President Donald Trump reacted Wednesday to the Fed’s announcement of a quarter-point rate cut by criticizing the central bank and its chief, Jerome Powell.
Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve Fail Again. No “guts,” no sense, no vision! A terrible communicator!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 18, 2019
Trump has become a frequent critic of the Fed, arguing that they have kept monetary policy too tight at a time when central banks around the world are cutting rates and the U.S. dollar is appreciating against most foreign currencies. Dollar appreciation hurts U.S. exports, which the Fed cited as one of the main drags on the U.S. economy now.
Three Fed officials dissented from the Fed’s decision. Two would not have cut rates while the third, James Bullard, would have cut by half a percentage point.
At a press conference following the Fed announcement, Powell was asked if Trump’s criticisms were hurting morale at the central bank. Powell said morale was “very high, very unified,” adding that the staff “doing the best job we can serving the American people.”
Powell declined to respond directly to Trump’s criticisms. He did, however, mention several times in the press conference that uncertainty about trade policy was one of the major drags on the U.S. economy.