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Posts Tagged ‘economy’

Amazon Opens Cloud Center in Israel

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Amazon amounted Tuesday it is opening a Tel Aviv office to support cloud service through Amazon Web Services in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

Amazon Web Services was launched in 2006, and Amazon stated, “Israeli companies use Amazon Web Services to foster innovation, shorten time to market, and expand their global businesses. The decision to open an Amazon Web Services office in Israel demonstrates the rapidly growing customer base, the wide range of skills, and our investment to support the adoption of cloud services across the EMEA.”

The new center will employ managers, solutions engineers and a support team.

Gas to Pump $60 Billion into Economy in 20 Years, Says Lapid

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Israel’s new offshore gas industry will generate $60 billion in revenues in Israel over the next 20 years, Finance Minister and Yesh Atid party chairman Yair Lapid told the Knesset in its first day of the winter session Monday.

He charged the Opposition with damaging the economy by placing obstacles to the natural gas hook-up, which Lapid said will help lower the price of electricity and boost employment.

Taxes on gas will allow Israel to lower taxes, he added.

The High Court is to decide on who has the authority to decide how much of the gas can be exported. Several Opposition parties are demanding that Israel retain all of the gas for domestic use. The government has adopted a policy of exporting 40 percent of the gas.

Three Americans Win Nobel Awards in Economics

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Non-Jews finally have taken home some Nobel awards, although not officially Nobel Prizes.

After an almost embarrassingly large number of Jews  who won a vast majority of the prizes awarded this month, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Monday honored Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Robert Shiller  for their “for their empirical analysis of asset prices.”

The award in economics is not a Nobel Prize as such, a category reserved for the fields of medicine, chemistry, physics, literature and peace, as designated by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel in 1895.

The Central Bank of Sweden added the economics prize in 1968.

Is Obama Listening? Israel’s Debt Shrinks by 30 Percent

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

The Israeli government’s deficit shrank by 30 percent, from $5.7 billion in the first nine months of 2013  to only $4 billion in the same period this year, Globes reported on Monday.

September’s deficit was only $250 million.

The deficit for the past 12 months represents 3.2 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), slightly more than the desired ceiling of 3 percent. The continuing decline in the government deficit will probably bring down number to below 3 percent by the end of the year.

Tax revenues grow by nearly 10 percent in the nine-month period, not including  September payments that were not recorded until October because of the recent  holidays.

Spending grew by 5.1 percent but less than the budgeted 8.8 percent  increase.

Israel Strikes More Oil in Area Discovered on Basis of Torah Verse

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Proven developed reserves of the Meged 5 oil discovery are double previous estimates, with the updated report showing it has 890,700 barrels of oil, Globes reported.

The proven, probable and possible reserves in two sections of Meged 5 are 3.35 millions of barrel, compared with a previous estimate of 2.15 million barrels.

Givat Olam, founder Meged 5, said it has sold $40 million worth of oil from one section of the Meged 5 well. It is located near Rosh HaAyin, five miles east of metropolitan Tel Aviv, and is adjacent to the security fence that runs along Judea and Samaria. The Palestinian Authority, of course,  claims most of the oil well is theirs.

Givat Olam founder Tovia Luskin was attracted to the site by a verse in Devarim (Deuteronomy), the last book of the Torah.

Chapter 33, verse 15 speaks of “the choicest things of ‘Givat Olam’” [lasting hills].

Luskin proceeded to carry out exploration there after receiving a blessing from the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Two years ago, the company began using Shabbat clocks to avoid using labor for the faucets in the production system on the Sabbath.

Buffett Buys Up Israeli Military-Aerospace Supplier

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

Warren Buffett has lived up to his love for Israel’s companies and his Berkshire Hathaway company has announced the acquisition of Lod-based Ray-Q Interconnect for an undisclosed sum of money.

Ray-Q provides electrical interconnect solutions to military, aerospace and other industries. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Buffett made a splash in the United States and Israel 2008 with the $4 billion purchase of most of the  Isracar a precision tool-making company and said at the time he likes Israeli companies. It completed the purchase this year with another $2 billion payment.

Berkshire Hathaway’s ITT subsidiary announced on Friday it is buying Ray-Q, a subsidiary of Raychem. It provides high quality electrical interconnect solutions to military, aerospace and other high-reliability product industries, especially those in Israel, Turkey, Eastern Europe and India.

Yigal Funt, Ray-Q Chief Executive Officer since 1976, will continue to direct the company, which employs approximately 70 people.

Legalizing Marijuana Would End Black Market, Says Israeli Study

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Legalizing marijuana would generate more than $450 million annually for the Israeli economy, according to  a new study released by the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies.

The black market for cannabis in Israel currently is worth $707 million annually, and legalizing the sale of grass, if taxed like cigarettes, would blow $268 million into the government’s money pot. In addition, it would save law enforcement agencies $198 million since they would not have to spend money to smokers of weed.

The study found that approximately 275,000 Israelis, 4 percent of the population, used marijuana in the past year, only 26 percent of Israelis support legalization of marijuana, while 64 percent opposes it.

In the United States, slightly more than half go those surveyed support legalizing grass. Marijuana is illegal under federal law, but 20 states to allow the use of medical marijuana. However, the Obama administration last week gave the green light for Colorado and Washington to carry  out their laws to permit recreational use of marijuana.

The Justice Department said it would bring charges on marijuana only in certain cases, such as distributing it to minors.

The announcement “demonstrates the sort of political vision and foresight from the White House we’ve been seeking for a long time,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, an advocacy group.

The Justice Department added that it is watching Colorado and Washington closely to see  if they can properly control marijuana use.

President Barack Obama has said he smoked grass when he was young, and a federal survey has found that 42 percent of Americans age 12 and older have smoked marijuana at some point in their lives.

The financial gains for states – and Israel is not being ignored,

“Recognizing the enormous financial gains that would come from legalization demands that the government take a serious look at the proposal to legalize cannabis use under specific guidelines,” said Yarden Gazit, who co-authored the study in Israel.  “There is no disputing that if the public is able to get past the wholly negative misperceptions associated with marijuana usage and appreciate the potential benefits with limited social or healthcare costs, this is an idea that needs open-minded and serious re-examination at this time.”

News of the survey coincided with Canada’s launch of controlled medical marijuana, an industry that is expected to be worth more than $1 billion in the next 10 years. Medical marijuana has been legal in Canada for years but has been highly regulated. Now it is available by mail-order with a doctor’s approval.

Besides all of the arguments  over whether marijuana is a drug that can lead to addiction, the underlying desire for governments to legalize it is money.

“We’re fairly confident that we’ll have a healthy commercial industry in time,” Sophie Galarneau, a senior Health Canada official told the Canadian Press.  

The Green Leaf party in Israel has been trying to get into the Knesset for years to push its agenda to legalize pot. In early pre-election polls, it usually receives support that puts it on the brink of winning the minimum number of votes to win Knesset seats, but when the real ballots are counted, it always loses out.

The pro-marijuana campaigns in the United States may generate new enthusiasm to legalize marijuana in Israel, where liberal leaders  almost always turn to American for cultural guidance.

Portland, Maine media reported Wednesday that supports of legalizing recreation marijuana will start promoting their agenda on city buses, with a message that grass is a better and safer alternative to alcohol.

Critics have complained that the campaign should not be on buses because children ride them to school.

Portland’s voter will go the ballot box in November to decide on a proposal to legalize marijuana by 2016. I

The Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project has targeted Maine and nine other states in its campaign to legalize grass within three years.

The JTA contributed to this report.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/legalizing-marijuana-would-end-black-market-says-israeli-study/2013/10/02/

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