President Trump took aim at the Federal Reserve this week, saying the U.S. central bank had “gone crazy” by raising interest rates too quickly, sparking backlash among prominent leaders in the business and economic communities.
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In a press conference ahead of the IMF and World Bank annual meetings in Bali, Indonesia, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Thursday she would “not associate” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell with craziness.
"It is clearly a necessary development for economies that are showing much improved growth, with inflation picking up and unemployment being extremely low," she said.
The governors of the Bank of England and South Africa also came to Powell’s defense during the same meeting.
Tiger 21 Chairman Michael Sonnenfeldt told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on “Mornings with Maria” Thursday that Trump’s “jawboning” of the central bank is “new territory.”
“The Fed has an independence that it needs to pursue, it’s concerned about inflation – and right now we have tariffs, which are wreaking havoc, we’re not sure to what extent, and an exploding deficit … So the Fed is taking its independent course,” he said.
JPMorgan Chase’s international chairman told CNBC that it’s “not a good idea for the president to get into these details,” because the bank “is a very professional entity.”
During a rally in Pennsylvania on Wednesday night, Trump said he didn’t believe the Fed was accurately adjusting its interest rate policy in line with U.S. economic data.
"The Fed is making a mistake. They're so tight. I think the Fed has gone crazy," he said.
He reiterated those comments during an interview on Fox & Friends Thursday morning, claiming the central bank was being too “aggressive.”
The president made the comments after a massive sell-off on Wall Street on Wednesday, where more than 800 points were shaved off the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
The Federal Reserve issued no new comment in response to the president’s remarks. However, during his last press conference following the Federal Open Market Committee’s most recent two-day meeting in September, Powell said he and his colleagues were focused on carrying out the bank’s dual mandate of achieving maximum employment and stable prices.
During that same September meeting, the Federal Reserve hiked the benchmark interest rate by one-quarter of a percentage point, the third such increase so far this year. The central bank expects to raise the federal funds rate one more time in 2018 and three times in 2019.