Stanley Fischer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Stanley "Stan" Fischer (Hebrew: סטנלי פישר‎; born October 15, 1943) is an economist. Born in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), he holds dual citizenship in Israel and the United States.[1] He served as governor of the Bank of Israel from 2005 to 2013. He previously served as chief economist at the World Bank.[2] On January 10, 2014, United States PresidentBarack Obama nominated Fischer to be Vice-Chairman of the US Federal Reserve System.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Fischer was born into a Jewish family in Mazabuka, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). When he was 13, his family moved to Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), where he became active in the Habonim Zionist youth movement. In 1960, he visited Israel as part of a winter program for youth leaders, and studied Hebrew at kibbutzMa'agan Michael. He had originally planned to study at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, but went to the United Kingdom to study after receiving a scholarship from the London School of Economics, and obtained his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in economics from 1962–1966. Fischer then moved to the United States to study at MIT, and earned a Ph.D. in economics in 1969 with a thesis titled Essays on assets and contingent commodities written under the supervision of Franklin M. Fisher.[4][5] He became an American citizen in 1976.

Academic career[edit]

In the early 1970s, Fischer worked as an associate professor at the University of Chicago. He served as a professor at the MIT Department of Economics from 1977 to 1988.

In 1977, Fischer wrote the paper "Long-Term Contracts, Rational Expectations, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule"[6] where he combined the idea of rational expectations argued by New classical economists like Robert Lucas with the idea that price stickiness still led to some degree of market shortcomings that an active monetary policy could help mitigate in times of economic downturns. The paper made Fischer a central figure in New Keynesian economics.[7][8]

He authored three popular economics textbooks, Macroeconomics (with Rüdiger Dornbusch and Richard Startz), Lectures on Macroeconomics (with Olivier Blanchard), and the introductory Economics, with David Begg and Rüdiger Dornbusch. He was also Ben Bernanke's, Mario Draghi's and Greg Mankiw's Ph.D. thesis advisor.[9]

In 2012, Fischer served as Humanitas Visiting Professor in Economic Thought at the University of Oxford.[10]

Banking career[edit]

From January 1988 to August 1990 he was Vice President, Development Economics and Chief Economist at the World Bank. He then became the First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), from September 1994 until the end of August 2001. By the end of 2001, Fischer had joined the influential Washington-based financial advisory body, the Group of Thirty. After leaving the IMF, he served as Vice Chairman of Citigroup, President of Citigroup International, and Head of the Public Sector Client Group. Fischer worked at Citigroup from February, 2002 to April, 2005.

Central Banks[edit]

Bank of Israel[edit]

Fischer was appointed Governor of the Bank of Israel in January 2005 by the Israeli cabinet, after being recommended by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He took the position on May 1, 2005, replacing David Klein, who ended his term on January 16, 2005. Fischer became an Israeli citizen but did not have to renounce his American citizenship, despite previous concerns that such a step was a prerequisite for the appointment. [11][12][13]

He had been involved in the past with the Bank of Israel, having served as an American government adviser to Israel's economic stabilization program in 1985. On May 2, 2010, Fischer was sworn in for a second term.[14]

Under his management, in 2010, the Bank of Israel was ranked first among central banks for its efficient functioning, according to IMD's World Competitiveness Yearbook.[15]

Fischer has earned plaudits across the board for his handling of the Israeli economy in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. In September 2009, the Bank of Israel was the first bank in the developed world to raise its interest rates.[16]

In 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 Fischer received an "A" rating on the Central Banker Report Card published by Global Finance magazine.[17][18]

In June 2011, Fischer applied for the post of IMF managing director to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn, but was barred as the IMF stipulates that a new managing director must be no older than 65, and he was 67 at the time.[19]

Fischer stepped down as governor of the Bank of Israel on June 30, midway through his second term.[20]

U.S. Federal Reserve[edit]

In nominating Fischer for Fed Vice-Chair, President Obama stated he brought "decades of leadership and expertise from various roles, including serving at the International Monetary Fund and the Bank of Israel".[3] If confirmed, Fischer will replace Vice-Chair Janet Yellen who was appointed Chair in 2013.[21]


