“I want this dollar to be strong. I want it to be so powerful. I want it to be great”, Donald Trump, an adult, said, during an interview with CNBC.
The cadence was laughably childlike.
There are too many Trump headlines and soundbites to realistically parse on Wednesday. In addition to the CNBC interview, the president also spoke to Fox from Davos and held a combative press conferencec.
In the CNBC sit down, Trump parroted familiar talking points around exchange rates and the Fed. “If you lower the interest rates, so many good things would happen”, he mused.
He also regaled Joe Kernen with a litany of excuses to explain why GDP isn’t growing a scorching-hot 4%.
“But we had Boeing. We had the big strike with General Motors. We had things happen that are very unusual to happen”, he said, expressing “disappointment” that Boeing undermined his MAGA miracle.
“We had some unbelievably powerful storms!”, the president went on to marvel, as though his is the only administration to have ever confronted nature’s wrath.
But it’s the Fed that’s the real problem.
Trump said that were it not for Jerome Powell, the US economy would be growing at a 4% clip (it wouldn’t) and that the Dow would be as much as 10,000 points higher (that’s probably not true, but it’s certainly more plausible than the suggestion that all that stands between America and EM-like growth is 75bps worth of Fed cuts).
“Now, with all of that, had we not done the big raise on interest, I think we would have been close to 4%”, Trump told a serious-looking Kernen. “And I could see 5,000 to 10,000 points more on the Dow”.
“That was a killer when they raised the rate”, he pressed. “It was just a big mistake.”
Still, Trump said, “a lot of people are thrilled” with the 2% growth he’s managed to engineer. As a reminder, the administration has repeatedly promised that 3% would serve as a kind of lower bound for growth.
On Tuesday, during his formal address at Davos, Trump declared that he had ushered in a “boom the likes of which the world has never seen before”.
The president also said a few words about Elon Musk.
“He likes rockets. And– he does good at rockets too”, Trump stammered. “He’s one of our very smart people”.