U.S. News

Main Street to Federal Reserve: Tighten Up


Main Street has a message for the Federal Reserve: tighten up, even though there's a 50-50 chance the U.S. is heading for another recession.

Two-thirds of the almost 3000 CNBC viewers and CNBC.com users responding to our online Fed Survey in late October say the Fed's current monetary policy is "too accommodative."

That's almost triple the percentage of Wall Street professionals who told us they share that view.

It's also an increase of six percentage points fromlast month's Main Street survey.That call for the Fed to tap the economy's 'brake pedal' comes despite public pessimism the U.S. will be able to stay out of recession. 

On average, those answering our Main Street survey say there's a 49.6 percent chance the U.S. will go into a recession in the next 12 months.  Only 25.5 percent of respondents in our Wall Street survey think that will happen.

Main Street is also more negative on Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.  Our unscientific survey has 27 percent of those responding, a plurality, giving Bernanke a failing 'F' grade.

Bernanke fares better in the Wall Street survey.  No one gave him an 'F' and 46 percent think he deserves a 'B' for his work at the central bank.

Main Street is much more enthusiastic about having the Fed "change its guidance for how long it will keep interest rates low from a calendar date to economic targets, such as inflation, unemployment, or nominal GDP."

Sixty-seven percent in the Main Street survey like the idea.  Fifty-seven percent in the Wall Street survey don't.