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Brian Wesbury is an American economist whose main focuses are economic forecasting and macroeconomics. He has made frequent appearances on Bloomberg TV, CNBC, Fox News, and Fox Business. For five years he served as an adjunct professor of economics at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois.

Brian attended Northwestern University where he received an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management shortly after getting a BA in economics from the University of Montana.

He began his career in Chicago at the Harris Bank where he served as Economist and Vice President. He later served as Senior Vice President and Chief Economist for the Chicago Investment Bank Griffin, Kubik, Stephens & Thompson.

Brian has been the Chief Economist at the Illinois financial services firm First Trust Advisors L.P. since 2006. Maintaining his belief that the economy wasn't always doing as badly as critics would have the public believe, Brian asserts that if an economy was given the three economic freedom "ingredients" of open markets, low taxes, and a supportive governmental and societal foundation, prosperity would easily and quickly follow.

Brian is the author of the best-selling books It's Not as Bad as You Think: Why Capitalism Trumps Fear and the Economy Will Thrive and The New Era of Wealth: How Investors Can Profit from the Five Economic Trends Shaping the Future.

Full Profile

Brian Wesbury is Chief Economist at First Trust Advisors L.P., a financial services firm based in Wheaton, Illinois.

Mr. Wesbury has been a member of the Academic Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago since 1999. In 2012, he was named a Fellow of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, TX where he works closely with its 4%-Growth Project. His writing appears in various magazines, newspapers and blogs, and he appears regularly on Fox, Bloomberg, CNBC, and BNN Canada TV.

In 1995 and 1996, he served as Chief Economist for the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress. The Wall Street Journal ranked Mr. Wesbury the nation’s #1 U.S. economic forecaster in 2001, and USA Today ranked him as one of the nation’s top 10 forecasters in 2004.

Mr. Wesbury began his career in 1982 at the Harris Bank in Chicago. Former positions include Vice President and Economist for the Chicago Corporation and Senior Vice President and Chief Economist for Griffin, Kubik, Stephens, & Thompson.

Mr. Wesbury received an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Montana. McGraw-Hill published his first book, The New Era of Wealth, in October 1999. His most recent book is It’s Not As Bad As You Think, published by John Wiley & Sons.

Mr. Wesbury received the University of Montana’s Distinguished Alumni Award. This award honors outstanding alumni who have “brought honor to the University, the state or the nation.” There have been 267 recipients of this award out of a potential pool of 91,000 graduates.


Brian Wesbury Speaker Videos Back to top

TEDx Speech


Brian Wesbury makes a stunning revelation when he says, "Economists can't help (believe it or not) but have fun in a world like this. It's fun having the intellectual debates about what's really driving everything, what's caused everything, what happened." There is a base argument that happens amongst economists which prompts Brian to ask, "Which one do you believe? Do you believe in animal spirits, or do you believe in rational decision making?"

Keynote Speech


Brian Wesbury: Major Issues Lecture Series (Ashland University)


Nightly Business Report: Interview with Brian Wesbury



Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


Internationally known American economist Brian Wesbury uses his optimistic insights to explain the economy and how it effects personal finances, businesses and society in general.

A New Era Dawns
With all the economic change taking place these days, many of us could say that "we have our feet firmly planted in midair." The United States Congress has changed hands again, some businesses are thriving while others suffer, short-term interest rates are up, while long-term rates are down, and Federal Reserve policy remains in question. Globalization, greed, dwindling resources, and indebted consumers have led many to forecast tough times ahead for our future.

Fortunately, Brian S. Wesbury, can help us get our feet back on the ground. His timely assessment of the issues at hand, insightful analysis and contagious optimism will help you discover the glimmering dawn of a new era.

Inflation, Deleveraging and Recession
The unemployment rate is rising, the auto and housing markets are in shambles. The government is bailing out banks, printing money with abandon and handing out billions in stimulus checks. But is the economy as bad as people think? Is a government rescue going to work? How long and deep will the recession be? Should we fear inflation or deflation? What about excess debt versus de-leveraging? Brian Wesbury, an internationally known economist, will address these questions and more in what should prove to be an entertaining and informative event.





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It's Not As Bad As You Think

It's Not as Bad as You Think: Why Capitalism Trumps Fear and the Economy Will Thrive
An upbeat antidote to the gloom and doom forecasts of the financial future

Just about everyone is worried about the economy and markets. And the fear is that they will stay down for a long time. But a few brave voices say that the gloom and doom forecasts are just too pessimistic. Reality is that entrepreneurs don't give up. History is pretty clear, every time the economy is thought to be done, worn out, finished, it bounces back and heads to new highs. In fact, the economy and the markets—counter to conventional wisdom—have started to improve in the first half of 2009. Even housing is showing some signs of life.

With It's Not as Bad as You Think, Brian Wesbury, ranked as one of the top economic forecasters by The Wall Street Journal and USA Today, shows you that while the financial future may be hard to predict, it will ultimately be profitable over the long haul. In this easy-to-follow and engaging forecast of the future, Wesbury takes a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly—and debunks the pouting pundits of pessimism to show you how to prosper now and in the future.

    • An optimistic look at the economy and the markets written by one of today's foremost financial forecasters
    • Presents a roadmap to seek opportunities in all the panic
    • Shows you how to analyze economic indicators and government policy to grow your wealth so you don't lose by hiding under the bed

A breath of fresh air, Wesbury's objectivity and optimism provide welcome relief to the daily bad news stories, as he sets us all up to capitalize on tomorrow's great possibilities.


A New Era Dawns
With all the economic change taking place these days, many of us could say that "we have our feet firmly planted in midair." The United States Congress has changed hands again, some businesses are thriving while others suffer, short-term interest rates are up, while long-term rates are down, and Federal Reserve policy remains in question. Globalization, greed, dwindling resources, and indebted consumers have led many to forecast tough times ahead for our future.

Fortunately, Brian S. Wesbury, can help us get our feet back on the ground. His timely assessment of the issues at hand, insightful analysis and contagious optimism will help you discover the glimmering dawn of a new era.

Inflation, Deleveraging and Recession
The unemployment rate is rising, the auto and housing markets are in shambles. The government is bailing out banks, printing money with abandon and handing out billions in stimulus checks. But is the economy as bad as people think? Is a government rescue going to work? How long and deep will the recession be? Should we fear inflation or deflation? What about excess debt versus de-leveraging? Brian Wesbury, an internationally known economist, will address these questions and more in what should prove to be an entertaining and informative event.


TEDx Speech


Brian Wesbury makes a stunning revelation when he says, "Economists can't help (believe it or not) but have fun in a world like this. It's fun having the intellectual debates about what's really driving everything, what's caused everything, what happened." There is a base argument that happens amongst economists which prompts Brian to ask, "Which one do you believe? Do you believe in animal spirits, or do you believe in rational decision making?"

Keynote Speech


Brian Wesbury: Major Issues Lecture Series (Ashland University)


Nightly Business Report: Interview with Brian Wesbury