Trump has all the reason for saying this…
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump called on the Federal Reserve to slash U.S. “down to ZERO” interest rates, describing Chairman Jerome Powell and other U.S. central bank leaders as “Boneheads.”
“The Federal Reserve should get our interest rates down to ZERO, or less, and we should then start to refinance our debt,” Trump tweeted. “INTEREST COST COULD BE BROUGHT WAY DOWN, while at the same time substantially lengthening the term. We have the great currency, power, and balance sheet.”
The morning message marked the first time the president openly proposed negative interest rates, a move never made by the U.S. but introduced in Japan and some European countries. Such a change would probably exhaust much of the firepower of the Federal Reserve to combat a potential recession at a moment when the US economy continues to grow.
David Kotok, chief investment officer at Cumberland Advisors, said that “zero and then negative interest rates have created a monstrosity in Europe,” and warned Trump’s demand “to follow Europe into this quagmire would harm every saver, every insurance company, every bank” in the U.S.
“Trumpanomics of Fed bashing and trade war are an economic menace to the United States,” he added.
Trump continued in another post, writing: “The USA should always be paying the the lowest rate. No Inflation! It is only the naïveté of Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve that doesn’t allow us to do what other countries are already doing. A once in a lifetime opportunity that we are missing because of ‘Boneheads.’”
In latest weeks, Trump has directed progressively severe broadsides against his hand-picked chief of the Federal Reserve, as Powell has refused to contribute explicitly to the president’s campaign of aggressive price reductions.
After Powell pledged last month that the Federal Reserve would “act as appropriate” to support the record-long U.S. economic expansion, but did not hint at an imminent reduction in rates, Trump savaged the chairman on Twitter — pondering whether Powell or China’s communist leader Xi Jinping was America’s “bigger enemy.”
Trump, who has maintained he has “the right to fire” Powell, expressed regret over his decision in November 2017 to nominate him as chairman, tweeting: “Where did I find this guy Jerome? Oh well, you can’t win them all!” Powell said in July he would not leave his post if the president attempted to oust him.
Trump also complained about U.S. interest rates in relation to those of other countries, claiming that at last month’s G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, fellow Heads of Government were indeed “giddy” about their interest costs, and charging that the Federal Reserve “cannot’mentally’ keep up with the competition” overseas.
Trump’s intense criticism of the Fed chairman comes as the U.S. economy looks down economic alert indications suggesting a feasible recession, but Powell said the central bank is “not forecasting or expecting” such an event.