Trump on Fed Chief: 'Maybe' I Shouldn't Have Hired Him

President goes after Jerome Powell and central bank for raising interest rates
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2018 8:31 AM CDT
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell speaks at the annual meeting of the National Association for Business Economics on Oct. 2, 2018, in Boston.   (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

(Newser) – Framing the state of the economy in personal terms, referring to "my numbers," President Trump blasted Fed chief Jerome Powell and the central bank itself in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. Trump called the Fed the "biggest risk" to the economy, due to the three times it's raised interest rates this year; it will likely do so a fourth time in December. Trump lamented Powell "was supposed to be a low-interest-rate guy. It's turned out that he's not," adding that Powell "almost looks like he's happy" when he raises the rates. Trump also seemed irritated that during former President Obama's tenure in the White House, interest rates hovered near zero.

The Journal explains the Fed has been increasing the benchmark rate as a move to control inflation and keep financial bubbles at bay. CNN, meanwhile, notes the "historically low" interest rates under Obama were needed to jump-start a post-recession economy. Still, Trump told the Journal that while it's "too early to say," he "maybe" isn't so sure he should have nominated Powell. "I don't know," he said when asked in what scenario he'd remove his Fed head, a move for which NBC News notes there's no precedent. "I'm just saying this: I'm very unhappy with the Fed." Both former Fed chief Janet Yellen and ex-Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn say the president should ease up on the central bank, traditionally an independent entity, per CNN. More from Trump's Journal interview here, including his take on his former attorney, Michael Cohen. (Cohen just made a big political move.)

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