Major worries are sweeping into Israel's thrift

March 6, 2023: New concerns regarding Israel’s economy lead international investors to ask about their money there.

Huge protests have intensified recently as Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, moves closer to making a law that would profoundly change how the country’s judicial system operates. Critics, who polls indicate represent most of Israel’s population, say the changes will endanger democracy.

The law would change Israel’s judicial system by giving sitting governments complete control of judicial deals. It would also weaken the Supreme Court to effectively end its role as a check on the executive and legislative power.

In a sign of the opposition to the proposed law, graduating elite military ideas and reservists in crucial areas of the Israeli army have threatened not to present for duty and have begun petitions to protest the changes.

In a recent document, the Finance Ministry’s chief economist Shira Greenberg writes, “credit rating agencies are to react to these developments.”

So far, all three rating agencies S&P Global, Moody’s and Fitch, have held steady, which keeps Israel in a high credit tier and reassuring global investors.

It would help if you kept Israel’s unicorns, startups, and scale-ups from the equity market. As funding slows, we’ll experience the impact on the stock market and what’s happening now.

Fitch reaffirmed its rating but published a special section on the economic risk of judicial reform in its note. The company warned proposed judicial reform “could hurt Israel’s credit profile by the weak governance indicators or if the weakens of institutional checks leading to worse policy outcomes negative investor sentiment.”

Fitch pointed to the passing of the rules in other countries, which it stated had led to a “significant weakening of World Bank governance indicators” in those places. Those indicators play an essential role in shaping the ratings assigned to countries.

Fitch points out that the judicial proposal in Israel has been met with “civil society and political opposition,” which slips Israeli society. Israel is the second most significant economy by GDP in the Middle East, following Saudi Arabia.

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Major worries are sweeping into Israel's thrift
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Major worries are sweeping into Israel's thrift
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