Graduated in Economics at the University of Louvain in 1978, two years later he obtained a Master of Arts in Economics from the University of Southern California and a BA in political science at the University of Bologna.
In 1988 he also obtained a PhD from the University of Chicago. From 1983 to 1988 he was an economist in the international sector of the Research Department of the Bank of Italy, where he was then appointed, from 1988 until 1994, Head of the foreign exchange and international trade. In 1998 he was appointed head of the Analysis and Planning Division at the European Monetary Institute in Frankfurt. From 1998 to 2005 he served as director general of the Directorate international financial relations of Italy’s Ministry of Economy and Finance.
He has also been Chairman of SACE S.p.A. and Board Member of the European Investment Bank, Finmecccanica and MTS S.p.A. From June 2005 to November 2011 he has been a member of the Executive Committee of the European Central Bank. From October 2013 to March 2014 he has been Non-Executive Director of Morgan Stanley International. Since May 2014 he is Independent Director of Société Générale where he was Vice-Chairman until May 19, 2015 and now he is Chairman of the Board of Directors. Since August 2014 he is Indipendent Director of Tages Holding.
He is currently Visiting Scholar at Harvard’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. Lorenzo Bini Smaghi is currently member of the A-List of Commentators for the Financial Times and Chairman of the Palazzo Strozzi Foundation in Florence. He also chairs the Italian Chapter of the Alumni of the University of Chicago. From January 1 st 2012 to 26 November 2012 was Chairman of Snam Rete Gas S.p.A. He has been appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of Snam on October 15, 2012.