If you want to voice your concerns about the Fed's zero interest rate policy, there's an online petition at SignOn.org that was started in February that asks for "Fair Interest Rates on Our Savings". You can sign the petition at this SignOn.org page.
Thanks to the readers who have mentioned this petition in the comments, and thanks in particular to reader Apache who has highlighted this petition in the comments and in the forum. Apache posted the following forum thread yesterday:
I read a post yesterday from another poster giving us a link to sign a Savers Petition on SignOn.org. I was glad to have an available Petition to sign to voice my deep concern about the low savings rates put upon savers. I was able to get a couple of signers but know that we have several posters in this group who seemed eager to find and sign such a Petition. This takes the toil off of Ken for trying to provide one for our group.
Since this Petition is already available and needs signatures, I do urge anyone who is willing to take part to please help the cause by signing the Petition if you are in agreement with it. Please be sure to read it and any Disclosures and if it is something you feel you can participate in, I hope we can get enough signatures to get this Petition to Washington. Thanks so much for your help!
I have signed the petition with the following comment:
President Obama and the Fed Chairman Bernanke should do more to support savers. Senator Pat Toomey said it best in February regarding the implications of maintaining zero interest rates: "we have savers being punished for this, at least twice, once by virtue of the fact that after sacrificing their whole lives to accumulate savings, they get no return, and then, the very real possibility that the value of those savings will be eroded."
This quote from Senator Pat Toomey came during the Senate Budget Committee Hearing in February in which Bernanke gave testimony on the economic outlook. I described Toomey's exchange with Bernanke in this blog post. I thought Toomey did well in expressing the concerns he had with the Fed's policy. I also thought it was illuminating in how Bernanke responded. He makes the case that the Fed's policies are needed to strengthen the economy. Bernanke seems to overlook how extreme the Fed's policy is. Never before has the Fed included expectations in a FOMC statement of maintaining near zero rates for almost 3 years. The benefits of such an extreme policy to the economy are questionable. However, the downsides of this extreme policy on savers should not be questioned, and it's infuriating to see Bernanke downplaying these downsides.
If we don't speak up, it's possible that the Fed may just keep extending this zero-rate commitment for many years to come.