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Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Cardinal T-Square Crisis: Wall Street, England, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Spain, America & The Euro


The Cardinal T-Square Crisis
~ Part Six ~
The Euro, Wall Street, Goldman Sachs & Greece Blackout, Ireland, Iceland, Spain & England's New Coalition?

By Theodore White; judicial Astrolog.S

 
Deputy British Prime Minister Nick Clegg (L) and new British Prime Minister David Cameron hold their first press conference in the rose garden of 10 Downing Street May 12, 2010

 Latest Mundane Forecast
  
~ Cesar Says ~


"The chief of London through America's reign, 
the Isle of Scotland will thaw out by frost:
Roy Reb will face an Antichrist so false,
That he will place them in the conflict altogether."


May 12, 2010: Given the unpleasant chill in the air yesterday you would be forgiven for thinking it was February rather than May. The wintry conditions saw frost on the ground in the coldest May morning for 17 years.
Temperatures dipped to -6c (21f) in the Scottish Highlands – the lowest figures for this month recorded in the UK since 1993, according to the Daily Mail.

 "Le chef de Londres par regne l'Americh,
L'isle d'Escosse t'empiera par gelée:
Roy Rebauront vn si faux Antechrist,
Que les mettra trestous dans la meslée."
~ Michel Nostradamus ~
~ Century X/Quatrain 66 ~ 

May 14, 2010: new British Prime Minister David Cameron is joined by new Scottish Secretary Danny Alexander on the steps of St Andrew's House in Edinburgh, Scotland, with First Minister Alex Salmond and Finance Minister John Swinney 

Main Photo/See link here: Irish citizens march outside Gates of Leinster House in Dublin, Ireland May 11, 2010

 Interesting times. The early days of May 2010 have brought about a collection of world events in the lead up to the Cardinal inclination transits just a month away.

Global transits continue to show we are entering a new, and historic age in my mundane perspective.

At the start of this astrological year 2010, the world continues to experience the confusion surrounding the truths behind the machinations of the global debt crisis featuring sovereign nations, and the wreckage of economies of nations and states by corrupt acts of debt servicing and hedge fund "bets."

From May 6-14, the world has seen the Greek population revolt; the U.S. stock markets experience a 1,000-drop, then near instant rebound; and a surprising British coalition government.

In the same week, the Euro fell against the dollar, gold rose, there are federal investigations into silver futures manipulation; along with probes into mortgage-backed derivatives, investment banks, and hedge funds, as European leaders scramble to the rescue of their threatened monetary union by wolf speculators wearing business suits.

Quite a week.

Greek Blackout? 


Since May 7th, there has been a brief "blackout" of news from Greece. Obviously, as world markets were shaken hard last week, causing a near meltdown in the Eurozone and wild high-frequency trading in the U.S., it appears the powers have decided to call off the Greek Revolution.

At least this week.

The problem is someone forgot to tell the Greek people that.

 With the current global transits, this week, through all of May and into the summer months, I am hoping for peace in Greece. However, reading the world transits, I know better. There's a lot going on right now in Greece, and elsewhere, and I expect numerous reports leading up to fears that Greece is at a revolutionary stage, which I think it nearly became last week.

It is known by economists that Greece's economic recovery will be much rockier and more painful than anyone anticipated. The expected decline in growth rates with steep rises in unemployment forced by severe austerity could easily choke the country.

Again, Greece is already close to revolution if anyone hasn't noticed yet.

This assessment comes just before the first installment of "bailout money" to Greece. The IMF helped draw up the bailout agreement - under a Mercury retrograde - where three years of emergency loans of up to €110 billion Euros will be disbursed to Greece until the year 2013.

Nearly everyone knows that there is no way the Greek people will be able to turn their economy around as quickly as the so-called "reformists" or rather, as Max Keiser calls them, the "financial terrorists," says Greece can.

There are a couple of things that could easily go wrong with the 3-year austerity plan. For one, the entire Greek nation could go bankrupt again if any of the reforms to magically rocket their economy into great heights doesn't happen right now. Is that what it looks like now?

Greece is a nation of the sun. Like all nations of the Mediterranean they are a laid-back people. To impose on them, say, the northerner work ethic of downtown London, a New York, or even Chicago for that matter, isn't right.

The Greek people are hard workers, and go at their own pace. You cannot force on a people those things that are not inherent in their culture. I don't care how much money you have. Or think you have.

Greece gave the West what we call "western civilization." I say, call off their debt, and get the money back from those Hedge-fund CDO and HFT creeps at Morgan Chase & Goldman, etc., etc.

The success of the Greek agreement "hinges on deep and comprehensive structural reforms," said a report drafted by an International Monetary Fund delegation that visited Athens on a two-week fact-finding mission before the austerity/bailout deal was reached.

"Without such reforms, Greece would not restore competitiveness or growth, and real incomes will remain stagnant and unemployment high and the debt burden would eventually prove unsustainable," the report concluded.

This report is a doosy. I'm still trying to understand just how they came to their findings...

While praising Prime Minister George Papandreou's six-month-old government for its bold fiscal policies, this "assessment" did question his administration's ability to enforce what it called "draconian" austerity measures in return for the loans.

