In recent years, investors have learned the hard truth that in the international economy, politics often matters at least as much as economic fundamentals for the performance of global markets. Too many companies and investors haven't yet learned to read the warning signs: their expertise lies much more in economics than politics, and the temptation is to hope that highly volatile situations such as the 2008 Georgia-Russia confrontation will be few and far between. But as Ian Bremmer and Preston Keat demonstrate, these scenarios--and their catastrophic effects on business--happen much more frequently than we imagine. On the curve that charts both the frequency of these events and the power of their impact, the 'tail' of extreme political instability is not reassuringly thin but dangerously fat.
This groundbreaking book is the first to both identify the wide range of political risks that global firms face and show investors how to effectively manage them. Written by two of the world's leading figures in political risk management, it reveals that while the world remains exceedingly risky for businesses, it is by no means incomprehensible. Political risk is unpredictable, but it is easier to analyze and manage than most people think. Applying the lessons of world history, Bremmer and Keat survey a vast range of contemporary risky situations, from stable markets like the United States or Japan, where politically driven regulation can still dramatically effect business, to more precarious places like Iran, China, Russia, Turkey, Mexico, and Nigeria, where private property is less secure and energy politics sparks constant volatility. The book sheds light on a wide array of political risks--risks that stem from great power rivalries, terrorist groups, government takeover of private property, weak leaders and internal strife, and even the "black swans" that defy prediction. But more importantly, the authors provide a wealth of unique methods, tools, and concepts to help corporations, money managers, and policy makers understand political risk, showing when and how political risk analysis works--and when it does not.
Authored by Ian Bremmer (author of the bestselling The J-Curve) and Preston Keat, the president and research director (respectively) of Eurasia Group, the world's leading political risk consultancy firm, The Fat Tail is an indispensable guide for anyone involved in the international economy.
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Ian Bremmer is the President of Eurasia Group and author of The J Curve: A New Way to Understand Why Nations Rise and Fall. He is a contributing editor for Foreign Policy and The National Interest.
Preston Keat is Director of Research at Eurasia Group. He presently teaches at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. For more information, please visit www.fattailbook.com.
"The Fat Tail delivers practical wisdom on the impact of political risk on firms of every description and valuable advice on how to use it. Ian Bremmer and Preston Keat offer innovative thinking and useful insight that will help business decision-makers find fresh answers to questions they may not yet know they have." --Fareed Zakaria, author of The Post-American World
"Political risk has become increasingly complex, and The Fat Tail provides a truly new way to quantitatively assess it in established and emerging markets. It is essential reading for any CEO with multinational interests." --Randall Stephenson, Chairman, CEO and President, AT&T Inc.
"Bremmer and Keat are right: economics produces cycles and even crises, but it is politics that has the power to turn crises into profound and lasting dramas. Their book should be essential reading for anyone involved in international business even-perhaps especially-in places that seem politically stable." --Bill Emmott, editor-in-chief of The Economist 1996-2003 and author of Rivals
"In an uncertain age in which everyone from individual investors and CEOs to journalists and heads of state seems at times to be grasping in the dark for insights to where we are heading, Ian Bremmer and Preston Keat have given us a unique roadmap, a forecasting toolkit that shines a light on our possible futures." --Robert Kagan, author of The Return of History and the End of Dreams
"Wary of political risk and what it can do for you? Read this book which provides, replete with significant examples, how this growing art, with touches of science, can help you understand markets, investment climate, and the many changing economic circumstances impacted by critical political and security events around the world. Bremmer and Keat, both masters of this medium with many years experience, tell us how to understand political events and to gauge their impact on the critical business and economic decisions that many of us must make daily." --Thomas R Pickering, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and US Ambassador to Jordan, Nigeria, El Salvador, Israel, the United Nations, India and Russia
"Bremmer and Keat, executives at Eurasia Group, explore how global political risks influence the business world in this cogently argued analysis. The book details key areas corporations must be wary of in order to survive in the new global economy including foreign laws and regulation, government changes, civil unrest, expropriation, terrorism and war. With excellent examples, the authors demonstrate how planning for such political developments may make or break a company." --Publisher's Weekly
"In these times of heightened geopolitical risk, political knowledge has become a hard currency. Ian Bremmer and Preston Keat have made an important contribution to the world of risk mitigation and business continuity in The Fat Tail." --Muhtar Kent, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Coca-Cola Company
"Ian Bremmer and Preston Keat have worked for years on the cutting edge of political risk management, and The Fat Tail provides us with a definite survey of the subject. It will be indispensible for global investors." --Nouriel Roubini, Professor of Economics and International Business, Stern School of Business, New York University
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