Mario Draghi has worn many hats in his career. He is currently the Italian economist, banker, and manager who took over the role of European Central Bank President from his predecessor Jean-Claude Trichet on November 1, 2011. Before this, he has been professor, director at the World Bank, head of the Italian treasury, and board member at a number of companies including Goldman Sachs. Forbes has listed Draghi as the eighth most powerful individual on earth in 2014. Fortune magazine named him the second greatest leader in the world in 2015.
As professor, Mario Draghi worked in the political science department of the University of Florence beginning in 1981 through 1994. He also served in the capacity of fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University in 2001. While professor at Florence, the Italian held the job of Italian Executive Director for the World Bank during the years 1984 to 1990. The next year, he took on the post as Italian Treasury general director, a post he held a decade until 2001. In this capacity, he chaired the important committee that reworked Italian financial and corporate legislation and wrote the laws which govern the financial markets in Italy.
During the years from 2002 to 2005, Mario Draghi worked at Goldman Sachs as their managing director and as vice chairman for the Goldman Sachs International group. In his time there, he worked with important governments and corporations throughout Europe implementing the company’s development and strategy in the continent. This caused controversy when he was later being considered for the post of European Central Bank President.
Goldman had been involved with the credit default swaps that helped Greece to disguise its true financial situation before the global financial crisis broke out in 2008 and 2009. His defense centered on having not known anything about the arrangements and having nothing to do with it. All the deals Goldman Sachs had arranged with the government of Greece had been finalized before he joined Goldman.
Mario Draghi took on the job of Bank of Italy Governor in December of 2005. He served in this role until October of 2011. During this time, he was a Board of Directors member at the Bank for International Settlements. He also was European Central Bank Governing and General Councils member during this tenure. He remains Italy’s governor on the board for the Asian Development Bank and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
The greatest challenges for Mario Draghi have been since he was elevated to succeed Trichet as the President of the European Central Bank on November 1, 2011. He will serve in this capacity through October 31, 2019.
Mario Draghi has overseen the three year $640 billion loan program that the ECB ran for the European banks from the end of 2011. Under his leadership, he repealed his predecessor’s two rate hikes. He also increased government bond purchases of nations which were struggling in the periphery of the euro zone to help combat the debt crisis.
In July 2012 when the sovereign bond crisis renewed, he announced the ECB would do whatever was necessary to preserve the Euro. Since that statement, the bond yields and borrowing costs have declined especially for Italy, Spain, and France. His verbal intervention has been called one of the critical turning points in the euro zone’s fortunes.
Mario Draghi continues to fight economic stagnation in the euro zone. The bank mostly does this with its negative interest rates policy. They also continue aggressive quantitative easing every month as stimulus programs to support weak growth throughout the continent. In these and many other actions throughout his career, Draghi has demonstrated he deserves his nickname “Super Mario.” He originally received this name for his incredible ability to survive Italian politics.