Economy

Fed Chair Says He Won't Resign If President Trump Asks Him To

Fed Chair Says He Won't Resign If President Trump Asks Him To”

Head of the US Federal Reserve, which sets interest rates in the world's largest economy, has said he is "listening carefully" to market fears of a global slowdown, suggesting there would not be an imminent rate hike despite "very good" domestic jobs data in the US.

The Fed is "prepared to adjust policy quickly and flexibly" to support the economy, he added.

US President Donald Trump has been one of the loudest critics of the rising rates, which raise the cost of borrowing and risk dampening economic growth. Data released earlier on Friday showed US employers added the most workers in 10 months as wage gains accelerated. It marked the ninth time the Fed has raised interest rates since 2015.

The Fed is "listening sensitively" to the market signals, as well as data showing that inflation rates remain relatively muted, he added. He also says that the Fed could alter its approach to trimming its huge balance sheet if it determines such a change is needed. "We don't believe our issuance is an important part of the story of the market turbulence that began in the fourth quarter previous year".

"This should, at least for today, mute expectations that the Fed is off the table completely this year", said Omair Sharif, a senior economist at Societe Generale in NY.

The commander-in-chief has also ripped the Fed on Twitter and in interviews.

The event offered a rare show of public unity by a sitting Fed chairman and his two immediate predecessors, who were asked about Trump's apparent disregard for the institution's independence.

"As always, there is no preset path for policy", Powell said during a roundtable discussion with former Fed Chairs Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen. American presidents of the past quarter-century have kept private their opinions about Fed policy so the Fed can focus on employment and inflation rather than feel pressure from the short-term wishes of politicians. The PBOC is certainly responding and hopefully they can shore up growth but so long as the trade war is raging, there isn't going to be a big turnaround.



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