President Donald Trump pressed his demand Wednesday for the Federal Reserve to accelerate interest rate cuts, saying the U.S. central bank needs to keep pace with its global counterparts.
“They must Cut Rates bigger and faster, and stop their ridiculous quantitative tightening NOW,” Trump said in a series of early morning tweets.
The call comes with U.S. government bond yields tumbling and the closely watched spread between the 3-month and 10-year notes at its biggest inversion since April 2007, just as the economy was heading into the financial crisis.
Trump has been a persistent Fed critic even though it approved a quarter-point rate cut at its meeting a week ago. Markets expect another cut at the September meeting, then one or even two more before the end of the year.
Waiting, though, isn’t an option, Trump said, as he called on the Fed to act now.
“Our problem is not China – We are stronger than ever, money is pouring into the U.S. while China is losing companies by the thousands to other countries, and their currency is under siege – Our problem is a Federal Reserve that is too…..proud to admit their mistake of acting too fast and tightening too much (and that I was right!).”
Trump’s tweet mistakenly implies that the Fed is still in the process of “quantitative tightening,” a reference to reducing the amount of bonds the Fed is holding on its balance sheet by allowing a capped level of proceeds to roll off each month.
The policymaking Federal Open Market Committee at last week’s meeting voted to end the program as of this month.
The president also characterized the yield curve as “too wide” even though the gap between the two-year and 10-year notes is at its narrowest since April 2007 and the spread between other maturities continues to contract.
Still, he said the Fed could take care of its problems “sooo easily. We will WIN anyway, but it would be much easier if the Fed understood, which they don’t, that we are competing against other countries, all of whom want to do well at our expense!”
The latest market sell-off accelerated with a Trump tweet last Thursday announcing his intentions to implement 10% tariffs on the remaining $300 billion or so of Chinese goods not already subject to duties. The Dow that day staged a more than 500-point reversal after being up more than 200 points. The blue chip index is off 3.1% over the past week.