As this is written in mid-June, 1984, Argentina is front-page news for their reluctance to accept the austerity program of the International Monetary Fund. Mexico and Brazil, two of the other countries with heavy debts, have bowed to the IMF demands which included a devaluation of their currency so that their imports were increased in price but they could sell more of their own exports to try to meet the enormous interest on their debts. Other demands required limits placed on wages. Yet despite these actions which resulted in the increased costs of necessities, putting heavy pressure on everyone except the rich, both countries have had to borrow more money just to pay the interest on earlier loans.
Argentina has refused to accept the IMF demands to squeeze their people further. The current government, elected in late 1983, is the first democratic administration in years, and is too shaky in its hold on power to risk a popular uprising. The interest on their debts will be overdue by the end of June, and unless action is taken before then, the U.S. banks will have to declare the debts “non-performing.” Many of the big U.S. banks have loaned out more than the actual value of their stock, and they are very reluctant to have to declare the debts uncollectible.
Argentina skirted the edge of the same challenge in March, and paid its quarterly interest then with the help of a loan from four of the other indebted countries; Mexico, Brazil, Columbia, and Venezuela, a loan guaranteed by the U.S. government with the provision that Argentina meet the demands of the IMF. Since Argentina has unilaterally rejected the demands as of mid-June, the U.S. has now refused to extend its guarantee of the March loan.
We are seeing the beginning of the showdown, though I still think the main crunch will not come until 1986. The chart I am using for Argentina is set for their Declaration of Independence on July 9, 1816, at noon LMT, in Tucuman. Local cusps are added for Buenos Aires, the present capital. I have tested the chart on some of their past events, and it seems to be a workable chart. I am sure other charts might also be useful, since countries are born in stages, but until I have more information, I am watching this one.
In some ways, Argentina is like the U.S. It is a fertile land, rich in natural resources, with more capacity for self-sufficiency than most countries. But their economy is in sad shape, with an incredible rate of inflation beyond anything most of us can even imagine. A series of military juntas has wasted the resources and has been responsible for the torture and death of thousands of people. It seems tragic that they cannot have a temporary moratorium on the debts, most of them due to the military governments, while they firm up the democratic regime. But the big banks are afraid to show leniency to any country for fear all the rest will want the same assistance.
At this point, several dozen countries are in debt to the point that they have to borrow more money each year just to pay the interest. Meanwhile, of course, the debts keep getting bigger. Since the debts are tied to the U.S. interest rates, every time our rates go up one percent, the debtors owe a few million or billion more. Of course, the U.S. owes more than anyone else, but the debts have to be balanced against the gross national product of the country. Since we have the largest GNP, we can theoretically afford to handle the largest debt. But even the U.S. has its limits, and we may be skirting the edge before long.
As our readers know, the U.S. charts in 1987-8 look similar in many ways to 1929. A combination of debt and inflated prices brought about the collapse at that time. Our debt now is far higher, but inflation has been reduced by means of our recent depression. The borrowed money which the government has poured into the system was the main factor that turned the economy around, but the rate at which the debt is being increased cannot be sustained indefinitely. Many other countries have acquired a debt beyond their capacity to pay and they are still in a combination of depression and inflation. Our purchases in other countries (our imports) have helped some of them to move toward recovery, but our own workers are upset at lost jobs, and are calling for tariffs (taxes) and quotas on imports. The economy of earth is so interrelated at this point, that if one of the foundation stones gives, the whole house may come down.
Though the newspapers have written regularly about the debt problems of other countries, they have not mentioned that Argentina and Brazil were the first countries to announce in the early 1930s (our last serious world-wide depression) that they could not pay their debts. Mexico eventually settled its sizable debt for about 10 cents on the dollar. It would appear that the bankers have short memories since when questioned about their overseas loans, they still say, “Countries always pay their debts eventually. Countries don’t go bankrupt.” Yet history records time after time when countries have changed their form of government and have repudiated the debts of the previous government.
According to information in one of the publications I get, the current leaders of Argentina and Brazil have already met to discuss the possibility of a debt cartel; a union of the countries with the worst problems to try to force the big banks to give them better terms. I think it is only a matter of time before that occurs, or we see widespread revolutions overthrowing the governments which are keeping most of their people in desperate poverty to try to keep up with the interest on their debts. There is still time to work out easier terms for extended time and lower interest, but the time is running out.
I always regret the small size of The Mutable Dilemma pages when I want to discuss a horoscope along with current progressions. As usual, the secondary progressions will have to be listed below the chart. Readers who want to work more with the chart can copy it on to a form with an inner and outer wheel, the type I always use in my personal work.
