What We’re Reading: Alphas and Armenia

Weekly reviews of what's on our bookshelves.

Geopolitical Alpha: An Investment Framework for Predicting the Future By Marko Papic Back when folks could still meet for drinks in a hotel lobby, I found myself in a conversation with the owner of a small holdings company. After we spoke about our respective professions, he stared at me blankly and asked, “And? What’s your value-add?” It felt like a scene out of “Office Space,” where corporate downsizers asked, “What would you say you do here?” We both left unimpressed with each other. My encounter speaks to the gap between financial market analysis and geopolitical analysis. Folks from one profession tend to talk past the other, as my chat ably showed. “Geopolitical Alpha” by Marko Papic helps bridge this gap. Papic goes beyond delivering an investment framework for predicting the future; he reframes how investors can identify and use the oft-promised “actionable intelligence.” He even-handedly addresses the shortcomings of those working in finance as well as those in consulting, explaining how this causes communication problems between the two. More important, he provides a solution. For investors, he prescribes concrete criteria for how to evaluate and think about data streaming in from consultants to ensure those that have value are fully […]

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Allison Fedirka
Allison Fedirka is the director of analysis for Geopolitical Futures. In addition to writing analyses, she helps train new analysts, oversees the intellectual quality of analyst work and helps guide the forecasting process. Prior to joining Geopolitical Futures, Ms. Fedirka worked for Stratfor as a Latin America specialist and subsequently as the Latin America regional director. She lived in South America – primarily Argentina and Brazil – for more than seven years and, in addition to English, fluently speaks Spanish and Portuguese. Ms. Fedirka has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and international studies from Washington University in St. Louis and a master’s degree in international relations and affairs from the University of Belgrano, Argentina. Her thesis was on Brazil and Angola and south-south cooperation.
Ekaterina Zolotova
Ekaterina Zolotova is an analyst for Geopolitical Futures. Prior to Geopolitical Futures, Ms. Zolotova participated in several research projects devoted to problems and prospects of Russia’s integration into the world economy. Ms. Zolotova has a specialist degree in international economic relations from Plekhanov Russian University of Economics. In addition, Ms. Zolotova studied international trade and international integration processes. Her thesis was on features of economic development of Venezuela. She speaks native Russian and is fluent in English.