President Trump on Tuesday blamed Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for a string of negative economic developments, including the stock market’s recent decline and General Motors’s decision to halt production at U.S. factories and lay off thousands of workers, saying it is a mistake for the agency not to accommodate him more “because I have a gut and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else’s brain can ever tell me.”
“I’m doing deals and I’m not being accommodated by the Fed,” Trump said in a new interview with The Washington Post. “They’re making a mistake because I have a gut, and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else’s brain can ever tell me.”
“So far, I’m not even a little bit happy with my selection of Jay,” Trump told The Post about his decision last year to nominate Powell to lead the central bank. “Not even a little bit. And I’m not blaming anybody, but I’m just telling you I think that the Fed is way off-base with what they’re doing.”
Trump has repeatedly criticized Powell since July for continuing a series of Fed interest rate hikes that began in December 2015.
The Hill notes:
The Fed has raised rates eight times since the end of 2015, six times during Trump’s term and three times since Powell took over the central bank in February.
Trump is one of few Republican politicians and right-leaning officials opposed to the Fed’s efforts to bring interest rates back toward historically neutral levels. The president says he believes the Fed should keep interest rates low to stimulate the already-strong economy. Interest rate hikes also suppress stock market gains — Trump’s preferred economic scorecard — by raising the price of borrowing and narrowing corporate profit margins.