Why you should never assume

Tomorrow's Business

A cliche that does the rounds of newspapers every time one of us takes something for granted and comes a cropper:

Assume makes an ass of you and me.

A bunch of us learnt that again last week when there was a glitch at the London Stock Exchange.

An LSE spokesman confirms: “Publication of regulatory news announcements were temporarily delayed on Monday 16 April due to a technical issue.”

The danger here is that flaks who assume that an RNS has gone out start briefing hacks and analysts or sending out tweets on the back of an announcement that hasn’t officially been made yet.

That risks creating a false market in the shares, which the LSE doesn’t look kindly on, even if its own systems are partly to blame.

I think on this occasion the PR industry came out of it quite well; mostly, firms had sufficient checks in place to prevent disaster.

They don’t always though. Every once in a while a flak who assumes an RNS has been made public ends up getting his own client’s shares suspended.

Avoid that one if you can.

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