There was, the assessment said, "an undeniably high" danger the austerity program could become unstuck if the ruling socialists gave in to widespread public hostility over the €30bn spending cuts and tax hikes.

Despite this, Greek unions have vowed to step up action against the government's latest reform – the overhaul of the pension system that is key to the IMF agreement – with street protests with an all-out general strike set for Thursday, May 20th.

And we already know how the Greek people feel about all this, lest we forget?

 

 "The IMF will not stop thirsting for workers' blood," said Yannis Panagopoulos, who heads the country's biggest union, GSEE.

Called the European Union's "weakest link," Greece is currently facing a public deficit of 13.6% – the highest in the EU – with debts of €300bn. Experts say Greece's fiscal indicators are likely to get worse before they get better.

As a result of the cost-cutting measures foreseen in the rescue package, the IMF predicted that recession would deepen, with Athens' debt-to-GDP ratio reaching 176% in the "worst-case scenario."

Under these world transits, and this is the worst time for this to happen, then this cycle will mean that more money will have to be poured into Greece's banking sector to prevent a collapse, which means that Greece's public debt goes higher. It increases the damage.

Greek unions have called a new general strike next week (May 16-22) to protest planned austerity measures agreed between George Papendreou's government, the International Monetary Fund, and European Union last week. All under a Mercury retrograde.

The two Greek main public & private sector groups confirmed in a joint statement that the walkout was set for May 20. This is a day after Greece must repay about €9 billion Euros in expiring debt ~ using international rescue loans, of course.

The strike is expected to shut down all flights, ferries and rail services. It will also close down schools, hospitals, and public services.

Greek unions say low earning workers will suffer greatly from the proposed increase in retirement ages and pension cuts.

The austerity measures (called "reforms" in the mainstream media) also include large cuts in public service pay and tax increases expected to save €30 billion Euros over the next three years.


Greece may be temporarily "out of sight, out of mind," with some in mainstream media, but I guarantee you it will not be so for long.

World transits are very strong this year, and what was seen last week in Greece, will occur again, and not only there, but we are seeing populations in other nations showing upset as well.

For instance, Ireland.

On May 11th, Irish citizens protesting on a rainy Dublin day marched to the gates of their own parliament, and were met by surprised city police. In the tense standoff, jostling, pushing and shoving took place.


The large crowd of young, middle-aged people, parents, and senior citizens protested outside Leinster House and attempted to gain access to the building.

Reports say at least five protesters received minor head injuries as a result of clashes, according to organizers. One officer also sustained an injury to his face.

Mary Smith said she received a blow to the head when she and others attempted to gain access to the front concourse of Leinster House through the gate. “We tried to get into the Dáil to make our point as forcefully as we could,” she said.

“We all arrived at the gate at the same time. The police locked arms. There was a push. People behind me, I was kind of jammed [in] there. The policeman in front of me looked me in the eye and reached over and deliberately hit me as hard as he could." She said she sustained a cut to the top of her head which was quite bloody.

A contingency security plan was put in place as soon as an attempt was made by a section of the crowd to storm the front gates. The gates were shut closed as was the front door to the Leinster House.

Richard Boyd Barrett of People Before Profit Alliance said he wanted the march to be the first step in a campaign against Government policies which he said had caused the economic crisis.

Barrett said it was unjust to put billions into bailing out the people and institutions which caused the crisis while imposing cuts on those who had no responsibility.

He described Government policy as as “the economics of the madhouse.”

Another demonstration is scheduled to take place next May 17-18. A Dublin police spokesman declined to say if security at Leinster House would be increased in advance. "Garda Síochána [Irish police] constantly monitor security arrangements at sites such as Leinster House. "It would be inappropriate for us to comment any further for operational reasons," he said.

Ireland is one of the EU nations under pressure to provide bailouts when the country itself is flirting with 22-percent (or more, depending who you talk to) unemployment and no credit. Irish banks are up to their necks in red ink from bad mortgage deals and CDOs.


"We've been getting ripped off blind," said one Irish mother. "Everyone is downright pissed off, and we're not taking it anymore. The Greeks have the right idea and that's why we're out here. It's going to be a hot summer," she quipped in a thick Dublin accent.

Ireland's residential & commercial real estate markets are in the toilet, and people say they are very angry at being asked to "pay out of the nose" for things they did not do. They blame corrupt bankers.

And so does Iceland.

 
Icelanders rejected an IMF bailout and choose to hunt down the bankers that bankrupted their country

Here is a country that rejected a forced bailout by referendum, that is, a straight vote, yes, or no, and rejected it just last winter. Now, today, Icelanders are hunting down the bankers who they say robbed their entire nation.

Bankers jailed, sued as Iceland seeks Culprits for Crisis
By Haukur Holm (AFP) – May 12, 2010
REYKJAVIK — "More than a year and a half after Iceland's major banks failed, all but sinking the country's economy, police have begun rounding up a number of top bankers while other former executives and owners face a two-billion-dollar lawsuit.

Since Iceland's three largest banks -- Kaupthing, Landsbanki and Glitnir -- collapsed in late 2008, their former executives and owners have largely been living untroubled lives abroad.

