Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has insisted on the central bank’s political independence (KAREN BLEIER)
Washington (AFP) – President Donald Trump on Wednesday ridiculed the US Federal Reserve chairman, saying the United States would instead do better under Mario Draghi, the current European Central Bank chief.
The remarks showed the president’s grudge match with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has not cooled even though policymakers in recent weeks have said they may soon cut interest rates, just as Trump has demanded.
“We should have Draghi instead of our Fed person. Draghi, as you know, last week he said lower interest rates, we are going to stimulate the economy,” Trump said during an interview with Fox Business.
“And with us we have a Fed that keeps raising interest rates. I mean, you explain that one.”
Draghi last week dangled the possibility of an interest rate cut in light of weak economic growth and sluggish inflation.
The remarks drew accusations from Trump that the ECB was deliberately trying to weaken the euro against the dollar to make European exports more competitive — something Draghi quickly denied.
But Trump has bitterly attacked the US central bank since last year, accusing it of tightening monetary policy too quickly and preventing what he says could be skyrocketing economic growth.
Powell has responded, saying the Fed is politically independent and that he cannot be fired at will by the president.
In public remarks on Tuesday, Powell also said research showed that political interference in monetary policy harmed economies.
“He’s trying to prove how tough he is by not getting pushed around. Here’s a guy, nobody ever heard of him before and now I made him and he wants to show how tough he is. He’s not doing a good job,” Trump said Wednesday.
“I have the right to fire him,” Trump added. “I never suggested I was gonna do that.”
Disclaimer: Validity of the above story is for 7 Days from original date of publishing. Source: AFP.