Italy’s Visco offers his parting words
In one of his last interviews in office, Ignazio Visco sets the record straight on his controversial 12 years as Italy’s central bank governor: a period of almost constant crisis. Today, the country’s NPL problems seem cured but, as he acknowledges, simmering risks remain.
Ignazio Visco is a veteran of IMF meetings, but he has rarely been in such good spirits – and so relaxed – as he seemed in Marrakech this October. Before sitting down for one of his last interviews as governor of the Bank of Italy, Italy’s central bank, he warmly ushers Euromoney into the room and recounts one of his favourite jokes, about an economist’s technically correct but useless response to someone who is lost in a hot air balloon (“You’re in a hot air balloon”).
Times have not always been this easy for Visco. In previous IMF meetings, journalists’ questions were more focused on his oversight of Italy’s banking sector, not just monetary policy at the European Central Bank, whose governing council he sits on.