If Trump is at war with the Fed then we must surely have a good man!
US President Donald Trump has discussed firing Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell after the central bank raised interest rates for the fourth time this year this week, US media have reported.
Trump’s frustration with the Fed chief intensified after Wednesday’s interest rate increase and months of stock-market losses, Bloomberg reported on Saturday, citing four unidentified people familiar with the matter.
The president has talked privately about firing Powell many times in the past few days, the news agency said, citing two of the people.
The Fed has also signaled “some further gradual” rate increases in 2019.
Trump has frequently blasted Powell for raising borrowing costs this year.
He has called the central bank “crazy”, “out of control” and a greater economic threat than China, which the president blames for hollowing out US manufacturing through unfair trade practices.
The interest rate hikes have spooked investors, leading the US stock market to tumble this week.
Global financial markets, including Wall Street stocks, had been hoping for a more dovish policy outlook and sold off broadly.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average had the worst week since the 2008 financial crisis, while the Nasdaq sank into bear market territory.
Any attempt to fire Powell could be seen as undermining the central bank’s independence from the administration.
The US Federal Reserve is considered independent because its monetary policy decisions do not have to be approved by the president or anyone else in the executive or legislative branches of government and it does not receive funding appropriated by Congress.
Powell has maintained that the central bank needs to remain independent from political pressure in order to carry out its dual mandate of low inflation and low unemployment.
As the US economy has recovered, the Fed has been raising the benchmark lending rate gradually since December 2015.
Many economists also see the Fed increasing rates next year as well, although at a slower pace in the face of a possible economic recession.