Media Medium
20 October 2000

REUTERS

Pluto dogs Reuters

With its internet floats in doubt and a sticky industrial tribunal coming up,
Reuters could do without the potentially negative influence of Pluto.

Ever since the evolution from Baron von Reuter's carrier pigeons to telegraphy, Reuters (registered February 20 1865) has pioneered information technology, well shown at its birth in a brilliant combination involving Mercury, planet of trade and communication, and hi-tech Uranus. In this game marking time is not an option, and the race is on to create the IT landscape for next generation of cyber-capitalism.

Reuters is in poll position, but there are clouds on the horizon. The float of its successful Internet start-up investment arm, Greenhouse, has been shelved because of the weakness in e- stocks. Its other projected float, the Instinet trading platform, is also in doubt.

These wobbles appear to be a symptom of the subterranean action of the underworld planet, Pluto. The current Jupiter-Pluto opposition has been making a series of hits across the finance axis of the Reuters chart. November 13 is a key date, and it would be no surprise if this precipitated the Instinet float.

Pluto has dragged something unpleasant into the light, and although it seems small enough now it points to problems next spring. Reuters faces an industrial tribunal claim by a former senior employee, Kim Usher, accusing it of constructive dismissal, sexual discrimination, and bullying. CEO Peter Job is alleged to have talked of women in management as "adding a bit of spice to the pie". The day set for the tribunal, May 1, has the sun exactly on the organisation's Pluto, suggesting unwelcome light on shady places. It looks likely that editor-in-chief Mark Wood will give evidence against his boss, and quite apart from the facts of the case, this manifestation of internecine strife is the worst possible image to project. Amongst several tough indications, Peter Job (July 13 1941) is in the middle of his second Saturn return, and this planet can be a grim reaper of high ambitions. He would be advised to seek a rapid closure to this saga, or he may soon be closing a chapter with Reuters.

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