Fed's Mester Says Politics Never a Factor In Monetary Policy Decisions

Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester on Friday said politics have never been a factor in monetary policy decisions, pushing back on Donald Trump who earlier Friday said Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen was keeping rates low to help President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. "I would say politics don't come into it. We're really are putting policy on what the economy can handle and what the outlook is," Mester said. The Cleveland Fed president repeated she favors a rate hike this year. Mester said she would not support a first rate hike that was less than 25 basis points. Some have argued a smaller increase, such as 15 basis points, would underline the gradual pace of rate hikes. "Fine tuning at that level doesn't make sense," Mester said.

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