Peter Schiff: The Fed is partly to blame for Trump’s election

If investors and citizens are frustrated with President Donald Trump, they should blame the Federal Reserve, according to Euro Pacific Capital CEO Peter Schiff.

In a recent interview with CNBC's "Futures Now,"the ardent critic of both Trump and the Fed cast doubt on the potential for future rate hikes. He also said that the central bank's easy money policies are partly to blame for Donald Trump's election.

Weak economic data "has been the primary reason the Fed has been able to keep rates so low for so long," said Schiff.

"In fact it's been these low rates that are actually one of the reasons the economy has been so weak," he added— renewing a criticism that the Fed's quantitative easing (QE) have primarily benefited banks and the wealthy.

"This benefits the financial markets, it benefits the stock market, it keeps it propped up at artificially high levels, but it undermines the real economy. That's why so many Americans are hurting and why so many voted for Donald Trump," the investor told CNBC.

According to Schiff, if the economy was really as strong as many believe, "not only would Trump have not been elected, he wouldn't have been the Republican nominee."

Shortly after the election, Schiff appeared on CNBC criticizing Trump, and predicting that his policies could actually have the Fed reversing course on possible rate hikes.

Since then, however, the stock market has continued to hit record highs, while Fed Chair Janet Yellen has suggested that two or more rate hikes may be appropriate this year. Still, that didn't deter Schiff from calling her bluff.

"What's appropriate and what the Fed is going to do are two totally different things. The Fed is going to raise interest rates as slowly as they can possibly get away with, and at some point they're going to have to come up with an excuse why they're going to stop raising rates, and why they're going to cut rates again and why they're going to go back to QE," Schiff argued.

"All of this is inevitable. But even if the Fed does nudge interest rates up a little bit more before they reverse course, it's not going to matter," he told CNBC. Meanwhile, price pressures are building in the economy, with data last week showing inflation rising at the fastest pace in almost four years.

"Inflation is headed up, not just on the consumer level but…inflation rising faster than any rate hikes we might get from the Fed," Schiff said. "So real rates are going to be falling even if the Fed raises nominal rates."

The CME FedWatch Tool currently pegs a March rate increase at 17 percent probability.


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