Jerome Powell, governor of the U.S. Federal Reserve and President Donald Trump’s nominee as chairman of the Federal Reserve. (Photographer: Olivier Douliery/Bloomberg)

All The Trump Quotes on Powell as Attacks on Fed Intensify

(Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has come under increasing pressure from President Donald Trump over the central bank’s gradual increase of interest rates. Trump has said the hikes will stifle the economy’s growth. Powell hasn’t publicly responded.

Here’s a timeline of key events and comments:

All The Trump Quotes on Powell as Attacks on Fed Intensify

Nov. 27

Trump tells the Washington Post he’s “not even a little bit happy with my selection of Jay.” On what threatens the U.S. economy, Trump added, “I think the Fed is a much bigger problem than China."

“I’m doing deals and I’m not being accommodated by the Fed,” the president said. “They’re making a mistake because I have a gut and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else’s brain can ever tell me.”

Nov. 26

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump said “I think the Fed right now is a much bigger problem than China. I think it’s -- I think it’s incorrect what they’re doing. I don’t like what they’re doing. I don’t like the $50 billion. I don’t like what they’re doing in terms of interest rates. And they’re not being accommodative at all. And I’m doing trade deals, and they’re great trade deals, but the Fed is not helping.”

Nov. 20

The president told reporters that the central bank is a "problem" and that he would “like to see the Fed with a lower interest rate.”

Oct. 23

The president tells The Wall Street Journal he “maybe” regrets appointing Powell to head the Fed. He declines to say what circumstances would cause him to want to remove Powell, but adds, “I’m not going to fire him.”

Trump says he was intentionally sending a direct message to Powell that he wanted lower interest rates, even as he acknowledged that the central bank is an independent entity.

Oct. 16

In a Fox Business Network interview, Trump calls the Fed his “biggest threat,” again criticizing the central bank for endangering economic growth through interest-rate hikes. Trump says the central bank is “independent so I don’t speak to them, but I’m not happy with what he’s doing because it’s going too fast.”

Oct. 10

Trump slams Fed policy during a campaign rally in Pennsylvania, complaining “they’re so tight. I think the Fed has gone crazy.” He later said during a telephone interview on Fox News that the central bank was “going loco” for raising rates.

Sept. 26

The Fed raises interest rates by a quarter percentage point.

“We are doing great as a country,” Trump says at a press conference in New York. “Unfortunately they just raised interest rates a little bit because we are doing so well. I am not happy about that.”

Aug. 30

“We are not being accommodated,” Trump says in an interview with Bloomberg News in the Oval Office. “I don’t like that.” 

“That being said,” he continues, “I’m not sure the currency should be controlled by a politician.” He also says he didn’t regret appointing Powell.

Aug. 20

In private remarks at a fund-raiser on Long Island Trump says he expected Powell to be a cheap-money Fed chairman and lamented to wealthy Republican donors that his nominee instead had raised interest rates, according to three people present.

July 20

Trump takes to social media to take another shot at the Fed. “China, the European Union and others have been manipulating their currencies and interest rates lower, while the U.S. is raising rates while the dollars gets stronger and stronger with each passing day -- taking away our big competitive edge," Trump tweets. “The United States should not be penalized because we are doing so well.”

July 19

The president makes his first critical remarks about the Fed. “I’m not thrilled” the central bank is raising borrowing costs and potentially slowing the economy, he says in an interview with CNBC. “I don’t like all of this work that we’re putting into the economy and then I see rates going up."

June 13

The Fed raises rates by a quarter point.

March 21

The Fed raises rates by a quarter point.

Dec. 13, 2017

The Fed raises rates by a quarter point.

Nov. 2, 2017

At the Rose Garden ceremony marking his nomination by Trump to the chairmanship, Powell was careful to slip into his remarks a reference to the Fed’s independence: “I strongly share that sense of mission and am committed to making decisions with objectivity and based on the best available evidence, in the longstanding tradition of monetary policy independence.” Trump said he picked Powell because “he’s strong. He’s committed. He’s smart.”

(An earlier version of this story was corrected to fix the date for the Oct. 10 item.)

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