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Taking care of business

What You Can Learn About International Finance Via Twitter

Nov 30 2015

Looking for where to go for some high-level help on doing business overseas, and to see how the international finance game is played? Take it 140 characters at a time, with some advice from economic elites, to improve your company's foreign portfolio strategy.

Whether you’re the CFO of a company with plans to expand overseas, or you’re moving to a new, global position in order to boost revenue overseas, knowing the ropes — and the riptides — in international landscape can be the difference between recording your bottom line in black ink or red.

Twitter can help, and in significant ways. The app is a hotbed of news, views and keen insights from key players in international business and financial markets.

But following the international business scene — especially international growth areas that are poised for takeoff (much like the Brazil, Russia, India, China — or “BRIC” — economies did back in the 1990s), is no easy task. After all, geopolitical considerations, complex currency issues, a regulatory climate that shifts on a regular basis, and changing attitudes and spending habits of consumers in burgeoning economies can all combine to overwhelm even the most studious U.S. corporate decision-makers.

To keep your international economic educational experience short and sweet, you may follow these five international growth experts on a regular basis to better understand fast-moving global markets.

1. Penny Pritzker: @PennyPritzker / 19,600 followers

The U.S. Secretary of Commerce is a frequent tweeter, particularly in updating overseas trade missions that reveal genuine growth opportunities overseas. Pritzker’s on-the-ground tweets are an insider’s look at the international growth scene. Especially helpful are her links to articles, studies and whitepapers that expand on her tweets, giving followers a comprehensive view of what Uncle Sam thinks about global markets, and why.

2. CME Group: @CMEGroup / 769,000 followers

Whether it’s a link to a complete and current outlook on the U.S. corn market or a thorough review of global crude oil output, CME Group’s Twitter feed is a delight when it comes to international financial buzz. A typical post from this worldwide futures and options trading firm explains why global commodities traders are struggling with current conditions in the silver market, and what that means for commodities investors.

3. Economonitor: @economonitor / 5,600 followers

Economonitor could well be the aggregator of choice for international growth followers — its bio bills itself as “bringing together a community of economic, financial and geopolitical thinkers from around the world.” That’s what Economonitor does, and in regular doses, by gathering critical data feeds, news and commentary from around the world and laying it all out for its growing network of followers.

4. David Leonhardt: @DLeonhardt / 63,700 followers

The widely-read economics columnist for The New York Times offers a treasure trove of data and insight on global markets, in a unique, inside look that personalizes the international growth market. One tweet from Leonhardt examines how the fight for independence in Scotland centers not on geopolitical strife, but on one specific issue — taxes. Leonhardt humanizes the issue, but leads readers through the intricacies of global change and growth in a clear, compelling and concise manner.

5. Robin Bew: @RobinBew / 22,200 followers

Robin Bew, the chief economist at the highly-respected Economist Intelligence Unit, is a widely-proclaimed expert on global economy, world business environment and industry trends. Based in London and a Twitter regular since 2010, Bew is as likely to post how and why Dubai and South Korea are joining forces to invest billions in Africa (but won’t catch China’s African dominance), as he is to post an insightful look at Brazil’s new stimulus package — and why it probably won’t work to jump-start the country’s economy.

These aren’t the only international finance gurus to post regularly on Twitter, but they're at the top of the list. All five are great starting points, and leading lights, for wisdom on the global economic scene — as we said, 140 insightful words at a time.

Brian O’Connell is a writer with 15 years experience covering business news and trends. A former Wall Street bond trader, he has written for dozens of top-tier national business publications, including TIME, MSN Money, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, The Street.com and CBS Marketwatch.

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