28 June 2017


The Bank of Israel prepares for a war on consumers

The article states: If consumer debt is going out of control, look for the causes in the wage scale and in the prices of food, gasoline, utilities and insurance before punishing the Israeli working class.

Supervisor of Israel’s banks, Hedva Ber warns consumer debt is rising at too rapid a pace and approaching “out of control.” Thus, her office is considering stringent measures to brake consumer borrowing. It sounds like the Supervisor’s office is preparing to declare war on Israel’s already financially strapped and struggling citizens. Household debt (not for mortgages) tops NIS 511 billion. NIS 325 billion is collateralized by equity in houses.

A statement followed soon after the Ber interview from Bank Of Israel Governor Flug, declaring that the economy is supported by only 9% of the population. It may be fueling better international relations, stymying the international boycott movement, and creating hundreds of millionaires and billionaires, but the organization and exclusiveness of the economic miracle are concomitantly leaving working people behind; things are looking grim.

“If you want to be a millionaire in Israel, make aliyah with three million!"

Household debt is caused by too little income to pay for food, clothing, utilities, health insurance, prescriptions, etc. A Taub Center staff report (February 28, 2016) confirms that, “Israelis feel it in their pocketbooks—living in Israel is expensive. High prices on basic necessities combined with low wages relative to other developed countries lead many Israelis to struggle to make ends meet.”

For example, it is widely reported Israelis pay 48% more for toiletries than consumers abroad; food prices are 25% higher than in Europe; Israeli made chocolate costs more in Israel than in Europe. Israel’s teachers’ salaries rank at the bottom of 34 other developed countries; worse in terms of purchasing power parity, and below salaries of Mexico’s teachers.

close the flaring income gap between rich and poor that presents more of a threat to Israeli society. 10% of Israeli children already go to bed hungry (14,513 in 2006 compared to 17,677 in 2017), according to Israel National Council for the Child.

Why attack the consumer? Prevent Banks from advertising in Israeli newspapers that their doors are open for Loans. Yes, we know Israeli banks are ‘profit making businesses.’ These advertisements pop out at you when you turn the page to read the news. Families struggling to pay mortgages, food prices, gasoline, utilities and insurance are “enticed” to ease their burden with one of these loans especially prior to the Yom Tovim. What they do not realize at this vulnerable moment is that the interest on these loans is making the Banks RICH (remember profit-making), together with shekel charges for every call to a banker, every transaction, and “before and after transaction charges” when the customer makes financial transfers from their “former home countries” into their bank account in Israel, and there is no end to these shekel charges that add up to hefty amounts at the end of the year. There needs to be an AUDIT of Israeli Banks and their treatment of customers. Certain transactions should be FREE, yes FREE, just because you are a customer.

The Israeli Government taxes its citizens astronomically.
The Israeli Government receives ‘money’ from American Jewry.
The Israeli Government receives Loans from the US Government (yes, with the pledge to spend the money on US military supplies), but nevertheless ….
The Israeli Government taxes foods, nearly all imports (astronomically), not commensurate with the item(s) being imported.
The Israeli Bituah Leumi (set up to ease the Israeli citizen into retirement and more (sic!), makes it nearly impossible for Israelis to receive that financial support.
The Israeli Government advertises to new Olim that Entrepreneur Loans are available for you to set up a business (if you had one in your former country) here in Israel; but the rate of businesses that open and then close is alarming. (and there is more)

As the economy expanded for a fifth consecutive year, more Israelis than ever started new business ventures last year, but many of them are doomed to fail, said business information company BDI-Coface in a survey released on Sunday. In 2007, Israel secured a relatively high spot in the BDI league table measuring the number of new businesses opened, compared to European countries. Around 48,500 businesses were launched in Israel last year, making up 11% of all businesses in the country. In comparison, in Britain, 14% of all businesses were new, as opposed to 10% in Hungary, and 8% in Finland and Italy. Despite its high standing of new business ventures, Israel suffers from one of the highest failure rates for new small and medium-sized businesses in international comparison, as only 58% of new ventures survived after two years and 30% after five years. In Portugal, 96% of small and medium-sized businesses survived after two years, 88% of such ventures made it over the two year mark in Sweden, 82% in Britain, and 75% did so in Holland. Business News/BDI

Supervisor of Israel’s banks, Hedva Ber:  
AUDIT the Government!

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