MARCH 11, 2019
US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell –
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell hasn’t said much about President Donald Trump’s frequent criticism of the central bank. But in a new interview, Powell made clear there’s one thing Trump can’t say to him: “You’re fired.”
“The law is clear that I have a four-year term,” Powell said on CBS’s 60 Minutes, in an interview that aired Sunday night. “And I fully intend to serve it.”
Pressed on whether Trump has the authority to fire him, Powell said, “no.”
Powell declined to answer questions about Trump’s unorthodox criticisms of the Fed, saying it wouldn’t appropriate for him to comment on any elected official.
“It’s very important that the public understand that we are always going to make decisions based on what we think is right for the American people,” Powell said. “We will never, ever take political considerations into effect.”
Previous presidents have avoided public criticism of the Fed to ensure the central back is not influenced by short-term political pressure. But Trump has not. In October, Trump said the Fed has “gone crazy.” Trump and Powell had an informal dinner at the White House in early February. Powell would not comment on their conversation.
The Fed has taken a patient approach in raising interest rates so far this year. In the past, Trump’s unprecedented criticisms mostly focused on higher interest rates and the tightening of monetary policy.
“Our interest-rate policy is in a very good place,” Powell said in the new interview.