If you were expecting some kind of sun sign nonsense, forget about it. This is real astrology for the real world. If it's real astrology for yourself that you want, you can get it by phone or in print. And if you need help deciphering the astrological glyphs in the graphics accompanying this article, see Astroglyphs: Astrological Symbols Guide. Please note: this forecast is expressed in terms of Universal Time (UT).
I mentioned in my 2007 World Forecast Highlights that a combination of celestial functions presages a "crisis of confidence stampede akin to the 'Asian Contagion' or ruble collapse of 1997-1998 or the 2000 dot-com bust," and that it "will be more like a soufflé settling than a bubble bursting . . . It doesn't go pop all at once", I ventured, "but in fits and starts, probably in January, May and October (the Jupiter-Uranus square), as well as February and June (the Saturn-Neptune oppositions)." Already, there have been shudders in January: the Venezuelan nationalization program announced by President Hugo Chavez on Monday the 8th sent that country's stock market into a nosedive. That was the same day Thailand's Central Bank Governor announced that capital controls imposed on December 19 would remain in effect. Imposition of those controls prompted a 15 percent drop in the Thai Stock Exchange index in December, and their reiteration Monday sent the index to its lowest close in two years. Also on the 8th, Russia shut off its oil pipeline to Europe in a dispute with Belarus, sending shudders through countries dependent on the flow of that oil - including Germany, Poland and Hungary.
Speaking of Russia, the chairman of the central bank there announced on January 26 that plans were under consideration to change the allocation of its foreign exchange reserve holdings. In recent years, this has meant increasing the share of euros in its reserves, and decreasing the share of dollars. In particular, central bank officials have named the Canadian and Australian dollar and the Swiss franc as possible candidates for diversification. However Russia's reserves also include a substantial gold component, in addition to various currencies. The bottom line in this case is that the dollar, for many years the world's standard exchange currency, is continuing to lose ground - and at a faster pace this month. Lo and behold, the year has just begun, and already things are falling into place. Be patient. As I said, this won't be one massive bubble bursting, but a series of settlings . . .