Trump takes jab at Powell over rate hikes – report

by Francis Monfort21 Aug 2018

President Donald Trump is not happy with the continuous rate increases by the Federal Reserve, especially now that he is in the middle of a trade dispute, according to a report by Bloomberg.

Three people who attended a fundraiser for Trump told the publication that the president complained about the rate hikes under Chairman Jerome Powell, saying he expected his nominee to be a cheap-money chairman.

The fundraiser, held in the Hamptons, was attended by wealthy Republican donors. The sources requested for anonymity.

There have been five rate hikes under the Trump administration. Two of those were decided by the Fed this year under Powell.

While presidents have lately observed a norm of avoiding comments on monetary policy, Trump’s private comments follow remarks he made in July about how he was “not thrilled” with the increases. The Fed is an independent agency and has traditionally made rate decisions without regard for politics.

Trump made further comments on the Fed’s rate actions in a later interview with Reuters. He said he would continue criticizing the Fed if it continued to increase rates, saying that central banks of other countries have helped in trade disputes with the US.

“During this period of time, I should be given some help by the Fed. The other countries are accommodated,” Trump told Reuters.

Based on the Fed’s most recent projections, it is looking at two more hikes within 2018. Investors think there is a 90% chance rates will be increased during the Fed’s September meeting, Bloomberg reported.