Asteroid Goddess of agriculture and grains Ceres has just completed a retrograde period and turned direct in Sagittarius. From this point, she hitches up her skirt and starts on a steely-eyed mission to conjunct (and confront) Pluto Rx in early Capricorn October 19, during this fall's Venus in Scorpio retrograde.
The dirty Pluto in Capricorn dealings being pushed up into collective awareness related to Ceres' territory of grains, cereals and food production are enough to make her hair stand on end, let me tell you. And we've only just begun.
Ceres came within one degree of a conjunction to Pluto in Capricorn in April of this year. Getting that much of a whiff of what Pluto was uncovering in that sign was all the nefariousness she could stomach at the time, going retrograde for three months and re-entering Sagittarius to get some distance. Now at 20 degrees, Ceres turns direct and gathers all the Sagittarian faith and courage about her she can for the unpleasant trek and meeting with Pluto this October.
One of the things coming to light under this transit is how food has become part of the derivatives scheme, creating a massive speculation bubble based on wild gambling on agricultural commodities prices. In 2008, this speculation drove food prices up (wheat by 80 percent, maize by 90 percent, rice by 320 percent) driving 200 million more people into starvation.
Finance schmucks are gambling on the price of food rising which fuels rabid speculation. And as their money games and various manipulations cause food prices to rise unnaturally, people around the world starve, suffer horribly, watch their children and loved ones withering and dying - all to keep the scam going and the bucks rolling after the mortgage scheme crashed and burned.
This is the world we're living in.
A lot of things have been blamed for the rising cost of food - fuel costs, supply problems, overpopulation, cash crops, diverting food crops to create ethanol. These all contribute.
But a major factor, probably the major factor, not often mentioned is the derivatives scheme on food and resulting price jumps. It was really this that spiked prices to the point that 200 million more people could not afford to fill their stomachs. This was the basis for the 2008 food riots in 30 countries. Haiti, Mexico, Egypt, Bangladesh, Mozambique...
When Haitians were eating biscuits made from clay and lard to stop their gnawing hunger, they had these speculators, their clients and the people who allowed (and continue to allow) the deregulation of the financial system to thank.
The helplessness of being starved for the financial gain of other people. The cruelty of it. The injustice. It makes me go weak. I have a hard time wrapping my head around this level of corruption. I can never quite get myself to that level of deviousness, and I'm sure I'm not doing this subject justice. I was never a fan of economic theory.
From an article by Johann Hari "How Goldman Sachs gambled on starving the world's poor - and won":
"Here's how it happened. In 2006, financial speculators like Goldman's pulled out of the collapsing US real estate market, and they were looking for somewhere else to make their stash of cash swell. They started to buy massive amounts of derivatives based on food: they reckoned that food prices would stay steady or rise while the rest of the economy tanked. Suddenly, the world's frightened investors stampeded onto this ground and decided to buy, buy, buy.
So while the supply and demand of food stayed pretty much the same, the supply and demand for contracts based on food massively rose - which meant the all-rolled-into-one price for food on people's plates massively rose. The starvation began.
The food price was now being set by speculation, rather than by real food. The hedge fund manager Michael Masters estimated that even on the regulated exchanges in the US - which take up a small part of the business - 64 percent of all wheat contracts were held by speculators with no interest whatever in real wheat. They owned it solely to inflate the price and sell it on."
The idea originally behind the futures market for crops was a hedging of investment for farmers and others directly involved in agricultural production. A farmer could agree to sell his crop in a future month at a certain price, thus locking in a price. If the farmer had a great year and the price was very high, he might lose some money. But if he had a poor year, the contract ensured that he would still earn a certain price, hedging his investment.
Because of an absolutely criminal level of deregulation, people who have no stake in agriculture at all - Wall Street suits who have never gotten a speck of dirt under their manicured fingers - can now buy these contracts, then upselling them to someone else who then upsells them to someone else, etc.
Once the mortgage scam collapsed, the ticks had to go looking for a new dog. They found one with our food supply. These speculators bet on the price of food rising, and the higher the price of staple goods like wheat, rice, corn, soybeans the bigger the profits for the speculators and their clients.
Floods, droughts and hailed-out crops create further shortages in supply, and although there seems to be only the slightest connection between the real, physical supply of food and the pricing schemes (apparently, only about two percent of commodities futures now end with a real exchange of goods), this also causes prices to rise.
If you are a person who believes weather is being manipulated, it is not much of a stretch to see a connection between so-called natural disasters and the manipulation of food supply and pricing, ensuring the speculation pays off - at least for now.
Pakistan's breadbasket has now been flooded. Sixteen hundred people are confirmed dead, and 650,000 homes have been destroyed. Four million people now face homelessness.
On a smaller scale, Saskatchewan and Alberta (Canada's breadbasket) have been flooded and hailed this summer causing massive crop failures.
By artificially inflating food prices through speculation and manipulations of supply, the price for the crop no longer has any relation to what it is worth in a real-world marketplace - or to what people can pay. There is no consideration of the fact that these are staples that people need to live.
And it sounds as if the food derivatives game has been pushed to its limits at this point.
Paul B. Farrell at MarketWatch is warning that this bubble is going to burst in the very near future:
"Commodity ETFs are rapidly becoming a malicious virus breeding chaos in the global markets pricing all commodities: food, farm lands, metals, oil, natural gas, livestock, water and other natural resources are the assets under commodity derivatives and their ETFs, pricing that's now controlled more by Wall Street speculators than the weather, adding wild swings in volatility and trillions in global derivative risks."
As is generally the case these days, there is a "get your's while the getting's good" ethic. This is a parasitic system that has been designed to collapse after the speculators have made their money and drained their host. The fact that they are playing with people's lives never enters the equation.
We're seeing the same speculation bubbles being overinflated to their ultimate conclusions that we saw sustained for so long during Pluto in Sagittarius.
This speculation in food (Ceres) will more than likely build during Ceres' transit of the last ten degrees of Sagittarius, but once it re-enters Capricorn and conjuncts Pluto in October, things will be stripped to the bare reality on this front.
I'm thinking about the Ethiopian woman in the Johann Hari article who said her children stopped growing and she felt that someone had poured battery acid in her stomach as she starved.
"We can't go through that another time. Please - do anything you can to make sure they never, never do that to us again."