Wall Street recently faced yet another historical Black Monday, and yesterday the crisis has finally traversed both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, when the Israeli Stock Exchange, located at E’chad Ha’ham Street, encountered its very own Black Sunday.
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Interestingly enough, although E’chad Ha’ham refers to a specific person in Jewish history, it can also be translated to “the man on the street”. So while America has its Wall Street, we have our Man on the Street Street.
So stocks are tumbling. What’s next? Presumptive Prime Minister Tzipi Livni and Labour chairman Ehud Barak met yesterday together with top economists to discuss the unavoidable crisis. Livni and Barak are currently negotiating the state’s budgetary constraints, since the Labour party (Ha’Avoda) has many demands it wishes to see fulfilled before it agrees to join Livni’s coalition. But when the economy is shaking and tumbling, can Livni afford Barak’s price tag?
We already know that some the of the major banks in Israel, Leumi for example, were highly exposed to Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual. How will this affect our saving accounts and pension plans? Leumi executives say it’s too early to tell.
Can the Israeli man on the street handle the crisis at the Man on the Street Street?