But the publication last month of a parliamentary inquiry into the island nation's profound financial and economic crisis signaled a turning of the tide, laying much of the blame for the downfall on the former bank heads who had taken "inappropriate loans from the banks" they worked for.

On Wednesday, the administrators of Glitnir's liquidation announced they had filed a two-billion-dollar (1.6-billion-euro) lawsuit in a New York court against former large shareholders and executives for alleged fraud.

"I think this lawsuit is without precedence in Iceland," Steinunn Gudbjartsdottir, who chairs Glitnir's so-called winding-up board, told reporters in Reykjavik.

"It is about higher figures than we have ever seen," she said, adding that she expected Glitnir to file more lawsuits going forward, but that "it is unlikely any will be this big."

Glitnir said it was suing "Jon Asgeir Johannesson, formerly its principal shareholder, Larus Welding, previously Glitnir's chief executive, Thorstein Jonsson, its former chairman and other former directors, shareholders and third parties associates with Johannesson for fraudulently and unlawfully draining more than two billion dollars out of the bank."

The bank also said it was "taking action against its former auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for facilitating and helping to conceal the fraudulent transactions engineered by Johannesson and his associates, which ultimately led to the bank's collapse in October 2008."

Glitnir's suit, filed in the New York state Supreme Court on May 11, blamed most of the bank's woes on "Johannesson and his co-conspirators," who had "conspired to systematically loot Glitnir Bank in order to prop up their own failing companies."

Johannesson, the former owner of the now-defunct Baugur investment group with stakes in a number of British high street stores including Hamleys, Debenhams and House of Fraser, said he was shocked by the lawsuit.

"The distortions and the nonsense in the lawsuit are incredible," he told the Pressan news website.

Glitnir's administrators "can get a 10-year-prison sentence for misusing US courts in this manner," he insisted.

The bank's chief administrator Gudbjartsdottir took his comments in stride.

"I didn't expect him to be happy with the lawsuit," she said.

In addition to its New York suit, Glitnir said it had "secured a freezing order from the High Court in London against Jon Asgeir Johannesson's worldwide assets, including two apartments in Manhattan's exclusive Gramercy Park neighbourhood for which he paid approximately 25 million dollars."

Gudbjartsdottir said Johannesson had just 48 hours to come up with a satisfactory list of his assets. "If he does not give the right information he faces a jail sentence," she said.

Four former Kaupthing executives, who all live in Luxembourg, have been arrested in Iceland in the past week and Interpol has issued an international arrest warrant for that bank's ex-chairman, Sigurdur Einarsson.

Former head of the bank's domestic operations, Ingolfur Helgason, and former chief risk officer Steingrimur Karason were arrested late on May 10th on arrival from Luxembourg, just days after former Kaupthing boss Hreidar Mar Sigurdsson, along with Magnus Gudmunsson, who headed the bank's unit in Luxembourg, were taken into custody.

The 49-year-old Einarsson, pictured to the left, lives in London and said May 11th he had no plans to travel to Iceland to be arrested. "I'm absolutely flabbergasted about the latest news," he told the Frettabladid daily.

"There is in my opinion no need for the arrests or custody rulings, and I will not of my own free will take part in the play that it appears is being staged to soothe the Icelandic people," he said.

 

'"I'll put the human rights I enjoy here in Britain to the test and will not therefore come home (to Iceland) to these conditions without being forced,' Einarsson added."

The United States

In the United States, protests have been building at JP Morgan Chase in New York and at New York's City Hall with growing crowds shouting "enough is enough!"


I continue to forecast that this is just the beginning, and that those who caused the global economic crisis have got nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide. People notice double-digit unemployment, rigged markets, and they notice when tens of billions of dollars go missing too.

Why don't you guys ever listen to professional astrologers?

When you start pissing off nine-year old boys who say you are doing the opposite of what Robin Hood did ~ then you know its time to get out of Dodge.

 Children and adults protest at JP Morgan Chase in Manhattan, NY

The problem with Dodge is that it's the entire planet. That's why I say there's no where to run or hide. There are grandmothers out there packing ideas these days pals. I'd say they are ticked off.

Wouldn't you?

The global transits leading to summer's Cardinal inclinations is just the start of a strong cycle of several years that I have been forecasting for some time.

I continue to say that it is essential to listen to the populace, and not to discount their voices or worse is yet to come.

A new 54-minute documentary on the economic crisis called "Meltup" can be seen here.

Does anyone remember the end of Frankenstein?

"Frankenstein," in our sense of the word (term, etc., etc.) are those hedge fund maestros and investment bank types who packaged God knows how many zillions of corrupted CDOs and sold them on the open market with AAA ratings (thanks Moodys; keep up the great work...) ~ knowing they would fail?

Then made sure it was all insured by AIG, and then they bet against all of it?

How's that for screwing all your customers.

Plus, the entire country. Why not two countries? No, how about three? Why, let's go for whole continents while we're at it.

Wow, thanks a lot. You're a good monster Frankenstein. Here's a gold & silver cookie. Screw me again why don't you?

People said "enough is enough" and stopped fearing the monster. Frankenstein feared them. That summed up the whole movie for me right there.

