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moneymetals

Trump’s Backdoor Power Play to Rein In the Fed

“Just run the presses – print money.”

That’s what President Donald Trump supposedly instructed his former chief economic adviser Gary Cohn to do in response to the budget deficit. The quote appears in Bob Woodward’s controversial book Fear: Trump in the White House.

Trump disputes many of the anecdotes Woodward assembled. But regardless of whether the President used those exact words, they do reflect an “easy money” philosophy that he has expressed many times before.

Trump Likes Low Rates, Loose Money

President Trump has described himself as a “low interest rate person.”

Trump and the federal reserve

This past summer, Trump launched a very public attack on the Federal Reserve’s rate hiking campaign. He wants it to stop because it’s making the dollar “too strong” and threatening to undercut his tax cut fiscal stimulus.

There’s only so much dollar strength the U.S. economy and U.S. debt and equity markets can take. President Trump is keenly aware of the risks.

A Fed rate hike next week is a given at this point.

The Trump-versus-Fed feud will likely heat up again in December if the central bank raises its benchmark short-term rate at its scheduled policy meeting. Although a December hike is far from certain, Fed chair Jay Powell and company seem intent on raising interest rates again – and possibly a couple more times in 2019 if the markets don’t melt down before then.

Additional tightening will increasingly put the central bank on the wrong side of the President’s Twitter feed. If Donald J. Trump wants to put more than social media pressure on Fed officials, he can threaten to remove them.

Trump himself appointed Powell, a decision he now apparently regrets. It would be unprecedented for a president to fire a Fed chairman before his term is up... but not necessarily inconceivable. After all, President Trump has done a number of unprecedented things, as the anti-Trump media are wont to remind us.


Read more: https://www.moneymetals.com/news/2018/09/18/trumps-power-play-fed-001619

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