Israel’s Central Bank Governor, Stanley Fisher, will step down from the position in June this year. Fisher’s imminent departure came to light through a brief statement released by the bank of Israel. According to the statement, the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, received the news from Fisher himself. It has been said that the 69 year old Fisher will address a news conference on Wednesday to formally announce this unexpected decision. As it is, it is still not clear what exact reasons underlie Fisher’s move.
Fisher has been working at the bank since 2005 and has during his time managed to reverse Israel’s fortunes, even during the hardest of times. During his tenure, Zambian-born Fisher managed to shift the bank’s focus towards price stability, employment and growth. Because of this, Israel’s economy rebounded faster from the global crisis relative to its peers. This has been demonstrated in recurrent occasions by key benchmarks like its main stock index and GDP growth. As from 2009, the country’s output has increased by 14.7 percent. This is more than three times U.S’s 3.2 percent and several percentage points above Australia’s 10.7 percent. In addition, Israel’s main stock index has outperformed European and American Benchmarks during that period, gaining more than 80 percent.
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One notable factor that makes Fisher stand out is that he managed to get one of Israel’s topmost jobs despite not being an Israeli resident or at the least, an Israeli citizen. Recently in 2011, Fisher aimed for the top job in the IMF but did not make the cut on the basis of age; the IMF leadership position has an age limit of 65 years.
Prime Minister Netanyahu agrees that Fisher’s leadership was instrumental in pushing Israel forward at a time when the global economic landscape was shrouded in gloom. Replacing Fisher will undoubtedly be an uphill task, moreover after considering the fact that Netanyahu is still working to form a new government at the wake of the January 22nd general election.
Ben Bernanke’s Big Loss
While Israel contemplates on who will wear the big shoes that Fisher leaves, the U.S’s Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke suffers a greater loss. Fisher was not only Bernanke’s mentor but was also the economics professor who advised Bernanke on his thesis in Massachusetts Institute Of Technology from 1988 to 1990. In fact, Fisher was noted to have backed Bernanke in late 2012 when the Fed came under pressure over its increase in quantitative easing.