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Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Cardinal Crisis: Greece, The Euro, Wall Street, Germany, Sovereign Debt & Social Rebellion

The Cardinal Crisis
Part III
Greece, The Euro, Wall Street, Germany, Sovereign Debt & Social Rebellion

By Theodore White; judicial Astrolog.S

People continue to ask me if what they see, feel, and hear in the world will get worse, or better.

I wish I could be more positive, but from the global transits ahead, I have to continue to forecast things will get worse until major changes are made to the way business has been done over the last 18 years ~ especially at this time in history.

I have been forecasting this for some time, if anyone has cared to listen to one astrologer. I pray for the world as I read the transits of the skies day and night that tell me all I know about the future. This is my solitary life as a mundane astrologer while I continue to warn about the signs of the times.

There is hope. Just look in a mirror and you may see what I see. You are that hope. You are that change. You are the future.

Along with the rest of us ~ the little people.

Yesterday, Thursday, May 6th, saw Wall Street witness one of its most stressful days, according to reports. In 30 minutes, the Dow Jones dived nearly 1,000 points on fears that Greece's debt problems could slam on the brakes towards a much needed global economic recovery.

Wall Street did manage to recover about two-thirds of its losses, but closed down 347 points at 10,520. It seems the Plunge Protection Team got its first workout under the Obama Administration and did the right thing to stop the sudden slide.

Many people will be trying to digest what went down at the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, May 6th, as many still are in shock and befuddled as to exactly what happened.

Here is a look at the extraordinary day's events on Wall Street:
  • The Dow hit an Intraday high of 10879.76 May 6, up 11.64 points, or 0.11%
  • Then it hit an Intraday low of 9869.62 today, down 998.50 points, or 9.19%
  • Its Biggest Intraday POINT drop in its history.
  • A high-low swing of 1,010.14 points
These are global transits at work.

Credit: Henny Ray Abrams/Associated Press

This was the third day of sharp market declines. The Dow Jones had already dropped 284 points on Tuesday, May 4th and Wednesday, May 5th.

“I think three days makes a pattern, and we as investors grew complacent that every time we had a bad day we had a good day,” Jake Dollarhide, chief executive of Longbow Asset Management, said. “This is a terrible, terrible day.

 Then, we hear this ~

May 6 (Bloomberg) -- Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. said it will cancel all trades of stocks at prices that were 60 percent above or below the last price at 2:40 p.m. or immediately prior.

The exchange operator said in a statement it will cancel all trades "greater than or less than 60 percent away from the consolidated last print in that security at 14:40:00 or immediately prior."

Nathan Martin, of Nathan's Economic Edge, who gets it ~ asks a very good question:

"Nasdaq said it coordinated the decision with all other exchanges. Let me ask you this, why should you be playing in a market where if you make a winning trade they can take it away from you?

Pure gambling, the criminals are in charge, there is no rule of law. These actions will destroy confidence, not build it and the people running the markets will eventually get what’s coming to them.

The media is absolutely shell shocked looking for any excuse plausible why the selling was not for real. It was for real, the market was saved by intervention, but the media can’t admit the crash much less the intervention. Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt, that’s for sure…"

Another group of people who "get it" are those at ~

"What happened today was no fat finger, it was no panic selling by one major account: it was simply the impact of everyone in the HFT community going from port to starboard on the boat, at precisely the same time."

Check out what else they had to say about the so-called "fat finger blip" and what Zerohedge warned about High-Frequency Trading (HFT) back in 2009.

Karl Denninger of The Market Ticker says:

 "The banks and others who have argued for innovation have just proved once again that their brand of "innovation" means that the average investor gets bent over the table.  You cannot, as an investor, be in the market until these outrageous practices are permanently barred from the exchanges.

I was on the right side of the destruction today, but I could have very easily been on the wrong side and gotten badly hurt. As it stands I'm quite certain there were tens of thousands of individual traders who went so far into negative equity in the futures market and got immediately liquidated that we will be hearing of blown up accounts and bankrupted traders for weeks if not months."

There are going to be a lot of very pissed off traders about Friday, May 7th. See Denninger's advice & warnings here in: Mr. President: Unplug the F*ing Computers!

Oh, and let's not forget who we really need to hear from:
How About the Regular Joe American. What does He think about all this?

All major indexes lost three-percent May 6; which reminded many traders of the near chaos the American stock market experienced back in the gloomy autumn of 2008.

Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners, said there were a number of negative comments Thursday about the Greek crisis expanding beyond Europe, including a remark, he said, by James B. Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Mr. Bullard said debt problems in Greece and other European countries posed a risk to the United States economic outlook.

