Federal Reserve

Cramer: US economy does not need negative interest rates — 'it's a sign of weakness'

Key Points
  • The U.S. economy does not need negative interest rates, CNBC's Jim Cramer says.
  • "Our economy is just too strong," the "Mad Money" host says. 
  • Cramer's comments follow President Donald Trump's suggestion that the Federal Reserve should further cut rates.
VIDEO2:0102:01
Cramer: US economy does not need negative interest rates — 'it's a sign of weakness'

The U.S. economy does not need negative interest rates, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Wednesday.

"It's a sign of weakness," the "Mad Money" host said on "Squawk on the Street."

Cramer was responding to President Donald Trump's suggestion on Tuesday that the Federal Reserve should continue lowering interest rates, possibly veering into negative territory, in order to keep the U.S. competitive in the global market.

"We are actively competing with nations who openly cut interest rates so that now many are actually getting paid when they pay off their loan, known as negative interest," Trump said during a speech before the Economic Club of New York. "Whoever heard of such a thing?"

"Give me some of that," Trump continued. "Give me some of that money. I want some of that money."

The Fed has lowered its benchmark funds rate three times this year, most recently in October, when it also indicated further easing was unlikely.

The effectiveness of negative interest rates has been up for debate as entities such as the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan deploy the policy in an effort to boost economic growth.

Effectiveness aside, Cramer said the current state of the American economy undercuts Trump's pleas — the latest piece of criticism the president has levied against the Fed.

"The negative rate thing, I think, just doesn't resonate," Cramer said. "Our economy is just too strong."

Cramer's comments Wednesday came ahead of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's congressional testimony before the Joint Economic Committee. The head of the central bank added to previous remarks he's made about negative interest rates, telling Congress they would "not be appropriate in the current environment."

Cramer said he believes White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow — and his former co-host on the CNBC show "Kudlow & Cramer" — would agree with him.

"Larry would tell you, 'I think it's a sign of weakness,'" Cramer said, adding: "He's an economist. He knows what he's doing."

The White House did not immediately resond to a request for comment on Cramer's remarks.

VIDEO10:0910:09
How negative interest rates work