Sunday, January 12, 2014

AIPAC’s Fed Candidate Stanley Fischer on a Warpath Against Iran

Dual-citizen nominee's lifetime benefit to Israel comes at a heavy cost to America

The rushed campaign to insert Stanley Fischer straight from his position leading Israel’s central bank into the number two spot at the Federal Reserve has allowed little time for research into the appointee’s career or for informed public debate about his record. Like the failed recent Obama administration-Israel lobby pincer move to ram approval for U.S. military strikes on Syria through Congress, avoiding such due diligence through velocity may actually be the only means for successful Senate confirmation.

Some of Fischer’s accomplishments – from co-authoring a seminal textbook on macroeconomics to handling economic crisis at the IMF have – not surprisingly – been recalled by his many supporters. Other doings that shed light on Fischer’s controversial attributes – such as overhauling how U.S. aid and trade packages are delivered to Israel – have been mostly ignored. Appointing an openly dual Israeli-American citizen into the most important central bank in the world could be a watershed moment. While the doors of federal government have long swung open for Israel-lobby appointees focusing most – if not all – their energies on advancing the interests of a foreign state, any who were actually Israeli dual citizens have traditionally kept that a closely-guarded secret. Fischer’s long-term boosters, including the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), likely want to accustom Americans to openly dual citizens circulating between top roles in the U.S. and Israeli governments. A closer examination of Fischer reveals that average Americans have good reason to oppose his appointment, because his lifelong achievements for Israel have imposed high costs and few benefits to the United States while making peace more difficult to achieve.

Stanley Fischer was born in Northern Rhodesia in 1943. He studied at London School of Economics and received a PhD in economics from MIT. He taught and chaired the MIT economics department and co-authored a leading macroeconomics textbook with Rudiger Dornbusch. Fischer joined the World Bank in 1988 and became the first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1994. He oversaw emergency bailout lending and austerity programs over Mexico, Thailand, Indonesia, Russia, Brazil and Argentina. High flying Citigroup – under the helm of Sanford "Sandy" Weill – recruited Fischer in 2002. There he rose to become vice president with a seven-figure pay package.

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