“What really happened here," Cardillo said, was that "gold was going through the roof, and the Euro went down to $1.25. There was a lot of panic selling that came in and the market fell apart.”

I keep forecasting that under these building cardinal crisis inclinations it is best to avoid impulse and haste. Still, there were reports out of Wall Street that a "technical glitch hastened the selling" which sent shock waves through the market.

This would have been the reaction to events in Greece, and fears of the emerging European sovereign debt contagion.

One trader emailed me with such emotion that I had to decipher his words because it looked as if he rushed so much and could not wait to send it to me.

Yes, emotions are running a bit high, but, these are world transits, and I continue to maintain, as I have for over a year now, for people to slow down.

Apparently, traders in all world markets are very concerned Greece's economic problems will hurt other European countries and ultimately, the American recovery.

Today, Greek lawmakers voted 172-121 to approve the highly unpopular austerity measures worth about €30 billion Euros through 2012. The cutbacks will slash pensions and civil servants' pay and further hike consumer taxes.

Other European governments are now rushing to get parliamentary approval for Greece's loans with leaders meeting Friday, May 7th in Brussels.

Back in Greece, things could not be worse. Right after the parliament approved the austerity conditions the opposition party torn into the government for imposing measures they say are much too harsh for the population to endure.

"The dose of the medicine you are administering is in danger of killing the patient," said conservative opposition leader Antonis Samaras.

Angry, Samaras then expelled a dissenting lawmaker, former Foreign Minister Dora Bakovannis, which then left his conservative party share of parliamentary seats at 90.

Right after the vote in Athens, another round of fresh clashes broke out with tens of thousands of people battling police outside parliament. Though the violence was briefly contained by riot police firing tear gas at the protesters, protesters continued to pelt police with stones, oranges, and Molotov cocktails.

Demonstrators banging drums and shouting anti-government slogans through bullhorns, unfurled a giant black banner outside parliament earlier Thursday.

More than 30,000 demonstrators filled the downtown streets of Athens chanting: "They declared war! Now fight back!"

  Meanwhile, Prime Minister George Papendreou threw out three of his Socialist deputies who dissented in his party's austerity vote. That reduced Papendreou's number of seats to 157 in the Greek 300-member parliament.

"We have done what was necessary, not what was easy," Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said after the vote. "Without these measures, we'd be thrown into the deepest recession this country has ever known."

Protester Thodoris Mougiakos said he was angry the IMF would control Greek finances. "It's blackmail," he said. "There is money, but they spend it on things like armaments and businesses. The church has money too. If we had been drawing money from all these sources, we wouldn't be in this situation now."

Under the coming global transits, I am forecasting Greece will experience a revolution and that the European sovereign crisis will worsen. Though the media would like to think that the worst is past, I am forecasting that the worst is yet to come. It makes me very sad.

I wish I had better news for everyone, but it is my policy as a mundane astrologer to tell it like it is. We are all grown-ups here.

Back to the Markets -

On Friday, May 7th, the transiting Moon will be in the early degrees of Pisces, and stocks should rebound slightly, but with continued high tensions due to the European debt crisis.

A quirky & tense Friday is in store for the stock market with lots of jitterbugging all around. All eyes will be not only on Greece, but on Germany, and, Europe as a whole, so the Plunge Protection Team should remain on duty in case emotions get out of hand again.

After a weekend of devouring the research analyst blogs, and going over the European bond yield numbers, especially in Germany, expect Monday, May 10th to continue the fever pitch with a last quarter Moon in Aries in square aspect to Pluto in Capricorn. Unfavorable.

Aries is another money sign, and with the Moon in this cardinal position, the aspects are still quite tense. A lot of money is moving into German assets for protection, and with the Euro currency falling against the Dollar, anyone watching this weekend will want to keep count of how much is flowing into Germany.

Mercury does not station direct until Wednesday, May 12, and the Moon will still be in a last quarter phase until it reaches new moon phase on Friday, May 14 when money can be made again.

On Friday, May 14, there's more so-called "good news," but with the Taurus Moon square to Neptune in Aquarius next Friday, stay away from the tech stocks, and stick with biotechnology stocks, pharmaceutical, and good ole bricks and mortar companies.

Other than that, May 14 is basically the best day from now to then. So, there's another week to go. All in all, expect next week to continue the wild up and down roller coaster market ride on fears of the contagion spread of European sovereign debt through Friday, May 14th.

These fears are based on the realities of global transits. These will continue to intensify through late spring and into the summer months. I'm not the only one saying this.

So, this is just the start of a new, deeper, and deadlier phase of the ongoing global economic crisis in my astrological estimation.