Those torches at the end, the crowds, and Franky running scared out of his wits, grumbling to himself, "hgggh, hgggh," being chased uphill, by, well, everybody. They all had torches in their hands, and they wanted a piece of Frankenstein.

I ran into a friend. "Hey, how's Humpty Dumpty?"

"Humpty Dumpty? Man, that's whack. They'll never put him back together again. That's old news. You want something fresh homey?

Go around the corner. Don't you hear all those people? They ripping Frankenstein a new one! Check that out. Later dude. I'm back to Athens! Word."

Think about it. That's about how Frankenstein ended.

And that's basically just about where we're at now.

If we use the world transits to awaken to the truth of things, and deal with them practically and straight-up rather than believing the fantasy, then some good can be done as we enter a new era in the world.

We all can make the future for the better and change it with our thoughts, and good actions. Just think daily that all the bad guys' acts & secrets will just keep flooding out until everything is made right again. And the kids can play safe again. See if it works.

I'm hoping things will get better, but, we've got to do our parts like good little tough Americans and tough humanity. I always learned to trust our instincts, and it ticks me off when people like to take advantage of our good natures and better sides.

Other than that, just watch who you associate with your hedge-fund tyrants and carpetbaggers. The planetary inclinations just ahead, via the Cardinal T-Square and other combined transits, will prove in the end, that the best policy is always honesty. That is best. I learned that in childhood.

What kind of era that will be depends on humanity. But a lot of these guys are pissing off tens of millions of people. So, I ask: Do you want Bruce Banner?

Or, do you want the Hulk?

Which one do you want?

There's a lot of anger out there, and with the cardinal t-square transits I strongly suggest people calm down, and pace themselves. Speaking out is as American as it gets, and a Philadelphian is no stranger to freedom of expression as a God-given American right.

Even my own neighborhood is pissed off about Wall Street & Hedge Fund Speculator cycle banking "Gangs" breaking our balls... i.e., our jobs, homes, schools, banks, state and local pensions, college accounts, and even down to summer jobs for teenagers. Parents can't take their kids to the doctors, and are living hand to mouth. Middle-class families too. You guys are going to piss on these people? Are you out of your mind? I think you are...

So, as the Cardinal transits near, take it easy, pace yourself, don't rush, nor act to haste, impulse, and snap judgments, but gradually allow of hidden things about the economic crisis to emerge, and to come together, and then take it from there.

My view, as always, is as a mundane astrologer. Times are changing.

And, there sure are a lot of pissed off kids and adults of all ages out there.

You know, I think Disneyland ain't on their minds this year. What do you think?

Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan & Wall Street's High-Frequency Traders. If Money Talks, You Should Hear What Americans Are Saying These Days...

American crowds gather and protest outside of JP Morgan Chase headquarters in New York

I'm betting yes. I've been aware of these approaching world transits for some years, and events are coming out as expected. I would have preferred much less of the drama, and of the corruption and massive levels of greed. But what do I know? I'm just an astrologer.

Oh boy, here's another big one. So we've got intrigue on Wall Street. Lots of it. The web has been flooded with all manner of angry accusations, excellent economic charts, along with various spectrum of predictions of gloom and doom.

Now, while things are bad enough, I continue to say that until the bad guys are taken out of the equation ~ the markets, then the patient, the average American, and the people of the world, will continue to suffer, and, as a result, will want to make the people who make them suffer ~ suffer.

It's the American way. the Greeks certainly know what's up. Look at the Irish, Icelanders, and the Spaniards are not going to take kindly either, much less people in New York, who are really getting upset now ~ right down to nine-year old boys.

After the mysterious 1,000-point Dow Jones drop on May 6th, 2010, markets were none the wiser about what really occurred that day.

I keep reminding that there are very good people in American government who are looking into it. More on that below...

We cannot lump the "government" as one entity per se; especially in the United States. The people are the government, and they get paid to perform their duties.

In this case, thank the stars, we are seeing some positive motion as there are now numerous reports of major federal investigations into the behind-the-scenes maneuvering of giants Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan Chase, among other, continues.

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Goldman Sachs with fraud over its packaging of mortgage securities. Goldman is facing a separate criminal investigation into the same securities. Goldman has denied the charges and plans to defend itself.

Earlier this week it was also reported U.S. federal prosecutors are investigating whether Morgan Stanley misled investors about its role in a pair of $200 million derivatives whose performance was tied to mortgage-backed securities.

Did you say $200 million?

Yes. That's right.

And, U.S. prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission are cooperating in a preliminary criminal probe into whether banks misled investors about their participation in mortgage-bond deals, the Wall Street Journal said, citing a person familiar with the matter.

This was May 6th, 2010 at NYSE. The 1,000-point drop in less than 30 minutes. Poor guy looks like he's crying.

JP Morgan Chase & Co., Deutsche Bank AG, UBS AG and Citigroup Inc. have received civil subpoenas from the SEC on May 13.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley are already being investigated under similar preliminary criminal scrutiny, the Journal said.

It is known that New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has been investigating Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, UBS AG, Citigroup Inc., Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Credit Agricole and Merrill Lynch, now part of Bank of America Corp.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Schapiro said the agency’s enforcement unit has issued subpoenas in an investigation of last week’s stock plunge.

