(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Bank Hapoalim’s Chief Economist Professor Leo Leiderman is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s nominee for the position of the next governor of the Bank of Israel.
Wednesday’s announcement was made just two days after former Bank of Israel chief Professor Jacob Frenkel announced he was dropping his bid for a third term in office due to an ongoing shoplifting scandal.
Once Leiderman is confirmed, President Shimon Peres will sign his letter of appointment and he will become Israel’s ninth central bank governor.
“In the current situation of the economy, one of our first challenges is to restore household, consumer and business confidence in the market,” Leiderman told Israel’s Channel 1. Several weeks ago, Leiderman expressed concern over the recession and the drop in foreign investments in Israel, saying that the main challenge for 2014 would be to boost market growth.
Leiderman, 62, came to Israel from Argentina at the age of 17. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and later earned his master’s and doctorate at the University of Chicago. The future bank chief has been a faculty member at Tel Aviv University's Eitan Berglas School of Economics since 1979. From 1996 to 2000, he served as director of the Bank of Israel’s research department, and was member of its executive board. In the early 2000s, he was managing director of emerging markets research at Deutsche Bank. He has been Bank Hapoalim’s chief economist since 2003.