Right now, here in early May 2010, we are less than a month away from the start of a powerful series of Cardinal inclinations involving the outer planets which will take place during the months of June, July, and August 2010, and continue through into the mid-2010s before easing off.

However, between 2010 and say, 2014, the cardinal transits inclining the Earth will feature rebellions, revolts and revolutions directly associated with the massive levels of financial fraud and corruption over the last decade.

Until the root problems are dealt with ~ straight up ~ with justice and common sense being applied and practiced in the real world, say, with the return of Glass-Steagall, and hunting down our bad guys, i.e., Goldman Sachs, John Paulson & Co., ~ things will only get worse.

I've got my front seat and popcorn ready when you are fried for what all of you have done. This week's "market action" and what is happening in Greece is yet another example why I absolutely despise you losers.

You run from a fight rather than face it like men. You Armani suit-wearing liars, cheats, and sickos. 

In the city of Brotherly Love, in Philadelphia, we fight with everything we've got ~ with our bare hands, with heart and true intent. During the Revolutionary war, they invaded New York and stayed for six years. They invaded Philadelphia and evacuated after one month. 

Thus, our great country called the United States of America was born.

All the money in the world will not save you from what you've got coming. Believe it. I cannot wait. The global transits that will take you down ~ and out for the count ~ are nearly here. 

Welcome To Rocky Town, pals.
Watch what happens to you bad guys with the Cardinal Transits Coming.

We don't drink "tea" you corrupt jerks ~ we drink coffee ~ we're always awake, ready and willing. I hate you Armani-loving cheats right down to your very guts. Cowards.

I keep saying the same thing. The rats must not be allowed to stay in the kitchen, and the foxes can no longer be allowed to guard the hen house. And, before they are expelled - check out their bulging Goldman sacks of billions. That is where you will find all the stolen money, honey.

Europe In Crisis

As Europe shudders in the wake of the Greek Crisis, global markets continue to see the Euro currency sink against the dollar as the world awaits more bad market news about the exploding Sovereign Debts of European nations.

We see this now in Greece, and I continue to sadly forecast that it will be the same in other nations as well until healthy, common sense changes are made.

 All this comes in the prelude to the coming conjunction of Jupiter & Uranus into Aries playing significant roles in the Cardinal T-Square between Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto.

This T-square was last seen by mundane astrologers in the early 1930s, and features global crisis bordering on a worldwide economic depression.

It has been my forecast for years that the beginning of the decade of the 2010s will result in major economic collapse of nations from the direct causes of widespread financial corruption that has now thrown whole European nations into severe recessions.

On May 6th, the streets of Athens turned into pre-revolutionary chaos with other Greek cities reporting tens of thousands of protesters on the streets.

This comes a day before the Greek Parliament is expected to vote and pass a strict International Monetary Fund/European Union bailout that is highly unpopular with Greek citizens.

The austerity measures Greece must now live under have been called "draconian" even by IMF standards, and has caused a mass uprising of Greeks just as the Greek Parliament is set to approve the bailout agreement.

The violent clashes in Athens against the austerity package Greek prime minister George Papandreou accepted in return for a €110 billion bailout has fear gripping world markets that other heavily indebted Euro countries will also require massive bailouts.

The problems of Greece continue to show that a much wider crisis of Sovereign debt in Europe has many investors spooked about the true stability of the Euro Monetary Union.

In Europe, there exists the strong potential that Spain, a country with a very weak economy that dwarfs Greece, will come under pressure as well.

Andrew Garthwaite, a strategist at Credit Suisse, said in recent report that European banks held up to $1.3 trillion of Greek, Spanish and Portuguese debt at high risk of default.

Should this happen, and I am forecasting it will because of global transits, then Europe will face a severe banking crisis similar to events that occurred immediately after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in the fall of 2008.

On May 6, it has been reported by European officials that, "The gap between the yield on longer-term debt of Greece, Portugal, and other weakened countries, and that of comparable German debt also widened.

The yield on the benchmark Greek government bond reached 10 percent, while yields on comparable Portuguese debt increased to 5.8 percent.

Spanish & Irish bond yields also rose. Spain remains the biggest concern. Despite the political factors, the IMF, and the European Union were able to raise funds to support Greece's bailout.

With the violent clashes in Greece, and grave announcements from German politicians, the Euro slumped below $1.29 May 6th against the U.S. dollar for the first time since April 2009.

Stocks were sold across European bourses as nervous investors sent prices, for what they see as the safest assets, like German government bonds, to a record high. The Greek government needs $11.6 billion by Wednesday, May 19 to cover its debt payments.

