If only Netanyahu had stayed as Israel’s Finance Minister?

Whatever you say about the man, when Israel’s current Prime Minister, Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu was Finance Minister, he did a great job. The stats show that from 2003, he initiated and then presided over a period of supreme growth in Israel’s economy, a pattern that continues today nearly a decade later.

However, that triumph is increasingly looking like a thing of the past. GDP, export and tax revenue forecasts for 2012 are being consistantly revised in the wrong direction. And Bibi, as Prime Minister, is spending his time these days shoring up his coalition, investing in incentives for new partners rather than in industry. Some basic facts from this week’s news alone:

  • The stock market is dropping, just like much of the OECD economies.
  • Tax revenues are over half a billion dollars below expectations
  • Unemployment, expected to rise after its record low last year, is still higher than predicted
  • As European economies freeze up, exports have not found enough new markets, leaving a widening gap in the balance of trade.

In contrast, one of the deals Bibi offered to a group of politicans was estimated to cost around 12 million shekels (US$3 million). So when it was announced this week that the Ministry of Finance has delayed the decision making process for the 2013 budget, you have to ask yourself: “What’s going on? Is anyone in charge?”

As I indicated, Prime Minister Bibi has spent much of the last 2-3 months manipulating small partners and potential partners for his coalition. Commentators and opinion polls inidicate that he has lost political capital in the process. By way of a suggestion, if he cannot lead the squabbling pack, maybe he should stick to what he knows best, economics…….before his legacy is lost and the country has to face a needless time retrenching.

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2 Comments on “If only Netanyahu had stayed as Israel’s Finance Minister?”


  1. […] have not hidden my dismay. The Prime Minister of Israel, Bibi Netanyahu, has come close to blowing much of Israel’s economic progress of the past decade or so. By […]

  2. Steven Olson Says:

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