Political influence and the markets

Religion, politics and money are all connected – and probably always have been! This is because they’re all currency for influence, power and status. These three topics can become highly volatile when we’re in social settings as they’re super subjective.

The markets, politics and religion all give us a sense of belonging, purpose and stories to share. Since they offer so much meaning, we’ll likely talk about them at any chance.

Depending on the crowd we’re with, our conversations will be dominated either by academics or opinions or perhaps a balance of the two. When it comes to elections (both in our country and others), the situation is the same too – so when you’re next around a dinner table, here are two crazy academic points that you can contribute to the conversation.

MARKETS – LOCAL AND OFFSHORE

The most common sentiment regarding political influence is around confidence in the leadership. This metric will directly influence investor confidence. This can be both local and offshore – if investors don’t like what leaders are doing, they are less likely to invest in local businesses (markets) and more likely to look at a heavier offshore weighting. The same too would apply to those who are sitting outside our country – and determine whether money is pumping in, or out, of our economy.

Administrative policies play an equally important role here as new administrations often like to shake up policies of previous administrations. These affect everything from the support offered to businesses at every level, living standards of the workforce, education and health for their families and the taxes we will pay for goods, services and investments.

This all leads to a more immediate impact – and that is the strengthening or weakening of the currency. Our buying power goes up and down accordingly – and once again circles back to how much we can afford to invest in our local economy.

TRADE RELATIONSHIPS

Elections in other countries can also heavily influence what happens in the local market as we have significant trade relationships with them. In his book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, Yuval Harari reminds us that all our communities are so intrinsically connected through trade-relationships that it’s hard to stand for any cause or initiative without indirectly supporting the opposition.

The clothes we wear, food we eat, cars we drive, technology we use and the social media platforms we communicate on are all manufactured, harvested, designed, managed and maintained using intricate global networks. 

Political movements and influence matter to all of us. The next time your dinner party runs wildly away with passionate opinionistas, you can throw in the above nuggets and sound like a guru!

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