Experts say a resolution of Greece's problems is considered only a temporary fix and that similar issues are looming for Spain and Portugal, both countries who've had their debt ratings downgraded earlier this week.

According to an analysis by Barclays Capital, for Greece to meet the proposed target of a budget deficit of 4 to 6 percent of economic output by 2014, the government has to find savings of about 13.5 percent of its total output.

This kind of rapid turnaround in about three years has very little past precedent in Western Europe. Moreover, Barclay's says it will be "all the more difficult given the depth of the [global] recession and the inability of Greece to devalue."

May 5th ~ the day before today's major sell-off, showed signs of things to come:

  • The Euro tumbled below $1.29 for the first time since April 2009
  • Stock markets in Germany, France, the UK, Italy, Spain & Portugal all fell
  • The yield on Germany's 10-year bond reached a record low
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Germany's Parliament, the Bundestag, that the "future of Germany in Europe is at stake," as she tried convince German lawmakers to approve a bail-out that will see Germany hand over billions to its weakest EU member country - Greece.

Axel Weber, the powerful German central banker said, "there is a grave threat of contagion effects for other member states in the monetary union and increasing negative feedback loop effects."

Talking about contagion: Spain is next.

It's bailout may cost as much as $600 billion, according to U.S. Representative Mark Steven Kirk, a republican from Illinois, who serves on the committee overseeing American financing to the IMF. "That is far more than the monetary fund has available to lend," he said.

According to sources, the monetary fund only has $268 billion on hand ~ a shortfall of $332 billion. Quite a number indeed.

Still, some economists are calling for a kind of American-type bailout that took place in October 2008 in suggesting that the European Central Bank (ECB) buy billions of Euros of the Greek, Portuguese and Spanish debt investors have shunned with the IMF potentially offering to bailout Spain next.

This would be well over the $700 billion the U.S. Congress approved in their TARP bailout of the big banks in 2008, that saved the American economy from collapse.

The problem is that for the most part, the pairing of the ECB and the IMF is a strange partnership to witness for many economists, who say they do not expect the Europeans to show the courage and flexibility needed for such large bailouts of entire nations in the euro zone.

Mercury Retrograde & The Greek Bailout Agreement
 My Astrological Advice: Review, Revise & Redo
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou

The Greek bailout agreement of May 1, 2010 took place under a Mercury retrograde in Taurus. A bad time to formulate such heady agreements like huge financial bailouts of whole countries.

The expected passage of the bailout by EU member nations is by Friday, May 7th. The Greek Parliament has already passed the measure May 6th.

All this, with Mercury retrograde. It's amazing. It really is just, well, amazing...

Now, European officials continue to make serious errors saying the bailout plan for Greece is sufficient and there that is simply no need for a broader aid proposal , or, for a formal debt restructuring in any of the other afflicted countries.

I say they are wrong. Very wrong.

For one, it is obvious that investors continue to push down the Euro, which fell to $1.28 on May 5. Then, today, on May 6th, a global decline in stock values. These are sure signs investor confidence is eroding ~ especially in Europe.

Second, and most important ~ the world transits on this situation are clear, and so is my advice on this matter:

It is time to review, revise, and redo.

It is my forecast that the Greek EU-IMF bailout agreement will have to be revised, with major alterations, and changed after Mercury stations direct at 2-Taurus on May 11th.

Do not the ECB, IMF and Greek government know that signing such important fiscal agreements ~ and then voting to pass the austerity measures ~ during a Mercury Retrograde, particularly in a money sign like Taurus ~ is a BIG NO NO?

My astrological advice would be to immediately slow down, stop, and then review, revise, and redo the bailout agreement with a focus to cut back the severe austerity measures on the Greek people, and then ~ come up with a better plan to relieve the Greek economy before all hell breaks loose.

And believe, me, it is closer than you may think.

There still is time to bring some calmer heads to this situation should the players and their staffs pull back and look seriously at revising the conditions being forced on Greece. 

Slow down. Do not rush under these cardinal inclinations or you all will make things worse.

The Germans would be an immense help here, and would improve their status by stepping in to give Greece help without pulling itself into the fray politically.

Germany is only protecting itself, and rightly so.

Caution is well advised here, and the Germans have been practicing it despite pressures from the EU, and others, those who continue to make serious errors by rushing things through haste, and impulse.

Another Big no no under the cardinal inclinations.

Those Germans reading this already know what I know about the coming new Deutsche Mark. If this decision has already been made, then there is simply no reason to pretend as if it is not going to happen, yes?

