Trump tweets Fed 'boneheads' should cut rates 'down to zero or less'

12 Septembre, 2019, 09:10 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Donald Trump is tweeting that the Fed should cut interest rates to 'zero or less' to refinance debt

"A once in a lifetime opportunity that we are missing because of 'Boneheads, '" Trump said, in perhaps his most insulting comment to date about the USA central bank.

President Donald Trump says the U.S.is missing out economically because "Boneheads" at the Federal Reserve won't lower interest rates at his insistence. Just last month, the president told reporters he doesn't want negative rates in the US, Reuters reports. The Fed's benchmark rate is now 2%-2.25% following a quarter-point reduction on July 31 - the first cut since the Fed lowered rates effectively to zero in 2008, during the worst financial crisis and economic downturn since the Great Depression. He is apparently trying to put pressure on the Fed by calling for a large rate cut before a policy meeting next week. The policy is meant to account for extremely weak economic conditions by essentially charging banks to hold reserve deposits at the Fed.

Mr Powell has vowed to act to ensure that American economic expansion continues, but warned the central bank has no "rulebook" for dealing with the US-China trade war.

Trump selected Powell to take over Fed leadership but has heaped constant criticism on him for his handling of policy, even speculating about whether he may be a bigger "enemy" than Beijing.

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Central banks around the world such as the European Central Bank, the Swiss National Bank and the Bank of Japan have below-zero rates as a means to make loans more enticing to stimulate their sluggish economies.

Fed officials balked at cutting rates below zero during the last downturn in part because of fears doing so would hamper money-market functioning and hurt rather than help banks.

The Fed chair noted, however, that unemployment had remained near historic lows for about 18 months while wages were rising, fuelling consumer spending.

Editor's note: Should the Fed deploy recession-era monetary policy while the economy is supposedly great and why?

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