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Times of Israel: Israel-linked investment pros plead with gov’t to shut down binary options

Published on Jun 01 2016 // Business and Financial News, Opinion

June 1, 2016, 6:20 am – Horrified by vast ongoing scam, leaders of legit financial community urge Israeli authorities to act ‘before it’s too late’

As chief investment officer for BlueStar Global Investors, New Yorker Steven Schoenfeld’s mission is to sell investors on the Israeli economy.

Schoenfeld founded BlueStar five years ago on the premise that there is a solid fundamental and empirical case for investing in the Israeli economy, as opposed to the diaspora’s traditional approach of just giving charity. So far, many individuals and about a dozen Jewish federations have invested in two US-listed Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) that track BlueStar’s indexes of publicly-traded Israeli companies, the NYSE-listed ISRA Israel ETF and the Nasdaq-listed ITEQ Israel Tech ETF. Collectively, says Schoenfeld, Jewish communal organizations and Jewish-affiliated foundations in the United States control about $50 billion in assets. As the initial investments perform successfully, he believes these two ETFs will gain more allocations from the Jewish community, and they are beginning to attract interest from investors from outside the Jewish community as well.

But there is a worrying, unchallenged phenomenon in the Israel financial world that gives Schoenfeld pause and makes his job harder, he says: “The fact that a shady and probably illegal industry exists in Israel as a an open secret is a huge contingent liability for Israel’s reputation.”

Schoenfeld is referring to Israel’s binary options and forex industries, whose fraudulent activity The Times of Israel has been exposing and detailing in a series of articles in recent weeks, beginning with an article entitled “The wolves of Tel Aviv.” Thousands of people work in the fraudulent industry here — including many immigrants and Israeli Arabs — duping and stealing from clients the world over……………….Read More>>

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