President Donald Trump on Monday escalated his attacks on the Federal Reserve in a Christmas Eve tweet, claiming the central bank doesn't "have a feel for the Market," and "the only problem our economy has is the Fed."
Trump has been complaining for months about Fed monetary policy, claiming rising interest rates are putting a brake on his economic plans. The president has also reportedly discussed firing Fed Chair Jerome Powell because of his frustration with stock market losses in recent months, although in a tweet Saturday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin quoted Trump as saying "I never suggested firing Chairman Jay Powell, nor do I believe I have the right to do so."
Stocks have been in a downward spiral with the Dow and S&P 500 down more than 12 percent this month — on track for their worst December performances since the Great Depression in 1931.
The Fed last week raised its benchmark interest rate a quarter-point, the fourth increase this year and the ninth since it began normalizing rates in December 2015. It came despite Trump's tweets urging against rate hikes. Two days earlier, he said "it is incredible" that "the Fed is even considering yet another interest rate hike."
The stock market deepened its rout after the Fed's rate hike and its decision to let its massive balance sheet shrink at the current pace. Market participants had hoped the central bank would slow its pace of rate hikes, and they worry the rate cuts are slowing the economy too fast.