ISRAEL: Compelled to Loan

Without warning, all scheduled broadcasts on the Israeli radio were canceled one night last week. Instead, listeners heard the weary voice of outgoing Finance Minister Eliezer Kaplan: starting in 48 hours, Israelis would have to turn in their old currency, printed in 1948, and would receive new notes in return. As each Israeli shoved his currency through the bank window, the teller would automatically deduct 10% on all notes of five Israeli pounds and above, as a complusory government loan, repayable in 15 years with 4% annual interest. Bank deposits of £50 and above would be assessed in the...

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