Tags: Trump Administration | fed | powell | trump | resign

Fed's Powell: I Won't Resign Under Trump Pressure

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By    |   Friday, 04 January 2019 10:40 AM

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday said he has not received any direct communication from the White House about his job performance, and that he would not resign even if President Donald Trump asked him to do so.

Trump, who picked Powell to head the Fed starting last February, has been intensely and publicly critical of Powell’s Fed and Powell personally, accusing him of hurting the economy by raising rates. Powell said he has no meeting scheduled with Trump.

Powell made his remarks at the American Economic Association's annual meeting in Atlanta, CNBC reported.

"If the president asked you to resign, would you do it?" The moderator at the American Economic Association's annual meeting in Atlanta asked Powell, to which he replied, "No."

Powell also said he had not received any direct communication from the White House about unhappiness with the central bank's rate policy, nor had any meeting between the president and him been scheduled.

"I would say that meetings between presidents and Fed chairs do happen," was all that Powell said when asked if he would meet with the president.

Trump’s top economic adviser said “both sides” want the president and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to meet over their differences on the central bank’s interest-rate increases.

Larry Kudlow, director of the White House National Economic Council, told Bloomberg TV on Friday a meeting between the two men hasn’t yet been set.

“Both sides would like to have a meeting,” Kudlow said. “The details have not been worked through yet.”

“I think it would be nice to have a frank and candid exchange of views, shall we say, up close and personal,” Kudlow added. “I think President Trump would benefit. I think Jay Powell would benefit.”

Trump has repeatedly criticized the central bank’s rate increases and last month privately discussed firing Powell.

Powell also on Friday moved to mollify financial markets concerned about a U.S. economic slowdown, saying that while momentum is solid, the U.S. central bank will be sensitive to the downside risks the market is pricing in.

"We will be patient as we watch to see how the economy evolves," Powell told the American Economic Association, adding that the Fed is not on a preset path of rate hikes and suggesting that it could pause on its policy tightening as it did in 2016. "We are always prepared to shift the stance of policy and to shift it significantly" if needed.

Material from Bloomberg and Reuters has been used in this report.

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Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday said he has not received any direct communication from the White House about his job performance, and that he would not resign even if President Donald Trump asked him to do so.
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Friday, 04 January 2019 10:40 AM
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