President Donald Trump has been on the warpath regarding the Federal Reserve and its Chairman Jerome Powell, and how the U.S. central bank has failed him and the economy by first raising rates too much too fast, and then not cutting rates fast enough.
Trump went so far as to wonder via tweet whether Powell was a bigger “enemy” to the U.S. economy than Chinese President Xi Jinping, with whom Trump is locked into a bitter, ever-escalating trade war.
….My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2019
Former Ronald Reagan budget director David Stockman, who has previously called Trump “a total economic ignoramus,” actually agrees with the president on the topic of the Fed, but not for the same reasons.
“Powell is the enemy of prosperity, is the enemy of honest price discovery in the financial markets,” Stockman said on Fox Business’s “Cavuto: Coast To Coast” program. “The Fed is the enemy of savers and retirees … . The Fed is the enemy of the wage earner.”
Stockman said he doesn’t think the Fed has done nearly enough for the people except exacerbate wealth inequality and put the U.S. “in a position where nobody in Washington cares about borrowing or the deficit.”
The U.S. budget is currently up 27% from just a year ago, with the budget deficit marching toward $1 trillion, which Stockman called “absurd.”
“We’re going to have a recession in a year or two,” Stockman said. “Surely they haven’t been abolished. We’ll have a $2 trillion annual deficit and, you know, the debt is out of control.”
Stockman added that it will take a “thundering financial crisis in the bond market before the Fed will start to force higher interest rates instead of the lower rates Trump has practically been begging for.
“This is not because … there’s too much savings in the world, as these ridiculous people at the Fed say, or because we have a weak economy coming,” Stockman said. “It’s speculation.”
He then went on to say he doesn’t think we have “honest capitalism” in the U.S. anymore.
“The free market on Wall Street is dead. Everybody is simply trading the last word in the last clue that comes out of the Fed and other central banks,” he said. “And the thing is a real mess. They’re destroying prosperity and setting this up for a massive crisis that will make 2008 look like a Sunday school picnic.
“Thousands and tens of thousands of traders and investors and speculators taking all sides of the market and all points of view — that’s who should be determining the interest rate,” he added. “Not these fools on the Federal Open Market (Committee).”