More Sad Guys on Trading Floors


This photo of “blurry letters” at the New York Stock Exchange comes from one of my favorite photo blogs, Sad Guys on Trading Floors.

Astrology aficionados out there will recognize the resonance between blurry letters and Neptune squaring the Sun of the Big Board incorporation chart, also known as the Buttonwood Tree agreement chart.

Under the Buttonwood Tree

First, Bear Stearns. Now, all eyes are on Lehman Brothers. Where will it end? That’s a good question. To get some guidance, let’s look at the chart for the founding of the New York Stock Exchange,  set for May 17, 1792 at 10 a.m. in New York City. Obviously this chart governs the exchange itself, but it’s also a useful proxy for Wall Street and the market in general.

Despite the fact that today the NYSE is a publicly traded company and lots of lip-service has been paid over the years to its vital role as a public institution, make no mistake: This is a private club. Finance writer Chris Welles called his book about the end of fixed commissions on May 1, 1975 The Last Days of the Club, but the club defied the skeptics and has managed to endure.

On that morning in May many moons ago, a group of brokers gathered under a buttonwood tree in lower Manhattan and pledged to do business exclusively with one another. The Sun was at 27 degrees of Taurus that day and Mercury was at 23 degrees of Taurus.

Given that strong earth sign placement, I’ve always loved the fact that the Big Board’s roots can be traced back to a tree. We could spend hours discussing the chart of the NYSE and a very thorough examination is available here, with an excellent timeline of major events through the years.

What’s going on now? Well, the first thing that jumps out at me is that transiting Neptune, now at 23 degrees of Aquarius, is sitting on the Big Board’s Seventh House Pluto, which squares natal Mercury. There’s a lot of confusion about what’s going on and no doubt a lot of deception.

But it’s safe to say that the Fed isn’t going to let the house of cards fall down anytime soon. And for those folks who are sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for the next crash, I don’t think it’s going to play out like that.

Transiting Neptune in Aquarius is going to leisurely make its way to a square with the 27-degree Taurus Sun of the NYSE chart in 2009. So things are going to muddle along for awhile. Of course, you can’t just look at a single aspect in a chart, but the Sun/Neptune contact as well as the Sun/Mercury square Pluto in the natal chart suggests that Sugar Daddy Ben Bernanke could keep the ship afloat for awhile longer. 

Forget the old saw about the Fed — that its job is “to take away the punch bowl” at the party — Bernanke has just called the liquor store for another delivery!