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Israel’s Central Bank Head to Retire

Stanley Fischer is widely credited with keeping Israel’s economy afloat

Adam Chandler
January 29, 2013

Stanley Fischer, the Rhodesia-born Israeli economist who was once considered a leading candidate for the post of World Bank President (and IMF Chief, had he been two years younger), is something of a legend in Israel.

Fischer, an internationally respected economist, served as deputy director of the International Monetary Fund and held top posts the World Bank and Citigroup Inc. before taking over Israel’s central bank in 2005.

His monetary policies and Israel’s tight control of its banks are seen responsible for the nation’s stability despite the worldwide economic crisis that hit during his reign. Israel’s economy continues to grow, and unemployment is roughly 6.5 percent, relatively low in world terms.

Well, the reign of Fischer will be coming to an end. It was announced earlier today that Fischer has told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he’s done at the end of June. Early speculation suggest he’s not resigning for political reasons, but I suppose we’ll know soon enough when he gives a press conference tomorrow. Either way, this is a big deal.

Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.