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Central Banker Behind Israel Intervention Plan Turns Against It

  • Barry Topf says FX purchase program should be wound down
  • Bank of Israel argues global easing means it must still act
The headquarters of Israel's central bank stands in Jerusalem.
Photographer: Ariel Jerozolimski/Bloomberg
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The man who helped design the Bank of Israel’s foreign-currency intervention program with then-Governor Stanley Fischer is now turning against it. 

Barry Topf, former director of market operations, says the purchases that initially helped Israel weather the global financial crisis may now be hurting the economy by distorting prices. It’s time for the central bank, which has tripled its reserves in less than a decade, to scale back the program significantly, he said.