The book “Geopolitical Alpha: An Investment Framework for Predicting the Future” guides the reader in the intricate world of geopolitical analysis in support of business and financial markets and provides future and current geopolitical analysts with a methodology and examples to produce forecasting.
At SpecialEurasia, we are always looking for inspiration books which might support or improve our analytical methods and geopolitical forecasting. For those involved in geopolitics, risk assessment, and consulting, it is essential to have a framework and solid methodology to understand current events and support decision-making.
The last years have proven that we live in uncertain times. Political turmoils and changes, border clashes, conflicts, sanctions, globalisation, environmental problems, cyber attacks, terrorism and pandemics have characterised the current contemporary era. Since 2020 the world has experienced Covid-19 and economic crises, the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict, the U.S. troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban’s rise to power, the Ukraine conflict, the Taiwan crisis and the Beijing-Washington confrontation in Asia-Pacific. These days we are witnessing a military escalation in the South Caucasus, a region which plays a strategic role in the Eurasian geopolitical chessboard.
How can we navigate all these events and understand how they impact the financial markets and our personal finance? The answer might be found in the book “Geopolitical Alpha: An Investment Framework for Predicting the Future” by Marko Papic, which we consider a milestone in geopolitical analysis and forecasting because it might help to understand what happens in the world and predict future outcomes.
Looking at Papic’s career, we can say that “this guy made it”: coming from the ex-Yugoslavia, Papic moved to Iraq, Jordan, Switzerland, and Texas (United States), where he worked for the famous and prestigious Stratfor before founding BCA Research’s Geopolitical Strategy (GPS) in 2012 and then accepting a new job position as a partner and chief strategy at Clocktower Group. A fantastic career for a person born in a region, the Balkans, that during the ’90s experienced the collapse of the Communist system, internal conflicts and foreign military intervention.
What is fascinating is that Papic, after working at Stratfor with George Friedman (one of the most famous and cited geopolitical analysts of the current times, founder of Stratfor and Geopolitical Futures), moved his career to the world of investment consulting and economy-supporting different companies and clients to navigate the intrinsic world of current geopolitics and international affairs.
Marko Papic’s framework, constraints and alpha
How can Papic do this? Does he have a particular formula or an extraordinary skill? Besides his working and academic background, Marko Papic has a framework that helps him understand current events and transform them into helpful Intelligence and advice for his clients. A framework that everyone can discover by reading his book “Geopolitical Alpha: An Investment Framework for Predicting the Future”, where he defined Geopolitical Alpha as the practice of ignoring media-told narratives, smoky room insights, and most policy advisors and instead focusing on the measurable and meaningful constraints facing policymakers.
In the book, Papic introduces the concept of constraints that every country must face. He identifies four critical constraints that geopolitical observers need to consider: political economy, macro-economy and financial markets, geopolitics, and constitutional and legal position. The author also includes two wildcards: terrorism and pandemics.
Looking at the framework and reading his different examples based on real case studies and working experience, we can link Papic’s Geopolitical Alpha with SWOT Analysis, and PESTEL Analysis adapted to the world of geopolitical forecasting and risk assessment. Furthermore, we can parallel George Friedman’s methodology based on constraints and imperatives that every country and government faces in the world of geopolitics.
Geopolitical Alpha is a must-have
What makes Geopolitical Alpha an exciting book? First, for every person interested in geopolitics who wants to improve his/her skills and forecasting ability, the book might be seen as a “practical manual” that gives information and food for thought.
Secondly, Geopolitical Alpha helps the analyst eliminate that media “noise” that often hinders the realisation of valuable forecasts and reports, an idea you can also find in the book Stop Reading the News. A Manifesto for a Happier, Calmer and Wiser Life written by Rolf Dobelli.
Lastly, Papic’s book guides the reader in the interconnected worlds of finance, investments, and geopolitics, giving a constraint-based framework to analyse the world, whatever its problem (political, economic, environmental) or scale (personal, regional, global), to avoid danger and make changes where necessary can do.
Author: Giuliano Bifolchi. For those interested in discovering more about geopolitical forecasting and analysis, feel free to check our training courses at this LINK.