Obituary: Guido Carli

Guido Carli, economist, banker and politician: born Brescia 28 March 1914, Minister of Foreign Trade, Italy 1957-58; General Manager, Bank of Italy 1959-60, Governor 1960-75; Governor for Italy, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development 1962-75; President, Confindustria 1976-80; President, European Industrialists Federation 1980-84; Senator (Christian Democrat) for Milan 1983-93; Minister of the Treasury 1989-92; married (wife deceased; one son); died Spoleto 23 April 1993.

GUIDO CARLI was one of Italy's foremost experts on international economic and monetary affairs. As head of Italy's most important public and private centres of economic policy-making - from the governorship of the Bank of Italy and Treasury Ministry to the Presidency of the Italian Confederation of Industry, Confindustria - Carli dedicated himself to opening up and privatising Italy's post-war economy.

In the early 1950s Carli represented the Italian government in a number of international bodies (IMF and European Payments Union) engaged in the creation of the new international economic system. He also played a prominent role in the consolidation of a strong domestic private sector as president of one of the country's most important lending institutions and as Foreign Commerce minister in the 1950s.

The strong international focus of Carli's brand of economic reform helped to transform the Italian economy from the autarchy of the Fascist period to full currency convertibility, the opening of domestic markets to international competition, and the promotion of the free flow of capital. Carli was a strong believer in the importance of the Single Market for Italy's economic future, and while Minister of the Treasury in the 1989 Andreotti government he concentrated his energy on making Italy a full partner in the EMS and the Single Market. He considered EC economic integration and monetary union as two fundamental steps in the ultimate emergence of Italy's economy from its former peripheral status in Europe.

In the 1960s and 1970s Carli fought long and hard against the strong protectionist proclivities of the top rungs of Italian political and administrative elites which were fed by fears of foreign competition. The admittance in the early 1980s of Italy to the world economic summits and the recognition that it was among the top seven industrialised Western countries went a long way in justifying the views expressed by Carli on the role of an open market as an essential component of economic growth.

However, as much as he tried, Carli did not witness during his lifetime the achievement of his goal of privatising large parts of the country's nationalised industries. During his tenure as Governor of the Bank of Italy, from 1960 to 1975, Carli helped the centre-left governments overcome periodic speculative attacks against the lira but was not able to block those governments' continuing nationalisation policies. After the Bank of Italy, Carli moved over to the private sector as president of Confindustria where under his leadership neo-corporatist agreements emerged as a means of moderating wage demands and reducing the level and intensity of strike action.

In 1983 Carli turned to politics to advance his goal of privatisation; he was elected to his first political post as Christian Democratic Senator for Milan, a post to which he was re-elected in 1987. His appointment as Minister of the Treasury in 1989 gave rise to the hope that Carli could succeed in privatising significant portions of the public sector. With the recent unravelling of the kick-back scandal which has rocked and permanently destabilised the former governing coalition, it is now clearer why leaders of Carli's stature and foresight found privatisation so difficult to achieve. Control of public corporations was designed to produce power for the ruling political class and sweetheart deals for the large private corporations rather than benefits for the economy as a whole. It is ironic that as Carli's life came to an end the goal of privatisation was being proposed by the Amato government. As Carli had already understood, Italy could ill afford a large public sector. An open economy is incompatible with government monopolies in key economic sectors.

The implementation of privatisation is one of the primary tasks announced by the prime minister designate Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, the Governor of the Bank of Italy. On the heels of the results of the referendum held on 18 April, the appointment of Ciampi would have pleased Carli, as it represents another sign of positive change in Italian politics. A leader of an unquestioned high level of professional and administrative experience in the mould of Guido Carli is taking over the task of guiding Italy through the present transitional phase of political and economic reform.

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of a HR Manage...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - HR Consultancy - £65,000 OTE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + £65,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Birmingham, M...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas