66 | Developing Leaders Issue 36: 2020 Viewpoint P ost-war growth in Italian GDP was led by the large State-owned public companies like IRI, ENI and ENEL. Today the only Italian global players are still in the hands of the State, the others have either delocalised or disappeared. In this period of renewed recovery funds and a greater role of national planning there is much to learn from them. The renewed role of the State needs to be well-understood in generating peaceful cohabitation in a moment where inequality and social cohesion is (or should be) at the core of any public policy which is worth that name. When people think of the Italian economic miracle, they think of La dolce vita , paparazzi, the FIAT 500 and possibly the Olivetti Lettera 22 typewriter. They rarely link this miracle to the role that the State played in making Italy recover from the desperation and devastation of the fascist regime and the second World War. Even less is known on the role that the Vatican and the Italian Catholic elite played in such a success. There is another story that is to be told and it is a story that links economic growth and innovation, social development and cohesion, and accounting innovations and religious credos. This other story is less known but has the State as a key institutional actor, it is animated by enlightened and committed intellectual figures and has a clear plot that links the economy to social development and the Catholic ideal of common good. A Smart Third Way An accounting lesson from the Italian economic miracle By Paolo Quattrone