Summary of Big Bets & Black Swans

Looking for the report?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 5 minutes.

Big Bets & Black Swans summary


8 Overall

9 Importance

8 Innovation

8 Style


As President Barack Obama begins his second term, foreign policy scholars at Brookings believe the time is right for America to reassert its global leadership. They provide 20 short memoranda that lay out big issues, complete with background information and concise recommendations. The subjects are either “big bets” – strategies that could be transformational for the US, the world and the president’s legacy – or “black swans” – events that nobody expects to happen but that would have devastating consequences if they did. This smart report earns stylistic points for being more internally aligned than most documents with multiple contributors. getAbstract recommends it to policy makers, global businesspeople and students of foreign affairs.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why America is still the leader of the “liberal world order,”
  • Why a renewed commitment to that order is necessary and
  • Which 20 “big bets and black swans” the Obama administration should address in its second term.

About the Authors

Martin Indyk is vice president and director of foreign policy at Brookings, where Tanvi Madan is a fellow and a director of the India Project. Thomas Wright is a fellow in Brookings’s Managing Global Order Project. Gail Chalef was the project designer.



“A Plastic Moment”
After World War II, the US was at the forefront of creating a “liberal world order” by advocating free market capitalism, democracy and internationalism. America stepped into a plastic moment in history – a malleable juncture when the world needed leadership and restructuring...

Comment on this summary

  • Avatar
  • Avatar
    Joel Fulcher 5 years ago
    Another left wing commentary..This is why I cancelled. How about fair and balanced!
    • Avatar
      Erica Rauzin 5 years ago
      Dear Mr. Fulcher,

      We're sorry you cancelled, and we hope to win you back. However, I want to hasten to clarify for other readers that getAbstract is completely politically neutral and works hard to present books and papers – like this one – from the full spectrum of opinions. The authors whose work we cover have a broad range of outlooks as befits our mission of helping our subscribers stay well informed across the board. Many thanks for your comment. Erica Rauzin, Managing Editor

More on this topic

By the same authors

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category