WASHINGTON — The GOP presidential contenders are not the only ones finding some validation from public polling numbers.
Even though bankers routinely poll poorly among consumers, they are at least ahead of a few others, including Congress. A November survey by Rasmussen Reports found that 52% were "very angry" at Congress, while 49% were angry at the "large banks that were bailed out."
While those numbers were relatively close, other recent polls by Gallup show banks’ favorability at around 23%, well above the 9% for Congress found in an October New York Times/CBS poll. Banks also beat out the oil and gas industry (20%), BP during the oil spill (16%), Paris Hilton (15%), the U.S. becoming Communist (11%), Hugo Chavez (9%) and Fidel Castro (5%). (The numbers were highlighted by Senate Banking Committee member Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., who composed a chart of various polls to show the unpopularity of lawmakers.)
But the best news may be for the Federal Reserve Board and its chairman, Ben Bernanke. While the Republican presidential candidates routinely criticize the central bank, a Bloomberg poll this week found Bernanke with favorable ratings from 71% of global investors, compared to 53% for Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and 48% for President Barack Obama.
Nearly 75% of those surveyed favored the job the Fed has done dealing with the poor economic picture than that of the European Central Bank, the poll said. Just 13% said the ECB was doing better.