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Home -> Business -> ERM Crisis of 1992

Exchange Rate Mechanism Crisis of 1992

Between Stages 1 and 2 of the Economic and Monetary Union project (EMU) there was a period of time in which the EMU plan was nearly
killed off.

In 1992 the European member states’ currencies began to be attacked by currency speculators exploiting the weaknesses in the ERM system, leading to massive devaluation (i.e. financial destruction), frantic attempts to prop up the currencies, and the near-death of the plans for EMU. If this all sounds Plutonic, that is because it is. Transiting Pluto had crossed the European Monetary System’s [view chart] Ascendant in 1991, and from July to November 1992 was exactly conjunct the EMS’s Uranus, still very close to the EMS’s Ascendant, and trine its Sun in the 4th house and semi-sextile its Neptune in the 2nd house. Simultaneously, transiting Uranus was semi-square the EMS’s Ascendant and transiting Jupiter was crossing through the 10th house over the Moon-Saturn-MC conjunction in opposition to Mars (the configuration that symbolised the narrow banding of the ERM - the constraints on responding individually, to meet one’s needs, and to defend from attack). The speculative attacks increased but the banding restrictions were not altered (an astrologer would have seen Jupiter as both the apparent cause of the problem - speculation - as well as the solution - widen the banding), despite various governments appealing to those in charge of the German financial system to get things moving. Hence many of the currencies drastically devalued, and large reserves of money were spent by the UK in trying to support the pound. As a consequence both the UK and then Italy suspended their membership of the ERM, however most of the currencies of the member states were badly affected and several countries almost left the ERM.

In the case of the UK, this suspension occurred on 16th September 1992, with transiting Jupiter opposing the EMS’s Sun and not far from sesquiquadrating its Venus, transiting Saturn just starting to quincunx the EMS’s Moon, and transiting Pluto trining the EMS’s Sun, peaking in its conjunction with Uranus (the key factor in the turbulence), and just
moving out of its semi-sextile with Neptune. The decision of the UK to suspend its membership was announced at 7:40pm by Norman Lamont in London, UK [view chart]. On this day at this time the Moon was at 17 Taurus, echoing the EU’s sensitive degree area (middle of the Fixed signs, i.e. Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius) and in opposition to the degree of Pluto at the time when the UK joined the ERM in 1990. Chiron was around 18 Leo doing likewise, Pluto was, as already mentioned, doing the same, and Saturn was at 13 Aquarius, completing the 'grand cross'. Most intriguingly, the transiting Ascendant was at 14 Aries, exactly conjunct the UK’s North node which is the point of associations, but also symbolising the evolutionary path of development. This nodal axis is on the UK’s Sun/Moon midpoint, so it goes right to the heart and soul of the nation.

The transiting MC axis was almost reverse the UK’s MC axis and conjunct both Sun and Chiron, on the Sun-Chiron midpoint. The speculative attacks on European currencies peaked again a year later, around July 1993, when transiting Pluto again trined the EMS’s Sun and the transiting Uranus-Neptune conjunction squared its Pluto. This time the bands were widened, allowing the member states to fluctuate to defend themselves against the attacks (in astrological terminology, the Moon was no longer held so narrowly by Saturn, allowing a defence against Mars). As a result, within a short space of time the attacks stopped and stability returned. It is interesting that this timing was directly prior to the creation of the EU; we can speculate then, that the EU continues these currency issues.

Looking briefly at the UK’s transits for when it joined the ERM (Italy was a founding member of the EMS and therefore joined the ERM at its inception), transiting Neptune was moving away from a conjunction with the UK’s Sun and IC (a shaky foundation if ever there was one) and was trine Mars in the 8th house (dissolving financial independence from other currencies), Uranus was on the midpoint of Sun/Chiron (where the transiting MC was when Normal Lamont broke away from the ERM), Saturn was approaching an exact opposition to the Moon (imposing limits on the nation’s capacity to respond, but also trying to create stability) and a sextile to Neptune in the 2nd house (curbing inflation), Pluto was just a month away from one degree orb of a conjunction with Neptune in the 2nd house but was already square Venus in the 5th house (transforming the
economy in the hope of purging inflation and instability; also issues around gambling) and semi-square Uranus (an indicator of radical change in general, and becoming a community-player in particular), and Jupiter was moving from the 10th house into the 11th of community associations, semi-sextiling the MC (government having to make adjustments to make it work) and quincunx the Sun (again, a symbol of the leadership friction in having to adjust to an alteration in decision-making authority). 

Italy rejoined the ERM, however the UK never did, and it remains a legally and politically debateable point as to whether the UK would have to join ERM2 (the successor to the original ERM) prior to adopting the Euro.

Available on the internet there is an academic document that poses the questions, could the 1992 ERM crisis have been predicted, and could the UK’s exit from the ERM have been predicted as well. The document is 23 pages long, and includes complex-looking mathematical equations to demonstrate that they were indeed predictable; an interesting comparison is the single-page printout of transits to the ERM (EMS) chart. Using even basic astrology, the ERM crisis could certainly have been predicted. The UK’s exit from the ERM could possibly have been predicted, however it is unlikely that any astrologer would have the time to regularly scan all of the charts for the member states in order to  ascertain which nations would exit and which would remain. Several nations contemplated leaving the ERM and would therefore presumably have chart indicators suggesting financial crisis, and therein lies the difficulty: astrology does not decisively show the outcome of a crisis, merely the likely timing and the probable nature of it.

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