I encourage you to read the piece in Bloomberg this week on Bill Dudley, the President of the NYFED titled
"Not Your Father's New York Federal Reserve NY FED President - Bloomberg Article by Caroline Salas Gage
PR BLITZ INDICATES FED HATERS ARE WINNING
Are you getting the idea that the FED is putting the full court press on the public to encourage them to see the side of them that is benevolent and for the little guy? Yes, me too. I mean how on earth could we possibly believe that the Fed had anything but the common folk's best interest at heart as they engineered too major stock market collapses and one real estate implosion in the last decade?
Dudley is one of the 3 Fed chiefs that actually matter, the others are Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen who is the Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve Board.
The article notes how hard Dudley is trying to get out with regular people and explain how the Fed is helping them. Clearly he hasn't internalized the criticism of the Fed and questioned if anything they have to say might be true as the Fed continues to squeeze investors that use fixed income investments or even savings accounts as part of their portfolio. Dudley obviously believes that old ladies should need to take more credit risk or simply cut out medical coverage or incidentals like food or shelter rather than raise interest rates.
Dudley's moves highlight the growing importance of the public's view of the Federal Reserve given that it has now become politically acceptable to believe that the Fed is a part of the financial crisis. Ron Paul has a book about Ending the Fed, Rick Perry also is quite wacky crying that the US needs to get rid of the Fed. I've even seen a sign or two in the OWS demonstrations that actually reference the Fed. A growing move to understand and dismantle the Fed is absolutely not in the Fed's best interest..... nor in the interest of the banks and uber-wealthy 1%ers. I expect more concerted efforts to humanize the Fed and make Joe 6 Pack feel happy to have a benevolent Fed on our side.
INFORMATION FLOW OR BIG BROTHER?
Now, add this to the recent "rumored" request by the Fed to begin a project to scan and analyze references to the Fed in social media and the blogosphere in order to capture market sentiment, I think you have a situation that could be ultimately bad for all of us in the general public.
Clearly the conspiratorial side of me feels like the Fed has sinister intentions when they move forward with this project, however, the NY Fed assures us that it is all good, why worry?
"The project reflects its (NY Fed's) commitment to “improving its communications and engagement with the public in order to enhance and improve the public’s understanding of its activities and the role it plays in supporting the U.S. Economy,” according to a Fed spokesman’s statement."
I'm sure the Fed's efforts will be passive and harmless and simply used for data collection. Having said that, I'm sure it won't be long till a blogger or Facebooker is threatened with jail or lawsuit for disparaging the Fed and invoking some type of crisis of confidence relate to their posts. Think it can't happen? Look no further than the Eurozone's sovereign debt issues where investors and "evil speculators" are targeted for stating that the sovereign countries are broke and the bonds are a poor investment. Give the US debt crisis a few more years and we'll see how "passive" this monitoring becomes.