Chair of the Securities & Exchange Commission, Mary Schapiro, testifies at a hearing on the mysterious May 6th, 2010 stock plunge of 1,000 points.
Credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

The division is “fully integrated in our review of the events of May 6th and will recommend appropriate action,” if violations are found, Schapiro told a House Financial Services subcommittee May 12. “A number of subpoenas” have already been sent, she said.

At issue, among other things, again, is what is called High Frequency Trading (HFT) or "black box trading." These are automated program trading that uses high-speed computers governed based on complex algorithms that analyze data and transact orders in huge  quantities at very high speeds.

HFT allows a program trader to peek into major incoming orders and then jump in front of them with the express purpose to skim profits off the top. Large institutional orders, like those of pension funds, mutual funds, and supplementary accounts like 401Ks are most prone.

Karl Denninger, and the folks at Zerohedge made sense of all this HFT. But, when I figured it out, these algorithms they used to trade high-frequency.

They speak their own language, so, when the "boys" took out all the "buys" out of the code did it sound something like this ~ music to their ears ~ as the Dow was plummeting 1,000 points on May 6th? Did we have to learn a new HF trading alphabet in 30 seconds or lose all our shirts? Sure seems that way...

Here's what economics expert Max Keiser says happened ~

"May 6th was an unequivocal act of domestic financial terrorism in America. A day that will live in infamy. To scare the law makers; themselves large owners of the very banks and stocks they are supposed to be regulating, a financial weapon of mass destruction was put to their head and they acquiesced.

As the [personal] inventor of the continuous double-action, market-making technology (VST tech. US pat. no. 5950176) that is referenced 132 times by program trading and HFT patents since 1996, I can tell you that Goldman, JP Morgan and the "gang" simply pulled the "buys" from their computer trading programs and manufactured a crash.

And when the coast was clear, and it was clear the politicians were not going to vote for anything that would break up the "too big to fail" banks; all the "sells" were pulled from the computers and the market roared back.

This is a Manchurian Candidate market where program trading bots start the ball rolling in whatever direction Wall Street wants the market to go ~ and then hundreds of thousands of day traders watching Cramer on CNBC jump on the momentum bandwagon and commit the crime for the Wall St. financial terrorists, who then say, 'It wasn't us, it was 'the market!'"

Keiser maintains computerized front running with HFT has become the principal business of Wall Street and the primary force driving most of the volume on exchanges. He says this contributes not just to the great majority of trading profits, but to the manipulation of markets for wholly selfish economic and political ends.

Meanwhile, New York Attorney General Andrew Ciomo has launched a series of probes and investigations into eight banks so far to determine whether they misled ratings agencies about mortgage securities, according to a confidential source.

Cuomo says his people are trying to figure out if banks provided agencies with false information to get better ratings on the risky securities, according to the source who spoke only on condition of anonymity.

The investigation has not yet been made public, however world transits show that they are surely going on, and have been ongoing for some time. You couldn't make this stuff up. When I was a kid they would say that "truth is stranger than fiction."

No doubt.

The recent 1,000-point NYSE "blip" on May 6th has angered tens of thousands of traders and millions of investors. People want to know just what is really going on in the markets, and many want heads.

During the boom years of residential and commercial loans, Wall Street's investment banks packaged pools of risky subprime mortgages together. The securities were given top-notch ratings and investors bought them, in part, because of their high rating.

These ratings are approved by Standard & Poor's; Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings ~ market guides for investors to judge how risky investments might be.

According to Zerohedge.com what is called High-Frequency Trading is dominated by Goldman Sachs, who Zerohedge calls "a hedge fund in all but FDIC backing."

An investment bank until the Bank Crisis of 2007-08, Goldman Sachs became a bank holding company, or a commercial bank in a blink of an eye and was then immediately able to capitalize on federal bailout benefits in autumn 2008.

This included what amounted to interest free money from the Federal Reserve which some experts say Goldman Sachs has used to then speculate on "opaque ATS" exchanges where stock markets are then controlled and manipulated.

ATS trades 24 hours a day, not like the New York Stock Exchange open from 10 am to 4 pm five days a week. So, when ATS is able to trade around the clock - they tend to be very busy when the NYSE is closed which happens to also be the very best time to manipulate when stocks are thinly traded.

I've been watching these guys at work for years. It's amazing that they let it go on for as long as it has. But then again, they were not watching their own transits. So, all of this was bound to bring down the whole house of cards on the likes of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, UBS AG, Citigroup Inc., Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Credit Agricole and Merrill Lynch.

Unbelievable. And, this is just the beginning, according to mundane transits.

""[A]s the market keeps going up day in and day out, regardless of the deteriorating economic conditions," Zerohedge says, "It is just these HFT's that determine the overall market direction, usually without fundamental or technical reason.

"And based on a few lines of code, retail investors get suckered into a rising market that has nothing to do with green shoots or some Chinese firms buying a few hundred extra Intel servers.

HFTs are merely perpetuating the same ponzi market mythology last seen in the Madoff case ~ but on a massively larger scale."

Did you say Bernard Madoff?

On a massively lar... lar.. larger scale?

Okay, now I am scared.

