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Trump's Former Fed Chief Is Hitting Back at Him

Janet Yellen says POTUS does not understand the Fed
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2019 4:03 AM CST
Updated Feb 26, 2019 5:55 AM CST
Janet Yellen in 2017, when she chaired the Federal Reserve.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

(Newser) – Janet Yellen, who was chair of the Federal Reserve until President Trump replaced her with Jerome Powell, says she doesn't think the POTUS understands economic policy or the Fed. In an extensive interview with the radio program Marketplace, Yellen cited Trump's statements "about the Fed having an exchange rate objective in order to support his trade plans, or possibly targeting the US balance of trade" as demonstrating his lack of understanding. "I doubt that he would even be able to say that the Fed's goals are maximum employment and price stability," she said. Asked whether she thinks the president has a good grasp of macroeconomic policy, Yellen said, "No, I do not."

CNBC points out that Trump has been critical of Yellen, too. During the 2016 campaign, he said she should be "ashamed" of how she handled monetary policy and accused her of keeping interest rates artificially low to help then-President Obama. He criticized her less after taking office but still declined to reappoint her. Yellen is now a distinguished fellow in residence at the Brookings Institution. Though she expressed little faith in Trump, Yellen endorsed her successor, Powell. "I feel he's well-equipped and doing a very good job," Yellen told Marketplace. "But I certainly miss the Fed." See the full transcript of her interview here. (Trump has blasted Powell, too.)

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