Friday, November 12, 2010


His Own Petard
Robert Gover, USA

The developing conflict over foreclosures is an amazing example of being "hoisted by his own petard," a phrase from Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act III, scene IV.
A petard is a bucket of gunpowder used to blow down enemy fortifications.  Being hoisted by one's own petard means that the explosives went off and "hoisted" the handler rather than the target.  
And that is what happened to a lot of big banks during the ballooning of the real estate bubble that crashed in 2008 bringing down the whole economy, under the Saturn-Uranus opposition that hit the USA's Mars square Neptune.

The mortgage system that was developed in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s is a lot different from the one in the movie "It's a Wonderful Life." The banker that sells you the home loan today bundles your loan with a lot of others and resells them as mortgage backed securities (MBS) to investors around the world.

This Uranian variation on the old Saturnian way of doing loans worked so well it became a wondrous money-maker for bankers and loan brokers—and seemed an equally wondrous deal for buyers of MBS. Lenders scrambled to sell any home loan they could. As real estate prices zoomed up, people bought homes or refinanced, investors bought rental real estate at an amazing pace, and lenders flipped those loans into MBS and investors collected the monthly mortgage money and everybody danced and drank Champaign.  

The real estate industry created a thing called MERS, Mortgage Electronic Registration System, to record the conversion of home loans into MBS. MERS did not, however, retain title to properties.
Inevitably this wondrous scheme collapsed and a lot of homeowners lost jobs or discovered they'd signed a mortgage that suddenly popped their monthly payments beyond their means.  So the foreclosure "industry," as its being called now, went into action, foreclosing on failed mortgage payers, and reselling their homes, then reselling new bundles of MBS.
It was around this time that Pluto became involved, creating a T square with the Saturn-Uranus opposition. Pluto's involvement suggested there was something unsavory going on behind the scenes.
That hidden something is now coming to light in a most dramatic way. A judge in California may have triggered this new angst when he noted that one cannot transfer a real estate title one does not have. Titles to homes had been sliced and diced like ingredients in a huge MBS gumbo and could not now be extracted from the bubbling gumbo and restored to their previous condition.
Buyers of MBS securities were as distressed as foreclosed homeowners and frustrated bankers and foreclosure specialists who'd smelled fresh meat in the bloody waters of the housing market, who are now huddling with armies of lawyers, trying to figure out what can be done to get those deadbeats out of their homes so the homes can be resold fast and cheap, as the system was designed to do.   
To the foreclosure specialists, it's a legal technicality that should be smoothed over by a judge friendly to the big money. But the foreclosed homeowners have their lawyers, too, and Pluto's participation in the Saturn-Uranus T square probably has more secrets to reveal.
Congress persons will soon become stressed as they are caught between the devil of distressed homeowners and the deep blue sea of profit-hungry bankers—their voters v. their campaign funders. The Wall Streeters who created this trap are now caught in it and screaming as the Uranus-Pluto square tightens and we head into what is likely to become the most revolutionary time in US history. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Python and Pig

The Pig Through the Python
Robert Gover, USA,
"Get this pig through the python" is a metaphor that is catching on among big bankers and financiers who are losing money because of the present foreclosure crisis.
The 18.6 year cycle of the Moon's North Node has correlated with the real estate cycle when charted over centuries.  During the 20th Century this correlation was distorted by the Fed's ability to impose interest rates rather than allowing the "free market" to do so.
On November 27 this year, at 8:59 AM, the North Node will precisely conjoin Pluto at 4 Capricorn 07.  With the North Node's role in real estate prices and Pluto's role in major transformations, the current foreclosure crisis appears to be headed for some kind of resolution.  It may not happen on November 27, though, for Pluto's effects are notorious for manifesting like births months after conceptions. But this coincidence tempts me to suggest Pluto is the python and the North Node is the pig.  
The cause of the foreclosure crisis is that the financial sector python swallowed a pig that was way too big.  The pig grew too big when mortgages were sliced and diced into securities and sold all over the world—without due diligence to the deeds to each property thus sold.  In other words, in Wall Street's enthusiasm to reap big profits from this python, the pig got stuck in the python's throat. 
Millions of foreclosures across the country are stalled as the Wall Street python appeals to government to help it digest this pig. Caught between the devil (big campaign contributors) and the deep blue sea (voter reaction) politicians are stumped. Temporarily, at least.  Legal precedent going back to the invention of the printing press calls for written deeds to prove ownership of properties.  Without a deed, a bank cannot foreclose on a property—you cannot take back something you cannot prove you own. 
Another interesting astrological fact is that, as the North Node and Pluto make their exact conjunction, Saturn will be conjunct within 1 degree of the USA's natal Saturn at 14 Libra, square the USA's Sun.  The Pluto-Node conjunction will be opposite the USA's money planets Venus and Jupiter in Cancer, and applying to an opposition to the USA's Sun.    
What we may be moving into is a change in the present makeup of our government, from "of, by and for big banks and corporations" to of, by and for the voters—a return of the democracy we like to believe we have.  I'm not suggesting we hold our breaths till this change manifests in our daily lives, though, for where billions of profits are concerned, wealthy campaign contributors and their political beneficiaries get panicky.   
Judges across the land who are involved in foreclosure cases have tended to side with the foreclosure industry. If a distressed homeowner was legally savvy enough, he or she could throw sand in the foreclosure machinery by hiring a lawyer to demand the bank involved show title to the property. Since so many titles have been put into the mortgage backed securities blender, there is no longer any way to un-blend and retrieve them.  That Humpty Dumpy had a great fall. 
What's to be done? 
A Legal Aid attorney in Jacksonville, Florida, April Chamey, pioneered saving homeowners from foreclosure back in 2004 by demanding banks prove ownership by producing titles.  She then filed "quiet title" actions on behalf of her homeowner clients.  A quiet title action quiets all other claims, giving homeowners a fresh new title to their properties.
Thus may the python of justice digest both the Wall Street python and its pig.