Fischer, Stanley

views updated


FISCHER, STANLEY (1943– ), international economist and governor of the Bank of Israel. Born in Lusaka, Zambia, Fischer came to the United States in 1966 and was naturalized in 1976. He received both a bachelor and masters degree of science in economics from the London School of Economics and a Ph.D. in economics from mit (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). He served as assistant professor of economics at the University of Chicago until 1973, after which he served as associate professor and finally professor at mit's Department of Economics. During this time he was a visiting professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Hoover Institution at Stanford. His ties to Israel are deep.

Fischer moved into international finance and economy in the business world in 1988 as vice president, development economics, and chief economist at the World Bank, then becoming the first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund from September 1994 through August 2001. Fischer then held several positions at Citigroup beginning in February 2002. In January 2005 Fischer agreed to become the next governor of the Bank of Israel after nomination by Prime Minister Ariel *Sharon and Finance Minister Binyamin *Netanyahu and a recommendation by the Israeli cabinet. He was appointed to the five-year term on May 1, 2005. While some criticized the appointment of a non-Israeli to the position, Finance Minister Netanyahu defended the decision, stating that Fischer is knowledgeable about Israeli economy and society. "The fact that a man like him is ready to finish his affairs at Citigroup, immigrate to Israel, and become the central bank governor here is a golden opportunity for the Israeli economy," Prime Minister Sharon said in a statement. Fischer's appointment meant a substantial pay cut, a long-distance move, and the necessity to become immersed in learning more of the Hebrew language, which he already spoke fairly well.

A Guggenheim Fellow, Fischer is also a Fellow of the Econometric Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His memberships include the Council on Foreign Relations, the g-30, the Trilateral Commission, and designation as research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He served on boards for the Institute for International Economics, the International Crisis Group, Women's World Banking, and the International Advisory Board of the New Economic School in Moscow.

Fischer's lengthy list of published works includes extensive writings for scholarly and economic journals. He also held positions as associate editor, editor, and member of editorial advisor boards for a number of economic journals. Books authored or edited by Fischer include Macroeconomics, (co-author, 20049); imf Essays from a Time of Crisis: The International Financial System, Stabilization, and Development (2004); The Economics of Middle East Peace (co-editor, 1994).

[Lisa DeShantz-Cook (2nd ed.)]