Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Finance Minister Yair Lapid, outgoing Governor of the Bank of Israel Prof. Stanley Fischer and incoming Governor of the Bank of Israel Prof. Jacob Frenkel made the following statements today (Monday, 24 June 2013):
Prime Minister Netanyahu: "My friend, the Finance Minister and I decided together on the appointment of Jacob Frenkel as the next Governor of the Bank of Israel. This was a difficult search among excellent candidates.
It was not easy to find a successor for Stanley, who did outstanding work. We decided together on Jacob Frenkel because he is an excellent candidate, the best among the candidates, the winner of the Israel Prize for Economics, a highly esteemed governor with wide and deep academic knowledge, and of course, a man who has gained experience in markets and not just at JPMorgan, but also as the head of the G30, which is engaged in the issue, an opinion-setter. I think that Jacob Frenkel can continue the important tradition of monetary stability, of positioning Israel in the front row. He can do this in an outstanding way. I think he is the best candidate, subject of course to the work of the Turkel committee. We will submit his candidacy to the Cabinet as soon as possible so that we will have another outstanding Governor of the Bank of Israel.
Stanley Fischer reminded me of something important. We are in a changing economic reality and we need to adapt ourselves to its challenges. We have been in such a reality. The first time I served as Prime Minister, we made a decision, a decision that Jacob Frenkel very much supported. It had many opponents and the decision was to open the currency markets. You need to imagine a situation in which you could leave only with a fistful of dollars, like Clint Eastwood, and return with a fistful of dollars and be under a bureaucracy that in effect did not allow currency either in or out of the State of Israel.
This was an historic decision, no less, without which it would not be possible to imagine the rapid growth of the Israeli economy. I am pointing this out because today as well we are in a very, very fluid and dynamic reality, not always for the good, and we will need both to enact structural changes in the economy and enjoy monetary stability. These are vital for ensuring our economic future. We will also need to open the markets to China. I asked Jacob, who, by the way, was the first candidate, I said, if Frenkel would come on board it would be the best. But I called him and told him that I was going to China and asked if he had any advice. He gave me very good advice.
We will need to do all these things and I do not think that the Finance Minister and I could have a better partner at this time who will continue the splendid tradition of Stanley Fischer and the Israeli economy than Jacob Frenkel."
Finance Minister Yair Lapid: "A short while after I assumed office as Finance Minister, I held a whole series of consultations who I think are the wisest people in the Israeli economy, of course one of them was Prof. Jacob Frenkel. He came to my home, looked at me and the first thing he said to me was in anger: 'You look tired and that's no good. The Finance Minister cannot be tired. You must sleep as much as you need because otherwise you will not do the work.' I come back to you now with the same advice: You must also sleep as much as you need because you will need to do your work, and part of your work is to be the responsible adult of the Israeli economy. We have one responsible adult to my left and a second and a third and we need to see to it that the economy is in good hands. For eight years it was in the trustworthy hands of Stanley Fischer, about whom there are not enough words, neither from the Prime Minister nor from myself, two talkative enough people, to express the country's gratitude. Now it passes into Frenkel's hands. It is the correct choice. We are pleased with it and we are satisfied with it."
Outgoing Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer: "I am pleased at the choice of Jacob Frenkel as the next Governor of the Bank of Israel. I have known him since he was a student at the University of Chicago. We have been friends for 43 years and consulted on all kinds of issues. He was an exceptional governor, a governor who changed the structure of the financial markets and monetary policy. We are lucky that Jacob accepted the job. He will do everything, he will honor Israel at international meetings and conferences before the world's businesspeople, diplomats, and politicians, and no less important -economists. We have a man who with a track record in more than one job, and I am sure that he will continue to serve Israel and serve the Israeli economy."
Incoming Bank of Israel Governor Jacob Frenkel: "Mr. Prime Minister, my friend the Finance Minister, and my friend and colleague for many years, Prof. Stanley Fischer. I am excited, and I really want to show my gratitude for the great trust expressed in this recommendation for the appointment. It's no secret that I had many reservations, but it's also no secret that when there is a determined prime minister who accepts no other answer than the one he wants, you must not withstand him.
We have a strong economy, which has survived many crises, and not because we were on the right side of the ocean, but because of the economic policies which caused the waves to break before the beaches were flooded. The halting of the storm also reflected the responsible financial policies and the most responsible policy of the Bank of Israel. I am proud to once again enter this institution with regimental pride and to take up this relay race. The dream of every participant in a relay race is to catch the runner ahead of him. It is our luck that the runner from whom I am taking the baton has created for me such a great 'four' that I am taking the system and I will have time to study the material and sleep, and then continue the relay race. My hope is that when the next round comes, the one who sits here will tell the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister, who will apparently be the same people, of his joy at being able to pass the baton, he will be able to say the same thing. And to this I am committed. We have an economy with immense potential. It is possible to move it forward, and with all sincerity, we have amazing things which have been kept secret and the world does not know how many things have been kept secret here.
In summation, Mr. Prime Minister, Finance Minister and outgoing Governor, it is a great honor, a great responsibility and I can only say that I am 1005 committed and I will bring my seven decades of experience and achieving goals.
A last word. We are sitting here as a team and it will not succeed if there is no harmony, cooperation, and mutual understanding. I am sure that we have this understanding on goals and it will be a historic injustice if we do not achieve them in full, and the potential, at least between the members of this orchestra and the conductor, exists."