Despite Trump’s Attacks, Fed Still Seen as Independent

Trump has repeatedly criticized the Fed for raising interest rates.

According to The Wall Street Journal, economists maintain that despite Trump’s constant criticism of the Federal Reserve, the bank still maintains the perception of independence.

In a survey, over half of economists say that Trump’s attacks on the Fed have had little to no effect on the perception that the bank is independent from political pressure.

“Fed policy makers are irritated [by the criticism], but there will be no impact on Fed actions,” said Lynn Reaser, an economist at Point Loma Nazarene University.

Trump has repeatedly gone after the Fed for raising interest rates. Last month, he said that Fed Chairman Jerome Powell “is not doing a good job.” According to Trump, “He has to lower interest rates for us to compete with China.”

Trump does have influence through his appointments to the Fed’s board.

“The president’s rhetoric raises the risk that he will try to pack the Fed with White House puppets,” said Lou Crandall, who is the chief economist at research firm Wrightson ICAP.

Trump has indicated that he will appoint Judy Shelton and Christopher Waller to the open seats on the board.

Despite Trump’s repeated attacks of Powell, Powell has said he would not leave his post if Trump tried to fire him. It is ambiguous whether or not the president has the power to remove a Fed chairman for disagreeing with him on monetary policy.

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