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Cramer: The stock market 'would probably go up' if Trump were to remove Powell as Fed chief

Key Points
  • CNBC's Jim Cramer connects the dots by reasoning that if the president were to act, he would pick a successor for Powell who would do his bidding.
  • The new person "takes rates down, does what the president wants," hypothesizes the "Mad Money" host. Lower interest rates are generally better for stocks.
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Cramer: Stocks would probably rise if Trump removed Powell as Fed chair

The stock market "would probably go up" if President Donald Trump were to remove Jerome Powell as chairman of the Federal Reserve, CNBC's Jim Cramer speculated Wednesday.

On "Squawk on the Street," Cramer connected the dots by reasoning that if the president were to act, he would pick a successor to Powell who would do his bidding.

The new person "takes rates down, does what the president wants," said the "Mad Money" host, spinning a hypothetical. Lower interest rates are generally better for stocks.

On Wednesday, a divided Federal Reserve held interest rates steady and indicated there are still no cuts coming this year. The central bank expects a rate cut ahead, but not until 2020.

In a decision closely watched by financial market participants clamoring for multiple cuts, central bank officials on the Federal Open Market Committee voted 9-1 to keep the benchmark rate in a target range of 2.25% to 2.5%, where it has been since December's controversial quarter-point increase.

Trump has made no secret that he thinks Powell, whom he ironically put in the job, has raised rates too aggressively and put up a headwind to stronger economic growth. The White House views the performance of the economy as a benchmark of success, especially as the president embarks on his reelection campaign. Trump officially kicked off his 2020 campaign Tuesday evening at a Florida rally.

"Powell is living in a conventional world," Cramer said, and then used a baseball analogy to explain. "The president is the Yankees and Powell is the Toledo Mud Hens."

"Squawk on the Street" co-host David Faber asked Cramer why the possibility of removing Powell should even be discussed.

Carl Quintanilla, also a co-host of the show, said, "because it's getting closer and closer."

Cramer nodded at Quintanilla and responded to Faber by saying, "You have to think the other way, which is, 'Oh my, the president is saying 'why not' and he'll figure out a way.'"

On Tuesday, Trump was asked by reporters if he still wanted to demote Powell, and he said, "Let's see what he does." Bloomberg reported Tuesday morning that the White House in February had looked into demoting Powell.

Trump's "let's see" remarks were made one day before the Fed concludes its two-day June policy meeting Wednesday afternoon.

While the market expects central bankers to cut rates in 2019, the CME FedWatch tracker points to only about a 20% chance that it would happen this week. The odds for a rate cut shoot up to more 80% for the July meeting and increase as the year goes on.

The current target range for the fed funds overnight lending rate is 2.25% to 2.5% following four Fed rate increases last year.

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--CNBC.com's Jeff Cox contributed to this report.