US presidential election: America decides

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Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton shaking hands in the US presidential election 2016

With the campaign for the US presidential election in its final week, the world markets will await the result with bated breath 

For all the talk of economic transformation and political change across the globe, one election still grabs the eyes of the world like no other; the US presidential race, which reaches its crescendo on 8 November.

For all the shocks we’ve seen in politics over the past few years, the idea of Donald Trump as president would be the most stunning political result of recent times.

He has taken every rule of conventional politics, turned it on its head, and yet – at the time of writing – still seems to be in with a shot of occupying the White House when Barack Obama steps down in January. To be a fly on the wall in that handover…

Smart speculators expect a narrow win for Hillary Clinton, however, and such a result would probably cheer global markets; a Trump victory may send them into a tailspin. Either way, the mood music around business and commerce has not been overly pleasing during the campaign.

Wary of Trump’s appeal in the Rust Belt and among those that see globalisation as having had a damaging effect on their communities, Clinton has moved some way to the left when it comes to free trade and internationalism; last month she registered her anger at the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a deal she helped negotiate as secretary of state just a few years ago.

Of course, political promises don’t always translate into action in elected office, and that’s perhaps nowhere more the case than in the travelling circus of the presidential campaign trail.

With the world still teetering on the edge of a significant slowdown, and geopolitics more unstable than has been the case for some time, the need for strong American leadership is obvious.

Whatever happens on 8 November, the successor to Obama will have a sizeable to-do list, and the fate of the world economy in the short-and medium-term may well depend on their early decisions in the White House.

For the IoD’s reaction to the US election result on 9 November, visit iod.com

More on the US presidential election

Why 2016 is a year to remember

About author

Andy Silvester

Andy Silvester

Andy Silvester is the IoD’s head of campaigns

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