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The 0% Solution: Fed Strands Bank Savers, Retirees

But bank savers and Americans living on fixed incomes can point to higher oil and gas prices and say "lifestyle" prices are rising, no matter what the Fed says. Crude oil is up over $99 per barrel today, while the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the U.S. stands at $3.87, according to the New York Mercantile Exchange and Fuel Gauge Report respectively.

In addition, food prices are off the charts, further crimping the budgets of savers and retirees. According to the IndexMundi Real Price Survey, the Commodity Price Index is up 13.35% -- well ahead of the rate of inflation.

Sure, low interest rates and a $40 billion-per-month cash infusion should help stabilize housing prices, and most bank savers and retirees do own homes. That could be a big net-plus for the U.S. economy.

But bank CEOs and stock market investors own homes, too, and they're not being asked to "take one for the team" as are savers and Americans living on a fixed-income.

In that regard, the playing field still seems tilted against middle-income Americans who count on the interest earned from certificates of deposits and money market accounts to help make it through the end of the month.

Like it or not, that's the reality bank savers face -- at least until 2015.

--By Brian O'Connell

More on the American economy:

One-in-four Americans say they are poor

Not meeting your money goals? Might be your fault

Motif investing: Can it save your retirement?

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