Sunday, July 5, 2015

Greece says No

(5 July 2015)  With the strong No vote in today's EU bailout referendum, the Greek people have taken a giant leap of faith into the unknown.  Following the lead of their popular left wing PM Alexis Tsipras, Greeks have issued a stunning rebuke to the status quo in Europe as they rejected austerity imposed from without in favour of self-determination.  But what will happen next is anyone's guess, as the EU must now prepare a response to the referendum result at an emergency meeting on Tuesday.

Will the EU cave in once again to preserve the integrity of Eurozone to avoid financial chaos and make actually a better offer to Tsipras?  Or will Merkel and Hollande take a tougher stand and carry through with their threat to let Greece default and thereby hasten the departure of Greece from the Eurozone?  It seems unlikely that there will be any quick resolution to the crisis, even if one or the other of these or any other paths is taken.  There are just too many variables here and too many ways things could go wrong. 

I was unsure what the outcome of the referendum would be but I did think the stars generally favoured uncertainty and pessimism in July rather than resolution and optimism.  In previous posts on the swearing-in chart of the Syriza government and Finance Minister Varoufakis, I thought the June-July period would likely be very difficult indeed.  This prediction has largely come to pass regardless of what kind of developments we may see from here on in.  I still think that the crisis has not passed and the government and the Greek people are likely to remain under major stress for weeks to come.  To me, this suggests that an EU deal is unlikely to be struck.  Perhaps that means that Germany and France will in fact take a harder line with Greece now that the people have rejected the bailout offer.

If we look at the chart of the date of the proclamation of the Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1822, we can see how agitated and pivotal the current period is.  Just looking at the transits today, there is Jupiter in a close trine aspect (less than one degree) with Saturn and Jupiter.   Jupiter transits to Saturn often coincide with constructive progress as traditions (Saturn) are subject to renewal (Jupiter).  Jupiter to Jupiter transits can be times of expressions of wisdom and philosophy, as we evidenced from this exercise in popular democracy, that most Greek invention.  But Jupiter is quickly moving past this helpful transit in the coming days so the celebratory is unlikely to last.

At the same, Mars is very strong in its opposition aspect to Uranus and Neptune.  This is a more difficult energy that reflects all of the social and political turmoil that Greece is currently undergoing.  Fortunately, this aspect is exact today, so that offers some hope that things will calm down in the coming days. 

Disruptive Uranus is also prominent through its transiting square aspect with Mercury.  Mercury is associated with business and commerce and the square aspect is usually difficult. This pairing with rebellious and independent Uranus is indicative of the Greek people's proud refusal to submit to more EU austerity.  Given its upcoming station at 26 Pisces in late July, this aspect will hang around for a while yet and could undermine the ability of the government to get things back to normal.

But another aspect is more worrying.  Saturn (4 Scorpio) is due to station on 1st August very close to its current position and this will form an exact square aspect with Ketu (South Lunar Node) at 4 Leo.  This is usually problematic for social stability since Ketu symbolizes unexpected events and fragmentation when it comes under transit pressure.  Given the very low velocity of Saturn over the next month or two, this aspect to Ketu suggests the current chaotic atmosphere in Greece is likely to continue, albeit perhaps not quite with same level of anxiety as we saw in the run-up to the referendum. 

More troubling is that Saturn will be casting its full strength 3rd house (60 degree) aspect to the Sun (1 Capricorn).  This only out by a few degrees so it looks quite potent.  The Sun represents vitality in general as well as the government and state apparatus.  This is bad news for Tsipras and his Syriza government as it means they are likely to remain under pressure for another couple of months.  This stressful period could be the result of simply the current disastrous state of the Greek economy which saps the country's vitality (Sun).  But I suspect the stress will also manifest as growing criticism of the government as the current crisis drags on.

The bottom line here is that there is unlikely to be any quick fixes for Greece.  It also suggests that a new negotiated agreement with the EU is unlikely.   It is possible we could see some kind of deal made in the coming days, but the transits suggest that something will go wrong.  Either the Greek Parliament will not approve it, or there will be some backsliding by the Europeans.  Either way, I think Greece is unlikely to come out of this easily or quickly. 

Weekly Financial Update

Stocks generally fell last week as investors began to weigh the possible impact of the Greek default and the potential for its exit from the Eurozone.  US markets were down by about 1% with the Dow finishing at 17,730.  Indian stocks fared better, however, as the Sensex rose on positive earnings data and closing up 1% to 28,092.  I thought markets would have been somewhat more positive last week given the key Venus-Jupiter conjunction on Tuesday the 30th.   Stocks did recover somewhat around this midweek pattern but the week as a whole was negative in most markets.   I had previously noted in this space (and in more detail in my newsletter) the potential financial importance of this late-June alignment of Venus, Jupiter and Uranus and how it could well correspond with major economic developments and turning points.  This could well prove to be the case here as Greece is again threatening to derail this Fed-fueled bull market.

This week is likely to see more volatility.  Monday's session is very likely to be negative in any event as stock futures are sharply lower around the world after the No vote in Greece.  Monday will be marked by a tense Sun-Pluto opposition in any event.  But I'm not convinced we will see any worse case scenarios this week, however.  While the Jupiter influence is waning and hence there is less optimism available, the short term aspects are more mixed into mid-week.   The late week Venus-Saturn square aspect is definitely cause for concern but it is unclear if it will manifest this week or next.  That said, the week could well be bearish but perhaps not as bearish as some people may fear.  And I would not be surprised to see some markets actually posted a gain.