Business and the news: Do the headlines matter?

If you run a business, you could be forgiven for wanting to drown out the noise of the news. After all, you’ve got important work to do to without bothering over the latest petty squabbles at Westminster or whatever the US President happens to have tweeted in anger.

However, no matter how tempting it is, you can’t switch off completely. The words and actions of politicians can have a big impact on the way you run your business – and not just in a direct way through business rates, taxes and red tape.

Take the price of a currency for example. The value of the money we use is key for importers and exporters – and can make or break a profit margin – and is crucial for all companies when it comes to the sheer cost of doing business.

The value of a currency rests on a number of factors, but a key one of these is confidence – and this is where politicians come in. The things that politicians say and do can help to set the narrative for an economy and put investors at ease that a government has a sound and stable plan for the future.

Forex markets experts Daily FX took 59 key dates between April 2017 and April 2018 for six major world leaders and looked at what, if anything, was the impact on the currency markets. Its interactive guide shows how some news stories have little impact – despite big interest – and others can cause a currency to rise or fall in value.

Whether it’s policies or pronouncements, however, politicians are pivotal. You don’t have to like them and you certainly don’t have to love them but, as a business, you need to keep a close eye on what they’re up to.

 

Adam Torkildson