The Fat Tail


Strategy + Business selects The Fat Tail as one of the "Best Business Books of 2009"

"Ian Bremmer and Preston Keat’s The Fat Tail: The Power of Political Knowledge for Strategic Investing is long overdue. The authors, both at the prestigious consulting firm Eurasia Group, draw on years of top-level advisory experience to provide the first accessible and rigorous treatment of political risk for business executives... The authors’ main point: Black swans, as Nassim Nicholas Taleb calls them, can be political as well as financial." (more)

The Hindu reviews The Fat Tail

The Hindu calls The Fat Tail a "recommended addition to the strategists’ shelf." It also says that, "To those who try to decode where decision-making power rests, helpful tips in the book include: that in a country like Saudi Arabia, where informal power structures are dominant, attempts to negotiate with the government via formal ministries may not get you very far; and that attempts to win government tenders in Germany by trying to map a particular government official’s network of family and friends will not help much either." (more)

National Interest reviews The Fat Tail

"Bremmer and Keat encourage their readers to look closely at how they think about the future, deploy a wide range of tools to assist them in this task and warn readers against common pitfalls. ... The authors point out too that just because something -- like geopolitical risk -- is hard to quantify does not give you license to ignore it." (more)

Shanghai Daily names The Fat Tail a top business book

In its book review section, the Shanghai Daily calls The Fat Tail a "groundbreaking study of political risk, its market implications, and what businesses can -- and cannot -- do about it." (more)

Fareed Zakaria GPS names The Fat Tail the "Book of the Week"

"The authors examine how global political risks such as government changes, terrorism, and war, can affect the business world. They provide methods to help corporations and global firms to understand and manage political risk. It is a fascinating look at how to read an ever-changing geo-political landscape." (more)

Real Clear Markets calls The Fat Tail "a very worthwhile and fun read"

"Bremmer and Keat seek to explain the importance of calculating political risk as a significant part of all investment calculations. Given the growing role of Washington, London, Beijing and other political capitals in the world economy, their book is well timed." (more)

GetAbstract gives The Fat Tail 9 out of 10 stars

"This timely, concise book provides an introduction to managing and assessing international political risk. Its great merit, getAbstract reports, is that it provides a framework for understanding the nature of political risk and a variety of approaches to managing it." (more)

Publishers Weekly reviews The Fat Tail

"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... With excellent examples, the authors demonstrate how planning for such political developments may make or break a company." (more)

"How to Expect the Unexpected"

"Fat Tail categorizes risk, discusses the concept and suggests strategies for handling it. The short book--198 pages of text--then ties all this together with interesting historical examples and anecdotes from current times, fascinating facts, apt quotations, meaty endnotes and incisive thoughts." (more)

"The Problem with Political Risk"

"Political risk" -- however material -- cannot be reduced to a number, so it tends to get left out. After reading this book, I feel nearer to understanding why." (more)

"Political Risk is an Ignored Aspect of Foreign Investing"

"[The authors] succeed in convincing the reader that lack of attention to their subject is a persistent problem." (more)


"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 CEO, The Coca-Cola Company

"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.

"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 definitive 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

"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, best-selling author of The Post-American World

"Wary of political risk and what it can do for you? Read this book, which proves, 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

“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

"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 (2008)

Reader reviews

"Ian Bremmer is one of the smartest futurists I have run across. He has a knack for conceptualizing social and political trends and turning them into probabilities and equations that are not only valuable for 'investors' but also help give strategists new layers of onion skin that can be peeled back when visioning future geopolitical scenarios."
— Steve Clemons, The Washington Note

"Bremmer is a pioneer in the application of political science to finance."
— Kevin Press, Today's Economy Blog

"The Eurasia Group rightly predicted that the most significant market impact internationally would be made from Congress, as opposed to the impact that could stem from actions by Iran or Russia. ... I highly recommend picking up a copy of The Fat Tail and look forward to more insights from Mr.Bremmer."
— Robert Amsterdam, Corporate Foreign Policy

Geldpress says The Fat Tail "just may be the most important book worth reading for all CEO’s of multi-national companies."
— Geldpress

Vahan Janjigian calls author Ian Bremmer "the foremost expert on political risk" and says The Fat Tail is "interesting and timely."
— Vahan Janjigian

Hugh Hewitt writes about The Fat Tail in his blog and mentions author Ian Bremmer's speaking event at Town Hall in Seattle.
— Hugh Hewitt

The Mad Hedge Fund Trader says the The Fat Tail "is a must read book for any hedge fund manager struggling with his global risk exposure and looking for some great long term plays."
— The Mad Hedge Fund Trader

Mark Robinson says "the analysis and advice contained in this book is directly applicable to making offshoring decisions."
— Mark H. Robinson

"The Fat Tail ... is the first book to identify the wide range of political risks that global firms face and show investors how to effectively manage them. ... The authors show that political risk is easier to analyze and manage than most people think."
— Liviu Mihaileanu, Business Management

Acemaxx-Analytics interviews Ian Bremmer about political risks.
— Acemaxx-Analytics