Fischer Says Frenkel to Be ‘Outstanding’ Bank of Israel Governor

Jacob Frenkel, chairman of JPMorgan Chase International, who’s set to return to the Bank of Israel after leaving the job 13 years ago, will be an “outstanding” and successful governor, outgoing bank head Stanley Fischer said today.

Frenkel will return to the bank with Israel’s economy in a very different condition than when he departed in 2000, Fischer said, in reply to a question as to whether Israeli monetary policy is expected to become more hawkish under the next governor. Frenkel “will make decisions that are appropriate to the situation,” Fischer said.

“He was a very important and very successful governor in terms of the development of the Israeli economy,” Fischer said at a farewell press conference in Jerusalem. “I have no reason to think that he won’t be an outstanding governor.”

The post of governor unexpectedly opened in January when Fischer, 69, announced he would leave at the end of June, midway through his second, five-year term. Frenkel’s surprise nomination this week by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is subject to the approval of a committee that vets senior civil service appointments, as well as the Cabinet.

Deputy Governor Karnit Flug, who was a candidate for the job, will serve until Frenkel takes over, Fischer said.

Asked about a 2002 State Comptrollers report, which said Frenkel had received more money than he should have during his term with the central bank, Fischer said that Frenkel had returned the funds. He said it’s a matter for the government committee that vets candidates to consider, and that he expects that the nomination will be approved.

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