A tale of two Marios: Students meet Gabelli, Draghi

The halls of power are filled with Marios.

That’s at least how it appeared to several students of Professor James R. Kelly, who — in a single day — had the opportunity to meet both Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, and school namesake Mario Gabelli (GSB ’65), chairman and CEO of GAMCO Investors, Inc.

Below is an account of the events of October 10, written by Tanja Hughes (GSB ’14).

 

On October 10, Professor Kelly and a few students were invited to the Economic Club of New York luncheon featuring guest speaker Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank.

During his address, Mr. Draghi discussed how Europe is undergoing a process of fundamental reform and fiscal sustainability. He enumerated his main goals — to enhance international competitiveness, improve job growth and focus on longer-term responsibilities — and explained Europe’s current monetary policy, which is focused on establishing price stability, assuaging fears of a breakup of the Eurozone, and having key interest rates remain stable or drop slightly. Overall, the policy stance is toward providing support to economic recovery, he said.

Mr. Draghi also highlighted a three-pronged strategy for European recovery:

  1. Monetary policy has to mitigate risk and preserve monetary accommodation.
  2. European countries have to remove structural impediments.
  3. Europe has to continue the reform process in the banking sector in a way to establish conditions that align with society.

He pointed out that the European Union’s fiscal rules were not properly enforced for the time period of 2000 to 2007, and that no mechanisms were implemented to correct the fiscal imbalances. European policymakers are addressing these issues by developing a new macroeconomic procedure, Mr. Draghi said. This procedure aims to tackle sources for financial instability and implement policies to help sustain long-term growth.

Finally, Mr. Draghi emphasized that there are two main objectives to mitigate future risks, which include creating full transparency and aligning investment incentives with the benefit of society — a philosophy whose pro-social intent should sound very familiar to Fordham business students.

After the lunch was over, we had the exciting opportunity to meet with Mario Gabelli, who had attended the lecture. We appreciated the chance to speak with Mr. Gabelli about finance, and we valued his job advice in regard to our future careers. It was an honor to be a part of such a special day and to be able to meet and shake hands with some of the greatest minds in the industry.

Students pictured with Mario Draghi (center) in top photo: Jerry Williams, Alexis Summit, Muhammad Sarwar and author Tanja Hughes.

 

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