Can't anybody count these days?

 Latest on the Euro

Tough New Rules Expected From European Commission

Pain in Spain?
England in Love, or in Doubt?

On May 12, the European Commission proposed new tougher rules to enforce fiscal discipline in the Europe, and are planning to build a permanent crisis management mechanism to prevent sovereign debt disasters, they say.

The initiatives, if approved by national governments, would represent the most significant advance in euro zone economic governance since the euro’s launch in 1999.

Among the most important proposals is the idea national governments should assess each others' annual budgets in greater detail and much earlier than is now the case.

While they would not have the power to force a country to rewrite its budget, they would be able to exert pressure to make the budget’s assumptions about economic growth, inflation and interest rates as realistic as possible.

The European Union’s fiscal rulebook, known as the Stability & Growth Pact, would be tightened so that more emphasis was placed on the need for governments to cut public debt.

For example, any country with a debt of about 100% of gross domestic product would be told to keep its annual budget deficit not just below 3 per cent of GDP, but so far below that it produced a steady reduction in the debt level.

The global transits signal austerity ahead in Europe, which could be deadly if deflation and speculative forces continue to assault the Euro, and, by extension, the entire monetary union. 

For the United Kingdom, VAT is expected to rise under the new coalition government, according to a survey of leading economists.

The BBC reported that 24 out of 29 economists expect the rate to rise in the new parliament. Most of those questioned predicted the tax would increase from its current 17.5% to 20% before the end of 2011.

Before the British general election, both Conservatives and Liberal Democrats said they had no plans to raise VAT; yet both parties refused to rule out tax rises.

The new coalition government said May 12 that it was committed to a "significantly accelerated reduction" in the budget deficit, with £6 billion of public spending cuts planned this year. Analysts estimate that increasing the sales tax to 20% would bring an extra £11.5 billion a year into the public coffers.

Olli Rehn, the EU’s monetary affairs commissioner, acknowledged that the stability pact, drawn up at German insistence in the mid-1990s, had fallen short of expectations.

“Peer pressure lacked teeth. Good times were not used for reducing debt. And macroeconomic imbalances were ignored,” Rehn said.

The details of the new mechanism remain to be worked out; but Rehn said it would be “a last-resort mechanism of financial assistance in the form of loans, with interest rates that would be so unattractive that no one would want to use it voluntarily.”

Pain In Spain?


Credit: Paul White/AP

Spanish Premier Jose Luis Zapatero told a numbed nation of Spain that their public sector pay will be reduced by five-percent this year and then frozen in 2011.

"We must make an extraordinary effort," Zapatero said.

"Today is probably Zapatero's toughest day as prime minister," said El País newspaper's Fernando Garea on his blog. "It is the day that his claim that this government could get through the crisis without cuts in social spending fell apart."


Pension rises will be shelved. The country’s €2,500 baby bonus was canceled. Economic aid to the regions will be slashed and infrastructure projects will be put on the shelf. The premier's own monthly pay will fall 15% to €6,515.

Then, commission president Jose Barroso unveiled plans for European Union (EU) control over national budgets, including what some feel is a "incendiary demand" that Brussels should vet budgets before their first readings in Westminster, the Bundestag, and other European parliaments.

Current account deficits and credit growth will be monitored. Brussels can imposing sanctions on states that let booms run out of control. "We must get to the root of the problems," he said.

Such a plan would seem to improve the workings of the EMU system, but some experts feel it would also entail a drastic erosion of the sovereignty of Euro zone nations. What economists call "intrusive surveillance" is a wake-up call for states that have tended to view the Euro as a free lunch.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Barack Obama was said to have played a key role behind the scenes last weekend, pleading with Mr. Zapatero for "resolute action."

The call from the White House is a clear indication that fears of contagion from Greece and Portugal to the new worries much larger debt markets of Spain is a serious global economic threat.

Zapatero made what was called a "radical U-turn" in his policy of trying to survive Spain's version of the Bank Crisis without applying painful measures by announcing emergency cuts to civil service pay and public investment on May 13, 2010.

Some who applauded knew also that it could not last. Unemployment in Spain is above 20+% and business has all but contracted with economic activity at its lowest ebb in memory.

Civil servants will have their pay cut by 5% this year, with a freeze next year. Zapatero and members of his socialist government will take a 15% cut across the board. There will also be cuts in spending on child welfare, home care for the elderly and a freeze on some pensions next year. 

A total of €6bn (£5.1bn) of investment spending will disappear into thin air over the next two years as part of the austerity attempt to cut a further 1.5% off next year's deficit to bring it down to 6% of GDP in 2011.  

Spain has only recently just left "recession," some economists say; growing by 0.1% last quarter after seven straight quarters of negative growth. Analysts were already expecting a bumpy return to growth, with possible further contractions later this year.

With unemployment above 20%, Zapatero always maintained that growth was his first priority.

Early May 2010's emergency measures is very likely to show a radical change in Zapatero's relations with trade unions. Zapatero enjoyed relative success by holding off from the austerity measures, but the attacks from speculators on the Euro has worsened the crisis.

He faces further problems in labor regulation, with employers, economists and Spain's central bank ~ all who demand labor reform to cheapen the firing of those on cast-iron long-term contracts and reduce the huge number of workers hired on temporary job contracts.

