Most of the people reading this blog have grown up during a time when the American dollar was one of the most sought-after commodities in the world. For those of us who remember parity, when one dollar was worth one euro, it’s tough to come to terms with the beaten-down dollar, which now equals .63 euros.
Don’t count on a rebound in the greenback any time soon is the news coming out of the United Astrology Conference in Denver. In fact, the downhill descent hasn’t even begun to pick up steam, according to the astrologers gathered at the Sheraton.
Now, the general public may think of astrologers as doom-and-gloomsters, but I can cite plenty of evidence to the contrary. For instance, when I attended the UAC in Crystal City, Va., in 1992, prior to the Uranus/Neptune conjunction in Capricorn, the forecasts were relentlessly upbeat about the opportunities for technological innovation to transform the business world.
I remember one astrologer telling me around that time that I was going to make money in the future by writing for “a screen.” That’s impossible, I told her, because I write for print publications and I’m not a screenwriter. Well, in retrospect I see that her prediction was anticipating the advent of the Internet, which has brought me a new source of income, though none yet from my baby blog.
What I’m trying to do with this preamble is to establish some credibility for the crowd of stargazers from all over the world who periodically assemble under UAC’s umbrella. As a rule, they are not gold bugs, they are not survivalists, they do not believe in Armegeddon.
However, they do believe the U.S. is headed for hyperinflation very soon, and that the once-mighty greenback could go the way of the Reichsmark, Germany’s currency during the Weimar Republic, which became so worthless that people burned it in their stoves to keep warm.
The thinking is this: The Jupiter/Neptune conjunction on the U.S. Moon, which I’ve written about in my post “The Coming U.S. Depression,” will bring about hyperinflation and the extreme devaluation of the dollar, ultimately leading to its demise.
Anyone who has spent time in Brazil realizes this is not an unusual occurrence in the Third World. For the record, Brazil has moved out of the league of developing countries into the higher tier of emerging markets, while the U.S. is moving in the opposite direction. Since 1970, Brazil has used the cruzeiro, cruzado, cruzado novo, cruzeiro real, and the real as its currency. My source is this link..
In his May 19 talk on “Politics and Financial Markets through 2011-2013,” Austrian economist Manfred Zimmel, who is a graduate of the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, predicted complete destruction of the U.S. dollar during 2012-13. “It’s terrible to see a currency destroyed,” he observed. No kidding, especially when it’s that of your own country.
Zimmel made some other dire predictions for the U.S. and Japanese economies, but I want to limit the frame of this post to the dollar. I left his lecture feeling quite depressed, but also consoling myself that maybe his downbeat outlook was yet another example of European schadenfreude, taking pleasure in others’ misfortune. You know, those Euros want to see Yankee ingenuity go up in smoke, I told myself.
Then today I basically heard the same downbeat dollar story from Shelley Ackerman, a tell-it-like-it-is astrologer from New York City with a theatrical background. Although Ackerman lacks Zimmel’s economics credentials, her forecast seemed so down to earth and grounded in astrological precedent that it resonated with me.
She thinks hyperinflation could be coming sooner than Zimmel. In her wide-ranging lecture on “The Outer Planet Dance of 2008-2012 and Beyond,” Ackerman pointed out that the transiting Jupiter/Neptune conjunction of July 10, 2009 basically takes place on the U.S. Moon in the so-called Sibley chart for U.S. independence, which I also use.
This aspect could bring about a lot of illusion, confusion, and even airborne illness, Ackerman says. But she thinks inflation will go “crazy” and the dollar will be dead as a currency by 2012. “Have you noticed that many New York stores are already accepting euros?” she asked the audience.
How do you protect yourself against a declining dollar? Zimmel says commodities and stocks are good investment vehicles. The idea here is that the massive expansion of the U.S. money supply under the Bush Administration will not harm shares, which will continue to rise along with profits and inflation. Of course, for foreign investors, buying stock in U.S. companies isn’t a good idea since the dollar will be declining and U.S. stocks are denominated in dollars.
Ackerman recommends buying euros. Even if you don’t have the minimum required to open an online bank account or CD denominated in euros, you can buy American Express traveler’s checks in euros and put them under the mattress. However, she did express fear about what would happen if the U.S. economic scene gets so bad that American Express does under.
I think that scenario is highly unlikely. Even if AmEx runs into trouble, investors from the Mideast would be likely to step in and provide it with an infusion of capital, as they have recently done for many troubled U.S. financial institutions, including Citibank.
This next point wasn’t mentioned in either lectures, but as a student of economics, I realize that hyperinflation benefits debtors by reducing the value of the money they owe. Perhaps inflation will be a deliberate strategy by the Federal Reserve to get individuals, corporations, and the U.S. government itself out of debt.