I saw this interesting tidbit on Everybody Loves Your Money. According to Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, most American households are doing just fine managing their finances. Here is some of what he said:
On average, debt burdens appear to be at manageable levels and delinquency rates on consumer loans and home mortgages have been low.
He does note that lower income families have more problems without bank accounts or an emergency cash cushion. How about teaching financial savvy and money management in public schools? Bernanke says the curriculum is already overcrowded (and I agree).
I am surprised that Bernanke has said that most households manage money well. It may be true for middle and high income families, but it is not the message that the government generally tries to push. It’s beneficial to push the opposite message — that Americans are poor at managing their finances — for several reasons. This message, opposing Bernanke’s:
* Validates the existence and importance of asset managers, financial advisors, and brokers
* Encourages people to think about the management of their own finances
* Makes people feel good about being “above average”
Do you think households are generally capable money managers?
Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published June 13, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.