What would the Bard say?

I think there’s a bit of Shakespeare fever going on, and it all began with The Hollow Crown in 2013. That visually stunning series certainly set a new (and quite a high) bar on taped theatrical productions. After it came the big screen version of Macbeth which watches more like an action film than a tale in verse. Now, Othello is arriving on Broadway in November to great anticipation.

Given how many of our daily expressions are straight out of Shakespearean plays, here is a handful of reflections on this year’s events in the words of the Bard.

1. On the next 35 years not looking like the last 35

“If you can look into the seeds of time, and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak then unto me” — Macbeth

2. The oil price rebound

“How poor are they that have no patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees” -Othello

3. The global hunt for yield

“Let me embrace thee, sour adversity, for wise men say it is the wisest course” — Henry VI, Part III

4. On the limits of monetary policy, once…

“The game is up” — Cymbeline

5. …twice

“An overflow of good converts to bad” — Richard II

6. On low rates and high asset prices

“Fortune brings in some boats that are not steered” — Cymbeline

7. The U.S. Election , once…

“Now is the winter of our discontent“ — King Richard III

8. …twice

“To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man” — Hamlet

9. Passive vs. Active debate

“You pay a great deal too dear for what’s given freely” — The Winter’s Tale

p.s. ok, not freely, but cheaper

10. Brexit

“So foul and fair a day I have not seen” — Macbeth

p.s. depending on the trade you put on

11. The state of retirement readiness in the U.S.

“I am not bound to please thee with my answer” — The Merchant of Venice

12. Slowing productivity, and hence economic growth

“They say miracles are past” — All’s Well That Ends Well

13. Everything that has to do with Europe

“When words are scarce, they are seldom spent in vain” — Richard II

14. On being able to cut through the noise and focus on what matters

“The fool doth think he is wise but the wise man knows himself to be a fool” — As You Like It

15. And finally, on portfolio management in uncertain times

“There is a tide in the affairs of men,

Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;

Omitted, all the voyage of their life

Is bound in shallows and in miseries.

On such a full sea we are afloat,

And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures” — Julius Caesar