Some sort of labor reform now seems inevitable, but it is unclear whether Zapatero is prepared to force through measures that the unions might oppose.

"The pillars of the welfare state remain untouched," is how the government presented today's measures, but left-wing critics, said Zapatero, had started chipping away at those pillars.

"It is the weak who are paying," said Joan Herrera, a deputy for the Catalan Left Green party, who called for tax rises on the wealthy.

A €2,500 payment for newborn children will disappear next year and ambitious plans to help those looking after the elderly at home have also suffered a cutback.

The further €6bn in spending cuts over two years may involve, for example, a reduction in the pace of building high-speed rail lines.

Fuller details of this, and of exactly how the civil service pay cut for this year will work, are due to come after a cabinet meeting on Friday.

The right-wing opposition People's Party accused Zapatero of acting two years too late. Only EU pressure – backed by a phone call from President Obama last night – finally persuaded him to act, according to opposition leader Mariano Rajoy.

Zapatero saved money with budget surpluses during his first term in office. He hoped the markets would be more compassionate to Spain, which ran a high budget deficit of 11.2% of GDP in 2009, but still had an overall debt level of just 53% of GDP – well behind the EU average or the debt levels of Britain, France, Germany & Italy.

His biggest problem, however, is Spain's already sluggish growth prospects – which may be further dented by the announced reduction in government spending.

Spain’s wage cuts amount to an "internal devaluation" within the European Monetary Union says Stephen Lewis of  Monument Securities. The EU was pushing a clutch of countries into "contractionary policies" ~ at the same time."

 Credit markets cheered Spain's announcement. The current news is that cost to protect Spain's debt against a potential default fell to $141,000, for each $10m of debt, from about $165,000. This means investors now see Spain as a less risky country.

The cost of government borrowing fell, with the yield of 5-year bonds down 50 basis points to 3.75%, compared with the end of last week.

Despite the billions of euros of emergency funds now being made available by the EU, investors are still worried Spain, Greece and Portugal will not be able to grow enough to pay down their ballooning debts.

"We think the fiscal tightening is likely to depress economic growth [in Spain], especially in 2011, when the impact of the measures will be mostly felt," Citigroup said. "We expect growth to return to negative territory in the second half of 2010 and possibly in some quarters of 2011 as well.

Under the coming Saturn/Uranus/Pluto T-Square the inclinations show that the world may be in for a very serious, and steep decline into the 2010s that could rival the Great Depression.

If alternative action by the people of nations takes place ~ keen on justice and truth, and getting down to the bottom of what's happened ~ then there is a chance to forestall much of the coming "austerity"~ which is like saying a Great Depression ~ but time is running short.

The current economic climate is one of excited concerns over what economists call a "deflationary bias" across the EU similar to the "Gold Bloc" of the decade of the 1930s.

"It is not a viable policy," Stephen Lewis said of the European plan. "Weakening demand will cause the tax base to shrink. If the population could see light at the end of the tunnel, they might put up with it, but there is no light ~ it is a long dark passage leading nowhere."

England In Doubt?


The British general election of May 6th gave no clear party a majority in Parliament. So, the Liberal Democrats joined the Tory Party in giving England its first coalition government in 65 years. 

New British Prime Minister David Cameron and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg were said to have opened England to a new, and radical political landscape as both committed to a five-year consensual government.

Promising that they called a "stable and durable" coalition to take England in a "historic new direction" both Conservative and Liberal Democrat held a joint press conference May 12 in the 10 Downing Street's garden.

Five Cabinet jobs were assigned to Liberal Democrats, with two key economic portfolios, as Clegg is given a minister in every department. Conservatives hold the most important posts.
Mr Cameron vowed to place the national interest above party interest and co-operation above confrontation

“Compromise, give and take, reasonable, civilized, grown-up behaviour is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength,” he said.

Here's London Times columnist Matthew Parrish, who comments May 13, 2010 on the Cameron-Clegg coalition, with odd references to atheism ~

"The Political Earthquake in the Rose Garden"

"Ice cores drilled from glaciers thousands of years old reveal short interludes of intense climatic change. It is just possible that, 50 years hence, cores drilled through the evolution of the British democratic mind since the Great Reform Bill of the 19th century may reveal that a comparable moment can be pinpointed to mid-May, 2010

Call me hysterical, but I was conscious yesterday of something approaching a philosophical spasm. Hardly a breeze stirred the fresh green of the spring foliage on the trees behind the lecterns in the Downing Street rose garden as a new Prime Minister and a new Deputy Prime Minister, each from a different party, took their press conference; but there was a kind of violence in the air.

The violence was not between them, but between them and our traditionally adversarial party politics. In their very concord lay the violence. 

It was like witnessing a coup. Millions of viewers will have shared my impression almost of watching two men staging a putsch against their own parties, against the entire British political system, and against the ingrained assumptions of more than a century of parliamentary government. “Think again,” said the moment.

All over Britain a very large number of people, I suspect, were thinking again. Were all my old colleagues in the Parliamentary Tory party thinking again? That’s harder to answer. The new boys and girls will just be grateful to David Cameron for getting them there.

