Tuesday 16 July 2019

Trump blames Fed chairman for economy woes

 

The Federal Reserve, chaired by Jerome Powell, is set to discuss an interest-rate cut
The Federal Reserve, chaired by Jerome Powell, is set to discuss an interest-rate cut

Alister Bull

US President Donald Trump has sharply criticised Jerome Powell, blaming the Federal Reserve chairman for raising interest rates and saying he is at odds with the US central banker.

"He's my pick - and I disagree with him entirely," he said in an interview with ABC News that was filmed in the back of a car with George Stephanopoulos and posted on Twitter.

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"Frankly, if we had a different person in the Federal Reserve that wouldn't have raised interest rates so much we would have been at least a point-and-a-half higher," Trump said, apparently referring to the pace of US economic growth.

Trump's broadside comes a week before the Fed meets in Washington DC, when it's expected to discuss whether an interest-rate cut is needed to help offset a darkening economic outlook, partially caused by his trade war.

The president, who picked Powell to lead the central bank, said "we also have people in there that weren't my pick".

Trump has nominated four of the five members of the Fed Board of Governors in Washington, having nominated Randal Quarles and Michelle Bowman in addition to Powell and vice-chair Richard Clarida. All voted for the rate hike in December, together with Governor Lael Brainard, who was appointed by President Barack Obama.

Bloomberg

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