President Trump’s chief economic adviser Monday said there was no threat to the independence of the Federal Reserve, a day after a fresh presidential broadside accused the central bank of failing to do its job in promoting growth.
Larry Kudlow, National Economic Council director, responded to growing concerns about undue pressure from the White House by saying: “We have no intention of damaging Fed independence, none whatsoever.”
His comments come as Trump tries to steer two political allies — businessman Herman Cain and economics commentator Stephen Moore — on to the Fed’s board of governors.
Moore has echoed Trump in calling for lower interest rates.
However, the interventions have worried international bankers such as Mario Draghi, European Central Bank chief, who made the rare step a day earlier of warning that any threat to independence could rattle international markets.
Trump returned to the theme on the same day, demanding quantitative easing rather than tightening.
“If the Fed had done its job properly, which it has not, the Stock Market would have been up 5000 to 10,000 additional points, and GDP would have been well over 4% instead of 3%,” he wrote.
If the Fed had done its job properly, which it has not, the Stock Market would have been up 5000 to 10,000 additional points, and GDP would have been well over 4% instead of 3%...with almost no inflation. Quantitative tightening was a killer, should have done the exact opposite!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 14, 2019
Kudlow shrugged off any concerns about interference. “There’s nothing new about presidents having opinions,” he said.
Trump is due to fly to Minneapolis Monday to mark tax day with a discussion on the economy and tax reform.
Kudlow would not be drawn on whether the president had filed his tax returns or asked for an extension as he did last year.
But he did say Trump would not be releasing his returns Monday and referred questions to Steven Mnuchin, Treasury secretary, who had previously said he would not allow the Internal Revenue Service to be “weaponized” for political gain as Democrats demand the IRS hand over the returns.
[Read more: Pelosi: Trump Fed picks Moore and Cain are 'dangerous']