There is no need to pretend that Germany is not the sovereign nation that it truly is anyhow. Moreover, it is well-known that Germany was forced into accepting EU conditions despite its own concerns about the Euro, and integration of weaker European nations into the monetary union.

So, why pretend when much is at stake at this point? The Germans cannot be faulted for being very skeptical of the bailout plans given the history of Germany's concern about the monetary union over several decades.

Germany is being asked, again, to do something it does not want to do, and for very good reasons. What is happening is Germany is going to go its own way - fiscally, and through its own currency - since Brussels cannot seem to balance its own checkbooks.

A positive move for Greece would be to extend the provisions beyond three years, which is very shortsighted and over-optimistic in my view; considering the extent to which the world economy will need to recover for Europe to absorb the cutbacks in spending that is surely coming.

All this will do is to spread violent social rebellions in the years to come with possible overthrows of several governments in the process. This is very expensive as it is, and surely there are better and positive ways to handle this situation, yes?

I say there is.

In the short-term again: Review, Revise & Redo.

A proper time to review the changes to the Greek bailout agreement would be after the May 14 New Moon in Taurus, then, to enact the revised changes between May 28 through June 12th.

This would ease pressure on the Euro, and give investors more time to build up some market confidence. It would also give the Germans more time to think, and allow things to calm down on the streets of Athens with people knowing that the severe cutbacks are being re-thought.

It also allows the Greek government more time to ease into the conditions beyond the ridiculously short three months given to Prime Minister George Papandreou to begin the terms of the austerity package.

This will not only calm things down in Europe, but will save many lives in the process. This is most important.

I would give Greece the rest of 2010 to make adjustments in these draconian austerity measures, and allow the changes to take place gradually, not beginning until late August 2011. This will calm things down substantially.

World transits clearly show that forcing all this to take place, under these powerful cardinal transits, at this time, and through the summer and autumn months simply adds up to economic suicide ~ on a European-wide scale.

It does not allow for more favorable transits to arrive in time before such severe measures are forced on a country, with impacts outside of Greece, and affecting the entire global economy ~ especially in Europe.

But, then again, that's just me. I'm only a mundane astrolog, yes? So what do I know?

Meanwhile, Europe is holding its collective breath.

“It is not really about money,” says Timothy Congdon, an economist and Euro skeptic who said he foresees a wide exodus of savings in banks sitting on Europe’s periphery to flow into Germany because of serious doubts about some of the nations in the monetary union.

This is another matter that is very serious.

People tend to forget what the "weather" was like back in June 1997, when the move towards the Euro was cemented at the European Council Meeting in Amsterdam. More on that below.

German public opinion was always wary of giving up their beloved Deutsche mark, so the German government insisted on tough conditions for countries like Greece that wanted to join the monetary union back in 1981, when it entered the then-European Community.

Even as late as the June 1997 European Council Meeting in Amsterdam; Germans were still wary of what was happening ~

"At Amsterdam, sensitivities about sovereignty regarding EMU within Kohl's coalition and the impact of Article 23 in the German Basic Law, meant that the Chancellor could not override domestic opposition in the name of European federalist ideology.

The German interest is grounded in the legal and political realities determined by shared power in a federal system of government."

"Not a year goes by without some fresh blueprint being drawn up and fed into the continuing debate. Each succeeding blueprint can be likened to the way in which some artists go over their work again and again, gradually building up a deep richness to the emerging picture.

"Old paint on canvas, as it ages, sometimes becomes transparent. When that happens it is possible, in some pictures, to see the original lines: a tree will show through a woman's dress, a child makes way for a dog, a large boat is no longer on an open sea. 

That is called 'pentimento' because the painter 'repented,' changed his mind. Perhaps it would be as well to say that the old conception, replaced by a later choice, is a way of seeing and then seeing again." 

The European monetary union rule was that the budget deficits of all member nations were supposed to be below three-percent of gross domestic product and that debt was not to exceed 60 percent of G.D.P. while inflation could not top three-percent.

Greece is not alone, and is not the only Eurozone nation under stress that has to withstand severe spending cuts while at the same time holding to the monetary unions' fixed regimen.

Central European countries like Latvia, which is now taking part in an IMF bailout program; and Lithuania, surviving on its own ~ have shrunk by more than 10 percent as a result of deep cutbacks in government spending.

No one expected the economic crisis of 2007-08, and now, ten years into the birth of the Euro, we find just that.  

I clearly remember the scene in Amsterdam when in June 1997 when the designs for the Euro were agreed upon. What I saw from the skies was a series of swirling dark clouds that descended over the very building leaders gathered to meet. It was an strange sight for sure, and - an ominous warning about the Euro.

