The US economy and the view from Ben Bernanke's Ivory Tower can be as confusing as it is fictional!
"... Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says he is surprised by how cautious consumers have been in the two years since the recession officially ended. But the Fed chief offered no hints of any steps the Fed would take to boost the weak economy.
Bernanke says a number of factors are keeping consumers from spending more, including high unemployment, a temporary spike in energy prices, falling home prices and high debt burdens.
Bernanke said the Fed will consider range of policy options at its next meeting later this month without offering any clues to what it might do. His comments were familiar to ones he gave last month in Jackson Hole, Wyo..." (Source)
Some tips for the Fed Chairman on why consumer spending remains weak!
- Unemployment rate is 9%
- Real wages are falling
- Income advances go to the wealthy
- Middle class is shrinking
- Jobs hard to find
- Approval ratings of Congress and Obama at record lows
- Consumers have high debt ratios
- Home prices are still falling
- Homeowners are trapped in their homes, unable to refinance
- Boomers need to save for retirement
Perhaps this list will help Fed Chairman Bernanke see beyond his PH.D and into the lives of real Americans struggling with real day to day issues of economic survival!