read the runes

read the runes

  (British formal)
to try to guess what is going to happen in the future by examining what is happening now
Usage notes: Runes are letters of an ancient alphabet with secret or magic meaning.
He was the first Eastern European leader to read the runes and make political changes to stay in power.
See also: read
References in periodicals archive ?
Politicians and pundits try to read the runes between elections, but nothing beats cold, hard votes.
It looks like the latter, if you're inclined to read the runes of Premier League history.
T'S hard to read the runes when it comes to Christmas 2014's retail trading.
New York (AirGuide - Inside Air Travel) Itas the time of year when we in the travel industry stare deep into our crystal balls, peer at the tea leaves and read the runes (and do a bit of considered research, naturally) to predict the delectable destinations that we think will hit the heights in 2015.
Faced with a potential disaster scenario emanating from Europe, investors must decide for themselves how to read the runes.
He read the runes brilliantly and - having spotted that the elected mayor campaign was likely to fail - discreetly stepped aside in favour of the now discredited Labour candidate Liam Byrne and just waited for the voters to deliver the predicted landslide.
With Labour lacking a majority in the Senedd and former Presiding Officer Lord Elis-Thomas in the wilderness after missing out on the Plaid leadership, this ex-AM read the runes and suggested the man they call Dafydd El would join the Cabinet.
The novice in the Treasury has dogmatically failed to read the runes.
Perhaps having read the runes already, he said to me that I shouldn't be too disappointed if I didn't win as there was certainly more to life than to politics.
Ecobank quite clearly has read the runes and sees the need for a genuinely pan-African corporate bank to service the increasing number of home-grown multinationals and their foreign counterparts.
Arsenal players are no fools - they've picked up on the manager's unrest, they've read the runes.
Meanwhile, Upper Class Twit of the Year George Osborne has correctly read the runes over taming the clout of Westminster and the South-East, by promising to transform the North into a "powerhouse" with investment of PS15bn.
It is also a valuable opportunity to check out the fringe programme and read the runes of which policy themes are climbing up the influence scale.