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50 People Who Matter 2011 | 20. Mario Draghi

Signor Fix-It.

Germany's tabloid paper Bild greeted Mario Draghi's appointment as head of the European Central Bank with a mock-hysterical: "Mamma mia!" The implication was that an Italian could not be trusted by the Germans to keep Europe's money sound, especially in a crisis. But Draghi has experience of averting financial crisis in Italy in the 1990s as head of the treasury, where he was known as Super Mario. He has been executive director of the World Bank, a vice-chairman of Goldman Sachs, and, since 2006, governor of the Italian Central Bank. He has a reputation for keeping cool under pressure, a skill he will need at the ECB.

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This article first appeared in the 26 September 2011 issue of the New Statesman, The fifty people who matter