He was born in Cremona in 1954, and got a degree in Economics and Banking from the University of Siena, followed by a Master’s degree in Economics at the London School of Economics. He then worked for the research department of the Bank of Italy and then for the Study Department at ENI.
In 1988 he began his career at the International Monetary Fund, with roles in various departments (the European Department, the Fiscal Affairs Department, the Money and Capital Markets Department, Policy Development and the Review Department). During this period, he dealt with economic surveillance, technical assistance and loans for various developed and developing countries, including Italy, the United Kingdom, Russia, Turkey, Portugal, Greece, Albania, Croatia, Hungary, Lebanon, Tajikistan and Serbia.
He was the director of the Fiscal Affairs Department of the IMF, which helps around one hundred countries each year to carry out public finance reforms.
He worked as the commissioner for the revision of public expenses in Italy, and as the executive director of the IMF for Italy, Albania, Greece, Malta, Portugal and San Marino and he was Senator of the XIX legislature of the Italian Republic.
During the academic years 2017-18 and 2018-19 he was a visiting professor at Bocconi University, where he currently teaches a course on Fiscal Macroeconomics.
He has published numerous articles and books on fiscal, monetary and exchange rate policies and institutions for economic policy, as well as several books for Feltrinelli Editore: The Spending List. The truth about Italian government spending and how it can be cut (2015), The Boulder. Why the public debt crushes us and how to get rid of it (2016), The Seven Deadly Sins of the Italian Economy (2018), Pachyderms and Parrots. All the economic hoaxes we keep believing (2019), To Hell and Back. For our social and economic rebirth (2021) and Chimaeras. Dreams and Failures of Economy (2023).