It was the first time that newly-elected British Prime Minister Tony Blair was introduced to the other European leaders. Heady days. 

Everyone was all smiles, but the day began with those swirling dark clouds, as if sent by God Himself to make a point about the future of the European Union, and the Euro.

Those dark clouds, I knew, were a warning. What also took place in Amsterdam on June 16-18, 1997 was a resolution on something called ERM2 ~ an an exchange rate mechanism between the Euro and the currencies of the other EU countries was been designed.

On the basis of this document, the European Council adopted a Resolution on the ERM2 at its meeting in Amsterdam in June 1997.

Let's take a closer look at this -

A speech given by Wim Duisenberg, President of the European Monetary Institute, at the conference - "The Euro & the European Innovative Industry" in Toulouse, France, on October 17, 1997 ~ titled "1999 - A New European Monetary System."

"The main operational features of ERM 2 may be summarised under four (4) points: 

First, for each participating non-euro area currency, a central rate vis-à-vis the euro will be defined. Unlike the present ERM, there will no longer be a "parity grid."

The new so-called "hub-and-spokes" approach puts the euro at the centre of the system. Around the euro central rates, a standard fluctuation band of +/- 15% will be established.

This rather wide band reflects the good experience with the operation of the current ERM. It avoids offering "one-way bets" in periods of speculative pressure.

It also allows temporary deviations from the central rates to accommodate minor asymmetric economic disturbances.

The recent experience in the ERM has shown that central rates exert a strong magnetic force for exchange rates, thus contributing to avoiding misalignments.

In practice, exchange rate fluctuations have, for most currencies, proved to be even more limited than in the former 2.25% narrow band of the ERM.

This effect has been reinforced after the decision taken at the Mondorf Informal ECOFIN in mid-September to announce bilateral conversion rates in May 1998.

In summary, ERM2 is an asymmetric system, centered around the Euro.

There have been in the past many discussions concerning the asymmetric nature of the current exchange rate mechanism, and the desirability of this asymmetry.

I think that there can be no doubt that ERM2 will have to be asymmetric, given the Euro area's size and the stability-oriented policies that will be pursued in the euro area, in particular by the European System of Central Banks.

A second feature is that central rates and the standard wide band will be set by mutual agreement between all parties.

These parties are the Euro-area Finance Ministers, the ECB, and the Finance Ministers and central bank Governors of the non-euro area Member States participating in ERM2.

The European Commission will, as today, be involved in the procedure. All parties to the agreement, including the ECB, will have the right to initiate a procedure for reconsidering central rates.

This will ensure that any adjustment of central rates will be conducted in a timely fashion.

A third feature is that, as today, there will be automatic and unlimited foreign exchange intervention and financing when exchange rates reach the fluctuation margins.

As a general principle, it is understood that intervention will have to be used to support - not replace - other policy measures, including appropriate fiscal and monetary policies.

Furthermore, an explicit safeguard clause has been introduced, and this is new, by which both the ECB and the participating non-euro area NCBs are allowed to suspend intervention and financing if these were to impinge on their price stability objective.

The central banks participating in the agreement will retain the possibility of coordinated intra-marginal intervention, to be decided by mutual agreement in parallel with other appropriate policy responses. 

Finally, there is the possibility to have closer links between non-Euro area NCBs and the ECB.

A non-Euro area Member State that has reached an advanced degree of convergence with the Euro area may request closer exchange rate co-operation. This may take various forms.

It can entail participation in formal narrower bands, to be agreed upon in a procedure analogous to that for central rate decisions. Alternatively, informal arrangements can be made, for instance target ranges, which might not be made public."

"Overall, ERM2 is equipped with the necessary instruments to ensure exchange rate stability and to avoid that the move to the Euro creates tensions and segregation in the European Union."

[Here is where Duisenberg's "academic" speech is more or less prophetic ~ considering what is now happening in Greece & Europe in 2010.]

 "I am fully aware that what I have been talking about until now may sound a bit theoretical. I do not want to shy away from the real question that you want to be tackled, which I believe is:

How can it be avoided that a country not entering the euro area from the start is "left out in the cold", to use the expression of an academic, with the consequence of severe exchange rate tensions, depreciation, competitive distortions that are a detriment not only to the country itself but also to the economies of the Euro area?

I am fully aware that ERM2 provides only part of the answer. It represents a framework for monetary and foreign exchange policy co-operation; it does not ensure by itself that the right policies are in the end implemented, in particular in the countries outside the euro area.

ERM2 is a necessary condition, it is not sufficient. But I believe that the creation of the Euro will represent an additional impulse for further economic integration in Europe.

