For Fed's Dudley, iPad comment falls flat in Queens

NEW YORK Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:41am EST

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank doesn't normally face a raucous crowd.

But in Queens, New York, on Friday, William Dudley was bombarded with questions about food inflation, and his attempt to put rising commodity prices into a broader economic context only made things worse.

"When was the last time, sir, that you went grocery shopping?" one audience member asked.

Dudley tried to explain how the Fed sees things: Yes, food prices may be rising, but at the same time, other prices are declining. The Fed looks at core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy costs, to get a better sense of where inflation may actually be heading.

So, Dudley sought an everyday example of a price that is falling.

"Today you can buy an iPad 2 that costs the same as an iPad 1 that is twice as powerful," he said referring to Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) latest handheld tablet computer hitting stories on Friday.

"You have to look at the prices of all things," he said.

This prompted guffaws and widespread murmuring from the audience, with one audience member calling the comment "tone deaf."

"I can't eat an iPad," another quipped.

(Reporting by Kristina Cooke; Editing by Jan Paschal)

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Comments (4)
RamseySte wrote:
When Marie Antoinette was told before the French Revolution that the people had no bread, she is said to have replied:
“Let them eat cake!”

It was nice of Dudley to remind folks that when one hand is in boiling water and the other hand is in ice water, the average temperature is OK.
At least he did not say, “Let them eat ipods.”

His ignorance of the Fed’s role, and its direct MAIN culpability along with every other central bank in the world, for the price volatility in just about everything, including the crazy bubbles in food and oil is staggering.

Has Dudley never heard of Milton Friedman?

He honestly does not know, along with the US government, that when one is in a deep hole, you stop digging!

Buy gold and silver.
The inflation from he!! is coming and it is the fault of the Fed and US government trying to save the biggest banks in the world by “printing” money and paying it off with taxpayer money.

Quit digging guys. And fess up to the REAL cause. Simply put it is the Fed, the big banks, and the crazy spending of the US government (our elected officials by the way!).

There is a reason that the Tea Party is so popular with real Americans.
No one else is making any sense.

Mar 12, 2011 3:57am EST  --  Report as abuse
Acetracy wrote:
what he didn’t say is that the Fed is not concerned about middle class and poor Americans, but about their colleagues running hedge funds and banks. Starting with Greenspan, it is obvious that its main function has been to spin the roulette wheel so the gambling can continue, and when the US Treasury is the house bank, the Fed can always keep the bucks coming when one player bets wrong.

If an American is earning the average wage, right now about $15, he/she is probably living on $10/day after paying rent, utilities, and transportation. for the fed that is just fine as long as you get your 3 meals from McDonalds.

Mar 12, 2011 7:42am EST  --  Report as abuse
stanrich wrote:
Well, the issue Dudley the Dodger was dodging is the game the government plays with the numbers. Yes, food and energy prices are volatile so it makes sense to leave them out of this year’s calculations.

But what about last year’s inflation numbers in food and energy? And the year before that? We know exactly what those numbers were. So why doesn’t the government take a 5 year moving average of food and energy and add it to 2011’s inflation number?

Because then the American people would have a number that they could beat up Congress and the Fed with and our government just isn’t going to go there…

Mar 12, 2011 11:19am EST  --  Report as abuse
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