The sign Saturn is in tells us the direction leadership is going, and as Saturn has moved from Leo to Virgo in the last few months, we have been moving away from the grandstanding Bushes and Blairs, and towards low-key, practical leaders like Gordon Brown in the UK. In the US Presidential election next year, what people will be looking for is track record, not grand visions. This perhaps explains the current ascendancy of Hilary Clinton, as against the new-boy on the block, the Leo Barack Obama.
Saturn is leaders of all kinds, and in the last few days we have seen heads starting to roll at the biggest investment banks, which have seen profits diving in the wake of the US sub-prime mortgage crisis.
At present we have Jupiter and Pluto in Sagittarius, as well as Saturn in Virgo, and it is the wealth bubble of Jupiter and Pluto in Sag that Saturn in Virgo is addressing. With Jupiter and Pluto about to leave Sag, there is a sort of culmination going on, this sub-prime crisis will probably come to be seen as paradigmatic of a financial era.
We’ve seen it all before, and will see it again. You get a sustained period of financial growth, and people start getting over-confident and doing risky or stupid things that will eventually lead to trouble.
What amazes me is how stupid and dishonest these banks and their leaders have been. If you lend money to people to buy their house, and they can’t really afford to do so, sooner or later there is going to be trouble. And nor is it fair to the people who you have persuaded to buy their own house.
But it was also a big-time scam. The investment banks were setting up these dodgy mortgages, and then selling on the debt to international investors, while effectively lying about the quality of the debt. As reality kicked in, these banks were left with loads of dodgy mortgages that they hadn’t yet conned ‘international investors’ (read naïve Japanese) into buying, and they’ve had to take huge hits from their profits.
It’s all good Jupiter and Pluto in Sag stuff, but it does leave me puzzled as to why these intelligent people at the top – and they wouldn’t have got there if they had a record of making daft decisions that lost money – acted so recklessly and stupidly. The only thing I can think of is that they got caught up in a trend because everyone else was involved in it. It was making a lot of money for a while, and if their bank missed out on the bonanza, their job would have been on the line. A combination of pressure along with losing their heads in a collective madness.
I find the ability not to get caught up in collective madness far more impressive than the ability to be brainy and shrewd and get to the top. It’s about the capacity for self-awareness, and we all have a choice about exercising it, and I think without it we’re not fully human. And the chart doesn’t tell you if someone has it, because it’s part of having free will.