Comedy of errors engulfs Israel's top economic team
JERUSALEM (REUTERS) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was starting a meeting with his team of Middle East peace negotiators last week when Mr Leo Leiderman, his second choice to lead the Bank of Israel, called.
Just 48 hours earlier, on July 31, Mr Leiderman had agreed to replace central bank governor Stanley Fischer, who once taught US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and whose reputation had lifted Israel's international economic profile.
Mr Leiderman, the second nominee to drop out in less than a week, had changed his mind for undisclosed personal reasons, raising questions not only over Mr Netanyahu's judgment but also much wider concerns about Israel's economic management.
The news drew a characteristic response from Israel's Finance Minister Yair Lapid, until last year a popular television talkshow host, who joked on his Facebook page that economics professors were "a very colourful and wild bunch".