Prof. Stanley Fischer. It's party time
Photo: Motti Kimchi
Dr. Karnit Flug. Fischer pushing for her nomination as Bank of Israel governor
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin

NIS 100,000 for Fischer's farewell bash

Bank of Israel criticized over lavish goodbye party planned for popular governor in presence of senior economists from all around the world. 'It's a professional conference and the list of distinguished guests is a great honor for Israel,' central bank says

The Bank of Israel is organizing a festive farewell for Prof. Stanley Fischer, who is stepping down this month after eight years as the central bank's governor. The party will be held in the presence of distinguished guests from all around the world and is expected to cost as much as NIS 100,000 (about $27,000).


The event will be held on June 18 at the Israel Museum, and those bidding farewell to the governor will include European Central Bank President Mario Draghi; Larry Summers, who served as US Secretary of the Treasury under President Bill Clinton and economic advisor to President Barack Obama; central bank chiefs from Chile, Ireland and other countries; and former Bank of Israel governors.


The event will be opened by Deputy Bank of Israel Governor Dr. Karnit Flug, who is one of the candidates to replace Fischer as governor. Fischer's term will end officially on June 30, and the government will have to approve his replacement by then.


Bank of Israel officials explained that the farewell event would be held in as a professional conference attended by senior economists, whose arrival would be a great honor for the State of Israel and the Israeli economy. Yet veteran central bank workers said they could not remember such lavish farewell parties being held for previous governors, like Dr. David Klein and Prof. Jacob Frenkel.


Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is still holding meetings with potential candidates for the position of Bank of Israel governor. The final list of candidates includes Dr. Karnit Flug, Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg, Prof. Elhanan Helpman, Prof. Martin Eichenbaum, Prof. Daniel Tsiddon and Prof. Leo Leiderman.


In the past two months, Fischer has been pushing for the nomination of his deputy, Dr. Flug, as his replacement. He was even absent recently from important cabinet meetings on the 2013-2014 state budget, and sent Flug to those meetings as the Bank of Israel representative while he left for an economic conference in Europe.


Yet on the day of the crucial cabinet meeting, a Channel 10 television crew happened to spot the governor sitting with friends at a café in the French Riviera.


Government officials raised an eyebrow at the incident, arguing that Fischer should have been present when the government discussed and approved budget cuts and taxes. Fischer responded to the criticism by saying that he had been in touch with Dr. Flug the entire time and was updated about the meetings.



פרסום ראשון: 06.03.13, 13:01
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