Draghi, Mario

Draghi, Mario

(mä`ēō dräg`ē), 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 TrichetTrichet, Jean-Claude
, 1942–, French banker and government official, b. Lyons. During the 1970s Trichet held a number of French finance and treasury positions and in 1978 was appointed an adviser to the minister of economic affairs and then to the French president, Giscard
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 as president of the European Central Bank (ECB), which sets monetary policy for 17-nation eurozone (see European Monetary SystemEuropean Monetary System,
arrangement by which most nations of the European Union (EU) linked their currencies to prevent large fluctuations relative to one another. It was organized in 1979 to stabilize foreign exchange and counter inflation among members.
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). 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.