Financial Astrology: Did a turbulent March 2020 bring the economy a Minsky Moment?

Beneath heavy Capricorn skies, it appears that the financial markets have hit an irreversible tipping point due to the “black swan” event of the coronavirus outbreak. We looked to the stars to track what could be ahead.

by The AstroTwins
with resident astrologer Matthew Swann

As astrologers, we’ve long witnessed and reported on boom-bust economic cycles and their corresponding astrological trends.

But this time is different.

The shocking black swan plunge of the financial markets during the February 2020 coronavirus outbreak has us looking at a lesser-known Virgo economist, Hyman Minsky and “Minsky moment” astrology.

Minsky’s name usually surfaces when the markets suffer reversals, the largest of these eponymously termed a “Minsky moment.”

Investopedia defines this as “the onset of a market collapse brought on by the reckless speculative activity that defines an unsustainable bullish period. [It] defines the point in time where the sudden decline in market sentiment inevitably leads to a market crash.”

In short, a Minsky moment happens when the bubble bursts.

Who was Hyman Minsky and why does he matter in astrology?

Hyman Minsky (1919-96) was an economics professor whose theories on financial instability were largely ignored for decades—until the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis rekindled interest in his work.

He’s (unenviably) known as an expert on the economics of depressions—not the most popular discussion in our growth-at-all-costs culture.

Yet, to astrology followers, it’s not surprising that a scholar with Sun, moon, Mercury, Venus AND Saturn all in data-driven Virgo would have a long academic career specializing in exactly that. (And with a south node in money-minded Taurus and a north node in Scorpio, ruler of investments, all the more so.)

Minsky proposed that economies are propelled into crisis when, during prosperous times, corporations and consumers amass debt they can’t pay off with their current income or revenue. This, in turn, creates a financial crisis.

Do we have your attention yet?

Why the stars matter now

This black swan event occurred under a sky unusually heavy with planets in Capricorn, the sign of the economy, government and corporations. From February 16 to March 21, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn AND Pluto are all in the sphere of the Sea Goat, an intense and disruptive combination.

In our 2020 Horoscope guide, we predicted that such a financial outlier could be triggered by the January 12 meetup of restrictive Saturn and ominous Pluto, propelled further by expansive Jupiter’s presence here.

Unfortunately, our forecast has come true.

black swan astrologyPin

Mid-February, the addition of intensifier Mars accelerated this trend and will continue to do so until March 30.

On March 20, malefic Mars and benefic Jupiter will conjunct (unite) at the exact same point—22 degrees and 46 minutes of Capricorn—as Saturn and Pluto did on January 12.

The next day (March 21), Saturn will enter Aquarius, the sign of groups and society, bringing disequilibrium and disharmony for us collectively. In classical astrology, Saturn is the original ruler of Aquarius. Its modern ruler, destabilizing Uranus, is in Taurus—the sign of money and the economy—from May 2018 until April 2026.

And there is more: Mars and Pluto will hold court on March 23 in Capricorn, which could prompt further upheaval. The month will end with the two malefics, Mars and Saturn, making a jarring conjunction in Aquarius on March 31.

The Ides of March indeed?

Why 2008 matters in astrology—both then and now

Minsky’s economic reversal theories based on debt became repopularized in 2008 when the subprime mortgage market collapsed.

As it turns out, 2008 was a hugely significant year for the economy in astrology too.

On November 26, 2008, Pluto began its 16-year trek through Capricorn (its first visit here in over two centuries), a cycle that will last through 2024.

This was two months after the stock market crash of September 29, 2008, a day when the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 777.68 points (prior to 2020, the largest drop in history). On October 2, 2008, President Bush signed the $700 billion bank bailout bill, also called the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.

From December 2007 to June 2009, the U.S. plunged into a deep recession, with nearly 9 million jobs lost during 2008 and 2009.

In December 2008, as Pluto settled firmly into Capricorn, the Federal Reserve dropped Fed fund rates to 0 percent, the lowest level in history. As 2008 ended, the Dow was down almost 34 percent for the year.

And on December 19, 2008, President Bush announced a $13.4 billion emergency bailout for big-three automakers GM and Chrysler, to be paid by January 2009—during the height of Capricorn season.

For context, Pluto was last in Capricorn in the 1700s, when the United States gained its independence during the 27th degree of Pluto’s 29-degree journey through Capricorn.

Jupiter the gambler—ignoring the risks?

We’re also emerging from an astrological cycle, where Jupiter—the planet of gambling, growth and risk—was in its home sign of Sagittarius. From November 8, 2018, to December 2, 2019, global Jupiter’s homecoming tour doubled both our expansion and our starry-eyed optimism.

Astrologically speaking, risk aversion would run low during Jupiter in Sagittarius cycles—and hope would run high.

This has happened during other historical periods, too. The early 1980s recession that coincided with the last Saturn-Pluto conjunction (in Libra) officially ended in November 1982. On December 25, 1982, Jupiter arrived in Sagittarius like Santa Claus, staying until January 1984.

In the first quarter of 1983, the economy grew at a shockingly strong annual rate of 8.3 percent. However, economists attributed this to “the rise of a sharp, unsustainable buildup of the inventories of goods that businesses [kept] in their factories and warehouses.”

Following the “boom” of Jupiter in Sagittarius is often the ‘bust” of Jupiter in Capricorn, the sign of its fall, or weakened position.

