“There is nobody better than Jay Powell to be running the Fed,” Buffett told FOX Business’ Liz Claman on Saturday during the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting.
President Trump has frequently criticized the Fed and Powell for what he perceives as hindering economic growth. In 2018, the Fed voted to raise the benchmark federal funds rate four times, much to the ire of Trump. However, in 2019, it’s favored a wait-and-see approach, leaving interest rates unchanged.
Ahead of the FOMC’s two-day meeting this week, Trump called on policymakers to lower interest rates by 1 percent. However, citing muted inflation, the Fed voted to keep interest rates steady.
“Our Federal Reserve has incessantly lifted interest rates, even though inflation is very low, and instituted a very big dose of quantitative tightening. We have the potential to go up like a rocket if we did some lowering of rates, like one point, and some quantitative easing,” Trump wrote in a series of tweets.
Buffett said he understood Trump’s desire to influence monetary policy set by the Fed.
“Presidents have always wanted that,” he said. “Particularly with election years coming up. So that’s not unusual.”
He conceded, however, that the “proper relation” between the Fed and the White House is one in which the central bank remains independent.