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Mark  Blyth

Mark Blyth

Political Economist, Brown University & Author of Angrynomics


Acclaimed for his stunning early predictions of Donald Trump’s victory and Brexit and for identifying the phenomenon that he named “Global Trumpism,” Brown University professor Mark Blyth energizes audiences with his sharp Scottish candor and no-nonsense insights into the interconnected impacts of global politics, economics and markets. Blyth’s ability to break down and clarify high-level financial and political issues for diverse audiences has made him a popular keynote for groups ranging from international investor conferences to trade associations. Blending essential knowledge with invaluable insights, Mark Blyth challenges conventional thinking and deeply informs economic, political, and technological forecasts. All with a thinking-person’s wit and insightful humor that make incredibly complex and difficult topics accessible, understandable, and refreshingly entertaining. Read More >

Mark Blyth currently serves as the Eastman Professor of Political Economy at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University. Blyth also recently became the Director of the William R. Rhodes Center at Brown University. His research focuses upon the causes of stability and change in the economy and “why people continue to believe stupid economic ideas despite buckets of evidence to the contrary.” Professor Blyth has authored several books, most recently Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea and The Future of the Euro. Austerity, which has been translated into 16 languages, won numerous awards, and the attention of Paul Krugman and Lawrence Summers. In his forthcoming book with Eric Lonergan, Angrynomics, Blyth takes the outpouring of anger over an increasingly polarized world seriously, differentiating among the types of anger we see today in order to understand the world around us today.           

Reviewing Austerity in the Financial Times, Summers compared Blyth’s writing to that of John Maynard Keynes. Professor Blyth has also been internationally recognized for his work on macro-prudential regulation in finance (as a member of the Warwick Commission), the impact of economic ideas on politics and on exotic monetary policies. He is a regular contributor to Foreign Affairs and The Guardian and has appeared multiple times on NPR, BBC and Bloomberg. Professor Blyth is currently finishing up a new book on why electorates across the world are so angry, and what can be done about it. He holds a PhD in Political Science from Columbia University.

Professor Blyth is known for working collaboratively with clients to tailor his presentations to their interests. As one client glowingly wrote about his presentation to senior level investment officers and executives, “Attendees appreciated the clarity and insightfulness of his remarks. Mark was able to strike a balance between focusing on the macro trends which are drivers of the current environment, while also providing some specific opinions about future and potential opportunities. He was exactly what we’d hoped for. Thank you!” Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Why Do People Continue to Believe Stupid Economic Ideas?

Short-Term Politics vs. Long-Term Returns: Lessons From History

2019 Economic Outlook

Economic Stresses & Game of Thrones

Get Used to The New Normal

The System Reset

How Does Tech Fit Into the Long and Low Economy?

Economic Trends & The Power of Fintech

On the Brexit Vote

Talks at Google: Austerity - The History of a Dangerous Idea

George Bernard Shaw: The Importance of Narrative in Politics and Economics Culture

Speech Topics

From Economics to Angrynomics: Crashes, Reboots & Anger in Our Economies

That ‘we live in an increasing polarized world’ has become a commonsense piece of wisdom. That ‘the world has become more unequal, unfair, and distrustful of its elites,’ is another. ‘The world is so much more stressful,’ is a third. What ties these wisdoms together is the anger that they generate. In his forthcoming book with Eric Lonergan, Angrynomics, Mark Blyth takes this outpouring of anger seriously, differentiating among the types of anger we see today in order to understand the world around us today. Blyth explains why such outbursts of anger are the consequence of large-scale economic crashes, and why this ‘Angrymonics’ is sustained and amplified when such crashes combine with the appearance of new and challenging micro-level stressors in our daily lives – rapid technological changes and aging societies - that make this moment of Angrynomics particularly acute. Blyth does not however stop at diagnosis. He suggests a set of new ideas that cut across tired old political lines and that shy away from the usual appeal to raising taxes. From the creation of Citizens Wealth Funds funded by the profits of financial crises to a Data Dividend from the sale of our data to digital monopolists Blyth stresses the many ways that are there to push us back from Angrynomics.

Global Trumpism: Lessons for Leaders

The election of president Trump,, Brexit, and the rise of populist politics in general has been both a long time coming...and yet was singularly unexpected. How come such an important shift in our politics and economics was so mis-priced? Mark Blyth, the political economist that identified the phenomenon of “Global Trumpism,” by predicting both Brexit and the election of Donald Trump months before they happened, walks you through the dynamics in both the U.S. and Europe that have broken politics as usual and sent shockwaves through the global economy. He contends that Trump is not unique and that Global Trumpism was 30 years in the making. From there, he asks ‘what do these political and economic surprises tell us about leadership and survivability in the corporate world?’ The answers are both simple, and compelling.

Long, Low & Angry: The Long Run Global Macro Outlook

Prediction is hard, especially when it’s about the future. But there are certain structural forces in the global economy that limit the paths any possible future can take. Inflation rates and interest rates remain stuck at historical lows while political volatility reaches 60 year highs. Meanwhile, the effects of climate change, which must be increasingly incorporated into financial decisions, becomes increasingly real. Within that matrix, what can we reasonably say about the next decade? Blyth asks us to focus on the “signal” (the long run drivers of returns) and discount the “noise” (the short-term politics that surrounds them), arguing that short term events like Brexit will turn out to be a painful sideshow, that over the medium term US China relations will stabilize, and that long term the real area of political and economic volatility for the next decade will be Europe. Taken together what we are seeing is a reconfiguration of the global financial and trade architecture away from tightly coupled global networks to more ‘hub and spoke’ regional arrangements that may actually prove to be more stable, and better suited to combat climate change, than then current order.

The Upside of Disruption: Why a World with Populism & an Aging Population, Needs More, Not Less, Technology

The politics of the developed world has become disturbed. Far from being a temporary blip, populism on the right and left is here to stay, and it will shape our economies for the next decade. But underneath that ‘system shift’ the rich countries are also getting older. Older people save more, spend too little, and vote more than everyone else. And both of these secular trends are taking hold in a world that is in the throes of a digital disruption. The usual response is to fear this disruption, taking its effects on jobs and incomes as always bad. Mark Blyth challenges this view and argues that not only is there an upside to disruption for everyone through doing more with less, he also shows us why an aging and populist world can only be stabilized and prosper with more tech, not less. He strongly argues that we need to embrace the digital future in order to survive our populist present.

Why People Believe ‘Stupid’ Economic Ideas.

Before becoming an acclaimed political economist and author, Mark Blyth was, for a brief time, a stand-up comedian. In this talk, which is a great closer for any conference, he combines his passion for political economy and flair for humor to explain why economic ideas that are not supported by evidence not only persist, but multiply. He charts an amusing course from the limits of human cognition to the incentive structure of organizations to explain why humans are so bad at understanding the world that they live in. Throughout, Blyth reminds us that stupid economic ideas are everywhere, how to spot them, and why, paradoxically, we can’t really do without them.