Trump Lights Into Fed Again, This Time With Golf Analogy - Page 2
'Like a powerful golfer who can’t score because he has no touch - he can’t putt!'
Posted Dec 24, 2018 7:22 AM CST
- Damage control: Fearing that mere talk of Trump firing Powell could roil the markets, Treasury chief Steven Mnuchin tweeted over the weekend that Trump has no intention of making such a move. He quoted Trump as telling him: “I totally disagree with Fed policy. I think the increasing of interest rates and the shrinking of the Fed portfolio is an absolute terrible thing to do at this time, especially in light of my major trade negotiations which are ongoing, but I never suggested firing Chairman Jay Powell, nor do I believe I have the right to do so.”
- Damage control II: Trump "now realizes" he does not have the power to fire Powell, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Sunday on ABC News, per USA Today. Mulvaney initially said that Trump had tweeted something to that effect, but he later corrected himself to say it had been Mnuchin's tweet he was referencing.
- Another possibility: Instead of firing Powell, Trump could theoretically try to demote him from chairman to being a regular Fed governor. But any such move against the Fed could backfire, both the Times and USA Today point out. The Fed might lift rates even more rapidly as a way to assert its independence, and assure investors that it's not under the sway of a president.
- Backfiring, II: The president's public and private carping about Powell has aides worried for another reason, reports the Journal. Even if Powell planned to slow down the Fed on raising rates in the near future, he might be less likely to now in order to prove his independence.
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