The flood of economic events resulting from the difficult security situation leaves no room for doubt: the economy is worsening, and at this stage it is difficult to see when things will stabilize, not to say recover.
Bank Hapoalim is negotiating with the Supervisor of Banks a long-term spread of its provisions for specific debts that it is required to pay for excess credit to controlling shareholders in the bank.
The most frightening item in the financial reports of the two biggest banks, Hapoalim and Leumi, was the speed: The speed with which the billions lent to the telecommunications sector passed to the problematic loan category.
At the beginning of the month, the finance minister appointed a committee headed by the treasury's director-general, Ohad Marani, to review the implications of selling the state's shares holding in Bank Leumi via the stock exchange.
Antitrust Commissioner Dror Strum is considering putting limitations on the concentration of bank credit when a bank finances two competitors and can therefore dictate market conditions.
With Bank Hapoalim's Isracard credit card company announcing that from April 1, it would be introducing new operational charges of NIS 5.50 a month for each cardholder, an era in credit cards came to an end yesterday.
Senior civil servants who have left their employ in the last two years and did not receive wages during the cooling-off period will be compensated, Civil Service Commissioner Shmuel Hollander told Ha'aretz.
Bank Hapoalim may have to make provisions of tens of millions of shekels for doubtful debt in the first quarter 2002, because the bank's controlling shareholders have overstepped the credit ceiling set by the Bank of Israel on loans to controlling shareholders.