President Donald Trump significantly ramped up his criticism of Fed Board Chairman Jay Powell on Friday, describing his longtime target on economic issues as an “enemy” and likening him to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powel or Chairman Xi?,” Trump wrote, misspelling Powell’s name.
Trump has repeatedly blasted the Fed, even before his election. But his long-standing dissatisfaction with the Fed, which he accuses of bungling the U.S. economy, has increased amid concerns over a global economic slowdown. Trump nominated Powell as chairman in 2017.
The president’s tweet came as he prepares to head to France on Friday for the G-7 meeting of world leaders, where trade and the economy will be atop the agenda.
The Fed, an independent board whose members are appointed by the president, raises interest rates to cool down a hot economy and cuts them to stimulate a sluggish one. The rates affect how much it costs to use a credit card, sign a car loan or buy a home.
Trump this week has upped the ante in his year-long campaign to browbeat the Federal Reserve into slashing rates, calling for the central bank to lower its key short-term rate by “at least” a full percentage point “over a fairly short period of time.”
For good measure, he has added that the move should be accompanied by “perhaps some quantitative easing as well,” referring to the Fed’s massive bond purchases during and after the Great Recession to lower long-term rates.
Trump again voiced frustration with the Fed on Wednesday, tweeting that Germany “is actually being paid to borrow money, while the U.S., a far stronger and more important credit, is paying interest.”