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Fed may raise rates, or cut them, Bostic says

26 March, 2019, 05:16 | Author: Lawrence Cooper
  • Donald Trump's Economy Is Cooling

As if to accentuate the impression that he values political loyalty and ideology over all other qualities, Mr. Trump on Friday announced his intention to nominate tax-cut promoter Stephen Moore, formerly of the Trump campaign, Republican congressional staff, the Club for Growth and the Wall Street Journal editorial page - and now of the Heritage Foundation - to one of two vacancies on the Fed's seven-member Board of Governors. The president later said in a tweet that Mr Moore is "a very respected economist" and said he has "no doubt he will be an outstanding choice".

Moore, 59, has joined the president in criticizing the central bank, led by Chairman Jerome Powell, for raising interest rates.

University of OR economist Tim Duy, an expert on the Fed, told The New York Times: "Stephen Moore is a particularly poor choice for the Federal Reserve Board".

Moore will likely face heavy criticism from Senate Democrats, with whom he has clashed for years.

Under the threat of constant second-guessing by the president, and potentially soon working with a Trump cheerleader inside the building, Fed officials may find it increasingly hard to stay focused on keeping the institution at a distance from politics. None of the other members of the committee commented when contacted by Reuters about Moore's nomination.

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The US Fed on Wednesday left interest rates unchanged after concluding a two-day policy meeting, and announced that it will end the runoff of its balance sheet at the end of September. But we would have been over four (per cent growth) if they didn't do all of the interest rate hikes.

As a TV commentator, Moore has been an anti-tax conservative and fiscal hawk. In the article Moore argued that the Fed's rate hikes promoted deflation and described the central bank as the "last major obstacle" to the United States staying on a good path. And he contended that the approach, if adopted, would help accelerate economic growth above 3 percent, compared with the longer-run average of 1.9 percent that Fed officials have forecast.

In the same column, he urged Congressional Republicans to "put up a fight on the debt ceiling by requiring more budget discipline as a condition of higher debt levels". And they tightened, I mean, they did $50 billion a month. There are now two vacancies on the Fed board.

Powell has said the Fed took those decisions without regard to politics but purely in response to slowing global and USA growth and low inflation.

With mixed feelings. In 2014, at her first FOMC press conference as chair, Yellen said people "should not look to the dot plot" as "the primary way in which the committee wants to or is speaking about policy to the public at large".


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