Featured Post

Free The Hostages! Bring Them Home!

(this is a featured post and will stay at the top for the foreseeable future.. scroll down for new posts) -------------------------------...

Aug 29, 2012

Members of Government Should Be Removed from Their Personal Finances

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made some crazy mistake the other day. he requested permission to make changes to his investments portfolio.

Now, after the mess with Dan Hakutz on the eve of the Second Lebanon War, Netanyahu should have known that making such a request would cause a ruckus. What does he know about either the economy or about a possible attack on or by Iran that we do not know about? I don't know how he could have thought that this request would not get picked up by the media and turned into a big deal. Granted, it is not as bad as what Halutz did - Halutz was sellling his stocks as he decided to declare war. Netanyahu might have some foreknowledge of events, but he isnt declaring war while preoccupied with his stocks.

I was thinking about this for a bit, and then I saw the MK Shelly Yachimovitch wants to make all MKs and ministers declare their investments and holdings. This would add a level of transparency and remove some suspicion of conflicts of interest or taking advantage of secret information.

I think that that is not enough. I think all MKs and ministers should be obligated, upon being sworn in to the position, to liquidate all their investments and the money could be put into some low-risk fund controlled by a money manager employed by the Knesset or Finance Ministry. that might be going too far and might be considered unfair to those wanting to serve the public, so another option would be that the MK or minister would have to disassociate himself from his holdings and have a financial adviser deal with all aspects of his investments. To the point even that the MK should not even know in what companies he holds stocks or bonds. he should not know anything about it. it should all be completely controlled by his financial guy, who will have power of attorney to buy and sell on the MKs behalf and they will not be allowed to consult with each other.

I don't know which idea is better or worse, but both of them, I think, solve the issue of conflict of interest. The problem is not just with the PM or DM about to declare war but trading stocks instead. the problem is found in every vote that any MK is involved in. Is he voting this way because it will affect his protfolio like this or that? Is he supportive of this bill because of how it will affect his portfolio? Is he trading based on inside information he has becaus eof his work in the government? I mean, how many wealthy MKs and ministers have we seen who have been public servants their entire lives? Somehow enough  of them are getting wealthy by working in government, and that raises suspicion as to their sincerity and honesty.

Completely removing them from the picture of handling investments would remove the suspicion, and especially the conflict of interest.

What do you think?

Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...