Speaker

Mark Blyth

Political Economist and Author


Noted author, professor, and expert on global politics and economics, Dr. Mark Blyth regularly speaks to diverse global audiences including financial institutions, multi-national corporations, associations, governments, and literary festivals. In addition to keynote speeches, he is a sought-after moderator and live interviewer for notable figures such as Tony Blair, Gerhard Schroeder, and ex-Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis. Mark distinguishes himself on the speaking circuit with an ability to break down complex financial and political issues with clarity and sharp Scottish wit. He predicted the Brexit vote, Trump's election, and Italy's referendum well before most pundits.

Blyth previously worked as a chef, has been (briefly) a disco bouncer, spent over a decade recording music as a funk bass player, and has even tried his hand at stand-up comedy. The latter being the hardest thing he ever did, he decided to become an academic instead.

Currently Mark serves as the Eastman Professor of Political Economy at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University. His research focuses on 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.

Mark has a PhD. in Political Science from Columbia University, and the common theme of his research has been how macroeconomic knowledge is used in politics by politicians, economists, and others. His first book, Great Transformations: Economic Ideas and Institutional Change in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2002), explored how our changing ideas about how the economy works itself, driving changes in the economy.

This is a theme he continued in his most recent works, Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea and The Future of the Euro. Austerity, which has been translated into 14 languages and has won international awards, shows how bad economic ideas not only never die, but they are refashioned and repurposed for the same old political ends – making someone else pay the bill – time and time again. Lawrence Summers, reviewing Austerity in the Financial Times, compared Mark's writing to that of John Maynard Keynes, while Paul Krugman, reviewing it in the New York Review of Books, said that it shows us how the case for Austerity policies in Europe "collapsed." His most recent work, The Future of the Euro, argues that while the Euro as a currency will survive, its current make up of members will not.

His work on how economic ideas impact politics, on macro-prudential regulation in finance (as a member of the Warwick Commission that made an early set of recommendations for macro-prudential regulation), and on exotic monetary policies such as negative rates and so-called "helicopter drops" of cash directly to households, has been internationally recognized.

He is a regular contributor to the journal of the Council for Foreign Relations, Foreign Affairs, and The Guardian newspapers, and has appeared multiple times on NPR, BBC, and Bloomberg.

He is currently working on two books – The Greediest Generation? The Baby Boomers and the Crisis of Prosperity and Disruption: How to Live Long and Prosper in an Angry World.