But there are some old dogs for whom coalition is too new a trick, and some whose belief in adversarial politics is deep-rooted, intelligent and sincere. There will be a handful who distrust Mr Cameron ideologically and balk at the compromises coalition will bring.

But as a former member of that Tory tribe I’d guess only a few will be immune to the spirit in which the two leaders spoke yesterday.

How often has it happened in our lifetimes that, as politicians spoke, so many attitudes began to shift? I could feel my own conservative political philosophy creak and bend under the weight of the moment.

Listening to Mr Cameron and Nick Clegg talking to the assembled ranks of the news media — and through them to the nation — I could almost hear the rumble, crack and shudder of a conceptual earthquake stirring beneath us.

Any columnist writing in this vein must be acutely conscious of how preposterously his column may read in a few years’ time — perhaps a few months’ time. 

Maybe with the benefit of hindsight we shall then see how fine words about co-operation in the national interest soon came to nothing; how undertakings were betrayed; how events unforeseen smashed the consensus; how normal hostilities were resumed; and how our politics returned to its old path.

Probably I’ll smile sadly at my naive enthusiasm. Maybe we shall cackle as broadcasters replay the sweet nothings that Nick and David murmured yesterday to each other, and contrast their flirty grins yesterday with the bitter wranglings to which both men and their respective party armies were to return tomorrow, once their coalition was tested in office.

“It was always inevitable,” we shall perhaps say, that these high hopes would soon be dashed.

It is equally possible — perhaps likeliest of all — that the high noon of adversarial politics in Britain really did begin to pass this week; that a steady shift towards consensual politics, European-style, began; that a changed voting system and an end to two-party politics became certain; and that the result will not in the end please us.

If so we may view these May days with regret: the beginning of a slide into a cosy, boring and safety-first style of government; the end of the clash of beliefs or the possibility of decisive political command.

But perhaps a writer, even a political writer, should trust his instincts. Mine were that something important and good was happening. The ideas and feelings that Mr Clegg and Mr Cameron were radiating seemed to me to resonate with the hour, making me feel that my own were perhaps wrong, and were anyway passing from fashion.

I felt as I watched them — their expressions, their astonishingly confident body language, the ease with which the right language came to both, the way two leaders could feel so obviously relaxed at so potentially tense a time — that the wind of their times was in their sails. Something stale was being blown away.

No divinity could have delivered either leader a better hand. Fate has conspired to give both men exactly what they need to achieve their ambitions for Britain and British politics.

If Mr Cameron and his party had done better last Thursday, they might have emerged with a small overall majority, just as John Major did in 1992. Whereupon the Tory legislative programme would have been placed at the mercy of a dozen or less of the party’s ideological irreconcilables.

If Mr Cameron had done worse last Thursday, his own leadership might have been under threat; and his philosophy of modern Conservatism would have been wounded, perhaps fatally, by the result.

If Mr Clegg had done as well as the polls had seemed to promise, he would have been in the position to form a stable coalition with Labour. He would have resisted this, but perhaps split his party in the attempt. The Lib-Lab coalition would anyway have been ill-starred from the start.

But Mr Cameron did well enough to keep command, but not well enough to take office without bringing another party into government. There are no other circumstances in which he could have sold coalition to his own ranks. 

And Mr Clegg did badly enough to be unable to offer Labour the Lib Dem troops they needed. There are no other circumstances in which he could have sold a Lib-Con coalition to many of his own party.

It borders on the supernatural. No imaginable electoral outcome could have more intelligently designed for the shape and tone of the government these two men already wanted to lead; no outcome could more securely have protected them from enemies within their own ranks.

Asked whether he had any religious belief, our new Prime Minister once replied that his faith was “a bit like the reception for Magic FM in the Chilterns: it sort of comes and goes.”If so, Mr Cameron should this weekend be experiencing a massive surge in signal strength

Asked the same question, Mr Clegg replied that he had no belief in a god at all.

Nor do I. But as constituency results came in on Friday, it emerged that the Great Returning Officer in the sky had given the Liberal Democrat leader the opposite of what he wanted, but exactly what on Sunday and Monday he would need.

If God does not exist then — in light of the hidden hand that events have placed on the shoulders of these two new leaders, paving their way and staying their enemies — Nick Clegg and David Cameron may this weekend think it necessary to invent Him.

As they spoke there was, for me, a palpable lifting of the ghastliness of the past few years. Maybe Mr Cameron was right: it doesn’t have to be this way."

All I can say to all of what Parrish wrote above is ~

May the Immortal God Help Us All.

Let's remember our hedge fund & investment bank "friends," shall we?

And, let's remember Part II.

Then, to Part III.

So, let's never forget to...

Stay Philadelphian, American & Human tough. That's what I'm doing.

Next On Global Astrology:
The Cardinal T-Square Crisis, Part VII

1 comment:

Deborah Steinberg said...

I'm not religious but, my good God, it ticks me off to watch jerks take advantage of others as well. Kinda nice to see the tables turn for a change, even if it means chaos for now. Maybe others will listen. But if not, then, just as history has taught us, the chaos will blow until certain needs are met and we all grow from it.

And that's that.

Good post.