Jul 4, 2007

I gave EO too much credit

It looks like a I gave Ehud Olmert too much credit.

When Finance Minister Hirschson came under serious investigation for all sorts of allegations, I predicted that Ehud Olmert would appoint Meir Sheetrit as the next Finance Minister.

While I do not like Meir Sheetrit, and I recently read an article somewhere showing that every position he has ever received in government has been under threat and duress (i.e. he always threatened (either openly or was just considered a threat) to make trouble for the ruling power unless he was appointed to his various positions), he does have the best qualifications to be the person running the Finance Ministry, of all the possible candidates.

I figured Olmert would appoint him, both because he is capable and qualified for the position, with experience and an agenda, but also because, as a political rival, this might keep Sheetrit quiet for a while, providing Olmert with the quiet he wants.

I was wrong.

Today Olmert appointed Minister Roni Bar-On to head the Finance Ministry. Bar-On has no finance experience - he was a criminal lawyer before he went into politics. He is simply being appointed to this position because he is a crony of Olmert's - he has been Olmert's main "yes-man" since Olmert became Prime Minister.

So we now have a Finance Minister running the show, who has the job simply because he is Olmert's friend. Not because of any qualifications. I would have thought Olmert would be more professional about this appointment considering all the problems he has had, with the criminal issues, with his friends criminal issues, and the political and military issues that are all threatening to bring him down. Even more than that is now he likely upset Sheetrit who has always seen himself as the most qualified for the Finance Minister job, along with the Prime Minister job, and will probably now heat up his challenging Olmert for leadership of Kadima.


  1. Roni Bar-On is a criminal lawyer with no background whatsoever in finance and no known socio-economic agenda to speak of. His one and only qualification is that he is loyal to Olmert.

    You also forget to mention the new Vice Premier, Chaim Ramon who is a newly convicted criminal.

  2. yeah. I was staying away from that one. I think it is a bad appointment and he will get a lot of flak for it, but Ramon is highly qualified and I think a lot of that case was fluff...

  3. Highly competent and secure people tend to surround themselves by the smartest, most qualified people they can find. People who are incompetent and/or insecure tend to surround themselves with people who they believe will make them look good by comparison.

    'Nuff said.

  4. Rafi,
    With your finance degree he should have apointed you lol. I have no degree in anything but I could tell you in 5 seconds what this country needs:

    Conservative!! thats right.. cut this bloated up government!! lower the astronomical taxes.. lower the meches dammit!!

    So look, big government wasting our money, high taxes, high priced consumer items.. low wages... you see why this place sucks.

    If they slashed import taxes, thus causing a reduction in imported goods.. which will pose a significant threat to israeli manufactured crap.. it will cause manfacturers in israel to start making better products at lower prices and create healthy competition..

    Only very rarely do I pay for expensive israeli crap.. the rest I have brought in from the US... and my desktop mother board fried.. i'll end up paying 50-100$ here to have it fixed.. only because the comp guy is a good friend of mine and i'm not interested in buying a mother board on ebay and having to get it brought here.. but still its 25$ on ebay..

    But as a seller of computer related items, I flip out when I see them selling some mouse or webcam for like 5 - 10 times more than what i sell it for..

    Its patheticwhat consumer items cost, why cant some shmuck just import the crap straight from china ?!?!? who's geting the 300% markups ?!?!?

    We need something in the style of walmart, tell the shnooks where to shove it, built a warehouse, import yourself and keep it under 35% markup.

  5. oops I meant "causing a reduction in the price of imported goods" why is it that nochi dankner and yitzchak teshuva can make billions here and the rest of this place is poor ?

    Read the walmart story and the jetblue story.. its very simply feasible.. i'd do it with the right partners!

    I'm a fan of small business, I am a small business!!

    and all we have is taxation.. WHERE IS MY REPESENTATION?!?!? all the corrupted and crooked keneset members represent is their wallets..

  6. mizellie - interesting thou8ght. However, Bar-On is very smart and competent. he is just not qualified specifically for the Finance Ministry....

    elchonon - I got my degree in finance but already know nothing about it anymore...
    I buy plenty of Israeli goods and while, yes, they are more expensive, the quality is usually pretty good....

  7. Rafi,
    Depends.. sure my electro chanan fan still works, and my heaters work.. so does my kum kum.. but i'd NEVER buy say a israeli coffee burr grinder.. or israeli company computer accessories..

    When you go to america, stop by walmart.. see how horrible the healthcare products we have here.. we have like 5 choices of toothpaste here.. same goes for toothbrushes, soap, body wash, shampoo etc..

    And thats a multi trillion dollar line right there.. so i'm spoiled and like garnier fructis and old spice..

  8. it is isn't like olmert has a history of appointing ministers who are qualified for their positions.

  9. ari - yeah I know, but I figured this time with so much heat on him, and the Finance Ministry being such an important position, he would appoint the one candidate who at least had some qualifications. Granted, even if he appointed Sheetrit it would not have been because he was qualified but as a way of silencing him, but I would have thought his qualifications would have been the extra push for Olmert..

  10. "but I figured this time with so much heat on him"

    you can't fall as low as he's fallen. he reached such low approval ratings and yet his government remained in power. this proved to him he can get away with anything.

    "and the Finance Ministry being such an important position"

    as opposed to defense?

  11. defense is just as important, if not more. but, technically, he did not appoint peretz as defense minister. technically he gave it labor who chooses which minister goes where. Granted, he is an idiot because he knew, and approved, that peretz would take the dm, but technically it was not his own appointment.

  12. So it looks like Olmert is getting the quiet he wants by putting yes-men in place.
    The problem with this is that the gov't is now an echo chamber, telling itself what it wants to hear, and not what it needs to hear.
    We need elections now.

  13. I dont think there will be elections any time soon.. for the simple reason that israeli's are sick of the whole election carnival and realize that no matter who they vote.. they get a crook!


Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...