Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu supports intervention by the Bank of Israel in the foreign currency markets through the use of interest rates, in order to bring about a weakening of the shekel. Netanyahu, speaking in an interview with Haaretz, also said that it is necessary to continue to lower interest rates.
The minister explained that the dollar's exchange rate is too low, and that this is preventing the acceleration of growth in the economy. "The amount that interest rates are lowered has an effect on the exchange rate ... I hope that the interest rate will be lowered and that the exchange rate will rise," he explained.
He complimented the governor of the Bank of Israel, David Klein, for lowering interest rates, and added: "He is helping to move the economy out of recession. But, there is still a long way to go." In spite of these comments, Netanyahu refused to answer whether he is considering extending Klein's tenure for another term.
As opposed to his comments about Klein, Netanyahu attacked the Supervisor of Banks, Yoav Lehman. He said that the Israeli economy suffers from excessive regulation, and he is considering reforming the regulatory sector in a manner similar to what was done in Britain.
When asked about predictions that the next candidate for governor of the bank will be asked to fire the supervisor, Netanyahu responded by saying that he does not deal with matters of appointments.
Netanyahu also said that he will consider separating the management of provident funds from the banks - but not the ownership.
In addition, he said that there is a possibility of breaking the budget framework in order to fund the building of the separation fence.
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