In other words, I believe that the Euro need not be a factor of division of Europe but rather will have the potential of becoming an instrument for accelerating its integration." 

Okay, now we are getting somewhere.

It appears that my suspicions, by reviewing the world transits of the late 1990s, were correct. I remember that morning of June 16, with the Moon in Libra square to Neptune at 29-Capricorn, watching those dark clouds gathering ~ literally ~ over the very spot where the European Council was meeting.

At the time, the transiting Lunar Nodes were on the Pisces/Virgo axis, with the South Lunar Node at 23-Pisces in June 1997. This is exactly where transiting Jupiter is at now, with Uranus within orb, and at this time we see the Euro under stress.

In addition, looking at the June 16, 1997 transits for Amsterdam, we can see that Mars in Virgo then, is now being conjoined by transiting Saturn in Virgo, and, in opposition to transiting Jupiter in Pisces.

The progressed transits for this time to May show a Progressed Moon in Aries opposed to Chiron in Libra ~ this feature monetary stress, which is what the Euro zone is now encountering. By January 2013, the Progressed Moon of this time opposes Pluto, with more stresses on the Euro.

By April of 2014, during the month of the worldwide Cardinal Grand Cross, the Progressed Mercury of the June 1997 European Council Chart is square to its Progressed Saturn in Aries. At this time in 2014, the Euro will be 15-years old.

Should the sovereign debt crisis continue to get out of hand, it is my forecast that the Euro will be greatly weakened, thus increasing chances Germany may indeed return to their own currency, and issue a new Deutsche Mark ~ staying within the European Union, but effectively leaving the monetary union.

The Greek crisis has sparked an age-old clash between the EU's two biggest nations: France, and Germany. 

France, a republican country that has a tradition of interventions, and a casual attitude towards public debt contrasts that of Germany, with it strict attachment to rules and frugality that comes from its own currency traumas.

This is understandable, since Germany, a nation that lost their savings twice in the 20th century ~ once to hyperinflation in 1923 with Uranus in Pisces, and again, to currency reform after the Second World War ~ holds tight to its principles of central bank independence and budgetary discipline. The very core of the German financial psyche.

“Germans fear going bankrupt themselves,” said John C. Kornblum, a former United States ambassador to Germany. "Paris and Berlin have had many disagreements in the postwar world, but few are as deep-rooted as those on economic governance."

In fact, my mundane view show that quiet talks have been already underway in Germany to do just that - return to the Deutsche Mark. If this occurs, then the Euro, as we know it today, is doomed.

Meanwhile, Congdon said economic figures prove even after deflationary stresses on Spain and Ireland, for instance, and the much wider effect of the Greek crisis on credit-starved banks in Europe, that there actually has been no growth in the European Central Bank’s money supply.

So, “it's about how much pain the people in periphery can stand in order to keep this thing going. Once the confidence is gone, and Greeks and Spaniards move their deposits to Frankfurt ~ it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and the whole thing implodes."

Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus & Pluto
Preview of The Cardinal Crisis

On May 23, Jupiter will oppose Saturn for the first time in 20 years on the Pisces/Virgo axis. This comes less than a month since the fourth Saturn/Uranus opposition of April 26th.

Then, by June 8, 2010, transiting Jupiter & Uranus will meet in conjunction at tropical 00-Aries ~ the seasonal point which is very sensitive to transits of the outer planets. Saturn is forming an opposition to both planets and Pluto in tropical Capricorn squares them all.

This is a "preview" conjunction which forms over the months of June, July, and August 2010, before both Jupiter and Uranus return back into the late degrees of tropical Pisces for their conjunction over the fall months, and into winter 2011.

In my February 2010 and subsequent forecasts, I warned about the inclinations and influences of the Cardinal Crisis transits.

These planetary configurations began to build right after the arrival of the new astrological year that occurred March 20, 2010, when the Sun entered Aries, and the Earth reached the vernal equinox.

What will be most notable about the build-up towards the Cardinal inclinations in 2010 are the frustrations, temper tantrums, hotheads, and impulsive behaviors amongst supposed adults that stem from within those who are immature to their very core.

The Cardinal Crisis transits feature energies that will incline people to react powerfully.

One will observe that pettiness, impulsive acts and ignorance flowing from people who have what I call toxic personalities. Avoid them like the plague if you want to be happy, wealthy and wise.

