Interest rate policy threatens to derail MAGA agenda
October 16, 2018
President Trump on Tuesday admitted the Federal Reserve may be his agenda’s “biggest threat.”
Speaking to Fox Business News, Trump railed against the private central bank’s decision to raise interest rates last week just as the economy is on the upswing.
“My biggest threat is the Fed,” Trump told FBN’s Trish Regan. “The Fed is raising rates too fast, and it’s too independent… so I don’t speak to them, but I’m not happy with what [Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell’s] doing because it’s going too fast because you looked at the last inflation numbers, they are very low.”
The president also admitted he may have made a mistake in appointing Powell as Fed chair.
“Can I be honest? I’m not blaming anybody. I put him there and maybe it’s right maybe it’s wrong, but I put him there,” Trump said in the interview set to air Tuesday night, according to The Hill.
Trump’s latest Fed comments come after he slammed the central bank’s interest rate hike as “loco” during an interview last week, setting up a possible showdown between his administration and the institution tasked with printing US currency.
“The problem I have is with the Fed. The Fed is going wild. I mean, I don’t know what their problem is that they are raising interest rates and it’s ridiculous,” Trump told Fox News’ Shannon Bream last week.
“The problem [causing the market drop] in my opinion is Treasury and the Fed. The Fed is going loco and there’s no reason for them to do it. I’m not happy about it.”
While the president has the power to appoint Fed chairmen, Larry Kudlow, President Trump’s economic adviser, says the agency still runs independent of the administration.
“We know the Fed is independent. The president is not dictating policy to the Fed. He didn’t say anything remotely like that. They are independent, and they’re going to do what they’re going to do,” Kudlow told CNBC last Thursday.