Published: Sat, October 27, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

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

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

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 USA economy as they are raising interest rates very sharply and it appears as if Jerome Powell is very happy about it".

The us president, Donald Trump has renewed on Tuesday its criticism vis-à-vis the monetary policy of the Fed and of the president of the central Bank, which he accuses of being "happy when he is pushing up interest rates".

Powell, he added, "almost looks like he's happy raising interest rates".

Questioned on whether he has regrets for having chosen Jerome Powell to succeed Janet Yellen to lead the central bank, Mr. Trump replied: "it is too early to say, maybe". He also said he believes the Fed is "the biggest risk" to the economy, because "I think interest rates are being raised too quickly".

The Fed has raised interest rates three times this year and is expected to do so again before the year ends and three more times in 2019.

Trump has made clear he sees rising interest rates as a threat to the broader United States economy.

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This isn't the first time the president has publicly disagreed with the policy makers over at the central bank. The target range for the federal funds rate, now at 2 per cent to 2.25 per cent, is low by historical standards.

Trump declined to elaborate, and a spokeswoman for the Fed declined to comment. He also labelled the Fed's rate hiking policy the greatest threat to the economy, which has been boosted this year by one of the largest tax cuts in US history. While talking to CNBC the former chairman said that the Federal Reserve now seems to follow the complete arbitrary standard and a "swamp" in Washington's run by big shots.

In addition, investors and economists view lower interest rates as catalysts for growth. He said that while Fed watchers tend to focus on monetary policy, "what we have learned in the last 30 years is how important a strong regulatory system is...." Trump lamented Powell "was supposed to be a low-interest-rate guy". When factoring in inflation, the rate on short-term borrowing is near zero percent. The rate hikes are also created to give it room to provide support for the economy whenever the next downturn arrives.

Continued volatility in asset prices including stock prices are indicators of financial conditions, he added.

Powell was previously appointed to the Fed's Board of Governors by former President Barack Obama in December 2011.

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