Bankers Need to Get Out More: St. Louis Fed's James Bullard

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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard made headlines Friday about what might be next in the tapering-on, tapering-off game at the Federal Open Market Committee, but his comments about public perception of bankers are what caught the People blog's ear.

An interviewer on Bloomberg Television asked Bullard if the gap between Wall Street and Main Street America had gotten any narrower.

"Main Street is still very upset by the events of 2008 and 2009, and they still feel like there was a big bailout of fat cats," replied Bullard, who this year said policymakers should consider curbs that discourage banks from growing too big or complex.

When asked what the New York "fat cats" should do about it, he replied: "They should get out and see the rest of the country and talk to people in the rest of the country."

A little effort might go a long way. Bullard used the example of a resident of the neighboring Kansas City Fed district, Warren Buffett. One of the reasons that Buffett has such a strong public image, Bullard said, is that he lives in Omaha, Neb.

"The truth is he is jetting all around the world, but he is based in Omaha. It makes a big difference," Bullard said.

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