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
  • Get to the point
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 and Payroll Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This dynamic outsourced contact...

Recruitment Genius: Production & Quality Control Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity for a ...

Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor - Kettering - £32,000

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor with an established...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Generalist

£40 - 50k (DOE) + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a HR Manager / HR Genera...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor