Given the passion many people are feeling around the 2016 presidential election, I imagine many of us are working very hard to avoid wading into partisan waters at work. Having a list of “safe for work” political topics can come in handy if lunch time conversation with coworkers turns to politics.
The team helping to prepare for the 2016 Client Forum is immersed in the presidential election because we are again featuring political strategist Greg Valliere on the agenda. Valliere joined us for the Forum in Chicago in 2015, where he addressed serious issues affecting the pre-election climate; topics like monetary policy and interest rate politics.
Five months ago, in an article published by Investment News, Valliere is cited saying the 2016 presidential election is the “nastiest” and “most unserious” he has ever seen. I know I’m eager to hear what he has to say about the key issues for investors in the Trump/Pence versus Clinton/Kaine (versus Johnson/Weld?) race.
As part of our Client Forum prep, I’ve been watching recent videos of Greg’s presentations and commentary. This assignment has helped me develop my personal list of six “safe for work” political conversation topics that focus not on individual candidates or personal opinions, but instead on relevant industry issues.
Topic 1: What are the economic factors that may have contributed to the outcomes of the primary race, and the selection of the final nominee for each party (e.g., uneven wage growth, public attitudes about trade policy)?
Topic 2: What is the potential impact of party platforms on Wall Street performance (e.g., “Will a hawkish administration contribute to improved performance of defense stocks?”)?
Topic 3: How will the legislative agenda be affected by the November elections? What might come of the quid pro quo deals that are a necessary part of political sausage making (e.g., “I’ll endorse you if you commit to a comprehensive overhaul of the tax code.”)?
Topic 4: What is the potential impact of legislative reforms on the industry (e.g., “How will repatriation of corporate foreign earnings affect the deficit?”)?
Topic 5: How will next term’s docket of the Supreme Court of the United States be affected by the changing direction of the polls?
Topic 6: What are the implications of the outcome of our election on geopolitics (e.g., Syrian refugee crisis, potential dissolution of Europe, China trade deals)?
What other questions would you ask to help an office-based political discussion stay relevant to the workplace? Share your ideas in the comments below, or post them on Twitter and tag us at @BFClients.
You can also share your insights on Thursday, September 15 when Greg Valliere takes the stage at the 2016 Client Forum. If joining us for this exclusive event is not on your radar screen but you want to be part of the discussion, I invite you to follow #BFCF16 hashtag on Twitter to participate in Greg’s presentation in real time.