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Israel has been fighting in the global currency wars longer than most. This March will mark three years since Bank of Israel head Stanley Fischer began interventions in the local foreign-exchange market to stem the appreciation of the shekel.
Caught between the need to raise interest rates to cool an overheating domestic economy and the threat that rate hikes will attract more foreign “hot money”, the Bank of Israel—like many of its counterparts in South America and elsewhere—is now trying capital controls.
Official policy has also changed toward foreign direct investment (FDI), the long-term investment traditionally seen as positive, if not essential, for sustainable economic development.
Read more at Financial Services Briefing: “War footing” (January 28th)