Until he ran for public office, Finance Minister Yair Lapid was a television news anchor and columnist. So now, in an effort help him decide macroeconomic and budgetary policy, he has assembled a group of five leading economists as outside advisers.
They have already convened at the new finance minister’s Tel Aviv home for lengthy meetings and are expected to meet again today.
One of them, Manuel Trajtenberg, headed the government-sponsored panel on economic policy following the cost-of-living protests of 2011 and is currently head of the Council for Higher Education’s planning and budgeting committee.
He chose Lapid’s four other advisers. They are Avi Ben-Bassat, an expert on the Israeli economy and a former Finance Ministry director general; Zvi Eckstein, a former deputy governor of the Bank of Israel; Yaakov (Kobi) Haber, a former Finance Ministry budget director and now head of Bank Leumi’s corporate banking division; and Anat Levin, deputy CEO at Bank Hapoalim.