The Fat Tail

Articles by the authors

"A Fix for Eastern Europe: Joining the Euro"

In an article for BusinessWeek, Preston Keat and Eurasia Group analyst Jon Levy write that entering the euro zone would stabilize shaky Eastern European economies. "Eastern Europe's exchange rate regimes and currency volatility are a root cause of the region's liquidity and credit crisis. But with all of Eastern Europe legally bound to join the euro zone, there is a path out of the crisis--albeit one that depends heavily on politics." (more)

"The Political Risk of Toxic Assets"

Ian Bremmer and Sean West write about the political risk of toxic assets. "The political risk premium attached to U.S. investments is higher than at any time in recent memory. All corners of the market are depending on Washington to 'get it right.'" (more)

"Ian Bremmer on AIG and America's Rising Political Risk Premium"

In a piece for Time, Ian Bremmer writes, "Investors can no longer make decisions on how to position themselves with relation to these institutions because without considering the willingness of the government to continuously change settled policies in response to public outcry. ... This sort of uncertainty in the US is the textbook example of political risk." (more)

"Leading in an Unstable World"

In an article for The Washington Post, Ian Bremmer says, "The ongoing financial crisis and the first truly global recession have only added to the importance of politics. Economic decision-making power has shifted from capitals of finance like New York, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Dubai to centers of political power like Washington, Beijing, Delhi, and Abu Dhabi, as political officials and lawmakers craft plans to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to kickstart domestic economies." (more)

"AIG and 'Political Risk'"

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group analyst Sean West discuss AIG and political risk. "While public outrage is understandable," they write "pandering to it jeopardizes the administration's credentials in a sloppy attempt to score populist points. This raises the political risk for all investors in the U.S. (both domestic and foreign) significantly." (more)

"Outrage is an Unaffordable Luxury"

In an article for The Washington Post, Ian Bremmer says, "The issue is not whether bonuses for failed business practices, paid for by taxpayers, is right or not. It's just that the issue pales in the context of the big picture. And the big picture is that the financial rescue plan, for which Secretary Geithner is now responsible, has yet to convince markets or the public that it will restore America's financial health." (more)

"The New Capitals of Capital"

In an article for Forbes, Ian Bremmer says "As governments all over the world roll out massive spending plans and bail out companies and banks, it's the political leaders who are making the decisions that will drive global markets for the foreseeable future. New York used to be the financial capital of the world. It's no longer even the financial capital of the U.S. For the moment, Washington is." (more)

"The Ascendancy of Politics"

In an article for "The Big Money," Ian Bremmer writes: "Something extraordinary is happening. New York used to be the financial capital of the world. It's no longer the financial capital of the United States. For the moment, that honor falls on Washington, where lawmakers and executive branch officials are hard at work on policy proposals that will shape the future of the U.S. economy."

"The Call" on

In Eurasia Group's blog "The Call" on, Ian Bremmer discusses the central points of The Fat Tail and explains why many of the underlying risks that now impact global markets are fundamentally political. (more)

Articles about the book

"The End of the Big Business-China Love Affair"

"Bremmer recently co-authored the book The Fat Tail, which details the political risks facing the global economy. (Major, unlikely events that are difficult to fit into statistical models are known as fat tails.) He counts the U.S. relationship with China among the fattest of fat tails." (more)

"The Return of Political Risk"

"It's worth picking up Bremmer's new book, The Fat Tail," Rana Foroohar writes. "He argues that we're not thinking enough about the changes that might be caused by all these shifts, and what it will mean for our jobs and our lives. " (more)

"Super (Sub) Secretaries"

Thomas Friedman quotes The Fat Tail author Ian Bremmer in an op-ed discussing political risk in the face of the global financial crisis: "There is a geopolitical storm coming, concluded Bremmer, 'and it is not priced into the market yet.'" (more)

"On Language: Fat Tail"

In his column "On Language," William Safire discusses the meaning of "fat tail" and says, "Next month, Oxford University Press brings out 'The Fat Tail: The Power of Political Knowledge for Strategic Investing,' by Ian Bremmer and Preston Keat. The new metaphor for the shrewdly expected surprise, already snapped up by new-media marketing companies and irate bloggers, apparently has a future in geopolitics." (more)

"Political Risk, the Financial Crisis and Strategic Investing" does a Q+A with Ian Bremmer on his new book, The Fat Tail. Bremmer says "The central idea of the book is that fat tail political risks have become increasingly important for governments, companies, and investors--and that they're both more predictable and more manageable than other sort of fat-tailed risks." (more)

"Political Posturing: The Other Kind of Risk"

"In one of life's ironies, this year promises to bring more geopolitical difficulties to scores of countries, but not to Iraq, where middle-class security continues to improve. That is the view of Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group, a political-risk research and consulting firm, and co-author of a book due out this week, The Fat Tail: The Power of Political Knowledge for Strategic Investing." (more)

Sallie Krawcheck and The Fat Tail

"'It doesn't matter what the banks do... It’s the public sector decisions that are going to matter.' So argued Ian Bremmer, founder of political risk consultancy Eurasia Group and co-author, along with Preston Keat, of The Fat Tail at their Yale Club book launch party held Tuesday night in New York." (more)

"Book Party Like It's Not 2009"'s GalleyCat says "the party, like the book, balanced between finance glitter and academic rigor--the cover jacket is blurbed by a NYU economics professor, an UN ambassador, and the CEO of Coca-Cola... 'This is in the top three of the best book parties I've seen in my 17-year career,' remarked one of the organizers." (more)