At IMF-World Bank meetings, Powell praised as Trump calls Fed 'crazy'

15 October, 2018, 11:14 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • The stock market took a massive dive today – here’s how Trump explained what happened

"I think the Fed has gone insane".

Trump has slapped tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods this year, and Beijing has retaliated with levies of $110 billion of American products.

But data since the Fed's last meeting in September has been in line with the central bank's portrait of an economy in which historically low unemployment will be coupled with inflation running near the central bank's 2 percent target for the foreseeable future.

He said the United States meant to include the language used in the recently concluded deal with Canada and Mexico, which prohibits the competitive devaluation of exchange rates, would be used in future trade agreements.

Interest rates have been on the rise over the past several weeks, with the benchmark 10-year Treasury note - a barometer for corporate debt and mortgages rates - climbing to its highest level in more than seven years.

Stocks have sold off in recent days on worries about higher borrowing costs. They are raising interest rates and it's ridiculous.

However, higher U.S. interests rates have also helped send emerging market currencies into a tailspin, as countries that borrowed heavily in dollars race to pay back debt. "The fed is going loco". The president also selected Nellie Liang, a former Fed division director who is a Ph.D. economist with expertise in financial stability.

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The president's broadside is a direct challenge to the Fed's three-decade-long campaign to build and maintain its credibility fighting inflation, an effort that has helped produce the two longest USA economic expansions on record.

"We're quite removed from the political process", Powell said in an interview last week at the Atlantic Festival in Washington. "We don't let other things distract us".

The policy makers' latest economic forecasts showed a median estimate of 3% for this neutral point over the long term. "The Fed is going to do what the Fed thinks it needs to do, Trump's criticisms notwithstanding", he said. "Today, the so-called forward-looking federal funds rate is identical to the backward-looking core-inflation rate".

Over the past three years, the Fed has raised rates eight times. Officials expect to hike rates another quarter percentage-point by the end of this year and gradually continue to raise rates at least through 2019. "That doesn't seem especially surprising".

Trump has said in the past that he was "not thrilled" with the rate hikes and reportedly told donors at a fundraiser that Fed Chairman Jerome Powell had not been the "cheap money" banker he hoped for.

Trump himself later told reporters he would not try to oust Powell, Trump's handpicked successor to former Fed chair Janet Yellen, and a well-regarded insider in moderate Republican circles.

Some of his former advisers said they believed Trump's criticisms of the central bank were warranted. Trump is concerned that the Fed will raise interest rates too fast and hurt growth, a legitimate issue, he explained. "Where is the inflation that they are fighting?" Still, while many investors might not concur with Dr. Trump's diagnosis, they might tend to agree with the underlying sentiment: US interest rate hikes are or are going to rain on the stock market's parade.


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