Politics

Trump says Fed Chief Powell 'let us down' by not clearly signaling more rate cuts

Key Points
  • President Donald Trump said that Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell "let us down" on Wednesday hours after the Fed lowered its benchmark rate by a quarter point.
  • The stock market sold off aggressively after Powell said during a news conference that the move was just a "mid-cycle adjustment."
  • "As usual, Powell let us down, but at least he is ending quantitative tightening, which shouldn't have started in the first place - no inflation," Trump wrote. "We are winning anyway, but I am certainly not getting much help from the Federal Reserve!"
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Trump says Fed Chairman Powell 'let us down'

President Donald Trump said Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell "let us down" on Wednesday hours after the Fed lowered its benchmark rate by a quarter point.

The rate move, the first cut in more than a decade, was widely expected. But the stock market sold off aggressively after Powell said during a news conference that the move was just a "mid-cycle adjustment," which traders took to mean this is not the start of a longer-term easing period.

"What the Market wanted to hear from Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve was that this was the beginning of a lengthy and aggressive rate-cutting cycle which would keep pace with China, The European Union and other countries around the world," Trump wrote in a series of posts on Twitter. 

"As usual, Powell let us down, but at least he is ending quantitative tightening, which shouldn't have started in the first place - no inflation," Trump wrote. "We are winning anyway, but I am certainly not getting much help from the Federal Reserve!"

Trump has pushed the central bank to pursue looser monetary policy and blasted its past decisions to hike rates.

The Federal Reserve operates independently of the White House. During a press conference Powell said the central bank would never move rates because of political factors or to prove its independence.

The Fed said its decision to lower the key interest rate despite a strong economy was motivated by fears of a potential future slowdown.

Read more: The Fed's credibility is at stake as it looks to cut rates under pressure from a vocal president