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Sam Wilkin    

Head of Business Research at Oxford Economics, Author of "Wealth Secrets of the One Percent"

Sam is coauthor, with Marvin Zonis, Dan Lefkovitz, and Joseph Yackley of Risk Rules: How Local Politics Threatens the Global Economy (Agate, 2011). The Harvard Business Review called the book “powerful” and Mark Mobius of Templeton Asset Management said “the authors exhibit a strong knowledge of what goes on behind the scenes in emerging markets.” Belgium’s Trends magazine noted that “the authors’ analysis of political stability mixes humor, drama, and an eye for ironic details.” Risk Rules was originally published as the Kimchi Matters in 2003 and was updated and republished in 2011 after selling out its original print run.

Sam’s articles and op-eds cover topics ranging from reform of financial regulation (for the Harvard Business Review) to Microsoft’s international strategy (for Barron’s) to Turkey’s EU accession prospects (for the Boston Globe). His article “Can Bad Governance be Good for Development?” appears in the February/March 2011 edition of Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, the journal of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.


Speech Topics

Where is Russia Headed?

With the opening of the winter games in Sochi, Russia presented a confident, resurgent face to the world. But where is Russia headed? Looking at the economic growth performance of major oil-rich countries over the past 30 years, there are two possibilities: the path taken by Norway, to become nearly the richest country on earth; and the path taken by every other country on the list, which is to say minimal or even falling income growth over 30 years. It is a stark contrast. In which category will Russia fall, and what is this mean for your business in the country?

Recovery in the Eurozone!

You may have heard from well-known economic commentators that the Eurozone is doomed. On the contrary: this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to buy low in Europe, in which market share can be picked up cheaply, and the time to act is now. Indeed, in financial markets, this has already happened: in US dollar terms, four of the five best-performing equity markets in the world were in industrialized Europe in 2013, including Greece, Ireland, Germany, and Finland. This speech explains why most economists were so wrong about the Eurozone crisis and how your business can benefit from the pundits' mistakes.

Learning to Live without Crises

The US economy has been plagued by uncertainty for so long that people are looking for the next crisis where little real threat exists, in debt ceiling disputes, political gridlock, Chinese shadow banking, or taper terror. With wit and insight, in this speech Sam explains why the US economy is fundamentally resilient and returning to normal rates of growth, and what this means for the outlook for your sector. He explains why, counter-intuitively, downturns can be good for businesses, apparently reckless politicians are in fact behaving rationally, and the less the US government can get done the better off we all are.

Political Risks in China

Is China about to crash? No. The government’s fiscal position is strong enough to cope with shocks. But China’s growth will slow, as the country “moves up the value chain”. More US/EU industries will feel competitive pressure; but the pace won’t be as fast as during the low-end manufacturing surge.

Reasons for Optimism in the Eurozone

It appears that the Eurozone is stalled, both politically and economically, with leaders unable to agree a way forward. This is untrue: actually, what is happening is realignment, which is economically painful but necessary to secure the Euro’s future.

The Global Economic Outlook

This talk focuses on the unexpected upsides of the Eurozone crisis, risks associated with "tape terror," the outlook for Iran, and China's near and long-term prospects.

The UK Economic Outlook

The UK’s economy is now about 15 percent smaller than one would expect based on the long-term trend. Economic performance since the financial crisis has roughly matched the Eurozone even though the UK is outside the Euro. Why? And what is preventing recovery?

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