Financial Times Calls for Tougher Action Against Oligarchies in Israel's Economy

Editorial says that, if strengthened, Knesset bill on concentration could serve as example for other countries.

An editorial published by the Financial Times on Thursday praised attempts to lessen the influence of oligarchies in Israel's economy.

The Financial Times said that a draft bill on concentration now being considered by the Knesset would bring "great benefit to Israel" if certain elements of it were to be strengthened.

According to the Financial Times, fewer than 20 Israeli families control businesses that make up half the value of Israel's stock market, giving those families monopolistic power.

"This chokes competition," the editorial read. "It also creates corrupting relationships among business, politicians, bureaucrats and the media. The connections between money and politics taint democracy, reinforce inequality and undermine the legitimacy of the market economy."

The most harmful element of this is the combination of financial institutions with non-financial business, according to the Financial Times.

The Financial Times said that a tougher Knesset bill on concentration could serve as an example for other countries.

The editorial concluded that "a dynamic economy requires action against concentration and, above all, a separation of banks from non-banks. A business oligarchy is not the same as a market economy. Confusing two such different things is lethal for a countrys political and economic health."

Tel Aviv Stock Exchange - Ariel Shalit - May 15, 2012
Ariel Shalit