Mario Draghi, who as the top of the European Central Financial institution did “no matter it takes” to protect the eurozone, now has a frightening mission to attempt to rescue Italy after formally accepting the submit of prime minister on Friday.
The star economist was parachuted in earlier this month to guide a nationwide unity authorities and lead his nation by way of a devastating coronavirus pandemic and a crippling recession.
Up to now, he has the wind in his sails — virtually all of Italy’s predominant events are behind him, the inventory market is up, borrowing prices have fallen to file lows, and his private reputation is hovering.
“Mario Draghi might be one of the best, one of the best, one of the best man to function prime minister on this second,” ex-premier Matteo Renzi, who triggered the collapse of Italy’s earlier authorities, informed CNBC final week.
– Teenage trauma –
Born in Rome on September 3, 1947, right into a well-off household, Draghi misplaced each of his mother and father in his mid-teens, leaving him to care for 2 youthful siblings.
As a younger man he was by no means a insurgent, even when he sympathised with the 1968 protest motion. “My hair was fairly lengthy, however not very lengthy,” he informed German journal Die Zeit in 2015.
Draghi was educated in a Jesuit-run elite highschool the place he excelled in maths, Latin and basketball, and shared classes with the likes of former Ferrari boss Luca Cordero di Montezemolo.
“As a child he was the identical as now. He all the time had that sideways smirk he nonetheless has now,” one other classmate, TV presenter Giancarlo Magalli, as soon as informed the Corriere della Sera newspaper.
In 1970, Draghi graduated in economics, with a thesis which argued that the only forex “was a folly, one thing that ought to completely not be finished” — a view that later clearly developed.
He earned a PhD from the celebrated Massachusetts Institute of Expertise (MIT) in the USA, after which taught economics in a number of Italian universities.
After spending six years on the World Financial institution from 1984 to 1990, he led the treasury division on the Italian financial system ministry for a decade, working below 9 separate governments.
From that place, Draghi masterminded large-scale privatisations and contributed to deficit-cutting efforts that helped Italy qualify for the euro.
He developed an insider’s information of the Italian authorities — and likewise, apparently, a dislike of lengthy conferences.
Early in his profession, he picked up the nickname “Mr Someplace Else” for his “behavior of slipping out of conferences with out individuals noticing”, stated Alessandro Speciale, a journalist and Draghi biographer.
Speciale informed AFP: “When there’s a downside, he research it very rigorously, he listens to a variety of opinions, however when he takes his determination, he leaves it to others to observe up.”
– No ‘lame compromises’ –
In 2002, Draghi joined the administration of Goldman Sachs, earlier than being tapped three years later to guide the Financial institution of Italy after a scandal involving its former head, Antonio Fazio.
He was named to go the European Central Financial institution (ECB) in November 2011, succeeding Frenchman Jean-Claude Trichet, when a near-bankruptcy state of affairs in Italy risked triggering the collapse of your complete eurozone.
A yr later, Draghi modified historical past by pledging to do “no matter it takes to protect the euro”, including: “And imagine me, will probably be sufficient.”
Individuals who noticed so-called Tremendous Mario at work on the ECB say he was a skilful negotiator with sharp political antennas — skills he might want to marshall the myriad of events comprising his new authorities.
Draghi was able to play “dangerous cop” to sway choices in his favour, a former aide informed AFP.
“He has monumental affect in European and worldwide circles,” and is somebody who doesn’t settle for “lame compromises” for the sake of sustaining consensus, the aide stated.
After leaving the ECB in 2019, Draghi laid low. He spent most of final yr’s coronavirus lockdown interval in his nation home in Umbria.
Draghi is married with two youngsters and is a practising Catholic. In July, he accepted a nomination by Pope Francis to take a seat on a Vatican panel of specialists on social sciences.
And now that he’s about to change into Italy’s thirtieth prime minister since its republic was based in 1946, many wish to him to ship a miracle for his beleaguered nation.
© 2021 AFP