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President Trump Doubles Down on Call for Negative Interest Rates

Danielle Moran

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump reiterated his call for the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates to less than zero in a tweet on Sunday.

“We should always be paying less interest than others!” Trump tweeted, referring to the negative rates that have become commonplace in Europe and Asia. About $14.3 trillion of global debt yields at sub-zero rates, according to Bloomberg indexes. That’s down from a high of $17 trillion in late August.

The Fed on Sept. 18 cut interest rates for the second time since July, but only by a quarter point, which Trump said wasn’t enough given that other central banks have cut rates more dramatically. He told Fox News in an interview that he’s “very disappointed” in Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and questioned his ability to “play the game well.” As of the market close on Friday, 10-year Treasuries were yielding 1.72%.

Powell has said he doesn’t think the central bank will look at using negative rates. A handful of central banks – in Denmark, the euro zone, Japan, Sweden and Switzerland – have pushed interest rates below zero. And earlier this month, the European Central Bank lowered its deposit rate by 10 basis points to minus 0.5% as part of a wide-ranging package to prop up the region’s faltering economy and lift depressed inflation.

The president has repeatedly attacked the Fed since mid-2018, demanding lower rates to help boost economic growth. In August, he pointed to Germany’s sale of debt with negative yields to criticize Powell in a tweet, saying the Fed board “puts us at a disadvantage against our competition.”

--With assistance from Alex Wayne.

To contact the reporter on this story: Danielle Moran in New York at dmoran21@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Elizabeth Campbell at ecampbell14@bloomberg.net, James Ludden

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