President Trump says he's ‘not happy' with interest rate hikes

Darnell Taylor
July 20, 2018

[H] e told CNBC that Yellen should be "ashamed" of the low-interest-rate policy that Trump himself endorsed so fully in May.

Still, President Trump voiced concern that the higher rates and a stronger dollar may put the USA at a disadvantage while Fed counterparts in the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank keep rates low, maintaining loose monetary policy.

He called Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell "a very good man" but signaled his disagreement with the decision to raise interest rates.

"One of the hallmarks of our great American economy is preserving the independence of the Federal Reserve".

"I'm not thrilled", Trump said in expressing frustration with the central bank in an interview to be broadcast in full Friday, the financial news network reported. I don't really - I am not happy about it.

Fed officials have penciled in two more hikes this year.

The Fed is now chaired by Trump appointee Jerome Powell, whom Trump described as "a very good man".

Outside of his comments on the Fed, Trump touted the rising US dollar as superior to the euro and China's renminbi, which are dropping. "Now I'm just saying the same thing that I would have said as a private citizen", he said. In particular, the Fed's most recent rate hikes could dilute some of the benefit of the tax cuts Trump signed into law previous year.

Authorities open 2,000-year-old sarcophagus, apparently avoid curse
The Ptolemaic dynasty famously ended with Cleopatra's suicide during the Roman conquest of Greece and Egypt around 30 B.C. After the sarcophagus was opened, it was transferred to Alexandria National Museum for conservation and further study.

The U.S. dollar index cut its gains after Trump's comments that the strong dollar "puts us at a disadvantage", while yields on U.S. Treasury securities hit session lows.

The comments raised eyebrows in the United States, where presidents are expected to avoid criticism of the central bank in deference to its independence.

In a later statement to CNBC, the White House said Trump "respects the independence of the Fed" and "he is not interfering with Fed policy decisions".

The Fed has raised interest rates twice already this year.

"So somebody would say, 'Oh, maybe you shouldn't say that as president.' I couldn't care less what they say because my views haven't changed", he told CNBC.

In 1972, President Richard Nixon pressured then-Fed Chairman Arthur Burns to keep rates low, despite signs that the economy was overheating, in order to help his re-election campaign.

The White House also attempted to assuage fears of the president pressuring the Fed immediately after Trump's comments were released.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article