Dividends and Moody’s outlook downgrade for sovereign credit rating fuels split reaction in Israel

In the world, once something goes into the public, the public and vested interests have the right and duty to react to the news. It could be a public company is planning to do something, it could be a government is planning to do something, but once announced it is expected the public will react to it. Once a decision is made, the reactions can and hopefully are favorable and the world continues, or it could be the decision is not looked on a good thing to do and the reaction is less than favorable. In an open society, people have the ability to act and that is good.

In an article by Steven Scheer of Reuters, the Government of Israel wants to overhaul the judiciary to help the economy and to help themselves. Many people in Israel see the overhaul as a power grab and would do little to help the economy. The issue has spread beyond the borders to the rating agencies of the credit of the country. Moody’s Investors Services lowered the outlook to stable from positive while affirming its sovereign credit rating of A1.

The government of Israel is planning on overhauling its courts to give politicians greater sway over selecting judges and limit the power of the Supreme Court to strike down legislation.

Many groups are calling for a middle ground including Israel’s Business Forum, which represents 40 of Israel’s largest companies. Anat Guetta, the Chair of the Israel Securities Authority joined with a number of top economists, including those from the Central Bank and Finance Ministry who have warned against an economic backlash to the government’s moves. In addition, the opposition members and protests in the streets do not like the legislation.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not have a majority of seats but has formed a coalition to govern, his coalition as well as the opposition coalition are trying to reach a consensus to go forward.

Linking to dividend paying stocks, all governments and companies have the ability to make decisions and people have the ability to make a decision about the possible outcome. If you own or have interests in a company, one hopes the decision is the best one for the future. Annual Meetings are a time to reaffirm your belief in the management which is why you should vote one way or the other, although most times it will be for management. If you do not like what management is doing, then selling or finding alternatives is a good option.

There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questions.


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