Sunday, 18 November, 2018

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

President Donald Trump looks on as Mr Jerome Powell then his nominee to become Fed chief spoke at the White House on Nov 2 2017 Trump says he 'maybe' regrets making Powell Fed chairman
Elsie Buchanan | 27 October, 2018, 15:57

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell intensified his outreach to USA lawmakers over the summer, a review of his public calendar shows, even as President Donald Trump stepped up his attacks on the Fed and on Powell himself.

Richard Clarida, the U.S. Federal Reserve's new Vice Chair, on Thursday backed the central bank's plan to raise interest rates further as the risks that monetary policy must balance are "less skewed to the downside".

Trump also said that Powell nearly tends to be happy with the raising interest rates.

Mr. Trump said that though it seemed too early to declare that nominating Powell to his current position was a mistake but there is always a "maybe".

The Fed has raised its benchmark policy rate three times this year, by a quarter-percentage point on each occasion, bringing to six the number of hikes since Trump was inaugurated.

The Fed in recent years has kept rates low in part to guard against a drop in inflation that could prove damaging to future economic growth.

Trump complained to the Journal on Tuesday that former President Barack Obama - who came into office amid the worst recession in decades - didn't have to deal with the burden of rising interest rates. "I don't know", the president said.

National leaders' attempts at interfering with the interest rate policies of central banks have rarely gone down well with the market in the modern era of central bank independence. Some analysts state that the recent market declines are due to investor worries that high interest rates could cut company profits as high interest rates make borrowings more expensive.

Youthful Pakistan crush Australia by 66 runs in first T20
Half-centuries by Alyssa Healy and Ashleigh Gardner helped Australia put up a total of 195 runs on the board in 20 overs. Paceman Faheem Ashraf and Shaheen Afridi both took two wickets apiece for Pakistan .


In the Wall Street Journal interview, Mr. Trump was asked why he thought Powell was raising rates.

"A business that's doing badly always likes to blame Trump and the tariffs because it's a good excuse for some incompetent guy that's making $25 million a year", Trump said.

If Trump were able to successfully pressure the Fed into adjusting course, it could have sudden and unpredictable effects on the USA economy.

Powell's first big challenge hasn't been policy or a financial crisis, but an unpredictable president.

"We're working hard to try to sustain the expansion and keep unemployment low and inflation right on target", Powell said at his last public appearance October 3.

Trump is also not happy with some of the members of the Fed he has already appointed. Legal oversight of the Fed lies with Congress, where there's been little criticism of Powell, perhaps because he's been busy bolstering relations on both sides of the political aisle. He's also slammed it as "out of control" and said it was "going loco".

Inflation has increased about two percent this year, in line with the Fed's target, but economists fear growing demand, combined with the tariffs and a labor shortage could ignite price increases.

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