fed fomc jerome powell

Jerome Powell ‘Incorrect’ To Say He Is Entitled To Serve Out His Term, Trump Declares

"If I wanted to".

It never stops.

On Monday evening, a scant 12 hours after calling the Fed a “spoiled child” in a truly outlandish set of tweets, Donald Trump took aim at Jerome Powell again, this time in an exclusive interview with The Hill.

Trump took issue with the Fed’s contention that the law is on Powell’s side when it comes to the one-sided war of words with the White House. Specifically, Trump said Powell is “incorrect” to say, as the Fed chair did during his Wednesday press conference following the June FOMC meeting, that he is entitled to serve a four-year term.

Last week, Bloomberg reported that White House counsel explored options for demoting Powell in February at Trump’s request. Hours after the Fed meeting, Jennifer Jacobs, citing sources, said the president continued to believe he had the authority to remove Powell if he chose.

Asked by The Hill if he could remove the Fed chair, Trump was unequivocal. “If I wanted to”, he said. “But I have no plans to do anything”.

Or at least he doesn’t have any plans to “do anything” right now. But you can be sure that if Powell doesn’t deliver at least 75bp worth of rate cuts by the end of the year, Trump will remove him as chair or else compel his resignation, Jeff Sessions-style.

Normally, I wouldn’t quote Charlie Gasparino, but on Monday afternoon, he opined that “Jay Powell is Trump’s new Jeff Sessions and he will continue to serve as a punching bag until, like Sessions, he quits”. Charlie is exactly right.

Trump has variously suggested the Fed is the biggest threat to his reelection. On Monday morning, in his “spoiled child” tweets, Trump again insisted that were it not for the Fed’s recalcitrance, the Dow would be “thousands” of points higher and GDP would be running at 4% “or even 5%”. While his contention about the Dow might be some semblance of true, there is no chance (as in zero – none) that the US economy would be expanding at a 5% clip right now under any monetary policy regime.

The Hill, bless their hearts, asked Trump if he really believes Powell is involved in a conspiracy to undermine the presidency. “I don’t think he knows”, Trump said of Powell, condescendingly. “I don’t think he understands. He doesn’t get it.”

It goes without saying that Powell (and the Fed as a whole) most assuredly “gets it”. In fact, the irony of this whole situation is that Powell “gets it” so much, that he was arguably forced into the December hike by Trump himself.

Former vice chair Stanley Fischer, for instance, recently said the Fed might not have hiked in December were it not for the necessity of defending the central bank’s independence in the face of Trump’s incessant public attacks. That irony is completely lost on the president, which means that if anyone “doesn’t get it” here, it’s Trump.



11 comments on “Jerome Powell ‘Incorrect’ To Say He Is Entitled To Serve Out His Term, Trump Declares

  1. Unfortunately this site has become a pulpit to bash Trump. Please let the hacks at CNN do that. You re better than that.

    • Anonymous

      Trump bashes himself, ask Rex Tillerson.

      • Agreed. What’s funny is that merely reporting on what Trump says and does, without the normal spin, editorializing, and walk-backs of the Trumpet crew (Sanders, Mulvaney, Hannity, et al.), pretty much comes across as “bashing” Trump.

        One of the infuriating parts about this Presidency has been how absurd and/or malicious some of the policies come across when they aren’t transmitted with Trump’s hypnotic double-speak, word salad, tangents, and ‘Rorschach-esque’ vagueness. It usually sounds pretty objectively stupid and/or evil when Sanders or Mulvaney is talking about the policy, and they are normally forced by their albeit-limited scruples to walk it back or spin the policy to something that sounds more benign (e.g., “No, we aren’t using Child Separation as a deterrent to immigrants”). Meanwhile, Trump has already slinked away and is either walking back the walk-backs in his patent style (“if we separate kids, immigrants won’t want to come here”) or is spewing word vomit about some other reprehensible and/or idiotic agenda. Although I now take this process to be a purposeful use of ‘shooting the messenger’ to free up Trump.

        The bottom line is, because reporting on Trump is “bashing” Trump, NEIPA here is not just saying that H shouldn’t “bash” Trump, NEIPA is saying that while doing his reporting, H needs to add that trademark spin that makes this administration so revolting.

        So, H, maybe add a few more tactical “God Emperors,” “Stable Geniuses,” “Best Economy Evers,” “fighting the Fed-Deep State Conspiracys,” and “Best June in a Centurys,” and NEIPA here will be content.

        • yeah, that’s the key point: one cannot even quote Trump without being accused of bias. when you remind his supporters that you are just quoting directly, they suggest you shouldn’t repeat what he says. which is obviously insane. people always focus on the cartoonish features of Alec Baldwin’s impression, which to me is a shame because he captures the nuance a lot better than he does Trump’s voice or mannerisms. There’s one where Baldwin says “The media was so unfair to me today by reporting all the things I actually said”.

    • Seriously? H doesn’t bash Trump–He points out when policy makers say stupid shit. Just so happens you end up with quite a few about Trump since Twitter became the official channel of communication and he’s on there spouting stupid shit from 5am to 11pm every day.

      You’re only going to get more of it now that he’s hosting rallies again.

    • “better than” what? check out the tagline on the site, my friend: “Daily financial and political snark”. politics is quite literally half the purpose of the site. also, anybody who has frequented HR from day one will tell you that the political coverage used to be far more abrasive than it is currently. so to suggest (as the comment above does) that the site “has become” more abrasive is actually the polar opposite of what’s happened over the last two years.

      more importantly, Trump is the president of the united states. what he says and does is important, both for society and for markets. as it happens, he’s a moron. so, i’ll treat him as such. i spent a decade studying political science at university. i have a leg to stand on when it comes to my critiques of this presidency. when it comes to the site’s editorial stance, anybody who doesn’t like it doesn’t have to click. it’s as simple as that.

    • Harvey Darrow Cotton

      @NEIPA. So, uh, does Trump pay you to scour the Internet trying to patrol the opinions and content of independent website producers, or do you do it for free? If Trump is paying you, I hope you got the money upfront.

  2. Trump is merely the symptom of a dysfunctional system where profits outweigh the good of the people.

  3. keep up the market and poltical snark, that and the very useful information is why I subscribe

  4. Had a thought today.
    No disrespect intended but…Why is the First Lady sticking around with ‘Hair on Fire’? I can understand the kids. They seem to be cut from the same cloth. Most women would have decamped long ago? Is she under contract to smile to the end and then the big payoff? Does she just not see him for what he is? Is she working for someone else? I really don’t understand why she’s still there. She certainly comes across as someone with some self-respect. Does she really want history to remember her as Mrs. Worst President ever?

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