Wednesday, January 16, 2008

SAMVA USA chart: Bank Holiday of 1933

The SAMVA USA chart has an incredible ability to explain major historical events in the USA. One such event took place from March 3-14, 1933 when banking activity ground to a halt during the so-called Bank Holiday.

The below description of the event is a bit long, but it is revealing of the nature of the events. What follows is an astrological analysis of the period and transit influences in the SAMVA USA chart at that time.

Prologue to the Bank Holiday of 1933
In March 1929, some bankers had begun to exercise caution in lending to speculators, and the rate for "call money" soared to 20 percent. The market took another tumble but then recovered after Charles E. Mitchell, chairman of the National City Bank in New York, announced that his bank would loan as much money as necessary to "avoid a general collapse of the securities markets." In September 1929, the economist and educator Roger Babson predicted that, "Sooner or later a crash is coming, and it may be terrific." His words caused the market to skid, but share prices quickly recovered. On October 24, 1929 ("Black Thursday") investors panicked after the stock ticker fell behind. The market went into a free-fall as brokers and speculators scrambled to unload their holdings for whatever price the shares would bring. On October 29, 1929 ("Black Tuesday") another wave of panic selling sealed the marketʼs fate.

Signs of weakness in the U.S. banking system had begun to appear long before the stock market crashed. A statement issued in 1930 by the Comptroller of the Currency, the primary regulator of national banks, noted "the failure of 5,600 banks in the past ten year period." (Bank failures had hit 775 in 1924 and 976 in 1926.) Banks in less prosperous rural areas were particularly vulnerable. But in the aftermath of the "Crash", the banksʼ weakness became more pronounced, prompting President Hoover to press for reforms. Congress, too, gave banking reform a high priority, as did the banking industry. Unfortunately, the parties were unable to agree on an appropriate course of action. A few proposals were mulled by Congress, but no substantive measures were passed during 1930 or 1931. By some estimates more than one-quarter of the US work force was unemployed at the end of 1932. The Great Depression didnʼt really loosen its grip on the U.S. economy until 1940. But the Bank Holiday of 1933 marked a turning point. Federal action strengthened the financial system, restored public confidence in banking, and helped to dispel the sense of hopelessness that had begun to pervade every aspect of daily life.

The Bank Holiday (crisis)
By March 3, 1933, the mounting toll of bank closures and failures had forced bankers and their regulators to recognize the need for decisive action. The directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York adopted a resolution requesting the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C., to urge President Hoover to proclaim a nationwide bank holiday. On March 4, all twelve Federal Reserve Banks kept their doors locked, and banks in 37 states were either completely closed or operating under state-imposed restrictions on withdrawals. All that remained was for the President to order a nationwide bank holiday, but neither President Hoover nor President-elect Roosevelt appeared eager to take that step. Rooseveltʼs advisers were willing to remain vague until after their boss moved into the White House. Expectations ran high on March 4, 1933, as Franklin D. Roosevelt prepared to succeed Herbert Hoover. Americans fervently hoped that a change in Washington would lead to a change in the countryʼs economic fortunes. More than 100,000 people crowded onto a forty acre site near the U.S. Capitol to hear the new President take the oath of office and deliver his inaugural address; millions of others huddled around their radios.

Rooseveltʼs words were calculated to buoy public confidence, and by most acconnts they succeeded in doing so. He began by declaring his "firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself-- nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." He blamed the economic collapse on "the rulers of the exchange of mankindʼs goods [who] have failed through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure and abdicated." For emphasis he added, "Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men ... The money changers have fled fiom their high seats in the temple of our civilization." Although the address was short on specifics, Roosevelt identified two immediate objectives: putting people to work and "strict supervision of all banking and credits and investments." immediately after the inaugural ceremonies, the new Administration and the new Congress began to grapple with the banking crisis. The Senate swiftly approved Rooseveltʼs cabinet choices, and later that afternoon the entire cabinet was sworn in during a single ceremony at the White House.

