How Jerusalem and Athens differ today

Last week, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange held its 10th annual soiree in London. The big guns of the Israeli economy were there, led by Esther Levanon, the dynamic CEO of the exchange.

Levanon proudly recalled that once the Israeli economy used to be compared to that of Greece. Today, with Israel now a member of the elite in the MSCI exchanges, her position there is worth that of Greece, Portugal and Ireland combined.

Stanley Fischer, the governor of the Bank of Israel, and with an excellent reputation on the world banking stage, was hauled out in front of loads of tape recorders and video cameras. Fischer was ready to launch his speech at any given moment:

  • Israel banks encourage savings and rarely lend more than 70% of mortgage values.
  • Israeli workers cut their hours in the recession to protect jobs
  • The high tech sector now contributes to 51% of the value of the country’s exports.

The micro stats are just as impressive:

  • Unemployment is 7.2% and decreasing, as opposed to 10.0% in the USA and in Europe.
  • Israel has maintained its current account surplus
  • It maintains a 4.0% growth rate in most years
  • It invests 4.9% of its GDP (2.3% for the OECD)
  • Its public sector debt barely grew during the recession, where as the OECD average reflected a near 20% change.

Message: Israel is the place to invest

As the financial daily, “The Marker” pointed out – don’t mention the lousy education system or the economic concentration available in the hands of a few families, and life for Israel’s financial planners could seem almost perfect.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Business, Israel, Jerusalem, Palestinian Society

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One Comment on “How Jerusalem and Athens differ today”


  1. […] change, which will reap many long term benefits; specifically, accession to full membership of the OECD and acceptance at the top level of the MSCI stocks index. There are now proven off-shore […]


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