Trump ‘not thrilled’ with Fed chairman over interest rate hikes

22 August, 2018, 02:24 | Author: Darnell Patrick

Asked by Reuters whether he believes in the independence of the Fed, the president said, "I believe in the Fed doing what's good for the country".

Recent presidents have largely avoided criticising the Fed, trying to preserve the bank's independence and its credibility with financial markets, foreign governments and the public. Trump has, however, made reducing USA trade deficits a priority, and the combination of rising interest rates and a strengthening dollar poses risks for export growth.

Beyond criticizing the Fed for raising rates, there's little Trump can do about it. The Fed has raised interest rates five times since Trump took office in January 2017, with two of those coming this year under Powell.

Trump and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow have both called on Powell to ease off rate hikes to keep the booming economy growing and dismissed concerns about inflation.

The criticism comes after a private Republican fundraiser on Friday, during which Trump reportedly attacked Powell's interest-rate hikes.

Beyond Trump's fiscal and trade policies, there is plenty that the Fed will need to factor in as it makes rate-hike decisions, including the state of the global economy and financial markets.

In July, Trump said he was "not thrilled" with the rate increases. "So I would hope the president would refrain from making comments like that".


Still, his chronic grousing about the monetary policies of the Federal Reserve Board has to be disturbing to people who depend on stable economic policies as much as to those who resist an imperial presidency.

USA presidents rarely criticise the Fed, whose independence is considered essential to economic stability.

Corker said, based on his discussions with Powell last week, "I'm certain they're going to continue to be independent and do whatever they feel is appropriate". According to Bloomberg, Trump said he expected Powell to be what the news service said was a "cheap-money Fed chairman". "I'll let you know in seven years".

Donald Trump's remarks are the most personal criticism of Jerome Powell's performance so far.

"Presidents have always made comments on how they think economic policy should be made, and I've not heard any effort by the president to try to interfere", said Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho).

FILE PHOTO: A security guard patrols the Federal Reserve building in Washington, DC, U.S., July 16, 2018.

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