Asked what was the most difficult thing about his job, British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan is reputed to have replied: “Events, dear boy, events.” Brexit may be one such event. The only known fact is that a majority of those who voted have elected for Great Britain to leave the European Union (EU). All else is conjecture. Few political analysts, super-forecasters, pollsters, betting shops, and financial markets anticipated the result. Undaunted, the same people are now confidently outlining the consequences and likely outcomes. The word ‘historic’ is exhausted.
The new trite adjective of choice is ‘uncertain.’ Putative prophets may benefit from the advice of William Goldman in Adventures in the Screen Trade: “Nobody knows anything… Not one person … knows for a certainty what’s going to work. Every time out it’s a guess and, if you’re lucky, an educated one.”
Perhaps the most interesting observation after the vote was the gallows humor of one trader: “Brexit could be followed by Grexit, Departugal, Italeave, Czechout, Oustria, Finish, Slovakout, Latervia, and Byegium. Looks like only Remania will stay.”
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