Peter Navarro is done beating around the bush when it comes to pretending like the administration respects Fed independence.
To be sure, the president gave up on any pretensions to central bank autonomy a long time ago, but Navarro and Larry Kudlow were feebly keeping up the charade until recently.
In an interview with Fox Business on Wednesday evening, Navarro came right out and said that the Fed’s duty is to cut rates. “The Fed needs to do its job and cut rates”, he told Lou Dobbs.
[As an aside, you’re reminded that Dobbs recently went so far down the propaganda rabbit hole as to chance calling some of America’s most decorated generals “snowflakes” for having the audacity to question the president’s military celebration on the Fourth of July.]
The segment began with Dobbs explaining that the “leftists” and the “business press” are using the inverted yield curve to “feed their narrative about an impending recession”. It’s not so much “narrative” as it is accepted economic wisdom, but Lou was keen to dispel it on Wednesday regardless. Suffice to say his reasoning did not revolve around a nuanced discussion of term premium spillovers and convexity hedging flows. Here’s the clip:
(If the video does not load, please refresh your page – FBN interview here)
As you can see, Dobbs gave Navarro a pretty nice setup to brag about Trump’s economy, and after outlining the “Jay Powell problem”, Peter knocked Dobbs’s softball clear out of the park.
Eventually, though, things took a turn for the weird when Navarro’s cheerleading went on too long for even Dobbs to take. Presumably being prodded by his producers, Lou proceeded to demand a straight answer on whether trade optimism is or isn’t misplaced. Navarro tried to deliver, but Dobbs ended up confusing him and the whole thing dead-ended in this bizarre exchange:
Navarro finally got around to admitting that it’s “unlikely anything quick will happen” when it comes to a deal with China, something everyone already knew.
By any rational person’s assessment, Dobbs was sufficiently sycophantic to warrant a presidential propaganda medal, but the bar for impressing Trump seems to be rising, and Fox is having a harder and harder time clearing it.
“Fox News is letting millions of GREAT people down!”, Trump yelled on Wednesday. “We have to start looking for a new News Outlet”, he lamented. “Fox isn’t working for us anymore!”