Banking on Diasporas: The Case of Israel Bonds

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in , at 9/09/2010 01:04:00 AM
Here's another serendipitous discovery I found merely traversing the Internet. While reading the Wall Street Journal online, I came across an advertisement for Israel bonds. Certainly, I don't need to tell you that funding the state of Israel is a politically charged act. Surrounded on practically all sides by those who've threatened its very existence in the past and still the epicentre of a religious dispute that almost never fails to rouse passions for and against, Israel isn't one for fence-sitters like yours truly.

A few days ago, I made a post on "nation branding." With the entire Jewish diaspora as possible components of the wider nation, there certainly is a large target market that might be suitable for a patriotic appeal in purchasing sovereign debt. And so clicking on the banner ad brought me to the graphic above. Clever wordplay aside, this effort to market Israel bonds stateside makes no bones about identification with the nation. Moreover, there is no doubting this effort has the sanction of the state of Israel.

There are also some appeals to the safety of one's return on investment...
Where the Money Goes: State of Israel Bonds Laying The Foundation for Economic Achievement

It’s a fact — a strong economy is built on a foundation of modern infrastructure. For nearly 60 years, Israel Bonds has been developing and expanding this essential component of economic growth. Today, Israel Bonds is focused on forward-looking infrastructure projects that will secure Israel’s place in a 21st century global economy.

Increased infrastructure development will:
• Connect cities and towns throughout Israel
• Create state-of-the-art communications systems
• Accelerate technological innovation that will attract billions in foreign investment
• Provide new opportunities for Israelis from all walks of life
It's very interesting stuff even if it's certain proceeds from these bonds may go to less, how shall we say it, ad-friendly wares. While Israel bonds have proven to be a safe investment over the years, the point is that such considerations are secondary in the marketing material to identifying with the nation. Can successful "nation branding" in getting diaspora communities be another way of guaranteeing financial viability? I certainly think it's worth a try for others--especially if they can evoke as strong a commitment.