fed fomc jerome powell

‘Donnie, I Got Sent For’. Jerome Powell Had A Little Chat With Trump On Monday Morning

"You don't wanna go? I'll turn around."

“At the President’s invitation”, a notice posted to the Fed’s website documenting a Monday morning meeting between Jerome Powell and Donald Trump reads.

It might as well say “Chair Powell was summoned” or “sent for”, as “Lefty Guns” would put it.

The sitdown at the White House (which also included Steve Mnuchin) came less than a week after Trump lambasted the Powell Fed during a free-wheeling address to the Economic Club of New York.

Read more: Trump Says ‘Smart People’ Clap For Negative Interest Rates

In addition to accusing Powell of being far too slow to cut rates, Trump told the audience the Fed has put the US at a disadvantage versus other countries and insisted that policy rates in America should be the lowest in the world. That, of course, would mean the Fed adopting negative rates, something nobody other than Trump supports.

It wasn’t the first time Trump has called on Powell to get rates below zero. In September, he demanded as much, and called the central bank a gang of “boneheads”.

According to the Fed’s account of Monday’s meeting, Trump and Powell discussed the economy, growth, employment and inflation.

Powell didn’t deviate from what he’s said in public, the notice reads.

“Chair Powell’s comments were consistent with his remarks at his congressional hearings last week”, the Fed insists, adding that “he did not discuss his expectations for monetary policy, except to stress that the path of policy will depend entirely on incoming information that bears on the outlook for the economy”.

He may have said that (and good for him if he did), but the fact that he was forced to reiterate it in person, at the White House, after having repeated it ad nauseam should be cause for alarm, especially when you consider that Powell has arguably not adhered to strict data dependence this year when cutting rates three times despite the US economy holding up reasonably well.

Each rate cut has been accompanied by dissents from Esther George and Eric Rosengren, underscoring the extent to which easing policy in the current environment is by no means the kind of no-brainer that Trump claims it should be.

In short, monetary policy has already been overtly politicized by Trump, and everyone knows the pressure on Powell will be ratcheted up headed into the election.

“Finally, Chair Powell said that he and his colleagues on the Federal Open Market Committee will set monetary policy, as required by law, to support maximum employment and stable prices and will make those decisions based solely on careful, objective and non-political analysis”, the Fed emphasized.

Again, it’s disconcerting that the Fed has to say that so explicitly, and although one would certainly expect the meeting to be made public by the Fed, it’s notable that at least as of Sunday evening, it wasn’t on Trump’s schedule. That suggests the president would have been just fine with it if the pow wow had been kept from the public.

“Just finished a very good [and] cordial meeting at the White House with Jay Powell of the Federal Reserve”, Trump tweeted. “Everything was discussed including interest rates, negative interest, low inflation, easing, Dollar strength [and] its effect on manufacturing, trade with China, EU [and] others”.

What can you say? At least Jay made it out alive.

“You don’t wanna go? I’ll turn around.” “What are you gonna do, take a left off the f—in’ bridge?”

Read more: Jay Powell’s ‘Good Place’ Monetary Policy Sets Up Election Year Clash With White House


 

4 comments on “‘Donnie, I Got Sent For’. Jerome Powell Had A Little Chat With Trump On Monday Morning

  1. vicissitude

    Powell needs to take on massive amounts of reserves to save the wall, since it can’t be in the budget …

    See: Persistent trillion-dollar budget deficits that contribute to larger and larger debt levels means that spending by the government to service the debt will eventually crowd out more productive uses of capital (like building the campaign promised wall).

    See: The House is expected to vote on a continuing resolution (CR) this week that would prevent a government shutdown on Nov. 22 and push the deadline until Dec. 20. But many sound doubtful they will be ready to make a new deal next month.

    “Unless something unusual happens around here, I don’t see how we get all our work done and put all the pieces together by [December] 20th,” said Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), who heads of the Homeland Security appropriations subcommittee that deals with wall funding.

    The House is expected to vote on a continuing resolution (CR) this week that would prevent a government shutdown on Nov. 22 and push the deadline until Dec. 20. But many sound doubtful they will be ready to make a new deal next month.

    “Unless something unusual happens around here, I don’t see how we get all our work done and put all the pieces together by [December] 20th,” said Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), who heads of the Homeland Security appropriations subcommittee that deals with wall funding.

  2. Esther George and Eric Rosengren, collectively, are known by their alias Don Brasco, aka Don the Jeweler. They can always spot a fugazi passing as a diamond, fuhgeddaboudit. Don wouldn’t be okay with the pyramid scheme of passing artificially inflated assets on indefinitely, the alchemy of turning a fugazi into a diamond.

  3. vicissitude

    I realize I get lost in weird off topic stuff, but, I find it interesting that there’s almost a total media blackout of deficit debt news stories, which I assume would be out there in media land pounding the drums about a Nov 22 budget deadline — even the Democrat candidates are not making a big deal about something so basic. I realize the Nov 22 CR probably will kicked down the road to Dec., but, why isn’t this drama in the news?

    See: At the time, Republicans controlled the House, and Democrats held the Senate. Obama had said he would veto any bill that defunded Obamacare. His veto threat and the Democratic-controlled Senate doomed any measure that undermined the fledgling health care program.

    The House passed several bills that eliminated Obamacare funding, and the Senate kept stripping out those provisions.

    The latest shutdown stems from President Trump’s desire for $5 billion to build a wall along the border with Mexico. The Republican-controlled Senate declined to make that part of its funding plan because it couldn’t get the needed 60 votes to eventually pass the spending plan. The House passed a measure with money for the wall.

    In 2018, funding for the wall stands alone. In 2013, a compromise on the debt ceiling cleared the way to reopen the government.

    There is also a legal difference. In 2013, Obamacare was already law. Funding for the wall is not.

    Why is the budget being ignored by the media (except for HR)??

  4. vicissitude

    This just in today and apparently 4 days old but just hyped today. Apparently the GOP would like to continue de-funding unimportant things like the EPA, etc and then fast track super critical matters like building a WALL and, if the WALL has a budget and has priority red, then by all means, line up the only priorities that the GOP has — this may get more spin a few days from now — but as today, it’s invisible.

    November 14, 2019
    Press Release

    WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressmen Andy Biggs (AZ-05) and Ralph Norman (SC-05) introduced the Budget Process Enhancement Act. This bill makes two major reforms to the budget process. First, it would force federal government departments and agencies to justify new spending requests every year, rather than wait for steadily growing lump sums from Congress. Second, it continues Congressman Biggs’ longstanding commitment to “no budget, no pay” by holding the salaries of Members of Congress in escrow if they do not agree to a budget resolution in a timely manner after the current two-year agreement ends.

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