Thursday, December 9, 2010
A majority of Americans are dissatisfied with the nation’s independent central bank, saying the U.S. Federal Reserve should either be brought under tighter political control or abolished outright, a poll shows.
The Bloomberg National Poll underlines the extent to which the central bank’s standing has suffered as it has come under fire in Congress, first from Democrats for regulatory lapses before the financial crisis and then from Republicans for failing to revive an economy in which the jobless rate hovers near 10 percent. Voters from both parties have criticized the Fed’s $3.3 trillion in aid to the financial system.
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“The Fed had to do extraordinary things to keep us from going into a great depression, and the public doesn’t see it this way,” said Lyle Gramley, a former Fed governor who is now senior adviser at Potomac Research Group in Washington. “The last time we had any really severe criticism of the Fed was in the early-1980s, when the Fed was pursuing this brutally tight policy to keep inflation under control.”
Americans across the political spectrum say the Fed shouldn’t retain its current structure of independence. Asked if the central bank should be more accountable to Congress, left independent or abolished entirely, 39 percent said it should be held more accountable and 16 percent that it should be abolished. Only 37 percent favor the status quo.
Full story here.