President Trump is reportedly considering firing Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell after policymakers at the central bank on Wednesday voted to increase interest rates for the fourth time this year, according to Bloomberg.
It’s the latest uptick in a series of attacks levied by Trump on Powell, whom he hand-picked a year ago to replace Janet Yellen. Trump blames the Fed for curtailing economic growth by raising the benchmark federal funds rate.
The Federal Reserve declined to comment.
It’s unclear whether Trump has the power to fire a Fed chair. According to the law, the president can fire a Fed governor (for a cause) but it hasn’t been tested on the firing of a chair. Because the chair is considered to be a governor, it’s likely that it is legal.
Advisers, however, have reportedly warned Trump that firing Powell would rock the already volatile markets -- which is likely exactly what he hopes to avoid by replacing the chair.
Trump’s frustration with Powell, who has not responded publicly to the attacks, has reportedly amplified in recent days after he urged the Fed to “feel the markets” before raising interest rates.
"So far, I’m not even a little bit happy with my selection of Jay," Trump said in November during an interview with The Washington Post (insert link). ”Not even a little bit. 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."
Trump is in the midst of shaking up his administration: Since November, he’s announced the departures of Attorney General Jeff Sessions; Chief of Staff John Kelly; Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke; and, most recently, Defense Secretary James Mattis.