The Federal Reserve wants to improve its image. Currently, people think about it as an agency that facilitates bailouts of fat cats on Wall Street.
The Obama administration is more interventionist than the Bush administration. Even though the Fed is independent, I’m sure it knows who butters its bread.
The Federal Reserve isn’t too popular these days, what with its failure to predict or prevent the recession and then with its involvement in the bailouts of last year and the dramatic expansion of its balance sheet. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) has a bestselling book out called “End the Fed” and lawmakers are looking to cut back on the central bank’s power.
It sounds like the perfect time for an advertising campaign.
The Fed has made a 45-second public service announcement to help consumers use their credit cards wisely. The ad will air before movie previews at theaters in 12 U.S. cities starting Friday and run through Dec. 3.
Over jazzy music, the announcer asks, "Want to use your credit card wisely? Here are some tips you can trust from the Federal Reserve." With the Fed logo featured prominently, the ad runs through tips, such as paying your bill on time and watching for changes in the terms of the account.
The Fed has been under fire for neglecting its consumer protection authority for years until the financial crisis hit — particularly for taking 14 years to enact rules protecting consumers from unscrupulous mortgage lending. The Fed ran PSAs in April and September in movie theaters in California, Florida and other states devastated by the real estate crash telling consumers how to avoid foreclosure scams.