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white men with kindles

Ben Bernanke Is an Ordinary American Homeowner

The Chairman of the US Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke testifies before the US House Financial Services Committee on July 13, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee held hearings on "Monetary Policy and the State of the Economy." Bernanke presented the central bank's outlook on the US economy to Congress amid signs of divisions among its policymakers over whether to offer fresh support to bolster the flagging recovery.   AFP PHOTO/Karen BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images) Monetary policy stars: They're just like us!

Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, like lots of people, still owes the bulk of money on the $850,000 Washington, D.C. home he purchased in 2004. Like lots of people, he had to send proof of employment and pay stubs in order to get a loan. Also, like lots of people, he's refinanced a couple of times in the past couple of years at key junctures, reports The Wall Street Journal. The first time was mid-financial crisis in 2009, and the second time was this September, in the wake of a newly announced Fed program to lower long-term interest rates. Almost seems like the guy was paying close attention to the American economy!

Another Bernanke tidbit from the WSJ: He's an avid evening reader, and says he's read more than 200 books on his Kindle in the last eighteen months. (Most recently, In the Garden of the Beast, about Germany before WWII and a Bill Bryson book about nineteenth-century British homes). So maybe he's no average American after all — what, you too good for TV-watching, Bernanke?

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Photo: KAREN BLEIER/2011 AFP