Friday, May 28, 2010

Visit with the Bank of Italy on May 27

Professors Margherita Mori and Lelio Lepadre set up a meeting for me with the Bank of Italy and Dr. Giovanni Alfieri, Direttore della Filiale di L'Aquila and Dr. Alessandro Tosoni and several other officers of the Bank. The Bank of Italy is comparable to the Federal Reserve Bank in the United States. The Bank of Italy is housed in Rome but has offices in each region, including the L'Aquila office for the Abruzzo Region. They conduct economic research and perform structural economic analysis, economic outlook and policy, issue financial statistics and preform regulatory functions. They issue annual and quarterly reports on the Italian and World economy. They work closely with several of the University of L'Aquila faculty and researchers. I was asked to give a presentation on the LBTC and LSU's role in economic development and business disaster recovery. The Bank of Italia worked very hard to reestablish their presence in the L'Aquila historic area and to reopen their bank in the historic area as soon as possible. Their bank is located on the main square that was severely damaged by the earthquake. From their board room we were able to see work being done in the square and the church next door. They feel that is it vital to L'Aquila's recovery to have the historic area rebuilt as soon as feasible. They have played a major role in this redevelopment strategy and even provide housing for employees and earthquake victims to speed up the rebuilding process. I spoke on the programs enacted to get the small businesses back into business after Katrina and the current work of the LBTC on disaster preparedness and the oil spill disaster. They were interested in the funding and programs such as loans and grants given to Louisiana businesses to reopen after the disasters as well as the role of LSU in the recovery process. We had coffee in the coffee bar across the street prior to the meeting to support one of the historic and first businesses to open after the quake. After our meeting and presentations, we went to lunch at an excellent restaurant called the Casele Signorini Ristorante Hotel in L'Aquila where we continued our discussions on the comparisons of the business recovery programs for the New Orleans area after Hurricane Katrina, Lake Charles after Rita and Ike, Baton Rouge after Gustav and now the Louisiana coast after the oil spill of the British Petroleum explosion.

No comments:

Post a Comment