JERUSALEM (JTA) — Stanley Fischer, the governor of the Bank of Israel, will not be considered a candidate to lead the International Monetary Fund because of his age.
Fischer was notified Monday night that his announced candidacy for the position was disqualified since he is 67, and IMF rules state that the IMF Managing Director must be under 65 when taking office for the five-year position. Fischer had hoped that the IMF board would waive the restriction, saying it is "not relevant today."
Fischer is in the second year of his second five-year term as the head of Israel’s central bank. He had hoped to fill the position vacated by Dominique Strauss-Kahn of France, who resigned after his arrest on May 14 on charges of attempted rape of a maid in a New York hotel.
“I will proudly and happily continue in my role as Governor of the Bank of Israel, to deal with the challenges facing the Bank of Israel and the Israeli economy. I would like to thank the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance for their unconditional support when I decided to submit my candidacy, and for their expressed hope that I will continue to serve as the Governor of the Bank of Israel – as I shall happily do,” Fischer said in a statement.
Fischer is a former deputy managing director of the IMF. He also was the thesis adviser to Ben Bernanke, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, when he was pursuing his doctorate in economics from MIT.
Fischer, a native of Zambia who holds Israeli citizenship, has been widely credited with helping Israel’s economy weather the global financial crisis.
Christine Lagarde, the finance minister of France, is considered the front-runner in the IMF race. A decision is scheduled to be made by the end of the month.