Giovanni was somewhat uninterested in politics, unless it pertained to him and/or his bank. Often, when his name was chosen to participate in the Florentine government (reggimento), he chose to pay his fine rather than serve, although he did serve one term as Gonfaloniere.
Giovanni ran an early "multi-national" company, as the family bank, his main commercial interest, had branches throughout the northern Italian city-states and beyond. In 1410, Giovanni bet on the return of the papacy to Rome, and was correct. Rewarding Giovanni for his support, subsequent popes made use of de' Medici banks. Giovanni was also rewarded with tax-farming contracts and the rights to many alum mines.