Trump considering firing Fed Chair Jerome Powell after latest rate hike

Adjust Comment Print

Most Fed governors said they expect to hike rates only twice next year, after hiking four times this year.

The Fed has picked up a few wins along the way, but it also notched some losses and draws.

After the two rates increases that the Fed now envisions for next year, it foresees one final hike by 2020, which would raise it benchmark rate to 3.1 per cent.

Sure, other steps helped along the way, including the Republican tax cut and spending boost from the Trump administration. "And I'm not blaming anybody, but I'm just telling you I think that the Fed is way off-base with what they're doing".

In determining the timing and size of future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate, the Committee will assess realized and expected economic conditions relative to its maximum employment objective and its symmetric 2 per cent inflation objective.

BALANCE SHEET - At its peak, the Fed's stash of bonds totalled an eye-popping $4.25 trillion and served as a key plank of its crisis response.

Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.

"The Fed's been a huge friend of the stock market and they are now a little bit of an enemy and (will) probably become worse of an enemy before this is all over", Bob Doll, Nuveen chief equity strategist and senior portfolio manager, told Bloomberg.

Williams also tried to correct the market impression that two interest rate increases are set in stone for next year, highlighting a slight change of language in the policy statement issued on Wednesday.

Top West Wing economic advisers have warned Trump that firing Powell would only exacerbate the problem the President is ostensibly trying to solve: nose-diving markets.

The Fed also made a widely expected technical adjustment, raising the rate it pays on banks' excess reserves by just 20 basis points to give it better control over the policy rate and keep it within the targeted range.

Even more significant though, is that it may not even be legal for the president to fire the chairman merely for having a difference of opinion.

It didn't matter much to policy at the time - rates were not going to be raised anyway.

So why is Trump calling the US Federal Reserve "crazy"? "We're going to do our jobs the way we've always done them", he said when asked about White House pressure. But exactly where that point is depends on what the latest economic data may show.

"We will be printing an above 3 percent real gross domestic product growth for 2018 with an unemployment rate of 3.7 percent", Reinhart said. She thinks the United States economy will grow in a range of 1.5% to 1.8% next year, and it will probably enter a recession in 2020.

Foggy, to say the least.

"It is incredible that with a very strong dollar and virtually no inflation, the outside world blowing up around us, Paris is burning and China way down, the Fed is even considering yet another interest rate hike", he tweeted. Its oversight since has been intense, with criticism pulling it in all directions depending on which end of Pennsylvania Avenue was speaking the loudest.

"The question is, is this Fed being too sanguine?.At least from the market's lens the answer is yes", with investors pricing different assets on the assumption that the Fed's recent rate increase and policy outlook is a "mistake", said Ed Al-Hussainy, senior rates analyst at Columbia Threadneedle Investments.

INFLATION - The Fed has yet to formally "declare victory" on its 2 percent inflation target. And the readings of late have been weaker. However, the devil is in the details, and more specifically in the FOMC communication. As Mr Powell has said, the Fed is now feeling its way forward and will act in line with how the economy performs.

Stocks sank almost 500 points Thursday on the news that President Donald Trump would not sign the spending bill that would avert a partial government shutdown Friday night.