Suppose Will Shakespeare were alive today and writing plays about Wall Street and its denizens. How might the famous soliloquies of these characters read?
(Macbeth ponders the meaning of trading during a market slump)
Investing, and investing, and investing,
Sinks to new creepy depths from day to day
As battered equities do tumble time,
And all the cap gains we thought secure
Just flit away like dreams. Rise, rise, down market!
Stocks now dwell in the shadows, a poor play
Of daily dips and slips that conjure rage
And then decline some more. It’s a fire sale,
Fanned by media clips, full of loss and anguish,
Profiting no one.
(The Merchant of Venice discusses huge CEO compensation packages)
The quantity of their earnings is not strained.
A drop in their company’s stock, though brutal,
Toucheth not those above. Comp here’ is twice blessed;
It bloateth in good times and when sales tank;
It’s embedded for the embedded; it rewards
Enthroned execs better than a crown…
(Hamlet-like ruminations of an overly conflicted investor)
To buy or not to buy,
Now that’s a question;
Whether ‘tis smarter to think stocks are cheap
And risk losing what’s left of my paltry fortune
Or flee from a market that like a bubble could pop
And by so doing—go where?
Money markets? I’d better sleep,
But ‘lo in dreams my mind would see
Those piddling rates, stuck lower than inflation.
In such times confused
‘Tis great consolation, that there’s a Wall Street muse.
Michael Silverstein’s newest book, The Devil’s Dictionary Of Wall Street, is now available from Amazon.