Federal Reserve President Criticized for “Let Them Eat iPad” comment



The president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank came under fire after a comment that sounds oddly like the 2.0 version of “Let them eat cake.”

President William Dudley was peppered with questions about food prices from the public during a meet-and-greet session with business leaders in Flushing, Queens. As they asked him about issues of the day, ranging from oil prices to employment forecasts, they began to accuse him of being out of touch.

As he tried to explain how rising commodity prices translate into supermarket sticker shock, the audience asked him when he actually did his own food shopping last.


So Dudley tried to relate with an everyday example, perhaps closer to his own life.

“Today you can buy an iPad 2 that costs the same as an iPad 1 that is twice as powerful,” he said referring to Apple Inc’s latest computer hitting stories on Friday.

“You have to look at the prices of all things,” he said.

Reuters reports that the crowd guffawed and rumbled at his remark, with one audience member calling the comment “tone deaf.”

“I can’t eat an iPad,” another quipped.

Via CNBC, Reuters

  • AaronS1984

    Wow, dude just proved he really is out of touch. Technology becoming cheaper is what allowed the iPad 2 to maintain the same price as its predecessor. Food is becoming more expensive due to weather patterns and rising petroleum prices. Not to mention supply and demand. He hinted at this but blew it with the iPad analogy.

  • B066Y

    I might be missing something here but why is the president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank “being peppered with questions about food prices?”

  • gopher

    The US Federal Reserve also has been printing money non-stop to “save” the economy. This action increases money supply, lowering $$ value, increasing oil prices, basic food commodities (corn, wheat, soy, etc.).

  • Nicole

    It was a meet the business leader meeting — so the audience could ask him about whatever was on their minds. Will update the the story, tx

  • iHate_Is_Back

    Food shouldn’t be a commodity. At the very least the basics such as bread and milk should be price controlled.

  • B066Y

    Food has to be priced so that the people who grow it and make it can make a living to. The only way price control would work is if the government took control of all agriculture and food production. Do you really want that?

  • Gamerz78

    This story makes very little coherent sense to me as written.

  • kyle

    We might as well, since it’s the taxpayer-fueled farm subsidies that fund agriculture anyway. Welfare for farmers is at an all-time high.

  • shogun768

    Eh? It makes great sense.

    If it doesn’t make sense to *you* then sober up or get some sleep, so you can think more clearly. Don’t blame the article.

  • A little more polite than Ken

    The ‘Fed’ thinks that because computers that are twice as powerful are now only a little-more costly, that ‘proves’ that the price of computers is going down. And they ‘average’ the costs of food and computers to derive: “No inflation now.”

    This ‘adjustment’ for the ‘functionality’ of things was a change to the ‘inflation index’ that serves as a ‘fudge factor’ that allows them to announce publicly that inflation is much lower than it really is, as anybody who buys their own food is clearly able to see.

  • odikhmantievich

    If money supply was the issue, we’d see core inflation shoot up as well.

  • odikhmantievich

    Or we could have greater public control of food distribution. Or compensation. Or we could solve the problem any number of other ways. You lack imagination.