The latest person to be caught in Donald Trump’s crosshairs (however, not for the first time) is the man he chose to be the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Mr Jerome H. Powell, who has disappointed the leader of the free world by raising interest rates. At a charity event for wealthy republicans, Trump told donors that he believes Powell should keep interest rates low, adhering to an easy-money monetary policy. Later, in an interview on Monday with the news service Reuters, Trump continued to show his displeasure. ‘I’m not thrilled with his (Powell) raising of interest rates, no. I’m not thrilled’ he stated, adding ‘I should be given more help by the Fed’ believing ‘We’re negotiating very powerfully and strongly with other nations. We’re going to win. But during this period of time I should be given some help by the Fed. The other countries are accommodated’.
Trump also accused both the European Union and China of manipulating their currencies, again. With regards to China, Trump believes that Beijing is manipulating its currency to make up for having to pay tariffs. ‘I think China’s manipulating their currency, absolutely. And I think the euro is being manipulated also’ adding ‘What they’re doing is making up for the fact that they’re now paying ... hundreds of millions of dollars and in some cases billions of dollars into the United States Treasury. And so they’re being accommodated and I’m not. And I’ll still win’.
However, with regards to the Fed, this is not the first time it has been criticised by Trump. In July Trump asked about the Fed raising interest rates, responding ‘I’m not thrilled’ adding ‘Because we go up and every time you go up they want to raise rates again. I don't really — I am not happy about it. But at the same time I’m letting them do what they feel is best’. In a statement after Trump’s comments, the White House insisted that Trump did not mean to influence the Fed. ‘Of course the President respects the independence of the Fed. As he said he considers the Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell a very good man and that he is not interfering with Fed policy decisions’ the statement said, adding ‘The President’s views on interest rates are well known and his comments today are a reiteration of those long held positions, and public comments’.