Political Economist & Author, Professor, Brown University
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 >
Why Do People Continue to Believe Stupid Economic Ideas?
Short-Term Politics vs. Long-Term Returns: Lessons From History
How Does Tech Fit Into the Long and Low Economy?
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
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
"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 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."