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Fischer: Only IMF could have tempted me to leave Bank of Israel

Bank of Israel governor Stanley Fischer’s bid to be managing director of the IMF might have been successful, had the position been awarded on merit alone. Euromoney spoke to Fischer the day after the IMF announced it had selected Christine Lagarde.

Has your enthusiasm for being head of the Bank of Israel waned at all since your IMF leadership bid?


I didn’t apply for the IMF job because I don’t like my current job, but rather because the IMF job is one of the very few – perhaps the only one – for which I would be prepared to leave the Bank of Israel. My current job is a wonderful one, which ties in with almost my entire previous career and all my previous hopes.

You asked whether I enjoy the job of governor of the Bank of Israel. Perhaps ‘enjoy’ isn’t the right word. Day-to-day, like every job – possibly even including being the editor of Euromoney – it has its irritations. But at the end of the day, this is a job that gives me great satisfaction.


The last time you spoke to Euromoney, you mentioned Israeli house prices, which, according to your research department, were then slightly above long-term equilibrium. Does Israel have a housing bubble now? (see Central bank governor of the year 2010, Euromoney 2010: Stanley Fischer’s bold moves show the value of experience)


We don’t hear the same noises from the market that we were hearing when we last spoke.

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