President Donald Trump renewed his attack on the Federal Reserve on Monday, declaring that the central bank “doesn’t know what it is doing” when it comes to boosting the U.S. economy.
In a series of posts on Twitter, Trump reignited his feud with the central bank and Fed Chair Jerome Powell — the top policy-maker he appointed. The president accused the Fed of raising rates far to fast last year, with too much large scale tightening.
As the global economy slows, benchmark U.S. rates are among the highest of large industrialized economies. In some ways, it enhance the appeal of American assets for investors hunting for higher yields, such as stocks.
Trump boasted that major stock benchmarks are on track to have “one of the best months of June in U.S. history.” In early U.S. trading, The S&P 500 (^GSPC) slipped 0.04%, or 1.06 points, as of 9:55 a.m. ET. The Dow (^DJI) climbed 0.21%, or 57.08 points, while the Nasdaq (^IXIC) fell 0.11%, or 9.82 points.
Last week, the Fed held benchmark interest rates steady near 2.25%, with analysts widely expecting a new easing cycle to begin as early as next month. However, Trump implicitly blasted the policy decision, accusing the Fed of acting like a “stubborn child” on its refusal to ease policy amid a deceleration.
A slowing U.S. economy needs rate cuts, Trump said, in order to “make up for what other countries are doing against us. Blew it!”
....Think of what it could have been if the Fed had gotten it right. Thousands of points higher on the Dow, and GDP in the 4’s or even 5’s. Now they stick, like a stubborn child, when we need rates cuts, & easing, to make up for what other countries are doing against us. Blew it!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 24, 2019
Trump’s hammers Powell (again)
For months, Trump has been sharply criticizing Powell on policy — first, for the Fed’s rate-hiking campaign last year, then for refusing to cut rates in the face of a slowing economy and an escalating fight with China on trade.
In December, Trump reportedly floated the idea of ousting Powell from the Fed, an idea that most market observers said at the time was neither legal nor beneficial to markets. Although Trump backed off the idea, he has still repeatedly teed off on the Fed chief.
In an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” which ran on Sunday, Trump stressed that he is not pleased with Powell, claiming the Fed raised rates “too fast” and that he does not think Powell is doing a “very good job.”
Trump went on to deny that he threatened to demote Powell, but claimed that he would have the authority to do so.
“I didn’t ever threaten to demote him... “I’d be able to do that if I wanted, but I haven’t suggested that,” Trump said. When asked last Tuesday if he would demote Powell, Trump played it coy.
“Let’s see what he does.”
Donovan Russo is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him @Donovanxrusso.