Trump launches new broadside against the Fed: 'I'm very unhappy'

28 October, 2018, 07:45 | Author: Teresa Adams
  • Drew Angerer  Getty Images President Donald Trump and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell

While till recently American presidents have refrained from commenting on federal policy, Mr. Trump was quick to say during an interview with Wall Street Journal that "Fed is the biggest risk to United States economy as they are raising interest rates very sharply and it appears as if Jerome Powell is very happy about it". He stated that "I put a couple of other people there I'm not so happy with too but for the most part, I'm very happy with people", which makes it quite possible that his attacks on the Fed are little more than rhetoric.

"Every time we do something great, he raises the interest rates.he nearly looks like he's happy raising interest rates", Trump was reported as telling the Wall Street Journal. He "almost looks like he's happy raising interest rates", the president added. Presidents for more than two decades avoided public comments on Fed policy as a way of demonstrating respect for the institution's independence.

Clarida who started his four-year term as vice chairman on September 17, also said Fed independence is important to achieve its mandates.

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He pointed out how the central bank kept interest rates at zero during the last administration, but they have raised the rate three times this year alone. Many believe the Fed policy is based on outdated theories. The target range for the federal funds rate, now at 2 per cent to 2.25 per cent, is low by historical standards. The president also had words for Powell in the AP report, and grumbled at the Fed's plan to keep raising interest rates into 2019.

"As everyone is obsessing whether they hike in December or not, I'll say this".

Snow covered grounds of the US Federal Reserve in Washington January 26, 2016. Given its focus on backwards-looking data, the Fed is likely to continue signaling further rate hikes.

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Trump has made clear he sees rising interest rates as a threat to the broader U.S. economy. The Fed also expects the unemployment rate next year to dip to 3.5 percent - that would be the lowest jobless rate since 1969.

"If strong growth and robust employment gains were to continue into 2019 and be accompanied by a material rise in actual and expected inflation", he said, "that circumstance would indicate to me that additional policy normalization might well be required beyond what I now expect".

That will serve as "a tailwind for the economy, not a headwind", in conjunction with lower taxes, he said. He feels that this fluctuation in the interest rates will have a negative impact on the economy.

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It is unclear whether the president would have the authority to remove Powell. Trump blamed the nation's central bank for the latest market turmoil, saying the "Fed has gone insane".

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