The 100 Most Influential People of 2021
Tim Wegner—laif/Redux
By Janet Yellen
September 15, 2021 7:15 AM EDT

The speeches of central bankers aren’t typically very quotable or inspiring, but Mario Draghi’s July 2012 remarks in London were an exception. He famously declared that the European Central Bank would “do whatever it takes to preserve the euro,” which, of course, it did. Mario and the ECB helped stabilize the European economy. At the time, I was at the Federal Reserve and felt particularly grateful to have a partner like Mario across the Atlantic, someone with deep expertise and a steady demeanor. Now the U.S. is grateful to have Mario as a partner once again. This time, as Italy’s Prime Minister.

Mario is guiding his nation through the pandemic with a deft hand, championing a swift vaccination campaign and relief measures to help Italian businesses and workers. Backed by a large allotment of E.U. funds, he has set in motion many necessary—and politically difficult—policies and investments to green the Italian economy, reduce inequity and advance digitalization. And with Italy leading this year’s G-20, Mario is bringing together the world’s major economies to end the pandemic, promote an inclusive global recovery and tackle pressing global issues like climate change.

It’s been nine years since his famous speech, but Mario’s “do whatever it takes” approach is more relevant and inspiring than ever.

Yellen is the U.S. Treasury Secretary

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