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Geopolitical Alpha: An Investment Framework for Predicting the Future

Geopolitical Alpha covers a "constraints framework" for predicting the actions of geopolitical actors, emphasizing what they can do over what they say they want to do. This approach to analyzing global politics is less about explicit blueprints for investors and more about sharpening their perspective with illustrative case studies, like the Greek debt crisis. While the book contains useful insights and an entertaining narrative, it sometimes overreaches, particularly noticeable in Papic's coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic where his assumptions missed the mark, highlighting the limitations of his approach.

The concept—ignore rhetoric and focus on realpolitik—is useful, yet Papic's unique spin is to view this through the lens of market implications, which may not always offer concrete investment strategies as evidenced by Papic's own missteps with the pandemic and Russia-Ukraine analysis (only obvious after this book was published!). The book serves as a thought-provoking read, providing a helpful yet imperfect tool for those wrestling with the unpredictability of geopolitics. It's most beneficial for those willing to take its lessons as a part of a broader investment approach, rather than a stand-alone solution for market success.


These are entirely subjective, and roughly try to capture my personal enjoyment and usefulness, and how likely I'd recommend it to others. Don't read too much into this unless you love my judgement. Rough guidelines:

A: Top quartile. Changed the way I think about something.

B: Worthwhile. I took away something useful.

C: Didn't hit, wouldn't directly recommend. Likely won't revisit.

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