What follows are the significant planetary aspects from April to October 2010 -
  • April 6-7 - Pluto stations retrograde at 5-Capricorn
  • April 7, 2010 - Saturn re-enters tropical Virgo
  • April 26, 2010 - Saturn opposes Uranus (4th opposition)
  • May 23, 2010 - Jupiter opposes Saturn (first time since 1990-91)
  • May 27-28, 2010 - Uranus enters tropical Aries
  • May 30th, 2010 - Saturn stations direct motion
  • June 5-6, 2010 - Jupiter enters tropical Aries
  • June 6-7, 2010 - Mars enters tropical Virgo
  • June 8, 2010 - Jupiter conjoins Uranus
  • July 5, 2010 - Uranus stations retrograde at 0-Aries
  • July 8, 2010 - Jupiter turns North in declination
  • July 11, 2010 - New Moon total eclipse at 19-Cancer (not seen in N. America)
  • July 21, 2010 - Saturn re-enters tropical Libra for good
  • July 23, 2010 - Jupiter stations retrograde
  • July 25, 2010 - Jupiter Squares Pluto
  • July 26, 2010 - Fifth Saturn/Uranus opposition
  • July 31, 2010 - Mars & Jupiter turn S in Declination
  • August 3, 2010 - Jupiter, retrograde, Squares Pluto again
  • August 6, 2010 - Venus turns South in Declination
  • August 13-14, 2010 - Uranus re-enters tropical Pisces
  • August 16, 2010 - Jupiter Opposes Saturn
  • August 20, 2010 - Mercury retrogrades in Virgo
  • August 21, 2010 - Saturn Squares Pluto
  • September 8, 2010 - Saturn turns South in declination
  • September 8, 2010 - New Moon at 15-Virgo
  • September 8, 2010 - Venus enters Scorpio
  • September 8-9, 2010 - Jupiter re-enters tropical Pisces
  • September 12, 2010 - Mercury stations direct
  • September 14, 2010 - Pluto stations direct
  • September 14, 2010 - Mars enters Scorpio
  • September 19, 2010 - Jupiter conjoins Uranus in Pisces
  • October 8, 2010 - Venus stations retrograde in Scorpio
  • October 18, 2010 - Jupiter conjoins Uranus in Pisces
 These transits are those of the first series of the Cardinal Crisis that will surely impact the world - mainly through the financial systems of nations, which we are now witnessing in the Sovereign Debt Emergency of 2010-2014.

I continue to state, as I have for years, that the decade of the 2010s will be akin to the Great Depression years of the 1930s, and will, in the long-run, lead to geopolitical tensions that will change the tone and character of the early 21st century.

Most of this will come about because people were not prepared, and did not make adjustments to meet the coming inclinations.

It also has occurred because policymakers, international bankers, speculators and those in industries like residential and commercial real estate allowed themselves to believe their own fantasies - with devastating consequences for tens of millions of people worldwide.

As I've written before, the strongest months of those of July, August, and September 2010 with August being the most powerful month under these powerful cardinal inclinations.

Travel is unfavorable. There are dangerous transits during the summer vacation season in the northern hemisphere. Accidents in and around bodies of water are highlighted, from the air, and on the high seas ~ perilous conditions exist that will lead to violent interactions, and in some cases, deaths involving large groups of people.

I continue to advise against taking chances during the months from July through September 2010 - especially in the northern hemispheric summer season.

Stay close to home, and use the rest of 2010 to relax, and observe the cardinal transits in action through the world news.

Meanwhile, I would ask that everyone pray for the countries of the world now suffering under the crushing weight of the economic crisis, and that those responsible be brought to justice for causing what will amount to the Second Great Depression ~ the first one of the 21st century.

Some people may think that all of this is, rather, well, "melodramatic;" however, I continue to remind people that my outlook is that of a mundane astrologer, and that I maintain that these times, when looked back on years from now ~ will be seen as nothing less than historic.

So, I warn those taking events of the present times a bit too lightly that they are making a serious mistake in doing so. Again, foretold is forewarned.

It is not wise to shut one's eyes to what is taking place in the hope that it will go away. It will not go away. In fact, things are going to change evermore so in the weeks, months, and years ahead.

Challenging and changing times require bold leaders who are skilled tacticians and visionaries. Those who failed to foresee and prepare for what is now taking place must be relieved of their positions and let go, or they will simply make things worse than they are now by their very presence.

We are all living and experiencing the start of an historic age.

Times are changing according to global transits, and will continue to change. I end this post as I began it. You are that hope. You are that change.

Those who can accept this, and see the truth of what is happening may also be able to envision a better future as I do when I look to the transits of the skies and the Signs of the Times as we begin the new decade of the 2010s.

Stay safe out there ~ and never give up. America and the world is worth fighting for and it ain't for sale either. Remember that.