Panel Approves All 3 Potential Central Bank Candidates

Mario Blejer is leading contender because he is well-known in international economic circles and served as chairman of Argentina’s central bank during financial crisis.

All three candidates for the post of Bank of Israel governor are suitable for the job, the Turkel committee told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Tuesday.

Netanyahu will now have to choose between Mario Blejer, Zvi Eckstein and Victor Medina, and is expected to do so over the next few days.

Blejer is considered the leading contender because he is well-known in international economic circles and served as chairman of Argentina’s central bank during a financial crisis. He also has held other senior positions in financial institutions around the world.

However, the decision is expected to be delayed due to the Jewish holidays. The new governor is expected to assume his post no earlier than mid-October.

Netanyahu submitted the names of the three for vetting after Jacob Frenkel and Leo Leiderman withdrew from the search in succession, causing embarrassment and uncertainty regarding Israel’s financial leadership.The Turkel panel looked into more than 20 complaints submitted against the potential candidates, and questioned each of the men regarding the claims. Ultimately, it decided unanimously to approve all three as candidates.

Once Netanyahu chooses a candidate, the decision needs cabinet approval. The cabinet is expected to approve Netanyahu’s choice unanimously.

Currently the central bank is being led by Deputy Governor Karnit Flug, the deputy to departing governor Stanley Fischer.

Bloomberg