The Federal Reserve is the least trusted of all government-related agencies, a new Gallup poll finds.
Only 30 percent of those polled said the Fed was doing a “good” or “excellent” job, leaving it at the bottom of a list of nine agencies included in the poll, according to a Gallup.com video clip.
The new mark represents a plunge from the 53 percent who gave it high marks the last time the agencies were rated in 2003.
The Centers for Disease Control came in first place with 61 percent approval. NASA and the FBI trailed at second, each with 58 percent approval.
In other rankings of approval: Central Intelligence Agency: 47 percent Department of Homeland Security: 46 percent Environmental Protection Agency: 42 percent Internal Revenue Service: 40 percent Food and Drug Administration: 38 percent
The poll comes as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is increasingly going public with a defense of the Federal Reserve's handling of the crisis in an effort to ward off a congressional proposal by Republican Representative Ron Paul that would undercut the Fed's independence.
This week, Bernanke traveled to the U.S. heartland to tape a special airing on television network PBS over three days this week in which he answered questions from Americans.
"It is unclear how much of the Fed's image decline is due to the general decline in the country's economic climate, as opposed to specific perceptions about the agency's performance in carrying out its monetary responsibilities and possibly its role in the crisis surrounding U.S. financial markets," the pollsters wrote.
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