Eretz Yisrael Time

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007
What happens when the American mentality of clean government and transparency meets up with the Israeli mentality of, well, the exact opposite?

First let me say that until now, this flew completely under my radar screen, and I am just catching up with the story.

But let me start with the punch line.

It was rumored that Stanley Fischer, the American Governor of the Bank of Israel, was going to call a press conference to resign today – because of the wildcat strike by Bank of Israel employees.

Now let me give you the background.

Apparently Fischer decided to investigate salaries and perks of Bank of Israel employees.

He found that the people printing the money were also taking quite a bit of it home – illegally.

Between massive perks and massive bonuses, Fischer found a culture that accepts the pinching of office supplies and inventory (money).

He sent out a letter to employees that not only will the skimming stop, but all employees will be expected to return their illegal gains.

In reaction, the bank union has called for a strike. Within a few days the ATMs in Israel will be out of money, international wire transfers won’t be possible, and banking (and businesses that rely on banking) will reach a dead stop.

Hirschson, the Finance Minister is trying the mediate between the two sides, Fischer, who is demanding clean government in his domain and Bank of Israel workers committee chairperson Rimona Leibowitz, who represents those stealing our tax dollars.

This is a serious issue, because if banking stops, then business stops. On the other hand, if the stealing continues, then we all continue to pay for it.

But this isn't really about money, it's nothing more than a culture clash.

This is flying around the emails.
I can't give a hattip as I don't know who made it.

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