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Americans trust in fin. system drops CUs score highest
CHICAGO (10/20/11)--Trust in America's financial systems has dwindled to 23%, down from 25% in June, and consumer anger about the economy has increased, according to the quarterly Chicago Booth/Kellogg School Financial Trust Index, released Wednesday. But credit unions rank the highest in trust of all financial institutions. Nearly 60% of consumers surveyed said they are angry or very angry about the current economic situation--"the highest level of anger we've found since the earliest months of the financial crisis," said Luigi Zingales, a professor of entrepreneurship and finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and co-author of the Financial Trust Index, a quarterly look at trust in America's financial systems. "The findings in this issue reflect what's been reported in the news and demonstrate the fragility of trust many Americans still have in the institutions where they invest their money," Zingales added. Trust in banks overall dropped to 33% from 39% in the last study in June. Credit unions received the highest trust score--56%-- and local banks received 55%. But trust in national banks and banks in which the government has a stake were particularly low--26% and 22% respectively, said the report. Other findings:
* Two-thirds of respondents said the government effort to create new jobs should take priority over a deficit reduction. However, respondents--especially women--were less inclined to agree with that statement if the question involved agreeing with President Barack Obama that new jobs should trump the deficit reduction. * Roughly 55% or respondents say they believe a significant stock market drop is likely--the highest level since the first issue of the index in December 2008. * Thirty-three percent believe that house prices will drop in the next 12 months--the highest since March 2009 and an increase of three percentage points since the June survey. * Thirty-nine percent of Americans surveyed are worried that the possible breakup of the euro could impact the U.S. economy, the study said.
The news comes on the heels of revelations of new bank fees and the Occupy Wall Street movement, as well as falling household incomes and low approval ratings of the federal government's efforts to alleviate financial stress on the average consumer. The telephone survey of 1,020 individuals was conducted between Sept. 21 and Sept. 28 by Social Science Research Solutions.

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