Fischer received an honorary doctorate from Hebrew University in 2006.[22] In October 2010, Fischer was declared Central Bank Governor of the Year by Euromoney magazine. [23]

He is a member of the Bilderberg Group and attended the Swiss 2011 Bilderberg conference in St. Moritz, Switzerland.[24] He is also a Distinguished Fellow in the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

Personal life[edit]

Fischer is married to Rhoda Fischer (née Keet), whom he met during his days in Habonim. The couple have three children. When they moved to Israel, Rhoda became honorary president of Aleh Negev, a rehabilitation village for the disabled.


  1. ^Stanley Fischer firms as top choice to become US Fed vice, The Sydney Morning Herald, via Bloomberg News, December 12, 2013.
  2. ^Ewing, Jack (12 June 2011). "Bank of Israel Chief Enters Race to Lead I.M.F". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ abObama nominates former Bank of Israel chief Stanley Fischer as Fed vice chairman, Associated Press, Reuters and Haaretz, January 10, 2014.
  4. ^Fischer, Stanley. "Essays on assets and contingent commodities". DSpace@MIT. Retrieved January 14, 2014. 
  5. ^Stanley Fischer at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  6. ^(Stanley Fischer (1977) Long-Term Contracts, Rational Expectations, and the Optimal Money Supply RuleJournal of Political Economy.
  7. ^Binyamim Appelbaum (December 12, 2013) Young Stanley Fischer and the Keynesian CounterrevolutionNew York Times. Retrieved 15 December 2014
  8. ^Dylan Matthews (January 13, 2014) Stanley Fischer saved Israel from the Great Recession. Now Janet Yellen wants him to help save the U.S.Washington Post. Retrieved January 15, 2014
  9. ^"Good News". Greg Mankiw's Blog. 18 May 2011. 
  10. ^"Humanitas Visiting Professorship in Economic Thought", Institute for Strategic Thought, University of Oxford, 5–6 November 2012.
  11. ^Mitnick, Joshua (13 June 2011). "Israel's Stanley Fischer Announces Bid to Head the IMF". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 30 December 2012. 
  12. ^Odenheimer, Alisa (12 June 2011). "Fischer’s Age, Nationality Are Hurdles in Bid for IMF Post". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 30 December 2012. 
  13. ^Klein, Zeev (19 January 2005). "Bach c'tee approves Fischer". Globes. Retrieved 30 December 2012. 
  14. ^Filut, Adrian (2 May 2010). "Stanley Fischer sworn in for second term". Globes. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  15. ^Viniar, Olga (20 May 2010). "Israel's economy most durable in face of crises". Retrieved 23 October 2010. 
  16. ^Levy, Tal; Bassok, Moti (25 August 2009). "Israel central bank first in developed world to raise interest". Haaretz. Retrieved 23 October 2010. 
  17. ^"World's Top Central Bankers 2009". Global Finance. 28 September 2010. Retrieved 23 October 2010. 
  18. ^"Global Finance Magazine names the World’s Top Central Bankers 2010". Global Finance. 9 September 2010. Retrieved 23 October 2010. 
  19. ^Wroughton, Lesley (13 June 2011). "Lagarde, Carstens shortlisted for IMF race-officials". Reuters
  20. ^"Stanley Fischer to step down as BOI chief". Ynet News. 29 January 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2013. 
  21. ^Mark Felsenthal and Ann Saphir, Barack Obama taps Stanley Fischer for Fed vice chair, Reuters, January 10, 2014.
  22. ^"Stanley Fischer: The Israeli economy". Retrieved 23 October 2010. 
  23. ^"Central bank governor of the year 2010: Stanley Fischer’s bold moves show the value of experience". Euromoney. October 2010. 
  24. ^"Bilderberg 2011 list of participants". Retrieved August 24, 2011. 

External links[edit]

NameFischer, Stanley
Alternative names
Short descriptionAmerican economist
Date of birth15 October 1943
Place of birthNorthern Rhodesia (Now Zambia)
Date of death
Place of death