Trump and Powell Met Monday at White House to Discuss Economy

Carlos Barria/Reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell met at the White House on Monday morning, the second meeting between the two since Powell became head of the Fed and faced withering criticism from Trump.

The Fed announced the meeting in a morning press release, and Trump on Twitter called the session “good & cordial,” a contrast with prior statements that have included calling U.S. central bankers “boneheads” for not cutting interest rates and labeling Powell personally as an enemy of the United States on a par with China leader Xi Jinping.

“Everything was discussed including interest rates, negative interest, low inflation, easing, Dollar strength & its effect on manufacturing, trade with China, E.U. & others, etc.,” Trump tweeted.

The Fed in its statement was careful to note what wasn’t discussed: Powell’s expectations for future monetary policy. Trump has for more than a year charged the Fed with undermining his economic policies by, in his view, keeping interest rates too high, and depriving the United States of what Trump feels are the benefits of the negative rates of interest set by the European and Japanese central banks.

The Fed has cut rates three times this year – in part to offset what it views as damage done by the Trump administration’s trade war with China. But after its last meeting policymakers signaled they would lower rates no further unless the economy takes a serious turn for the worse.

Powell “did not discuss his expectations for monetary policy, except to stress that the path of policy will depend entirely on incoming information that bears on the outlook for the economy,” the Fed said in its statement.

Powell appeared before congressional committees twice last week, and the Fed said his comments to Trump were “consistent” with his statements to lawmakers.

“Chair Powell said that he and his colleagues on the Federal Open Market Committee will set monetary policy, as required by law, to support maximum employment and stable prices and will make those decisions based solely on careful, objective and non-political analysis.”

The meeting included Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Powell met with Trump in February and has also had at least three brief phone conversations with him. He has also made deliberate efforts to court members of the House and Senate, an important source of support at a time when Trump has expressed regret for ever appointing Powell and reportedly explored whether he could remove him.

Fed chairs are appointed to four-year terms by the president, but once confirmed by the Senate are intended to be insulated from White House political pressure over how to manage monetary policy. They can only be removed “for cause,” not over a disagreement over policy.

Meetings between Fed chairs and presidents are not unprecedented but they are infrequent, as opposed to the nearly weekly sessions that central bankers have with the head of the Treasury.

(Reporting by Howard Schneider; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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General Confusion
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“saves the IJR staff the time to review and approve my comments” Phyllis

There are no moderators left to do this kind of monitoring. It is all automatic and I can’t remember the last time they unhid a comment. Do you?

They hid one of mine outright, recently, though. IJR can’t take the heat of the truth.

General Confusion
Member

If you actually want people to read YOUR comments, reply out in the open. Do NOT make more than ONE reply!

Phyllis Softa
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WHAT is to discuss?—This is the greatest economy in the history of mankind and in Trump World that is when you increase the national debt and cut taxes and interest rates. I am one for living in the moment, but there are times when I want to flash forward 10 and 20 years to read the historical record of 2017 to 2021.

General Confusion
Member

“Hey speaking of “confused”? Did you get my request for permission to use the word “confused”? [banstan] claims you own it.—” Phyllis

banstan didn’t see that we recently traded rights to “confused” and “sane”. If he is sane enough and ever gets unconfused, some day, he will eventually catch on.

General Confusion
Member

“Trump has for more than a year charged the Fed with undermining his economic policies by, in his view, keeping interest rates too high” Article

Right, because King Donald The Loser has/had $330 million in VARIABLE RATE loans! He isn’t confused about how lower interest rates would affect His Majesty.

Are you confused by that, too?

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