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Argentina: Financial Crisis & Recovery
This article was written & published on 4th/5th February 2006

Early in 2006 Argentina fully paid off its £5.4 billion (
$9.6bn) debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), three years early. This important move by Argentina stems from a major financial crisis that occurred in December 2001. That crisis, in turn, stemmed from policies put in place during the early 1990s. In this section we will examine these three periods astrologically, to shed light on both the crisis and the recovery of Argentina's economy. Before we do that, we must first establish Argentina's birth chart.

Argentina's birth charts

There are two main charts that count as 'birth charts' for Argentina. These are for the May revolution of 1810, which continues to be celebrated as a national day, and for the formal moment of independence in 1816.

Because of Argentina's complex evolution as a nation, other charts for decisive moments in Argentina's history are also relevant. For example, there is a chart for the moment when the Argentine Republic came into formal existence in 1862. Examination of these various charts suggests that the May revolution chart remains primary for modern Argentina. This chart is shown below:

Argentina's birth chart - May revolution
May Revolution: Argentina's birth chart (no time recorded)

This next diagram shows the planets' positions on the day of formal independence from Spain.

Argentina's birth chart - formal independence
Formal independence: Argentina's birth chart (no time recorded)

There are some interesting connections between these two charts:

May Revolution chart Formal Independence chart
Chiron 22 Aquarius Saturn 23 Aquarius
Neptune 8 Sagittarius Uranus 8 Sagittarius
Pluto 17 Pisces Chiron 18 Pisces

Chiron represents an area of difficulty, something that we tend to feel doesn't work too well, or that hobbles us. Saturn is similar; where Saturn is, we tend to feel lacking and limited, we tend to struggle and find things difficult to get to grips with. Pluto also represents an area we struggle to deal with, and that challenges us. With all three planets, we tend to erect defence mechanisms to cope with our issues in these areas.

Neptune and Uranus are about myths and ideologies, the ideas and ideals upon which a nation is founded. What begins as an aspiration (Neptune) transmutes into a set of ideas (Uranus).

The second chart is therefore confirming that, in these specific areas, there is a type of inheritance between the first step in the creation of what is now Argentina, and the second step.

Now let's look at the transits to these charts at critical points in the financial life of the nation.

NB Because the time is not recorded for the birth charts it's not possible to calculate the house cusps. This means that the all-important 2nd and 8th houses, which are associated with financial issues, cannot be included in this analysis.

Pegging the peso to dollar

On 1st April 1991 Argentina began its 'Convertability Plan'. This plan pegged the peso the USA dollar, equating them in value. It meant that for every peso issued, Argentina had to have one dollar in reserve. Whilst this plan solved the problem of hyperinflation, by removing Argentina's capacity to cope with economic shocks from other countries, it helped to cause the financial meltdown a decade later. The so-called Tequila crisis of '94/'95 was followed by the Asian crisis of '97, and both strongly affected Argentina's economy. Brazil's crisis of '98/'99 was a third external shock to the Argentine financial system.

Astrologically, transiting Jupiter was directly opposite transiting Saturn when the Convertability Plan came into effect. This opposition made a challenging aspect to the May Revolution's Venus and Pluto, both symbolising the nation's economy.

Jupiter and Saturn are about expansion and contraction, respectively. Imposing limits (Saturn) on inflation (Jupiter) fits this configuration perfectly. But so does limiting the nation's freedom and capacity to grow. The opposition represents a striving for balance, with the danger of succumbing to extremes. The hope is for stable growth, but the result can instead be wild oscillation, boom and bust, escalating failure.

In terms of the Independence chart, Neptune was almost exactly opposite Argentina's Sun. This can symbolise false hope, and a dissolution process. During major Neptune transits, reality often turns out to have been seen with rose-tinted spectacles.

Crunch time: December 2001

On 21st December 2001 the government declared a state of emergency. The financial crisis that had been building throughout previous years came to a head. 
The peso had became overvalued, the national debt had mounted, unemployment had risen, and the country had gone into recession. That December the IMF suspended its loans to Argentina.

The country's economic crisis became a political and social one. The government imposed limits on how much people could withdraw from their bank accounts. Investors pulled out of the country. Violence broke out. People were killed. Governments were ousted and new ones put in their place.
One of the short-staying Presidents declared a default on the nation's debt. Another President, Eduardo Duhalde, ended the pegging of the peso to the dollar by devaluing the peso, and the long, hard recovery could begin.

Astrologically, the crisis is depicted in many ways. Transiting Neptune was making a challenging aspect to the May Revolution chart's Venus, showing the falling apart of the financial system. Transiting Uranus was trine the same Venus, showing shocks and the potential for instability. Transiting Pluto was in square to Pluto, indicating a major crisis point in the nation's finances and national psyche in general.

In the Independence chart, transiting Uranus was closely conjunct the country's Saturn, showing political turbulence and the breakdown of order. Transiting Pluto in trine to Argentina's Mars and quincunx to the nation's Sun reinforces the urgent nature of the crisis, the potential for violence, and the leadership changes.

Some lay the blame for the crisis at the door of the Argentine government. Others blame the policies imposed via the IMF.

Debt re-paid

In December 2005 the Argentine government announced that it would be paying off in full its debt to the IMF. On 5th January 2006 the IMF confirmed that this repayment had taken place.

In the May Revolution chart, transiting Jupiter-square-Saturn connected with the nation's Jupiter-Uranus opposition (independence, freedom), and transiting Uranus was square Mars (fighting spirit, standing on one's own two feet, bold moves). These aspects do sound a note of caution: was the move rash?

In the Independence chart, transiting Saturn was sesquiquadrate to Pluto almost exactly to the minute. This aspect symbolises containing or limiting indebtedness. Transiting Pluto was sextile natal Saturn, indicating a major re-structuring exercise.

Additionally, transiting Uranus was exactly square natal Uranus, and transiting Pluto was square natal Pluto, both reflecting a national equivalent of a human 'mid-life crisis'; radical moves such as this are thus to be expected and are arguably astrologically appropriate.

This three-years-early payback is calculated to be saving Argentina £5.67m ($1bn). Other national debts have yet to be repayed, but the IMF debt is at least gone. What price freedom?

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