Silent Minority or Majority?

By: Fred Sheehan | Wed, Mar 19, 2014
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Understanding what the people think (popular opinion) is a difficult task. It is not the same as what the experts and media tell us to think (public opinion), but the two have much in common. The correct judgment of if, or when, popular opinion will say "enough" to public opinion's mistreatment of the people could produce a multi-trillion dollar payoff.

Without personally having a clue if or when that time is approaching, it is as a public service that an undercurrent of American opinion is hereby forwarded.

Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen will gush with the media on March 19, 2014. MarketWatch asked its audience just what the Federal Reserve chairman should be asked:

From MarketWatch - What's your question for Janet Yellen? March 18, 2014

Most recent responses at 2 PM, March 18, 2014:

Ron Swaim 33 minutes ago: "Why she been incompetent her entire life which matches every single person in his administration, i.e., Kerry, Clinton, holder, etc.?!?!?!?!?"

Sammy Edwards 1 hour ago: "Why don't you dye your hair?"

Lori Smith 1 hour ago: "On that I would say give her a break. At least she is trying to grow old gracefully. Look at Hitlary that hairs dyed and it still doesn't stop the ugly anyway."

PHILLIP LARREA 1 hour ago: "If 2.5% variance is defined as price stability, why does this variance only apply to inflation, and not deflation?"

Jay Lazo 2 hours ago: "When will it all end?"

Rodney Olives 2 hours ago: "Hey Janet, Sooooooo....what are you doing after the press conference? Wanna grab a latte?"

John Warren 2 hours ago: "why do old people feel a need to continue hanging on as though they are important? oh yes, gives mw something to print about, i forgot"

Jay Lazo 2 hours ago: "Any relation to Moe Howard?"

MISSINGMW 2 hours ago: "I would like to know when you are willing to let savers participate in the game? The economy has lost a lot of buying power in the last 5 years. Not everyone wants to take risk, some that are retired are looking for preservation of capital. If we do jump off the deep end will be considered as too big to fail and be made whole again just like the banks?"

From the above (only one of the latest 10 questions was deleted, due to length) one might think the public is less pleased with the Federal Reserve than the media establishment would like us to believe. But, one must then ask why the hostility was similar in questions posed before Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke held a press conference in December 2012:

What's your question for Ben Bernanke? WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) December 12, 2012 - "Bernanke Claus is coming to town, and the bearded central banker from his helicopter sleigh is about to drop more cash on the U.S. economy specifically because it's been more naughty than nice....MarketWatch invites you to ask your question, in the Story Conversation below. MarketWatch may take or amend your question when it's our turn to query Bernanke":

Robert Drobot When will the FED permit an independent source to perform a complete and comprehensive audit of FED books? Why don't you support an end to FED control of America's financial matters?

Nick Henderson What I would ask is how Mr. Bernanke and his associates draw a moral distinction between what they do and what a criminal counterfeiter does?

jim davis Bernanke, why do you continue to steal from prudent savers, retirees and widows by devaluing the dollar year after year?

Shambrook Whoppers Are you a traitor or you just hate America ?

Ms. Judy Rosner When are you going to retire?

These were the five most recent questions posed to Bernanke at the time. Maybe others were more congenial, but the fact is, in both the December 2012 and March 2013 samples, every question copied was hostile, except (possibly) the hair-do inquiries. (As for the latte invitation, my advice for her chairmanship is to decline.) We could spend hours attempting to attribute the difference between public opinion and the menacing fragrance wafting from the inquisitive bunch quoted above. To add one speculative comment: the type of person who responds to such a question on a website may betray a sinister disposition. Or, maybe not.


Frederick Sheehan writes a blog at



Fred Sheehan

Author: Fred Sheehan

Frederick J. Sheehan Jr.

Frederick J. Sheehan

Frederick J. Sheehan Jr. is an investor, investment advisor, writer, and public speaker. He is currently working on a book about Ben Bernanke.

He is the author of Panderer to Power: The Untold Story of How Alan Greenspan Enriched Wall Street and Left a Legacy of Recession (McGraw-Hill, 2009) and co-author, with William A. Fleckenstein, of Greenspan's Bubbles: The Age of Ignorance at the Federal Reserve (McGraw-Hill, 2008). He writes regularly for Marc Faber's "The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report."

Sheehan serves as an advisor to investment firms and endowments. He is the former Director of Asset Allocation Services at John Hancock Financial Services where he set investment policy and asset allocation for institutional pension plans. For more than a decade, Sheehan wrote the monthly "Market Outlook" and quarterly "Market Review" for John Hancock clients.

Sheehan earned an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BS from the U.S. Naval Academy. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Copyright © 2007-2014 Frederick J. Sheehan Jr.


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