Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid will name the new Bank of Israel governor by Sunday, a Finance Ministry statement said. Netanyahu and Lapid met for two hours on Wednesday and discussed various issues. It was decided in the meeting that Stanley Fischer's successor at the BOI will be announced by Sunday.
During the summer, Stanley Fischer finished his role as the Governor of Bank of Israel. Prof. Jacob Frenkel, who was meant to replace Fischer and had served in the position from 1991 to 2001, was forced with withdraw his nomination after failing to report he forgot to pay for an item in Hong Kong a few years back.
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At the time, Frenkel explained that "this is a shameful incident. Sorry, very embarrassing incident, which was not suppose to happen and was cleared up as a misunderstanding." Nonetheless, he backed out of the nomination amid public criticism.
Then, Netanyahu and Finance Lapid chose a new governor – Prof. Leo Leiderman. But nary three days went by and Leiderman was also forced to back out of the position amid rumors of possible sexual harassment claims against him, as well as possible skeletons in his closet from his time leading Deutsche Bank's emerging market department.
At the time, Leiderman said that after consulting with his family he decided not to continue through the vetting process. The decision came as a blow and a complete surprise to Lapid and Netanyahu.
Four days later, on August 8, the Prime Minister's Office said that they had passed on four names to the Turkel Committee in charge of authorizing the appointment. On the list: Prof. Mario Blejer, Prof. Evi Eckstein, Victor Medina and Michal Abadi-Boiangiu – who has in the meantime pulled her name out of the race.
After the vetting committee has finished reviewing the candidates, it seemed the appointment was drawing near, but weeks went by and the bank remains orphaned.
In the meantime, Dr. Karnit Flug, who was Fischer's deputy and recommendation for the role, and has handed in her resignation with Leiderman's appointment, is serving as an interim governor.
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