Once upon a time I was a financial journalist in Italy after I finished my Master’s program in economics and political science and the recent news about Mario Draghi becoming Prime Minister has absolutely cheered me. So much happens in Italian politics and with the economy but years go by and it often seems that not much has changed. When I was a journalist, I covered the bond market initially and Mario Draghi around when he was the head of the Treasury so all of this looks very familiar. I actually once sprained my ankle chasing after him and once was told to follow him into the bathroom by my insane boss. Needless to say, I didn’t follow that demand.
Draghi was always professional, astute and close mouthed. I’m very pleased that he will be taking the reigns of Italy and I know most economists are pleased too. I had to laugh when I saw all the people who were quoted in a recent article in the New York Times about Draghi. Literally everyone they mention is a former source or a Professor of mine from graduate school. It’s been many years since I worked at Dow Jones and I was both happy to see all these familiar names and also reminded of Il Gattopardo’s underlying message that everything has to change so that nothing changes.
I do hope though that Draghi can help Italy’s economy revive and create a healthy distribution system for vaccines. What will he be drinking if he gets the nod? I am sure it will be Italian bubbles of some type be it Franciacorta, Alta Langa, Trento DOC or Prosecco. Maybe he likes Lambrusco or a sparkling Brachetto d’Acqui. or since he is from Lazo, maybe local bubbles. Frascati wine, Cesanese del Piglio, or another local wine. I’m excited to see what he chooses and most of all to see what he does.
When he was inaugured as head of the European Central Bank, he drank Ferrari from Trento. Apparently it is the official wine of the Quirinale, or the home of the Italian President, according to a post I wrote at the end of 2011. I have had the occasion of being part of an event held at the Quirinale. It is one of life’s great pleasures to sit in those rooms. Thinking about all of this makes me miss those days and Rome. Can’t wait to visit again.