President Donald Trump compared his handpicked Fed chairman to the communist leader of China on Friday, wondering aloud, which man “is our bigger enemy?”
“As usual, the Fed did NOTHING! It is incredible that they can ‘speak’ without knowing or asking what I am doing, which will be announced shortly. We have a very strong dollar and a very weak Fed. I will work ‘brilliantly’ with both, and the U.S. will do great,” Trump said in a tweet.
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He added: “My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powel (sic) or Chairman Xi?”
The president’s fury and explosive comparison came after Powell did not explicitly forecast that the central bank would start a campaign of aggressive interest rate cuts and as China announced another round of tariffs against $75 billion in U.S. goods.
In a speech at the Kansas Fed’s annual retreat Friday, Powell said he would “act as appropriate” to sustain a record-breaking period of economic expansion, though he steered away from providing specifics. He cited trade uncertainty as a “new challenge” for the Federal Reserve, calling the environment fostered by Trump’s trade war unprecedented.
The president has battered his Fed chairman relentlessly as Trump’s trade war threatens to upend the global economy, recently calling on Powell to slash interest rates by as many as 100 basis points.
His anger with Powell appears to have risen to new levels to compare him with a leader who has been accused of overseeing human rights abuses to quiet dissent within China’s borders.
Trump did not immediately elaborate on the actions he planned to take, though top trade adviser Peter Navarro said earlier Friday that reimposing tariffs on China that Trump delayed last week were not off the table. Trump said in a subsequent tweet he would respond to China’s newest tariffs later on Friday.
Published at Fri, 23 Aug 2019 15:29:02 +0000