Tel Aviv University Alumni Organization, led by Sigalit Ben Hayoun, held a panel on "War Economy".
The panel's speakers were:
Itay Ben-Zeev - Chief Executive Officer of Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law alumnus.
Dr. Ron Tomer - President of the Manufacturers' Association of Israel (MAI) and Tel Aviv University School of Management alumnus.
Prof. Leonardo Leiderman - Professor of Comparative Economics at Tel Aviv University's Eitan Berglas School of Economics, and the Chief Economic Advisor of Bank Hapoalim, the largest commercial bank in Israel.
The panel moderator:
Amalia Doak - journalist, economics reporter, and anchor at The News Company (a.k.a. Channel 12 News), and alumna of the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Management at Tel Aviv University.
Amos Elad, Vice President for Public Affairs, Resource Development, and Alumni Affairs at Tel Aviv University opened the webinar by offering condolence to the families of the fallen and murdered and expressed the collective wish for the return home of the abducted and missing. He went on to review how the university has mobilized for the war effort with multiple initiatives.
During the panel, Prof. Leiderman offered the following insights:
"It is still too early to talk about a reduction in the Bank of Israel interest rate. We believe that the Bank of Israel is doing well in emphasizing the need to support financial stability, and in this context, maintaining the current interest rate seems an important step. However, there is no doubt that if there is a reduction in inflation, it will be accompanied by reductions in interest. The Bank of Israel is doing the right thing by taking specific steps to ease the conditions for receiving credit for those parties most affected by the war. At the same time, the allocating of 30 billion dollars for possible intervention in the foreign exchange market has a stabilizing role in terms of the market."
"As is known, Israel is 'the start-up nation'. It is clear that the business reality facing many Israeli technology companies may be very different and challenging compared to the reality before the war. For example, if our companies are less welcome in countries like China, for geopolitical reasons, then they will have to change their business strategies and adapt to the new reality. As in many other fields, so it is in the tech sector, that what was is not what will be after the war."
Itay Ben-Zeev had this to say:
"From the beginning of the year, even before the outbreak of the war, there was a significant diversion of funds abroad by the institutional bodies, and moreover, there were bodies that called on citizens to transfer 100 percent of their long-term savings funds abroad. The first lesson in money management is risk diversification, and therefore this move by some from the institutional bodies, beyond the fact that it does not align with economic logic, puts the country economic's independence and resilience at risk. The black Sabbath of 7.10 is a wake-up call not only in terms of the country's security but also in terms of its economy. Just as moving forward requires a new security and political strategy, a new economic strategy that will incentivize Israelis investments in Israel is called for as well. This means an economy that is not primarily dependent on the world economy."
Dr. Ron Tomer suggested that:
"The Ministry of Finance plan should preserve the strong economic base of the State of Israel to facilitate our post-war economic recovery. Unfortunately, however, the Ministry of Finance's compensation plan as it stands today, blatantly abandons a large portion of the country's citizens. The outline is supposed to help all citizens who were harmed as a result of the war, but in practice, only the public sector workers are compensated while the rest of the workers remain without compensation at all, this is a disgrace that the government must correct. Also, any plan must include the option for flexible employment, which will preserve the employer-employee relationship during the war and allow for a quick return to growth after."
Tel Aviv University Alumni Organization - A World-Changing Community