McCreath: Don't expect another Fed bump
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell praised one of his early predecessors for laying the foundations for the independence of the U.S. central bank, in comments that looked back to the 1930s but resonate strongly today.
Speaking Monday in Salt Lake City before the premiere of a film commemorating Marriner Eccles, who led the Fed from 1934 until 1948, Powell said in prepared remarks that Eccles “is responsible more than any other person for the fact that the United States today has an independent central bank -- a central bank able to make decisions in the long-term best interest of the economy, without regard to the political pressures of the moment.”
Powell, who did not comment on monetary policy or his economic outlook in the text of his brief speech, has been under yearlong fire from President Donald Trump to cut interest rates faster and resume crisis-era bond purchases.
The Fed chief, who Trump appointed, has declined direct comment on the president’s attacks but has consistently asserted the Fed’s independence and its determination to pursue the goals set for it by Congress: price stability and maximum employment.
Powell gave Eccles the final word in his remarks, citing a statement the former chairman made that’s inscribed on a plaque at the Fed’s headquarters in Washington named after him: “The management of the central bank must be absolutely free from the dangers of control by politics and by private interests, singly or combined.”