Israeli economist may seek IMF post

Associated Press / May 30, 2011

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JERUSALEM — Israel’s central bank chief, Stanley Fischer, is interested in the top job at the International Monetary Fund, a person familiar with the banker’s thinking told the Associated Press yesterday.

The person said Fischer has not decided whether to pursue the job, but “if the opportunity comes along, he will take it,’’ said the person.

The person said he expects Fischer to decide within two weeks.

Fischer, an internationally respected economist, held the number two position at the IMF during the 1990s. Born in Zambia and educated at the London School of Economics and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he has also held top jobs at the World Bank and Citigroup Corp. He arrived in Israel in 2005 to be governor of the Bank of Israel. He has been widely credited with enabling the country to largely escape the global economic crisis. Unemployment in Israel is just over 6 percent.

The IMF’s last director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, quit this month after he was accused of attempting to rape a New York hotel maid.