Trump blasts US central bank again over rate hikes
WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Tuesday renewed his attack on the US Federal Reserve's monetary policy, blaming the central bank's interest rate hikes for a tanking market.
With stocks on track for their worst December since the Great Depression, Mr Trump has regularly berated the Fed for its stewardship of the economy.
"They're raising rates too fast because they think the economy is so good," Mr Trump told reporters in a Q&A following his annual Christmas teleconference with US troops.
"But I think they will get it pretty soon," added Mr Trump, who has dubbed the supposedly independent central bank "crazy" and "out of control".
Mr Trump's comments came after Asian markets suffered a holiday rout on fears about the US economy and a government shutdown in Washington, now in its fourth day.
Markets have been roiled by ongoing uncertainty in the US, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin berated for holding a call with the six biggest US banks and then reporting on Twitter that the six chief executive officers have "ample liquidity" available.
Investors were also unnerved by weekend news reports that Mr Trump had asked about the possibility of firing Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell, accounts that Mr Mnuchin said Mr Trump has denied.
Asked by reporters whether he had confidence in Mr Mnuchin, Mr Trump answered "yes I do", calling the treasury chief "very talented, very smart person".
Mr Trump said he also remained confident in US companies and urged investors to stay calm over the nosediving markets.
Mr Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trading at Oanda, said Mr Trump's spat with the Fed and Mr Mnuchin's call with the banks had "markets running for cover".
Investors "have no confidence in the administration", he told AFP.
"Markets are driven by perception and it is flat-out bad." - AFP