Hobbit Business Review

‘This Is Personal’: What Business Leaders Around the World Are Saying About Hamas’ Attack on Israel

Key Takeaways

  • The conflict has caused stocks to plummet and oil prices to rise.

  • World leaders fear escalation will lead to more loss of life and increased economic hardships.

Leaders and experts in the business world are speaking up as deadly violence continues in Israel.

Following Hamas’s surprise attack, 1,100 people have been declared dead so far, according to The New York Times. The escalating war is only beginning, but the economic impacts have already emerged. Oil prices have increased by as much as 5% and Israeli stocks have plummeted, per the outlet.

The Key Tel Aviv share index dropped by 7% while banking shares dropped by 9% on a turnover of 2.2 billion shekels or $573 million, per Reuters.

The 50-day war in Gaza in 2014 damaged 3% of the gross domestic product.

With more damage and devastation expected as the conflict escalates, business leaders worldwide fear the economic consequences and warned what the war could mean for oil prices, inflation, and the world economy. Here is what the experts are saying:

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon:

“The human cost of wars and terrorism [is] enormous, with too many lives lost and changed forever. We join together in our hope to one day see the end of violence and for there to be peace throughout the Middle East,” he said in an internal memo obtained by CNN.

Chief economist at Leader Capital Markets, Jonathan Katz:

“This round of violence is expected to be more prolonged and severe than previous ones, clearly having a more negative impact on the economy and the fiscal budget,” Katz told Reuters.

Israel’s Manufacturers’ Association President Ron Tomer:

“All companies will continue to operate as much as possible despite the difficult emergency conditions, the rocket barrages, and the resulting shortage of workers,” Tomer told Reuters. “Thanks to Israel’s production independence … even in times of emergency, the residents of Israel will lack nothing.”

Guillermo Santos, head of strategy at Spanish private banking firm iCapital:

“It is evident that any extension of this to oil-producing countries, Saudi Arabia in the lead, could make the price of crude oil more expensive with negative inflationary effects for the West and would mean higher rates for longer and falling stock markets if the above caused a recession,” Santos told Bloomberg.

George Lagarias, chief economist at Mazars:

“The number one risk for the global economy is the possibility of a third inflation wave, just as the current one is petering out. The flaring of tensions in the Middle East could drive energy prices higher, and undermine the efforts of central banks to bring inflation under control. The geopolitical status quo has become increasingly unbalanced in the past few years, so outcomes from this new crisis could be more open-ended than markets may wish to believe,” Lagarias told Bloomberg.

Russ Mould, investment director of AJ Bell, in a morning note:

“The wider risk is that a sustained increase in oil prices would act as a renewed inflationary pressure and further underpin the higher rates for longer message which investors in the equity and bond markets seem to be belatedly coming to terms with,” Mould stated in a note obtained by Business Insider.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce:

“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce strongly condemns the heinous attacks on Israel, the chamber stated in a press release. “We extend our heartfelt condolences to the people of Israel and stand in solidarity with them as they battle the scourge of terrorism.”

Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO of the Partnership for New York City:

“New York City’s business community is reacting with the same grief and anger at these senseless acts of terrorism that we felt in response to the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. For New Yorkers, this is personal,” she said in a statement to CNN.

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