NEW YORK, March 11 The president of the New
York Federal Reserve Bank doesn't normally face a raucous
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
"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
"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
"I can't eat an iPad," another quipped.
(Reporting by Kristina Cooke; Editing by Jan Paschal)