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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Know Your Fed

Many posts have discussed political knowledge. This past weekend, Lawrence Summers put an end to weeks of speculation by withdrawing from consideration to be the next chair of the Federal Reserve.  The matter was a big deal to the political elite.  The general public scarcely noticed. David Wessel writes at The Wall Street Journal:
A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll asked respondent to rate their feelings toward Mr. Summers. Some 69% didn’t recognize his name or didn’t have an opinion.
Among the rest, more than half described their attitude toward him as “neutral.” Of the 13% who actually expressed a view, it was negative by 2-to-1.
Mr. Bernanke is somewhat better known, but still 45% said they didn’t know who he was or didn’t have an opinion. That is down from 67% in September 2007, before the financial crisis hit.
The remainder of respondents split about evenly among those with positive, negative or neutral feelings toward Mr. Bernanke.
J.P. Morgan Chase, the big bank, is much better known than either Mr. Summers or Mr. Bernanke. Fully 80% of the respondents told the pollsters that they recognized the brand. Among those who expressed opinions about the bank, nearly three times as many were negative as positive.