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CEO of Mizrahi Tefahot Bank: “Israel’s Most Dangerous Economic Situation Since Its Founding”

Moshe Lary said that while, “The economy shows resilience despite the war, but when you look a little further, you can certainly see the clouds that darken over the Israeli economy.”

Israel's dangerous economic situation

Israel’s dangerous economic situation: Moshe Lary, Tefahot Bank (official pic)

Moshe Lary, CEO of Mizrahi Tefahot Bank, painted a stark picture of Israel’s economic situation at the Calcalist and Mizrahi Tefahot Growth Conference. He declared it the most critical economic juncture for the country since its founding.

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Moshe LaryLary urged the government to make bold decisions in light of the war’s impact on the economy. He emphasized the need for tax increases and spending cuts, while also advocating against allocating funds based on political coalitions or specific sectors. His message was clear: “Now, more than ever, we cannot afford economic missteps.”

“On one side the Israeli economy is magic,” Moshe Lary said at the conference. “When you look at the indicators, you see growth that is recovering, private consumption is increasing, a decrease in unemployment, and a certain recovery in the real estate market.”

However, Moshe Lary also said that while, “The economy shows resilience despite the war, but when you look a little further, you can certainly see the clouds that darken over the Israeli economy.”

Moshe Lary also argued that Israel’s economic situation is unlike any other. He acknowledged the country’s unique strengths but expressed concern about its sustainability. Lary emphasized that no other country has a directly comparable economic situation to Israel and acknowledged Israel’s positive aspects but wants to understand the potential downsides.

Lary used Ukraine, a country at war for two years, as the closest example he could find. He acknowledged a facade of normalcy in Ukraine, with cafes still operating, but highlights the underlying economic struggles and pointed to Ukraine’s significant GDP decline (13%), rising debt-to-product ratio (over 50%), and population decrease (12%). Moshe Lary also emphasized that those leaving Ukraine are likely the most skilled and productive individuals.

However, Lary did question Ukraine’s attractiveness for foreign investment and the future prospects for its younger generation given the economic situation. Lary’s comparison with Ukraine raises concerns about potential negative consequences for Israel if its unique economic situation is not carefully managed.

Moshe Lary began working at the Mizrahi-Tefahot group over twenty years ago, first at Tefahot Bank and, as of 2005, at the merged bank. In 2009, he was appointed as Executive Vice President and a member of Mizrahi-Tefahot’s board of management. He served, among other roles, as CRO and Head of the Accounting Division, head of the Planning, Operation, Customer Assets and Consultation Division, and, in recent years, Head of the Financial Division.



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