Who Needs Financial Whiz Stanley Fischer More…The International Monetary Fund, or the Bank of Israel?Written by Marty Roberts on June 12, 2011 – 4:25 pm -
The pride of Israel’s economy, Bank of Israel Head, Stanley Fischer, certainly would be a fantastic pick to head the International Monetary Fund…but we need him here, in Israel!!!
Maybe the world will recognize Fischer’s value and allow him to work part-time, while maintaining his important role in Israel…
But, probably not…
Israeli central bank chief Stanley Fischer, who has announced his candidacy for the post of IMF director general, is credited with having steered an economic “miracle” in Israel despite the global downturn.
Reprinted from AFP
JERUSALEM — Israeli central bank chief Stanley Fischer, who has announced his candidacy for the post of IMF director general, is credited with having steered an economic “miracle” in Israel despite the global downturn.
Fischer announced on Saturday evening that he was seeking the top post at the International Monetary Fund, to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn who has resigned after being accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid in New York.
His candidacy, the subject of much speculation in Israel in recent weeks, shakes up the race for the key post, which is normally held by a European.
His main rivals for the moment are French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, the presumed frontrunner, and Mexico’s central bank chief Agustin Carstens, who is angling to become the first non-European head of the fund.
Despite media speculation, Fischer had been coy over seeking the post, telling Israeli public radio this week: “One must never accept a position that no one has offered you.”
But his potential candidacy has won favour among many, with commentators in leading financial publications including the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal and Euromoney magazine all expressing support.
Fischer has been credited for keeping Israel’s economy growing even as the global downturn ravaged other nations.
Reappointed in March for a second five-year term at the head of Israel’s central bank, Fischer can boast a 5.0% growth rate projected for the Jewish state this year and foreign reserves of $77.4 billion.
He has strongly championed bolstering foreign reserves to rein in the strength of the shekel and boost Israeli exports.
His tenure has made him both trusted and popular in Israel, with the economic newspaper, The Marker, running an article under the headline: “Please don’t go.”
Born in October 15, 1943 in Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia, Fischer studied in both Britain and the United States, where he graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, before taking US citizenship.
In January 2005, he became Israeli under the Law of Return, which allows Jews to obtain citizenship when they emigrate to the Jewish state.
Under Israeli law, its senior officials are not allowed to hold a second nationality, which would have required Fischer to renounce his US passport. But Israel offered to make an exception to bring him on at the central bank.
“Stanley Fischer was authorised to keep his US citizenship as a special privilege when he took on the job of central bank governor,” bank spokesman Yossi Saadon told AFP on Sunday.
But his US citizenship could be an obstacle to his candidacy at the IMF, where tradition dictates that the top post is reserved for a European, with an American at the helm of the World Bank.
At 67, his age is another handicap, as IMF rules usually cap applications for the top job at 65.
But Fischer does come with experience at the world’s top financial institutions.
Between 1988 and 1990, he was a vice president and chief economist at the World Bank, and between 1994 and 2001, he served as a deputy managing director at the IMF.
He has also spent time in the private sector, serving as vice chairman of Citigroup and president of Citigroup International between 2002 and 2005.
His time at the head of Israel’s central bank has won him supporters at home and overseas, with Euromoney magazine naming him their central bank governor of the year for 2010.
The magazine praised Fischer for his “bold move” to raise interest rates in September 2009, making Israel the first country to do so, saying his decision “proved well-guided and prescient.”
Tags: bank of Israel, imf, stanley fischer
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