On December 2, 2019, Jupiter entered Capricorn for the first time since 2008. This Jupiter transit occurred exactly ONE DAY after the first coronavirus case was detected in Wuhan, China.

Jupiter’s prior tour of Capricorn was from December 19, 2007, until January 5, 2009—smack dab in the midst of the U.S. recession, mortgage crisis and bailouts.

On October 8, 2008, while Jupiter was at 13 degrees Capricorn, The Federal Reserve, in conjunction with other global central banks, enacted an emergency interest rate cut of half a percentage point.

On March 3, 2020, as Jupiter reached 19 degrees Capricorn—its first visit to this sign since early 2009—we see the eerie echoes of this twin transit, as the Federal Reserve took emergency action and cut the benchmark U.S. interest rate by half a percentage point for the first time since then, hoping to limit the financial fallout of the coronavirus.

Hyman Minsky, black swan economist?

Minsky’s ideas were best reflected in his Financial Instability Hypothesis. Its key point is that accumulating debt initiates a Butterfly Effect—much like a devastating Category 5 hurricane begins as small gusts of wind in the eastern Atlantic Ocean.

In science-speak, the Butterfly Effect falls under the rubric of “non-linear dynamics,” better known as Chaos Theory.

According to Chaos Theory, stability is an illusion. Small effects become larger ones, leading to reversals and unintended consequences.

With no definitive end in sight for the plummeting markets, it’s easy to see that our debt-laden lives—coined The Everything Bubble—are poised at the precipice of a Minsky Moment, which could come with a steep and hard-to-reverse financial decline.

With Saturn entering the sign of Aquarius from March 21 to July 1, it remains to be seen whether the Everything Bubble can be managed with the Water Bearer’s arrival. Saturn is the co-ruler of both Capricorn and Aquarius—doubling the strength and duration of Saturn’s impact.

Aquarius is the sign of groups and society, and restrictive Saturn is already creating social duress, from canceled conferences like SXSW to travel bans to 16 million quarantined in Italy and school district closures. With many offices and factories shutting down and staffs forced to work remotely, we’ll continue to see the impact of Saturn restructuring our networks and supply chains.

“Minsky moment” astrology and predictions 

Updated 3.15.20 While transiting moon, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn AND Pluto are in Capricorn, the Federal Reserve board of governors meeting (FOMC) on March 17-18, 2020, will lower interest rates another 50 basis points in an attempt to lessen the impact of the catastrophic Wall Street selloff, the second interest rate cut of the month. (It’s equally possible that the Fed will simply cut interest rates to zero.)

The toll of the coronavirus pandemic on the global economy will produce a full-blown official bear market by May 2020, (marked by a 20% contraction from previous market highs for two consecutive months) as the U.S. financial system endures the double jeopardy of a demand shock and a supply shock.

Expect the Fed to enter the markets and directly purchase assets in an attempt to calm the markets. This action will easily eclipse the amounts of the 2008 subprime market quantitative easing (QE) as the Fed will now attempt to inject liquidity into the overnight REPO lending markets, amounts that will be counted in trillions, rather than billions.

The U.S. economy will return from summer vacation 2020 and be greeted with aggressive Mars turning retrograde in Aries from September 9 to November 13.

We anticipate a deepening recession as the entire economy lumbers out of the coronavirus summer, compounded by the travel bans and the ongoing petroleum crisis between Saudi Arabia and Russia, itself signaling for a new financial system as our debt-based, fiat monetary system appears no longer capable of servicing the competing needs and interests of a fracturing global economy. With technological Uranus in Taurus, the sign of money, the emerging technology of blockchain to feature into the new economic system.

All parts of the US economy will be affected. In particular, the U.S. healthcare system will be overwhelmed as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic compounding the recession, which will have major Wall Street analysts warning of an economic depression, if they haven’t already done so during the summer of 2020.

We predict that negative interest rates will be a feature of the Saturn in Aquarius economy as the great ringed planet enters Aquarius on December 17, 2020, and passes through the winter solstice one week later for its extended visit in Aquarius through March 7, 2023.

Consumers should prepare for price increases for all consumables, but especially pharmaceuticals as supply chains from China are disrupted due to global quarantines. *According to the US Commerce Department data, Chinese pharmaceutical companies manufactured the bulk of all US imports of ibuprofen (95%), acetaminophen (42%), penicillin (43%), heparin (40%), and most distressing, 80 percent of our antibiotics are made in China.

“Shrinkflation” becomes commonplace as manufacturers attempt to disguise inflation by reducing product size and weight.

With Uranus in Taurus (also squaring Saturn in Aquarius on and off through the end of 2021), war could erupt. High volatility for the foreseeable future as the inflation/deflation argument looms over the markets and the demise of the “Everything Bubble.”

Robust gains for gold, silver and even Bitcoin once the selloff bottoms as investors move their wealth in a flight for safety from the devastating domino-like effect of the 2020 Minsky moment.

Disclaimer: The above information should not be considered professional financial advice. All writings on this site are purely based on the authors’ opinions and are intended for entertainment purposes only. Please consult a certified professional financial advisor when considering any investment or financial decision.

AstroTwins 2020 Horoscope 30% OffPin


The AstroTwins

Identical twin sisters Ophira and Tali Edut, known as The AstroTwins, are the founders of and the authors of multiple bestselling astrology books. Their horoscopes reach millions here and through their resident astrologer column at ELLE Magazine.