Trump's attacks on Fed intensify
President Donald Trump renewed his attack on Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, telling the Washington Post he’s “not even a little bit happy” with his choice to head the central bank.
“So far, I’m not even a little bit happy with my selection of Jay,” Trump told the Post on Tuesday, using Powell’s nickname. “Not even a little bit.”
Trump, who has repeatedly criticized the Fed for its interest-rate increases, complained at length about Powell in the interview. He said the central bank’s policies are responsible for recent stock market declines and for GM’s announcement this week that it would close five factories in North America and lay off 14,000 workers next year, the Post reported.
“I’m doing deals and I’m not being accommodated by the Fed,” Trump told the Post. “They’re making a mistake because I have a gut and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else’s brain can ever tell me.”
The Fed held borrowing costs steady at its meeting earlier this month but investors expect it to raise rates in December, which would mark the fourth hike since Powell became chairman in February.
Trump has previously blamed the “loco” Fed for causing steep stock-market losses with its campaign of gradual rate increases and demurred on whether he’d fire Powell. The president’s criticism shattered a two-decade White House tradition of avoiding comment on monetary policy out of respect for the Fed independence.
U.S. central bankers are trying to keep the world’s largest economy on an even keel and inflation near their 2 per cent target amid a strong labor market that has driven unemployment to the lowest level since 1969. They have penciled in another rate increase by year-end and three more in 2019, according to quarterly projections from September that will be updated next month.