The UK has already moved towards partial nationalization of the banking system and we seem to be heading the same way. It’s hard for me to get a clear sense of what it means to have the banks owned by the state. So I asked Mrs. Q, is that the way it is in Israel? The answer is no, then yes, then no. It turns out that the Israeli banks hit their own rough patch in 1983; in the resulting “Bank Stock Crisis,” the banks were nationalized and eight bankers went to jail. Later, the banks were mostly sold back to private investors, though the State of Israel remains the largest shareholder in Bank Leumi. I’d be delighted if any Israeli readers could say something about how the Israeli financial system functioned during the period when the government owned the banks.
We also need to learn from Israel when it comes to summer pop hits. “Indian Love Song,” by Alma Zohar, is better than anything I’ve heard on the radio here in years.