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Washington Post blogger suggests Fischer as possible U.S. Federal Reserve chairman

Washington Post blogger Dylan Matthews authored a post this weekend in which he suggested that Bank of Israel governor Stanley Fischer, who is stepping down in June, would be a good candidate to replace U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, Fischer’s former student. The blog post is titled “Stan Fischer saved Israel’s economy. Can he save America’s?” “It’s not as crazy as it may sound; the market for top central bankers is increasingly global, most vividly illustrated by the November selection of Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney to lead the Bank of England,” Matthews wrote. “In this post-crisis era, the job of a central banker requires someone who is simultaneously a brilliant economist, regulator, diplomat and politician. Among Fed watchers, there is quiet, off-the-record talk that that person might be Fischer.” (TheMarker Staff)

Strike at Iberia could affect flights to, from Israel

Spanish flag carrier Iberia will cancel 40% of its scheduled flights worldwide beginning tomorrow, when it is expected that the carrier’s staff will go on strike. Unless the labor dispute is resolved, the disruptions are to last through Friday, in protest over job cuts, and are expected to affect the carrier’s flights to and from Israel. The loss-making airline said that 415 of the 1,060 flights scheduled over the five days would be grounded, though 90% of long-distance flights will take off. Domestic flights will be most affected, with almost half canceled. Labor unions are also planning strikes from March 4-8 and from March 18-22. Ground staff, including baggage handlers, will participate in the strikes, meaning that other airlines could be affected by the action. (Reuters)

G20 summit vows there will be no world currency war

The Group of 20 nations declared yesterday that there would be no currency war and deferred plans to set new debt-cutting targets, underlining broad concern about the fragile state of the world economy. Japan’s expansive policies, which have driven down the yen, escaped direct criticism in a statement thrashed out in Moscow by policy makers from the G20, which spans developed and emerging markets, and accounts for 90% of the world economy. After late-night talks, finance ministers and central bankers agreed on wording closer than expected to a joint statement issued last Tuesday by the Group of Seven rich nations backing market-determined exchange rates. The final version included a G20 commitment to refrain from competitive devaluations and stated monetary policy would be directed only at price stability and growth. (Reuters)

After 49 years, El Al to leave iconic Tel Aviv offices

In a cost-cutting move, El Al Israel Airlines will be leaving its iconic offices on Ben Yehuda Street in Tel Aviv. The building was the first office tower in all of Israel. El Al, which has operated out of the building since 1964, will be moving to Or Yehuda near Ben-Gurion International Airport. (Zohar Blumenkrantz)

The El Al buildingCredit: Peter Herzog and Paul Gross/Studio Keren