Netanyahu wants Helpman as next BoI Governor

Harvard Professor Elhanan Helpman is reluctant to take the post.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to press Prof. Elhanan Helpman, who was educated in Israel and has taught here, into accepting the job of Governor of the Bank of Israel. At the same time, sources inform "Globes," Netanyahu is continuing to look for a suitable candidate to succeed Prof. Stanley Fischer who steps down at the end of the month.

Helpman is Galen L. Stone Professor of International Trade at Harvard University and a Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. He is Netanyahu's preferred candidate but has informed the Israeli prime minister both orally and in writing that he is not prepared to take the job. Helpman is currently in Israel to take part in the farewell conference for Fischer. Sources close to Netanyahu insist that the last word has not yet been said on Helpman's possible appointment, and it is hoped that he will reconsider out of "Zionist" motives and the possibility of "leading the economy into faster growth."

This is the second time that Netanyahu has offered the job to Helpman. The first was when David Klein stepped down as Governor when Netanyahu was Minister of Finance. It was only after Helpman refused that then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Netanyahu offered the job to Fischer.

Helpman's book "The Mystery of Economic Growth" that was published in 2004 by Harvard University (and translated into Hebrew in 2008) is an influence on Netanyahu, who tended to quote it when he was finance minister.

Helpman's refusal - he is considered one of the world's 25 most respected and oft-quoted macroeconomists and he is considered a candidate for a Nobel Prize - has been consistent over the years. The belief is that one reason for his refusal is that he feels that taking up the appointment could ruin his chances of a Nobel Prize. He therefore, according to his friends, prefers to remain in the academic world.

There is also the belief that after Fischer the public is weary of the "personal US import" idea and such a successor would have an even harder and more challenging time than Fischer.

Fischer himself has been heard saying more than once in the past that if Helpman wanted the job, he would be happy to step aside.

In the past few days Netanyahu has been holding talks with senior figures in the world of economics who have been in Israel for Fischer's farewell conference and President Shimon Peres's 90th birthday. These include European Central Bank head Mario Draghi and former US Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers. Both stressed the importance of a swift appointment to replace Fischer so that there can be a smoother transition before Fischer leaves.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 19, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

5 Comments
View comments in rows
Update by email about comments talkback
POST
Comments
Your name
Please insert your name
Content
Hyperlink in a new window Hyperlink Right Left underline italic bold Bulleted List Ordered List Face1 Face2 Face3 Face4 Face5 Face6
Your comment

Thanks
You comment was recieved and soon will be published.
In posting comments, I agree to abide by the Terms of Use
Globes encourages lively and frank debate, but posts that the editors consider merely abusive or otherwise inappropriate will be removed. Report inappropriate content
Thank you for posting your comment, which will be reviewed for publication.
Loading Comments...load
Load more comments
MORE FROM GLOBES
stephen cohen Growth is good, but not good enough

BlackRock Managing Director Stephen Cohen spoke at the "Globes"-BDO Ziv Haft Capital Market Conference.

Gas prices Israel 11th in Bloomberg Gas Price Ranking

Israel is just below Finland in the ranking, and above Hong Kong and Britain.

Yael Andorn  picture: Tamar Mitzpi Andorn: No tax hike to increase defense budget

The Finance Ministry director said more money should go to civilian services.

Tax Authority targets big spenders

Under suspicion are those who make frequent overseas trips, and unusually large capital market transactions.

Patrick Drahi ousts Eyal Ofer as richest Israeli

"Forbes Israel": Israel's 100 richest people's wealth equals 850,000 ordinary Israelis.

Ehud Olmert, Navot Tel-Zur Police: Indict Olmert, Tel-Zur for obstructing justice

The police say Ehud Olmert and lawyer Navot Tel-Zur attempted to dissuade Shula Zaken from testifying.

Mutual funds, finance  phtoto to go Treasury forecasts just 3.1% growth in 2015

The IMF and OECD see 3.4% and 3.5% growth respectively in 2015.

TA Art Museum, Russia's Hermitage to collaborate

The announcement reflects the Tel Aviv Museum of Art's standing in the art world.

Lapid: I've learned economics at the people's expense

"A finance minister does not have to be an economist, but must know priorities."

Unemployment still falling

Israel's 5.6% unemployment rate in April is one of the lowest in the OECD.

C'tee calls for limiting cash deals to NIS 7,500

The Locker committee recommends a series of restrictions on the use of cash and checks.

shekels Shekel strengthens as rate decision awaited

Analysts are split over whether the Bank of Israel will announce a rate cut today.

Analysts split on June interest rate decision

Even analysts who see the rate unchanged believe that it will be cut in a few months.

High Court bans yeshiva student stipends

The High Court of Justice: Yeshiva stipends discriminate against university students.

Teddy Sagi Teddy Sagi in talks to buy English football club - report

"The Reading Post": Teddy Sagi is in talks to acquire Championship side Reading.

economy, dollar Fitch affirms Israel's rating

The outlook for the 'A' long-term foreign currency rating is positive.

classroom  picture: photo to go Change Israeli education from the ground up

Governments cannot reform our education system without a change in perceptions.

Zohar Gilon "You can't teach entrepreneurship"

Angel investor Zohar Gilon relies on his own judgement rather than due diligence when selecting investments.

If Rose Fostanes played basketball

Reforms in regulations for foreign caregivers are welcome, but don't go far enough.

Antitrust Authority disappoints on gas competition

The only new company that will compete against Tamar and Leviathan will own less than 8% of Israel's proven gas reserves.

Jamshyd Godrej picture: Reuters When innovation means a refrigerator

Jamshyd Godrej believes economic development in India must go hand in hand with environmental and social awareness.

Zvi Eckstein Prof. Zvi Eckstein supports NIS 3.30-3.40/$ floor rate

The former deputy Bank of Israel Governor is the first senior figure from the financial system to advocate a floor rate.

high-tech 2013 boom year for Israeli high-tech

In the first half of the year, there was a 52% rise in demand for mobile and web developers, and salaries are up as well.

shekel Strong shekel forces Israeli manufacturers abroad

Israeli manufacturers tell "Globes" they are losing money due to the current strength of the shekel.

"Ending QE3 will harm the economy"

Prof. Richard Clarida will tell "Globes" Israel Business Conference that the main risk to the US economy is its political system.

Israel offers favorable tax regime for companies

"Globes" and Baker Tilly Israel accountants found Israel's tax benefits are among the most attractive in the West.

Slowdown will worsen

The vested interests that continue to claim that the economy is improving are deceiving the public, says Eyal Horowitz.

Can the US maintain growth after QE3?

Leading economists will discuss "The US: catch 22 the zero interest rate" at the "Globes" 2013 Israel Business Conference.

"The worst could still be ahead in Europe"

Prof. Charles Wyplosz will discuss Eurozone recovery at the Globes Israel Business Conference on December 8-9.

"Let capital pipelines function to full potential"

Amir Bramly argues that limited investment supply is stifling small and medium Israeli companies.

Twitter Facebook Linkedin RSS Newsletters גלובס