CNBC’s take on the Israel economy

Obama may just save America’s economy (and his election campaign). For all the gloom, it is possible that the UK has already seen the worst of its slowdown. As for much of the rest of Europe, I do not see to many leaders of commerce taking their holidays in Greece this year.

So why did CNBC run a feature last week on Israel of all places? Remember, CNBC is arguably the leading tv financial commentator reaching the salons of international corporate decision makers.

Well ostensibly, Michelle Caurso-Cabrera,  one of the station’s leading anchors on the international scene, posed the question how the Israeli economy could continue to function in light of the threat from Iran. Slightly to her apparent amazement, she found that the Finance Minister, Dr Yuval Steinitz, was more concerned about European rather than Iranian meltdown. And the average person in the street was more hasled by mundane things like just wanting the railways to run on time.

Caruso-Cabrera mentioned that 90 Israeli companies are quoted on NASDAQ. She herself covered three on site stories.

  • Colorchip is developing a transceiver to cut dramatically the time of downloading videos from the net. This is the third start up for its CEO.
  • Sodastream now makes about 400,000 units a month, ensuring that it is one of the largest employers of Palestinians in the country. The result is soda pop is available in kitchens all over the world.
  • Brainstorm is developing a unique cure for Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Israel’s success is no secret to major American investors. Back in 2006, Warren Buffet’s team is rumoured to have wrapped up a US$4 billion deal in just ten days, when it brought out precision tool maker, Iscar, located near the border with Lebanon.

Last week,  Berkshire Hathaway reported at 21% drop in profits. However, one of the few strong aspects of the group was Iscar, whose management team drew high direct personal praise from the boss.

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