Israeli economist Yaacov Fisher does not believe that the terrorist attacks in the United States on Tuesday will drastically affect the global economy. But he does expect oil prices to rise in the short term.
What the attacks will do is exacerbate the uncertainty, which in itself could act to postpone the upturn in the U.S. economy, Fisher predicted. "The whole world is not going to fall apart tomorrow."
Fisher is the co-CEO of I-Biz, a business information company that supplies original content to Internet sites on economic, financial and business matters. A former senior economist at the Bank of Israel research department, he also served as managing director of Praedicta, Israel's first provider of computerized economic information.
The sudden drop in stock prices does not necesaarily create a buy opportunity for the general public, Fisher warns. "Members of the public with an eye on the markets don't see times like these as an opportunity to get in," he said.
Investors will wait to see what happens, he concluded. "I don't see taking advantage of a day like this, when you have no idea what will happen tomorrow, as an opportunity," he said.
Fisher supported the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange decision to open for trade as usual today. "They must have concluded that if European and Asian markets are opening, why should we stay closed," he said.
"I assume there will be sharp drops to begin with but anything could happen later," Fisher said. "Tel Aviv usually reacts less severely than other markets to extraordinary events." Fisher said that the Jewish calendar year ending on September 16 will probably go down as the worst in Israeli history. Not sharing the treasury's economic optimism, Fisher expects any rally next year to be slight. Yesterday's events just serve to exacerbate the uncertainty, he said.
"The picture that I see is pretty bad ¿ also for the year ahead," Fisher said. He added that exports was the story last year and will be the story this year, and probably the year after too.