Feb 15 - Mar 14 Feb 16– Mar 11
Pisces Feb 20 - Mar 20 Mar 15 - April 14 Mar 12 – April 18

 

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[These books are for 12-sign astrology; However, aspect and transiting angles are the same in all systems.

Go to our Ophiuchus Rising page for the meanings of the angles, planets and asteroids in Ophiuchus]

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