Fears of 'hostile' shekel trading

By Simon Griver, September 18, 2009

The recent strength of the shekel has generally been credited to a strong Israeli economy. However, market sources now claim that speculators are targeting the shekel, keeping it artificially high, with foreigners holding nearly $80 billion of the currency.

A massive sell-off of shekels could seriously destabilise the country’s economy and some, like Motorola Israel president Elisha Yanay, suspect that the speculators may have more than profit in mind.


Money mensch: Making the most of your tax credits

By Martin Lewis, September 2, 2009

Now the tax credit renewal system is over, millions will be receiving the dreaded letter from the government telling them they have been overpaid tax credits, and will have to pay hundreds or even thousands of pounds back. I want to tackle some of the key questions, so as to let you know what to do.

What are tax credits?


Madoff's 'Jewish jail' plea denied by judge

By Jessica Elgot, July 6, 2009

Bernie Madoff, the billion-dollar fraudster who will spend the rest of his life in prison after a 150-year sentence has been refused the chance to serve in a ‘Jewish jail’.

His lawyer has asked the judge to recommend he serve his term in the medium-security Otisville Correctional Institute, which has an unusually high percentage of Jewish inmates, but the request was refused.


Company withdraws "Rothschild" leaflet

By Leon Symons, July 1, 2009

A financial offer e-mailed to 80,000 people has been withdrawn by the company that published it after a complaint about the way it referred to the Rothschild banking family.

The offer, distributed by Fleet Street Publications, referred to the 239-year-old “Rothschild Recession Code” with a history of the family inferring that it secretly controlled world finance.

The idea behind the e-mail shot was to offer investors the chance to buy the same shares as the Rothschilds.


Mixed forecast from the Governor

By Candice Krieger, June 25, 2009

Sausages and the budget are pretty much the same, says Stanley Fischer, Governor of the Bank of Israel: “You do not want to know how they are made.”


Analysis: Bad timing for an economic upgrade

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 25, 2009

The decision last week by Morgan Stanley Capital Index (MSCI) to reclassify Israel’s economy from “emerging” to “developed” was greeted by Israeli economists with mixed feelings.

Everyone agreed that it was evidence of the improved regulation of local money markets and the robustness shown by the Israeli economy in the face of the global downturn. The Bank of Israel and other establishment sources saw it as an affirmation of their policies and a “coming of age” of the Israeli market.

Private-sector analysts were less certain.


Strong shekel brings more pain than gain

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 25, 2009

Shmulik is sitting behind a 3in-thick glass window in a small flat in Meah Shearim that has been divided by a concrete wall and a steel door. This is one of half a dozen “black banks” that are the economic pipeline of Jerusalem’s Charedi community. He looks out at the empty room.

“Business is slow,” he says.

Not that long ago, the bank was packed at all hours, mainly with local residents selling dollars or cheques.


Don’t ask America who holds the purse strings

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 20, 2008

Nearly one in five Americans think that Jews control the world's financial institutions, although only seven per cent think they have too much power and are to blame for the current financial crisis.

The findings by international pollster Stanley Greenberg also indicated that Israel continues to enjoy a high degree of public support in the United States with 66 per cent saying America should support Israel while only six per cent support the Palestinians.


Bank governor bullish about Israel’s ‘solid’ economy

By Bernard Josephs, November 20, 2008

The governor of the Bank of Israel, Stanley Fischer, has described the state of Israel's financial institutions, including its banks, as "so far, solid and well capitalised".

Speaking at an Oxford conference on Sunday, Dr Fischer, now in his third year as head of Israel's national bank, said that Israel was in a "very fortunate position," compared with many other industrialised nations, including the UK and America.


Shekel rate adds to strain on charities

By Jay Grenby, November 6, 2008

Charities raising funds for Israeli causes have more than the credit crunch to contend with. Around a 25 per cent fall in exchange rates means that funds generated are worth considerably less in Israeli currency.

"We are presently getting a lot fewer shekels for our pounds than hitherto," reported Alison Rosen, executive director of Wizo UK, which supports welfare and educational projects in Israel. "This effectively reduces the amount of money we can send and we therefore need to raise more than ever to maintain even the same level of support."