President Trump went after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Tuesday, blaming him for threatening US economic growth.
"Every time we do something great, he raises the interest rates", Trump said, adding that Powell, "almost looks like he's happy raising interest rates".
"'To me the Fed is the biggest risk, because I think interest rates are being raised too quickly, ' the president said just before he pushed a red button on his desk, summoning an iced cola delivered to him on a silver platter".
The comments were in response to questions from economist Adam Posen, a former policymaker at the Bank of England, who said Trump's criticisms are "pretty unprecedented for the last couple of decades from a U.S. president".
Questioned on whether he has regrets for having chosen Jerome Powell to succeed Janet Yellen to lead the central bank, Mr. Trump replied: "it is too early to say, maybe". The target range for the federal funds rate, now at 2 per cent to 2.25 per cent, is low by historical standards. The Federal Reserve has increased interest rates thrice in this year since the US economy has agitated and it is likely anticipated to hike again before this year ends.
If Trump was to somehow manage to gain control or at least influence over the Fed, the implication would be that rates stay lower for a longer period.
"I put him there and maybe it's right, maybe it's wrong but I put him there", Trump told Fox.
"I believe monetary policy today remains accommodative, and that, with the economy now operating at or close to mandate-consistent levels for inflation and unemployment, the risks that monetary policy must balance are now more symmetric and less skewed to the downside", he said.
Even when investors disagree with interest rate hikes, no one wants the president publicly bashing the fed.
The Fed raises rates by a quarter point. It was the third increase this year and the eighth since December 2015, when the Fed started inching rates up from effectively zero percent. "Trend growth in the economy may well be faster and the structural rate of unemployment lower than I would have thought several years ago". Furthermore, it may be just as likely that if the economy does slow, it will be because of the trade war rather than interest rates. Trump blamed the nation's central bank for the latest market turmoil, saying the "Fed has gone insane".
Indirectly, the U.S. president can gradually change the composition of the policymaking board with successive appointments, picking candidates that favor lower rates and looser policy.
Trump has nominated three other candidates to fill the remaining open spots on the Fed's board of governors.