Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Scot-Free? Effect of Independence Vote on State Business Not Clear

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Scot-Free? Effect of Independence Vote on State Business Not Clear

Article excerpt

OKLAHOMA CITY - Jerome Segura's economics students at Oklahoma City University are intrigued by the impending Scotland vote for independence, but their focus is on national identity, not money.

"To some extent they were wondering about how the re- establishment of old borders might impact the flow of people, the flow of ideas, the flow of goods and services," the assistant economics professor said. "That interest is kind of a unique thing here in Oklahoma, because people don't necessarily pay attention to outside news. It seems as though international business consists of sending stuff to Texas or Kansas.

"I joke about that, but my students just don't stay up with international news," he said. "I don't know exactly how to approach it in a way that they will appreciate the importance."

Scottish voters will decide Thursday whether to continue more than 300 years in a national partnership with England or to split from the United Kingdom. Recent polls suggest citizens are split down the middle, which has prompted Prime Minister David Cameron this week to increase the passion of his entreaties to maintain the union.

The uncertainty has disrupted investor markets. It raises questions about the currency Scotland would use and the effects on North Sea oil reserves, in addition to other economic issues such as splitting shared public debt - an independent Scotland could depress the exchange rate for the pound, for example.

Scotland has a relatively small population of 5.3 million, limited natural resources and no interest in playing a part in international military politics. But the outcome of the election is a significant reminder of how small the business world is, said Don Hackler, spokesman for the state Department of Commerce.

Hackler said the department also encourages its clients to stay abreast of international developments for practical reasons. …

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