Archives for July, 2010

bank of israel

Rapidly changing industry

The Israeli mortgage industry is changing rapidly. Some banks are introducing new programs, others are limiting existing ones to minuscule portions. Panic remains, a month and a half after Bank Regulator Roni Hezkiyahu announced that he wasn’t announcing a 60% limit on debt for residential properties. To make sure that we all understood exactly what he meant, he gave us all this wonderful clarification just a week later. Today he issued a further clarification. Of course, his saying that he didn’t expect changes of prices as a result caused an immediate raise in the price of mortgages. Here is a picture of Hezkiyahu hanging with yet another billionaire whilst making it harder for Shlomo want to be a homeowner to become Shlomo Homeowner. [Just to...
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exchange rates

Cigarette taxes, the dollar, and the Israeli Mortgage

There are new taxes in Israel, on cigarettes and petrol. Those few remaining smokers will now have to pay 1.5-2 NIS more per pack. This is a 10% increase. On the petrol expect a more modest 2% increase. Bravo! This is the right measure at the right time. Too bad that cigarette taxes weren’t raised by 90%. The cost to society of cigarettes is incredibly high. In Israel, with our socialized medical coverage, the high costs of treating the totally superfluous self-inflicted ailments fall on all tax payers, not only those inflicting the damage upon themselves. The real cost to Israeli society of each pack of cigarettes is estimated at over 50 NIS per pack (including our costs of treating cigaridiots, not including peripheral costs such...
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