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Mark  Blyth

Mark Blyth

Political Economist, Brown University, & Author of Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea


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.             

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

Economic & Political Briefing: Current Trends & Your Business

Described as “how what you’re doing in the world fits into what the world is doing,” Mark Blyth guides you through a whirlwind overview of macroeconomics, markets, and the political, social and demographic trends that are influencing our future and your business. Often presenting a contrarian view of commonly accepted ideas and forecasts, Professor Blyth separates the hype from the real data with razor-sharp insights, thought-provoking humor and no-nonsense Scottish candor. The political economist that predicted President Trump and Brexit debunks common perceptions, identifies underlying (and often overlooked) trends and provides an invaluable perspective on where our economy (and the politics that shape it) is heading.

Update: What Global Trumpism Means to World Markets

Was the election of Donald Trump a one-off? Or was it one part of a much larger, global pattern of events that is still unfolding and will affect us for years to come? Mark Blyth, the political economist that identified the phenomenon of “Global Trumpism,” shares powerful insights that will forever change your outlook on both global politics and world markets. Noted for predicting both Brexit and the election of Donald Trump months before they happened, Professor Blyth walks you through the disparate dynamics in both the U.S. and Europe that have altered 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. Recent events in France, the Netherlands and the UK suggest that this so-called ‘populist’ wave has crested. Blyth demurs. He tells you what this long-run structural shift of power means to financial markets, the fate of the EU, and the political and economic climate in the U.S. His straight-talking, no-holds-barred and frequently entertaining analysis tells it like it is—with powerful predictions of what’s to come.

Short Term Politics vs. Long Term Returns

Imagine a world where inflation is not coming back to the rich countries anytime soon. As a consequence, interest rates are not going to rise to 4 or 5 percent in our lifetimes. What would that mean? We can already see some of the consequences. Pension promises are being revised. Corporations and governments have become net savers. Investment has fallen even in the face of super low rates. Despite all this, the stock market booms. How will living in a “long and low and old” world affect us? Starting from the insight that humans are awful at focusing on the long term – we have evolved to respond to the here and now – Mark Blyth argues that rather than pay attention to immediate events, particularly political events, we should be looking at the longer-term drivers of those politics. Applying these insights to the global economy, Professor 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).

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. 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.

The Future of the Euro & the EU

Despite not originating much in the way of subprime mortgages, the Eurozone was hit much harder than the US by the global financial crisis, and struggles to this day to bring about a full recovery. Happily, recent falls in unemployment and a rebound in growth, plus the rejection of populists at the ballot box, have done much to restore investor confidence. But is the Eurozone really fixed and is the currency that holds it together really as stable as we think? Mark Blyth puts the recent upturn in growth in a longer-term perspective, stressing the underlying structural problems of the Eurozone economy (exporter nations versus consumption-driven nations) and the political problems that this generates that are not going away anytime soon. An essential talk for anyone interested in Europe, or investing in Europe.