How do you sway a crowd of people angry over the cost of putting food on the table? Not by comparing their worries to the cost of buying an iPad 2.

When one member of an audience listening to New York Federal Reserve president William Dudley demanded, "When was the last time, sir, that you went grocery shopping?," Dudley tried to put inflation in ordinary terms. You know, by using a very expensive gadget as an analogy:

"Today you can buy an iPad 2 that costs the same as an iPad 1 that is twice as powerful...You have to look at the prices of all thing."

This didn't go over well. The crowd laughed, with one person jeering "I can't eat an iPad."

Dudley's right, conceptually—but I can't think of anything that could have possibly made him sound more out of touch. [Reuters]

Thanks, Nicko