Chapter 20. IAN BREMMER

Founded global political risk research and consulting firm Eurasia Group

Created first global political risk index

Author of several books, including The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War between States and Corporations?

Ian Bremmer looks young for his age of 40. But he has always looked young compared to those around him. Like when he went to Tulane University on an academic scholarship. Of course, he was only 15 then. And he was younger than the other teachers at Stanford University when he got his PhD at 24.

But what strikes you about Ian is not how young he looks, but how wise he sounds, and how easily he can talk about world issues, whether it's on NPR, CNBC, or across the table at brunch at one of his favorite quaint restaurants in Washington, D.C., where I last saw him in person.

As he talks about the most complicated financial issues, drawing from his travels around the world and his one-on-one discussions with top global political and business leaders, the course of conversation flows as breezily as if he's talking about who's going to win the next U.S. Open tennis tournament.

But you suddenly realize he's talking about something like the political shifts going on in Uzbekistan, or the undercurrent of generational unease in Saudi Arabia. He makes you feel smart simply because you can digest what he's saying so readily. But don't be fooled. This is someone who not only knows from personal experience what's going on around the world, but also has ...

Get Forbes® Best Business Mistakes: How Today's Top Business Leaders Turned Missteps into Success now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.