Italy’s Visco offers his parting words
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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.

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Photo: Reuters

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.

Today, with Italy’s banks appearing healthier than they have been for decades, he is leaving on a good note.

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EMEA editor
Dominic O’Neill is EMEA editor. He joined Euromoney in 2007 to cover emerging markets, focusing on central and eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, and later on Latin America. Based in London, he has covered developed market banking since 2015.
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