Draghi, Mario

Draghi, Mario mä´ēō dräg´ē [key], 1947–, Italian economist and government and international official, b. Rome, grad. Sapienza Univ. of Rome (1970), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Ph.D., 1977). From 1975 to 1981 he was a professor of economics at the universities of Trento, Padua, and Venice. He then served as executive director (1984–90) of the World Bank and as a professor at the Univ. of Florence (1981–91). In the subsequent decade Draghi was director general of the Italian treasury, and his reduction of Italy's debt and other reforms of Italy's economy won him the nickname Super Mario. He was in the private sector as managing director (2002–5) of Goldman Sachs International before becoming (2006–11) governor of Italy's central bank and, concurrently, chairman of the international Financial Stability Board. In 2011 Draghi was appointed to succeed Jean-Claude Trichet as president of the European Central Bank (ECB), which sets monetary policy for 17-nation eurozone (see European Monetary System). Under his leadership the ECB cut the zone's benchmark interest rate, extended low-interest loans to large banks, established a liquidity program to encourage bank lending, urged political action to preserve the euro amid an ongoing debt crisis, and increasingly emphasized reducing high unemployment, improving the European banking system, and other issues in addition to the ECB's mandate to control inflation. He stepped down as ECB president in 2019.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Economics: Biographies