The William R. Rhodes ’57 Professor of International Economics, The Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
The world has never been richer, yet we have never been angrier. What does this say about where we are heading? Acclaimed for his stunning (and very early) predictions of Donald Trump’s victory and Brexit, and for identifying the phenomenon that he named "Global Trumpism," Brown University professor Mark Blyth has once again pinpointed the powerful underpinnings that are shaping our political and economic future. Read More >
On the 2020 Presidential Election | The Takeout Podcast
Economic Stresses & Game of Thrones
Virtual Keynote | Three Easy Lifts for a Post COVID World
The System Reset
Virtual Keynote | COVID-19: The “Good Problem” Hidden Within
Get Used to The New Normal
Angrynomics Book Promo
The Mustang and The Volvo
How Does Tech Fit Into the Long and Low Economy?
Economic Trends & The Power of Fintech
On the Brexit Vote
Why Do People Continue to Believe Stupid Economic Ideas?
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.
As Yogi Berra memorably put it, "it’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future." So, what do we actually know about COVID-19? And how can we make reasonable predictions about likely outcomes? Will we be facing doomful long-term damage? Or only short-term effects that will be as seasonal as the virus itself? With a keen eye on Asian, European and North American economies and markets, master forecaster Mark Blyth examines the key variables, risks, opportunities and overall political and economic impact of COVID-19.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s evocative metaphor of the Black Swan is instantly impactful. It reminds us of the impact of low probability events. But Taleb also mentions ‘Grey Swans,’ things which are known, but whose impact is subjectively discounted. There are also things called Redback Spiders, which Australians live with quite comfortably, despite these things being deadly. What these metaphors do is to help us understand how we think about risk, and how we often discount things that can harm us as well as things that can benefit us. This talk highlights how thinking in complex system terms allows us to understand better why viruses have such different effects in different places, why we underprice climate change risk, why we struggle to accept long term low interest rates, why everyone getting old is a major economic problem, why robots are really our friends, and why wage stagnation is a problem for everyone, not just those with stagnant wages.
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.
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 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.
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.
How will the larger trends in global economics, politics and financial markets affect your industry and business? In this highly engaging executive briefing, political economist and master forecaster Mark Blyth, author of Angrynomics, examines the issues your company’s leaders care about most, calling out warning signs along the way. Known for his collaborative style in customizing his presentations, humorous Scottish candor and highly interactive Q&A, Blyth delivers a thought-provoking session that unpacks and illuminates the increasingly intertwined future of economies and politics.
"Mark did a wonderful job – he was engaging, insightful and really kept our entire team interested."
“Everything went splendidly! Mark and the facilitator had a really interesting and very robust discussion and Mark was an absolute professional (would not have expected any less though). Thank you very much for all your assistance in the lead up to the event, and please pass on my appreciation to Mark, the feedback I have received already has been overwhelmingly positive.”
"It was just fantastic..his humor and the way he put forward his views were just amazing. All were just glued to their seats and was a very enriching learning session."
“Mark was excellent. We received lots of positive feedback. We would love to work with him again in the future.”
"Everything went very well! Feedback from the audience was that they really loved his style and content. All in all, a win!"
"Our audience loved him. His topic was very timely and he was certainly lively and entertaining. We had a lot of fabulous feedback. Really, really engaging. He also signed all of his books, and stopped by during our cocktail hour. He really went above and beyond."
"Mark's presentation was fantastic!! Everyone was fascinated with his discussion. We are hoping to book him for another event in November."
"Mark’s willingness to tailor his presentation to our group and to engage fully with participants in the discussion, made the session a very successful opening discussion. 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."
"Loved him! He was phenomenal!!! We are already looking to book him for another event!"
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