Stanley Fischer speech at BGU 311.
(photo credit: Dani Machlis/BGU)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has backed Bank of Israel Governor Stanley
Fischer’s decision to seek the top job at the International Monetary Fund,
saying on Monday, “If you want to go, you have our blessing.”
Netanyahu, who made the remark at a joint press conference with Italian Prime
Minister Silvio Berlusconi in Rome, acknowledged that losing the country’s top
economist would “create a problem for us if it happens.”
announced his decision to join the race for IMF chief on Saturday, has also won
support from an unlikely source – the Palestinian Authority.
Minister Salam Fayyad was quoted by the Associated Press as saying, “[Fischer]
is supremely qualified for the job. Indeed, it’s difficult to see how one can be
On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal published an
interview with Fischer in which the Zambian-born former MIT professor declared
that he was not too old for the job, saying, “It’s not sensible at this stage to
say to someone at 67, who is full of vigor, that he’s too old.”
regulations require a person to be 65 years old or younger when elected as
managing director for the first time, a rule that will need to be changed for
Fischer to be elected.
Fischer also said he was unimpressed by the
globetrotting of rivals Christine Lagarde of France and Agustin Carstens of
Mexico, telling WSJ: “I believe the case needs to be looked at on its merits and
not on political factors…We’ll have a far more reasonable contest that way than
if we just left it to who can travel around the world most often.”
spotlight will be on Fischer and Lagarde next week when they will both be
sitting on the same panel at the Israeli Presidential Conference in
The two will speak about the future of the global economy,
alongside former Harvard University president Prof. Larry Summers, ex-Peruvian
president Dr. Alejandro Toledo, and former World Bank chief, James Wolfensohn.