Representatives of three top international banks - Morgan Stanley, UBS, and Deutsche Bank - gave a near-uniform message to Israeli officials yesterday: the Israeli economy is as ready as it can be for the international financial crisis. Israel's bankers are in Washington to attend the IMF-World Bank Annual Meeting.
In informal discussions, the banks' representatives told their Israeli counterparts that Israel was reaping the rewards of its cautious and responsible economic policies of recent years. The representatives said that Israel would be affected by the crisis, but the effect would be minimal, mainly because of Israel's budget surplus in 2007.
They cautioned, however, that there was no assurance of a budget surplus this year. Even if state revenues fall and reduce the budget surplus, the deficit would not exceed 2% of GDP as happened in 2002.