Frenkel Appointment at Risk


The appointment of Jacob Frenkel as Stanley Fischer’s successor to the chairmanship of the Bank of Israel is under review due to an allegation of shoplifting.

Frenkel was subjected to extensive questioning by the Turkel Committee on Friday. The members reached no conclusions, but will send the minutes of the meeting with Frenkel to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein for his opinion, Globes reported.

Frenkel says that the whole affair was based on a misunderstanding, and noted that charges were never filed against him.

Upon arrival on a flight from Vietnam, he and a colleague went together to a duty-free shop in Hong Kong. Frenkel asked his colleague, who was in line to pay for a bottle of perfume, to pay for a luxury suit carrier, and left the store in the mistaken belief that the item had been paid for, according to Frenkel.

Actually, the duty-free purchase may be the least of the strikes against Frenkel. There are three other issues: Frenkel’s alleged responsibility for the collapse of several major U.S. companies; the financial benefits Frenkel received at the end of his first term as governor; and the question why Frenkel avoided disclosing the investigation in Hong Kong in his initial talks with the committee.

The Turkel Committee believes that the most serious claims are the benefits he received from the Bank of Israel at the end of his previous term, and the non-disclosure. These considerations could lead to a recommendation to disqualify Frenkel.

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