Trump takes another shot at Fed Chairman Jerome Powell for raising rates

Finance news

President Donald Trump is grousing again about his Federal Reserve chairman, telling political donors that he was hoping for easier monetary policy.

Speaking at a fundraiser in the Hamptons on Friday, Trump said he thought Fed Chairman Jerome Powell would favor cheaper money and not have such a heavy hand when it comes to interest rate hikes, according to Bloomberg, which cited three sources who attended the event.

The Fed has hiked its benchmark interest rate target five times since Trump took office in January 2017, compared with just once for his predecessor, Barack Obama. In addition, the Fed has indicated two more rate hikes before the end of the year and three more in 2019.

“He was questioning why it was happening,” one person at the event said, according to a Dow Jones report. “He made a reference to things going so well, so why bother” raising rates.

The White House did not comment specifically on the remarks, reportedly made during a fundraiser at the home of Howard Lorber, chairman of Douglas Elliman real estate and head of Nathan’s Famous hot dog company.

This was not the first time Trump has taken Powell to task, though presidents often refrain from expressing public opinions on Fed policy.

In a CNBC interview July 19, Trump said he was “not thrilled” about the tighter Fed policy, though he said he respects its independence.

“Because we go up and every time you go up they want to raise rates again. I don’t really — I am not happy about it. But at the same time I’m letting them do what they feel is best,” Trump said at the time.

Government bond yields edged lower following the report about Trump’s latest comments, though at 2.83 percent. The benchmark 10-year Treasury note has been heading lower over the past month, with the current yield the lowest since July 13.

Read the full Bloomberg report here.