A combination that can cause trouble is the mixing of business and politics. This is more or less inevitable, if for no other reason than the government is an enormous customer for many firms. There are also business concerns that are impacted by the political process, so it is reasonable to expect business to make their case on issues that would either help or hinder their commercial pursuits.
Then there is the other sort of mixing of business and politics. This variety has nothing to do really with actual business pursuits, but is used typically by large firms to leverage their position in order to advocate for causes, often social ones. This is where things can get especially nasty.
The recent presidential campaign was an especially turbulent one, largely due to the natures of the two major party candidates themselves, but also due to the intensity of beliefs on the part of the electorate. Added to that mix, however, has been the participation of well-known businesses such as Macy’s in the political process, typically as advocates against Mr. Trump, and in favor of causes popular with the left. Their most recent stock report has had left some interesting results.
From the Political Insider: “Since July of 2015, Macy’s has been cutting ties with Donald Trump, after his earliest comments about illegal immigration before announcing his candidacy for the White House. At that time, the stock price was $72 per share. Now, it’s a shocking $32.58 per share…Macy’s shareholders should be furious with those stock numbers!” Stock prices do move for many reasons, however with the market averages hovering near their highs, that’s an embarrassing performance for Macy’s.
And Macy’s may not yet be finished in its ridiculous war with the Trumps. “Recently, it was reported Macy’s could remove Ivanka Trump’s products from their website as well. This would end more than a decade-long relationship with the Trump family.”
Is a boycott by Trump supporters the reason for the drop in Macy’s stock? Or is management making other dumb decisions that is hurting the firm? We don’t know – and in one sense, we don’t care.
We would school top management of these firms that are compelled to inject their businesses into acrimonious political debate thus: The purpose of your business is to maximize the profits that accrue to your stockholders. Period. Anything that detracts from that purpose, or which reduces the profitability of your business should be removed and avoided.
That includes getting on the bandwagon to bash President Trump.
Another specific lesson: If Ivanka’s line of clothing is making your firm money, promote it. If it is not meeting profit goals and is not expected to do so, drop it. If you’re mad at her father, don’t be so petty as to take it out his daughter, especially at the expense of the profitability of your firm.
That’s a poor business decision – and it just makes you look like crybabies.
Source: Political Insider