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Fed eyeing ex-Bank of Israel chief Stanley Fischer for No. 2 spot

(JTA) — Former Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer reportedly is the leading candidate to become vice chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The New York Times cited unnamed former and current administration officials in naming Fischer, 70, as being the top choice to succeed Janet Yellen, who was nominated to become the Fed’s chief in January. Fischer also was a mentor to the current Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke.

Reuters reported Wednesday that Fischer already has been asked to serve in the position, citing an unnamed source.

Fischer stepped down in January after eight years leading the Bank of Israel, two years before his second five-year term was due to expire. He is credited with sheltering the Israeli economy through the global financial crisis of 2007-08; the Israeli economy grew during each of the eight years that Fischer served as the country’s chief banker. He also is known in Israel for his American-accented but nearly flawless Hebrew.

He previously served as chief economist at the World Bank and the first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

Born in what is today Zambia, Fischer became an American citizen in 1976 and an Israeli citizen eight years ago.

The Senate would have to approve Fischer for the Fed post.

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