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September 19, 2014 / 24 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Bank of Israel’

Bank of Israel May Pop the Bitcoin Bubble

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

The Bank of Israel is considering clamping down on the use of “bitcoins” with stiff regulations and warned the public on Wednesday to beware of possible fraudulent use of the virtual currency.

The bitcoin is a digital currency, but its value is determined by demand. It is worth about $635 today, but was valued at $1,000 late last year and as little as $150 this past September.

Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug issued her warning following the bitcoin’s popularity that has attracted several start-ups to allow the bitcoin to be used to buy everything from soup to shares on the stock market.

The bitcoin “is liable to be exploited for criminal activity, including money laundering, financing illegal activities and financing terrorism,” the Bank stated.

“It was agreed to continue to examine various perspectives related to the use of, and trade in, virtual currencies. These perspectives include possible macro effects, their legal standing, their regulation, money laundering and terror financing risks, taxation and consumer protection.”

The statement added, “It is emphasized that they [bitcoins] are also not legal tender of any country, and that the term used does not indicate any legal status as ‘currency.’”

It also pointed out that bitcoins, since they are only virtual currencies and are stored on smartphones or computers, are subject to robbery through hacking.

Regulators in the United States , Canada, the European Union  and elsewhere, who have published similar warnings to the public.

However, all the warnings may be superfluous. Wired.com reported Wednesday that a computer glitch at Mt. Gox, once the world’s biggest bitcoin exchange, has scared bitcoin owners.

Mt. Gox said two weeks temporarily stopped allowing customers to withdraw bitcoins, stating that the glitch in bitcoin software affected it and another exchange. The result was a dive in the value of bitcoins at Mt. Gox although it has remained steady elsewhere.

Obama Plans to Name Stanley Fischer as Vice Chairman of the Fed

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

The Obama administration is close to announcing that former Israel Bank Governor Stanley Fischer will take over the number two position at the Federal Reserve Bank under recently confirmed director Janet Yellen.

Fischer was hoping to be named head of the Fed,  but at 70, his age was a barrier.

Fischer is widely respected in financial circles, and he has been credited, perhaps too much, with having steered Israel’s economy to become one of the world’s strongest  during the global crisis after the 2008 financial fallout in the United States.

Fischer also is seen as being responsible for keeping down the value of the shekel against the dollar so that exports would not suffer.

He left the United States to take over as Governor of the Bank of Israel in 2005, agreeing to make aliyah because the job required his becoming an Israeli citizen. However, his Zionism lasted only as long as he wanted to stay on the job. He quit in the middle of his second term earlier his year and moved back to the United States.

Since quitting, he has been more vocal in his opinions that Israel must concede to most Palestinian Authority demands.

Karnit Flug Named as Governor of Bank of Israel

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

PM Netanyahu and Finance Minister Lapid announced that acting Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug will be appointed as the next governor.

Flug will be the Bank of Israel’s first female governor.

Flug was not Netanyahu’s first choice to replace Stanley Fischer, but his other choices were either disqualified, or backed out before they become political targets by those trying to influence the selection process.

On the other had, Flug was Fischer’s preferred choice for the position.

BOI Governor Might be Named after Yom Kippur

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Following the fiascoes where Netanyahu’s preferred choices for Bank of Israel governors were disqualified or pulled out, after outside forces put pressure on them and exposed some old histories, the Turkel Committee vetted and approved three new candidates for the job, according to Globes.

Retired judge, Yaakov Turkel, called Prime Minister Netanyahu on Wednesday, and informed him that there were no moral or ethical impediments for any of the three current candidates to get the job. The committee reviewed many complaints against all three, by their various critics and detractors.

Netanyahu is expected to announce his choice, either right before, or right after Yom Kippur.

Netanyahu’s preferred candidate is Professor Mario Blejer. He is a former Governor of the Argentine Central Bank. Blejer has a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, a school which Netanyahu highly admires.

Candidate number two is Professor Zvi Eckstein, the Dean of the Faculty of Economics at the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) and a former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Israel under former Bank of Israeli governor Stanley Fischer. Fischer did not back Eckstein’s candidacy.

Candidate number three is Victor Medina. He was also a Deputy Governor of the Bank of Israel.

Shekel-Dollar Rate Sinks Below 3.53

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

The American dollar’s worldwide weakness helped drive down the shekel-dollar rate to below 3.53 shekels to the dollar Thursday, the lowest level since September 2011. One shekel now is worth 28 cents.

Analysts have pointed to the lack of certainty over who will replace Stanley Fischer as Governor of the Bank of Israel, but the main influence on the shekel has been the weakening dollar.

Intervention by the Bank of Israel, which bought $100 million of dollars Wednesday, did little to weaken the shekel against speculators who are betting on the shekel dollar rate to continue to drop. The shekel might weaken is and when the Federal Reserve Board explicitly announces it will reduce its bond purchases.

Search On Again For Bank of Israel Governor

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Professor Leo Leiderman withdrew his candidacy for governor of the Bank of Israel, just two days before his election was to be announced.

Leiderman’s withdrawal comes just days after Yaakov Frankel withdrew his candidacy, after an old scandal involving a duty free in Hong Kong resurfaced.

PM Netanyahu and FM Lapid stated their regret with Leiderman’s decision.

Opposition MK Yechimovitch said that Lapid and Netanyahu need to go to the home of the former deputy governor Karnit Flug, and ask forgiveness from her, for not hiring her as the next bank governor. Flug quit 2 days ago, after she learned of Leiderman’s appointment.

Professor Leo Leiderman to be Next Bank of Israel Governor

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid have decided to appoint Professor Leo Leiderman as the new governor of the Bank of Israel.

Leiderman has a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago, and is currently a professor of economics at Tel Aviv University.

Leiderman used to work in the Bank of Israel as the head of the research department.

He made Aliyah from Argentina at age 17.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/professor-leo-leiderman-to-be-next-bank-of-israel-governor/2013/07/31/

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