Saturn is transiting in sidereal Libra currently, and Ketu (the Moon’s South Node) is transiting in sidereal Taurus, both signs belonging to Venus, which in mundane astrology symbolizes currency and its circulation, banks, stock exchange, commodity and cattle markets, revenue and securities, etc.
Saturn and Ketu have a tendency to inhibit, contract and block whatever they influence; in this case, Saturn influences Libra (the public marketplace), and Ketu influences Taurus (business, trade, and overall economic conditions).
The last time that Saturn was in Libra while Ketu was simultaneously in Taurus (as they are now and will be for most of 2012) was in the second half of 1955, when consumer prices fell (I believe that this was felt to be a short-term deflationary cycle). So it will be interesting to watch and see if a similar trend continues toward what some are calling the “Coming Great 2012 Deflation.” Historically, sustained deflationary cycles correspond with bear markets, recessions and economic depressions. During deflationary cycles, it is common for interest rates to rise and for people to hoard cash, so investments decline, etc. As I understand it, there is an ongoing debate over whether we are in deflation or inflation. A January 8, 2012 USA Today article addresses this topic and asks if deflation could be a real threat, which you can access through this link: http://www.usatoday.com/money/markets/story/2012-01-06/deflation-inflation-threat-to-stocks/52457310/1
It is possible that as transiting Venus moves into the nebulous and often destabilizing gandanta section between sidereal Pisces and Aries (~Feb. 27-March 3) and even further into the first week or so of March, that financial markets will be hammered. This is also indicated in the solar return chart for one of the various USA birth charts I use (USA Constitution Declared Effective 3/4/1789 at ~12:01 AM in NYC). I recently attended a 2012 Webinar with Western Sidereal astrologer Ken Bowser who pointed out this chart and explained that the fact of having Neptune in the March 7, 2012 solar return chart exactly conjunct the USA chart’s natal Mars in the lower meridian squaring the ascendant is a difficult combination for the economy. My friend Joni Patry reminded me that this conjunction also speaks to a full-blown international conflict (Mars) over oil (Neptune) that will affect us in our homeland (4th house of the USA chart). Here are the charts in wheel format (the inner wheel represents the USA birth chart and the outer wheel is the upcoming solar return):