Note that the chart for Argentina’s declaration of independence has Jupiter rising in Scorpio along with a strong second house, a Capricorn Moon in the fourth house, and a Cancer group around the MC. Mars in Leo trines the second house Sagittarius, while Pluto and Chiron in Pisces in the sixth house are trine the Cancer and sextile the Moon. We can see the high value placed on the material world, and the potential for success there, but there can also be extravagance (Sag. in the second) and conflict over debts (Vesta in the eighth house of joint resources, including debts, square Saturn in the fifth house and quincunx the Ascendant). Still, they should be able to handle the situation with Saturn trine the Ascendant and the north node trine the earlier Libra angles and asteroids. The intelligence and the resources are there if they don’t get carried away with big ideas. The nine-twelve emphasis (signs and houses as well as Jupiter rising) can be a sign of excesses in expectations and in action.
I will include the secondary progressions for June 15, 1984, but will comment on coming aspects which seem to me to indicate an increasing challenge in the years ahead. Mercury is one of the rulers of the eighth house (joint resources, including debts) and by the end of June when the interest will be overdue, progressed Mercury will reach the octile to progressed Saturn. Though Mercury is moving about one and a half degrees a year at present, it will hold the aspect to Saturn for some years, since after leaving the one degree orb to progressed Saturn, it aspects the midpoint and then natal Saturn. Before it ends the pattern, the Sun comes into the aspect and maintains it for an even longer time than Mercury. And the Sun is the country’s ego, reputation and power in the tenth house.
The local (Buenos Aires) progressed MC has already been moving through the octile to Saturn, and the birthplace MC will follow the Sun into the aspect. Saturn is the natural ruler of the tenth (status, role in the world, handling of power and dealing with others with power), it rules the fourth house (the public and their security), and it is in the fifth house (the ego, pride, personal power, etc.) The Falklands fiasco, discussed in David Reynolds’ article in the Gemini 1982 issue of The Mutable Dilemma, started with the local progressed MC in the octile to progressed Saturn and the progressed Moon octile progressed MC and Ascendant, at their midpoint. The generals hoped that a military victory would pacify the public so they would accept the inflation and economic hardships as well as the death of many citizens who were seen as liberal hence threats to the right-wing rulers. Of course, the defeat by Great Britain only compounded the economic and other problems in the country. At the time that their armed forces were forced to surrender on June 14, 1982, the progressed Moon had moved to the opposition to Mars, and was quincunx the Sun and MC.
Now, as Argentina confronts the IMF over their debt, the progressed Moon is trine natal Venus, showing their hope that an easier solution can be found. But the Moon is also moving into the square to progressed Uranus while progressed Mars has been conjunct natal Uranus. Pallas and Ceres remain conjunct Neptune for some years, and Neptune also stays in a long-term square to Pluto, fitting the conflict between hopes (Neptune and Pisces) and reality (the earth houses) regarding the debt (Pluto). During the Falkland struggle, the angles were in the last degrees of the mutable signs, semisextile and trine progressed Jupiter, showing the hope for triumph. But the angles are now in the cardinal signs, with the MC in Capricorn confronting the power of the world’s establishments, and the Aries angles of personal action looking for a new way to go. The local Antivertex is crossing the Ascendant-Descendant axis, showing the changing relationships with others.
In March, at the previous crunch over the interest payment, the progressed Moon was square the Mars- Uranus conjunction which is opposite progressed Vesta in the eighth house. Three months before that, at the preceding interest quarterly, the Moon was square the nodes of the Moon. The chart does seem to be working as a key to the evolving situation, but it is always up to humans to determine the details of how these issues will be manifested.
The Moon will square the natal (true) nodes of the Moon for the next due date, but the whole intervening period could be continuing tension as it squares progressed Uranus and the mean nodes continuously until it reaches the true node position. Both forms of the nodes seem to work. Six months from now, the Moon will trine the Sun-MC, but natally they were in opposition, so we cannot count on that being a helpful pattern. It will also be quincunx Ceres at the time, suggesting problems for the working people. But the spring of 1985 looks especially important since the progressed Moon will square Neptune and conjunct Pluto while Venus (ruling the Ascendant and the eighth house) moves into the quincunx to natal Venus and continues to hold its octile to Pluto, and Mercury moves into an opposition to natal Mercury. Remember, Mercury and Venus rule the eighth house, and Pluto is a natural ruler. This combination is the reason for my comment in the stock market article that Argentina might be part of the challenge slated for spring 1985. In a way, I am not eager to see the Democrats get the Presidency since that means they would be blamed for the mess. Returning to Argentina’s chart, in 1986, the Sun reaches the octile to Saturn and the power showdown may be at hand.
There are many other aspects which could be mentioned. Progressed Ascendant and MC are currently trioctile natal Mars. Progressed Vesta and Mars, across natal Uranus, are octile and trioctile the local MC. The general tension in the country is extreme, and there are no easy answers to their problems or to the world situation. Somehow, we have to learn to work together. The basic potentials of Argentina are immense if they can be mobilized and work cooperatively. But greed, fear, and anger block the needed sharing. All most of us can do is to keep our own life positive, to keep our own small candle lit, and to pray that the lights will spread.