The following day, cabinet members joined with Treasury and Federal Reserve officials to lay, the groundwork for a national bank holiday, and at 1:00 a.m. on Monday, March 6, President Roosevelt issued a proclamation ordering the suspension of all banking transactions, effective immediately. To the Senate and House of Representatives: "On March 3, banking operations in the United States ceased. To review at this time the causes of this failure of our banking system is unnecessary. Suffice it to say that the government has been compelled to step in for the protection of depositors and the business of the nation. Our first task is to reopen all sound banks." The Emergency Banking Act was then speedily passed through both houses on March 9, 1933 and signed into law by President Roosevelt at 8:36 pm on that day. Only three days after the emergency banking legislation went into effect, President Roosevelt announced over national radio broadcast, on Sunday evening March 12, that the nationʼs banks would re-open during the coming week, starting on Monday morning March 13, with the banks in the the twelve Federal Reserve bank cities. By March 15, banks controlling 90 percent of the countryʼs banking resources had resumed operations, and deposits far exceeded witbdrawls.The immediate crisis bad begun to subside, but government officials, Congressional leaders, and most bankers recognized the need for a major overhaul of the U.S. banking system. Favorable reaction to the Emergency Banking Act had created momentum for comprehensive reform, audjust three months later, on June 16, 1933. President Roosevelt signed the Banking Act of 1933, more popularly known as the Glass-Steagall Act. After Glass-Steagall, the Roosevelt Administration completed its reform of the banking industry, with the Banking Act of 1935, which strengthened the monetary and regulatory system by granting the Federal Reserve greater independence from the White House, the Congress, and the banking industry.

The astrological dynamics
The Rahu major period and Venus sub-period were operating in the SAMVA USA chart at that time. Like today, banks had major problems associated with bank loan defaults. However, the disturbance created by the Rahu-Ketu period was the real cause of the Great Depression of the 1930s.

In SA mundane astrology, Jupiter and Sun are the general indicators of banking. Jupiter rules finance and the Sun vests the central banks with the authority of the state and gives legitimacy to the deposit banks. Moreover, in the 20° Cancer rising SAMVA USA chart, Jupiter as 6th lord of financial stability becomes the functional indicator of debt finance.

During the banking crisis Jupiter in transit at 26° Leo and 2nd house was exactly afflicted by natal 8th lord of obstacles and endings, Saturn at 26° Scorpio. In short, both obstacles and endings were characterising banking services at that time. Transit Saturn was also exactly afflicting natal Ketu and houses 7, 9, 1 and 4, highlighting the disruption to housing and collective harmony at that time. Many, who had lost their jobs (means of subsistence) homes and cars, had moved in with relatives in the countryside. The aspect of Saturn to Ketu also adds to the energy of sudden breakdown. The government also had its fair share of problems. Transit Ketu was conjunct Mars in Leo and the 2nd house, As Mars is 10th lord it rules the executive branch of government in the chart. These two planets were under the exact affliction of natal Rahu placed in the 10th house. This suggests a crisis for the executive branch of government. Last but not least, transit Rahu and the Sun, indicator of the leader of the country, were in the 8th house of obstacles, were they were afflicted by natal Ketu. This also adding to disruptive energy and added strain on the new President, who had to deal with a huge national crisis upon entering office. Interestingly, on March 6th an assassination attempt was made on his life, highlighting the difficulty of the transits. The sub-period lord, Venus, as 4th lord of collective harmony and real estate, was also transiting the 8th house adding further strain to its indications.

Interestingly, as soon as transit Jupiter moved out of the aspect of Saturn, the banks reopened their doors. This is considered a pivotal moment in the decade long crisis, in that the recovery of finance was a crucial step in getting the wheels of prodcuction and commerce moving again.

"Closed for the Holiday - The Bank Holiday of 1933" by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
Address of the President, March 12, 1933

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