Navigating the Vortex
Navigating the Vortex
Italian Corporate Governance, Global Impact of a US Debt Default, Sudan to Ukraine, and Eurovision

Italian Corporate Governance, Global Impact of a US Debt Default, Sudan to Ukraine, and Eurovision

Join hosts Lucy Marcus and Stefan Wolff for a deep dive into some of the most pressing issues of today and tomorrow.

In this episode of Navigating the Vortex, Lucy and Stefan discuss Italy, corporate governance, the energy sector, multinational companies, politics, the debt ceiling, the OSCE, NATO, Sudan, Ukraine, Russia, and, of course, Eurovision.

Share Navigating the Vortex

Italy's Enel AGM and the Shakespearean drama of corporate governance

AGM season continues and Lucy and Stefan do a bit of a deep dive on one Italian company that brings together politics, energy, power, leadership, governance, money and more. By the end you'll wonder if it is a Shakespearean play or corporate governance, or both.

Corporate governance rules for appointing directors to public companies in Italy are structured in a way which is supposed to emphasize transparency, accountability, and diversity in the boardroom, and to seek to ensure that all shareholders have a voice in the governance of the company. Enel, an Italian multinational energy company, is the largest-listed company in Italy and operates in the production, distribution, and sale of electricity and gas. They had their AGM on 11 May, and the vote was seen as a test of the influence that the Italian government has as a majority shareholder over Enel and other powerful state-backed companies. Because Enel operates in numerous countries around the world, across Europe, North America, South America, and Africa, the right-wing government's power to have a strong say over who is appointed to the board, means that they also have a great deal of influence over the company's operations in other countries, and by extension that expands their power on a global basis.

The Global Impact of a US Debt Default: What You Need to Know

Stefan and Lucy also discuss the potential impact of a US debt default on the global economy. Starting with an explanation of what the debt ceiling actually is, they talk through severe consequences for the US economy and that a US default would have significant global consequences due to the US's central role in the global economy and financial system.

They note it could cause economic turmoil, trigger market instability, and lead to currency fluctuations, potentially causing political instability and reducing US influence in international affairs. The consequences of a US default could be severe and long-lasting, affecting not only the US but also other countries, particularly those that hold a significant amount of US debt, such as China and Japan.

A US default could undermine the stability of the global financial system, and a downgrade of the US credit rating could increase borrowing costs for other borrowers as well. They also talk through the reverberations that will begin to be felt as the US gets closer to the chance of default: we may see increased volatility and uncertainty in financial markets around the world, making investors more risk-averse and leading to a sell-off of assets that are perceived to be risky.

Share Navigating the Vortex

Eurovision and Geopolitics: Behind the Glitz and Glamour

Of course, the episode would not be complete without a vital conversation about the Eurovision song contest, including the finer points of the geopolitical implications and influence on Eurovision voting, and the special significance of this year's event.

Note: A big thank you to all of our subscribers, listeners, and readers! Since its launch, the Navigating the Vortex newsletter and podcast have been read and listened to by people from 43 countries. Thanks for continuing to read, listen and share.

We love hearing from you so please be in touch with your questions and feedback via the comments. We read it all.

We hope you'll continue to share Navigating the Vortex far and wide, with friends, family, colleagues, across social media, and even strangers on your commute.

Subscribe to the podcast via Substack or on all major podcast platforms, including:

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts



Navigating the Vortex
Navigating the Vortex
We live in a complex and ever-changing world. To navigate the vortex we must adapt to change quickly, think critically, and make sound decisions. Lucy Marcus & Stefan Wolff talk about business, politics, society, culture, and what it all means.