Federal Reserve’s New Vice Chairman Cautiously Backs Further Rate Increases

Federal Reserve’s New Vice Chairman Cautiously Backs Further Rate Increases

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell intensified his outreach to USA lawmakers over the summer, a review of his public calendar shows, even as President Donald Trump stepped up his attacks on the Fed and on Powell himself.

He also said that the Fed Chairman "almost looks like he's happy raising interest rates", according to the report.

"'To me the Fed is the biggest risk, because I think interest rates are being raised too quickly, ' the president said just before he pushed a red button on his desk, summoning an iced cola delivered to him on a silver platter".

Trump said it was "too early to tell, but maybe" he regrets nominating Powell last November to succeed Janet Yellen, who departed in February after leading the Fed for four years.

"Based on my reading of the accumulating evidence, I believe that trend growth in the economy may well be faster and the structural rate of unemployment lower than I would have thought several years ago", he said during a speech in Washington, D.C.

Investors so far don't see the Fed bending to the pressure to slow the pace of interest rate raises.

And everyone will note the unsafe similarity to Turkey, where President Erdogan has repeatedly referred to interest rate his as the work of the devil, resisting them entirely until very recently and even appointing his son-in-law to head the ministry of finance to give him control over the central bank. "I'm not going to get get into that issue", said Crapo, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee which oversees the central bank.

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Historically, presidents are expected to avoid publicly criticising the Fed to avoid the appearance of inappropriately influencing montary policy. On Tuesday he told the Wall Street Journal he "maybe" regrets appointing Powell.

Powell has so far brushed off the attacks, noting the Fed is independent and arguing by raising rates gradually it's just seeking to normalize monetary policy in an "extraordinary" economy. I think they all are, to be honest with you.

"Changes in financial conditions are something that is relevant for the economic outlook", and need to be accounted for "if they are sustained", he said.

George Washington University political scientist Sarah Binder, who published a book on the Fed's relations with elected officials, said that while Trump's tweets and media outbursts gain much attention, they fall short of the in-person demands presidents in the 1960s and 1970s made of Fed chiefs.

It is unclear whether the president would have the authority to remove Powell.

The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates eight times since the end of 2015, and on three occassions since Powell was appointed in 2018, taking the Federal Funds rate range to between 2% and 2.25%.

When asked about what is the biggest risk to the economy, Trump answered: the Fed.

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